The second Saturday is the penultimate day of action at the BDO World Darts Championship and it is one which sees both the men’s semi-finals taking place as well as the Youth final and the women’s final on another cracking day inside the Indigo at the o2.
Things are getting serious now and all eight players which will grace the stage are all playing for big things, whether it is one of the two titles on the line or a coveted place in the final on Sunday. That should make for a cracking day.
We begin with a men’s semi-final and on paper at least it looks like the pick of them as Wayne Warren takes on Scott Mitchell for a spot in the final. Warren has had a good run this week and looks bang up for the title while Mitchell finally showed us some of his best darts on Friday night when he overcame Scott Waites in a cracking contest. He knows how to go all the way in this tournament and is the only man left who has done that. He’ll hope to use that to his advantage.
The second match in the afternoon session sees the two youth finalists take to the stage. Leighton Bennett is the defending champion and will be out to defend his title over the best of five sets when he takes on the Irish rising star Keane Barry, who we saw at the PDC World Championship at Alexandra Palace last month. These two are very much the future of the game so they should treat us to something special here it must be said.
We begin with the other men’s semi-final in the evening session as the man who went into the tournament as the favourite to win it, Jim Williams, will look to make it through to his first world final and have a shot at justifying that position, when he goes up against the danger dark horse Mario Vandenbogaerde, a player who is in his second major semi-final in succession having made it to this stage of the World Masters. He couldn’t come through in that so he’ll be eager to deliver the goods here.
A top quality day of darts concludes with the eagerly anticipated women’s final over the best of five sets as the top two seeds and the last two women to get their hands on the trophy battle it out to possess the silverware once again. Lisa Ashton, the number one seed, takes on Mikuru Suzuki, the number two seed and the defending champion for the right to be the first BDO world champion of the new decade. This should be a belter.
Given that I have outright bets in both of the men’s semi-finals, hoping that both come through to set up the dream final and guaranteed loot, my attention comes in the form of the women’s final, which should be an absolute cracker as Lisa Ashton meets Mikuru Suzuki and if I’m honest I think the defending champion is overpriced in what is an even looking match, with an edge possibly to the Japanese ace if anything.
These two met in this tournament last year and it was obviously Suzuki who came out on top on her way to the title and since then she has played in the Grand Slam and the PDC World Championship so her big stage experience is gathering momentum all the time. I think it is fair to say that we didn’t see the best of her in the opening two rounds, with her finishing pretty ordinary, but that all changed in the semi-final and it had to. We saw last year how Suzuki improved with every round and the signs are she is repeating that. I think the increased format will help her too. Ashton has powered her way through the draw this week but we don’t really know how she’ll be under pressure because she hasn’t been under any. Suzuki will have her under some and I just can’t resist the current champion at odds against, especially when she holds a 3-1 career lead over Ashton, which is 2-0 in big stage events.
WON – Back M.Suzuki to beat L.Ashton for a 4/10 stake at 2.20 with BetVictor