BDO number one Mark McGeeney edged through a nervy tie with Martin Adams, as a sudden-death victory sealed a thrilling opening to the BDO World Championship. The second seed edged through 3-2 against the three-time world champion, as Adams’ 25th Frimley Green appearance ended at the first hurdle.

Though the first four sets were all shared, none were exactly close encounters. McGeeney cantered to the first set, with Adams averaging in the mid-70s throughout. The BDO number one’s set-up play was sloppy, but hit the three winning doubles in just four darts to whitewash the set. Wolfie awoke in the second set, finally finding the treble 20 bed with some consistency. McGeeney won the first leg, but a 13-darter got the three-time world champion on the board for the first time. Another 13-darter rounded off the set and levelled the scores, but a 103 checkout and a first 180 put McGeeney back in control in the third set. Adams was only able to pick up a single leg, as a break proved decisive for the Gladiator, who averaged 110.89 with his first three darts across the four legs.
Nerves were taking their toll on the pair, with both averaging 82. Using the wealth of his experience, Adams claimed the fourth set to take the game all the way. Both won a leg on throw, but when McGeeney baulked at the chance to go 2-1 up, Adams stepped up to check out 64 in two darts. Throwing for the match, the 61-year-old opened with a 22, and McGeeney punished him with a 180. The second seed made it 2-2 in sets and legs, giving Adams a flashback to his sudden death win over Ryan Joyce last year.
The pair traded 140s early in the fifth leg but again sloppy darts threatened to derail them. McGeeney got to a finish first; an accidental double 16 left him double 17 for an 83, which he missed. But Adams offered another three darts to hit the green bit. McGeeney needed just one. A 140 to kick off the sixth leg felt decisive, especially with Adams continuing to drift into the single five. But a slack 41 from McGeeney was then punished by a ton, as the see-saw nature of the game became apparent again. McGeeney needed 81 to win the match with Adams waiting on 16, but double 13 was wired, and Wolfie earned redemption with his first dart at double eight.
It was then Adams’ turn to put the pressure on. Treble 20 was struck for 96, but then two darts for a break went begging, allowing McGeeney to strike tops. Again, Adams needed to re-acquaint himself with the key trebles and doubles. He did just that. A 97 checkout levelled matters once again. McGeeney continued his dominance on throw with a 15-darter. Then, needing 76 to force a sudden death leg, Adams proffered a nerveless dart at tops. And so it came down to one leg.
Adams claimed the throw in the bull-off, yet failed to take advantage with a 41, a 45 and a 28 making a dismal opening to the last leg. A 140, followed by a 128, put McGeeney within touching distance of the second round. Despite some extremely sloppy set-up work, the Gladiator hit his favoured double 20 to seal a second round spot. It does not get much easier for McGeeney, who is likely to take on Danny Noppert next.

Tags: , , ,

Author: Ed McCosh