The BDO World Darts Championship kicks off with two sessions of action on Saturday as the men and women begin their tournament at the Lakeside Country Club. There are some big names on show as the event fires into life on a busy first day.
The defending ladies champion Trina Gulliver and the men’s world number on Glen Durrant both take to the stage on the first day so we have quality right from the start.
The tournament begins with Glen Durrant starting his quest for a first world title when he clashes with Nick Kenny. The first event of the ladies tournament follows that match as Trina Gulliver takes on Claire Brookin.
The opening match of the preliminary round takes to the stage in the third game of the afternoon when Dennis Nilsson faces Ryan Joyce before the session concludes with the Lakeside veteran Darryl Fitton facing the Dutch debutant Wouter Vaes.
Two more preliminary round matches kick off the evening session of action. They begin with an international battle between Seigo Asada of Japan and last year’s runner up Jeff Smith of Canada. Roger Janssen meets Mark McGrath in the second match.
The ladies match in this session sees two women who are experienced on the Lakeside stage competing against each other as Aileen de Graaf meets Rachel Brooks. The first day concludes with Jim Williams taking on Tony O’Shea in a repeat of a first round match from last year.
It is going to be a quiet start to the tournament for me. I’ve a feeling we might see some close matches on this first day but most of them also have the potential to be one-sided if the lesser player gets stage fright.
In terms of an upset the best chance might be Wouter Vaes. Darryl Fitton is always prone to a shock because of the amount of doubles he misses but in fairness to him he has been going along ok over the last couple of months or so which puts me off the Dutchman.
That leaves me with one bet which is in the final match of the night when Jim Williams faces Tony O’Shea. These two met in this round 12 months ago and Williams won 3-0 and I’m expecting something similar here. It might not be quite so convincing but we’ve seen little to suggest O’Shea is back to being a force whereas Williams is still playing to a decent enough level. He should win here with a bit to spare.
WON – Back J.Williams (-1.5 sets) to beat T.O’Shea for a 4/10 stake at 2.20 with Coral