Defending champion Lisa Ashton kicks off with straight sets win
Lisa Ashton started her BDO World Championship defence with a 2-0 victory over Rhian Griffiths at the Lakeside.
Griffiths, who thrashed favourite Lorraine Winstanley in the first round of the World Trophy, fancied another shock as she took a two-leg lead in the opening set. Ashton cut a frustrated figure as, despite some consistent scoring, missed nine darts at a double. The Welsh ace had notched the first 180 of the game, and looked well set to take the opening set. But an 82 checkout, rounded off on tops, saved the Lancashire Rose. It kicked off a fightback, as the three-time world champion held throw before breaking Griffiths again to take the lead in the match.
Ashton's cool on the doubles saw her through. An 80 finish, after adjusting to find tops, set her on the way to the win. She saved the best until last, nailing double 12 for a 101 checkout. She could take on Corinne Hammond in a repeat of last year's final, if the Australian can defeat another former finalist in Fallon Sherrock.
"She settled really well, and I wasn't hitting my doubles. But I'm just happy to be through," said Ashton after the match.