Women’s Singles 501 (22 entries) 1st – Marilyn Popp – Individual 2nd...
BDO Lakeside World Championship (Day Eight)
On a day of incredible darts and incredible drama, Trina Gulliver MBE was the undoubted star, although Jeff Smith tried his best to steal the limelight at the evening’s close!
Darts’ “Golden Girl”, Trina Gulliver, captured her 10th Lakeside World Championship with a superb performance against her old friend and adversary, Deta Hedman. Since winning her ninth title in 2011, Trina has been unable to reach the heights of previous years, but this time, it was very different. After beating the experienced Dee Bateman first round, Gulliver eliminated reigning champ Lisa Ashton, and then 2015 World Master Aileen de Graaf, before having to take on current WDF World #1 Hedman!
Deta started well, clinching the first set with a beautiful checkout from 118, but Trina needed just three legs to make it 1-1. Hedman regained the lead, but Gulliver again leveled. In the decider, Hedman could have had the first two legs, but the chances went begging, and Gulliver cleaned up to take the set, the match, and her tenth World Championship!
Heading into the men’s semis, Scott Waites was the only previous winner of the event. Like Gulliver, Waites hasn’t been at his best in the last couple of years, but has seemed ultra-determined to get his hands back on the trophy he won in 2013. Taking on Jamie Hughes today, that was obvious.
After four sets, Hughes had reached the winning double in just one leg. In the fifth, he won two more, and had a shot at 88 to capture his first set, but just missed the double bull last dart. Waites made full use of the miss, and then sealed the set with a 14-darter. The West Midlander finally got a set with a five-leg sixth, but Waites posted two 15’s and a 14 to end the match.
Both Jeff Smith and Richard Veenstra have been exceptionally consistent all week, and today’s semi-final was no diiferent. It always promised to be a close one, and it didn’t take long to prove that. Neither player was giving an inch – particularly on their own throw. After six sets, it was 3-3, and all had been won by the player throwing first.
The Dutchman was the first man to break throw, taking the seventh set against the darts, but Jeff Smith is made of stern stuff, and immediately broke back by pocketing the eighth. The 2015 Las Vegas Open Champion regained the initiative by winning the ninth, but three legs later, the pair were level.
At 2-2 (with one break each) in the eleventh set, the match now had to be won by two clear legs. Smith made full use of a 174 first shot to go ahead 3-2. With the darts, Veenstra started the sixth leg well with a 115; Smith answered with a 180. Veenstra kept the pressure on with a 140, but Smith followed with another maximum!
With his opponent on 150 (after hitting 96 third shot), Smith now had a great chance of a perfect game, and the chance improved with a first dart T19! The second missed the T16, and the opportunity of finishing the day with a 9-darter vanished. With the 2015 Las Vegas Open champ sitting on 20 after nine darts, Veenstra desperately need to check out from the 150. It didn’t happen, and Smith needed just the one dart to send him to the final.
A superb clash, with neither player deserving to lose, and the report from the final will be posted here tomorrow.