Another excellent day of action concludes the first week of the BDO World Darts Championship inside the Indigo at the o2 on Friday when all four men’s quarter finals and the two ladies semi-finals are played out over two wonderful sessions.
The evening session looks particularly tasty on Friday but there should be no lack of decent darts in the afternoon as well so we should be set for another high quality day of darts, in an event which is really surprising with the ability on show thus far.
The day begins with a men’s quarter final as the veteran Wayne Warren looks to make it beyond the last eight for the first time as the Wales international goes up against the rapid but occasionally erratic Chris Landman, who will be competing as a maiden at this stage of the tournament. The first ladies semi-final follows them and it is a repeat of the 2017 final as the winner of that event, Lisa Ashton, takes on Corrine Hammond who she beat to that particular title.
The second men’s quarter final rounds off the action in the afternoon session and although it is arguably the weakest of the four on paper it is one I’m looking forward to. It sees David Evans taking on our outright pick Mario Vandenbogaerde with both men looking to back up impressive showings from the previous round, in a contest in which the bookmakers are struggling to split the two.
We are in for quite some session in the evening and it gets underway with the man who has been the favourite for the tournament throughout its duration in Jim Williams, taking on the player who has actually been the standout player on show in Paul Hogan in what looks like being a fantastic contest based on what we have seen so far. The second ladies semi-final follows them as Mikuru Suzuki continues her title defence when she takes on the impressive youngster Beau Greaves for a place in the final.
It could be that we have saved the best for last on Friday night though as the last game on the stage is the battle of the former winners when Scott Waites continues his quest for a third world title when he goes up against the 2015 champion Scott Mitchell, who will quietly be fancying his chances of going all the way after seeing off two extremely competent opposition to make it into this quarter final.
I’ll take three bets on Friday and they all come in the evening session as I’m happy enough to let my two outrights ride in the afternoon. The first bet comes in the opening game where I’m expecting to see more than 7.5 sets between Jim Williams and Paul Hogan in what should be a corker of a contest. Both these men looked in brilliant form in the previous game and I suspect they’ll bring the best out of each other here. The treble 20 is going to get an absolute battering in this match and barring a complete mare on the doubles, the like of which neither have shown in recent times, I don’t see this being won easier than 5-3 regardless of who comes through.
In the ladies match in the evening session I’m going to go for something of an upset as I like the look of Beau Greaves this week. Although the score probably didn’t reflect it I thought she played wonderfully well against Aileen de Graaf and I think there is even more to come from the teenager. Mikuru Suzuki is clearly all class and while part of me wants her to win to set up a superb showdown with Lisa Ashton in the final, I just think we’re getting to the stage where the world’s expectations might just weigh on her shoulders. Greaves has absolutely nothing to lose here and I think we’ll see her best game. Nine BDO titles in 2019 suggest that game is good enough to come through here at a value price.
Finally I can’t understand Scott Waites being the outsider in some places against Scott Mitchell. I respect Mitchell a lot but he got lucky that Michael Unterbuchner kept coughing up set winning doubles in the previous round and I just don’t see Waites doing that at all here. Waites had a brilliant win over Wesley Harms in the last 16 and he spent most of that match playing with two darts with the amount of arrers that kept falling out of the board. We’ve seen it in the past at this event that the longer he is in it the more dangerous and the better Waites becomes and I fear a bit for Mitchell as a result. Mitchell hasn’t played well in this tournament yet. If he doesn’t here he could get ruthlessly dumped out, but even if he does offer his best showing thus far I still think Waites has him covered.
Back J.Williams vs P.Hogan – Over 7.5 sets for a 4/10 stake at 1.83 with Bet365
Back B.Greaves to beat M.Suzuki for a 3/10 stake at 1.91 with BetVictor
Back S.Waites to beat S.Mitchell for a 4/10 stake at 2.00 with William Hill
Back him here: