Our columnist, and contributor, JR Lott added this tiny piece to a World Championship e-guide produced before the Ally Pally event this year. He seems he had an inkling of what was to come!
For the 2019 World Championship, the PDC innovated once more. A direct route for female players to play in the championships was introduced for the first time. Lisa Ashton and Anastasia were the qualifiers, from very high-quality field, and both played strongly in the main event. This year the route has been extended to include a UK and a Rest of the World style qualifying event.
Mikuru Suzuki,37, will debut at Ally Pally after capturing the Lakeside title in 2019. She is familiar with the PDC set up, and atmosphere, after being selected by the BDO for this year’s Grand Slam of Darts. The Japanese star made things deciding decidedly uncomfortable for Gerwyn Price in her opening match. Despite not qualifying for the knockout stage she will have gained valuable experience, and having little to lose, and could be very dangerous indeed.
Fallon Sherrock has been somewhat overshadowed in recent years. The former World Championship finalist, and twice major title winner, has been outmatched by Lisa Ashton and now Suzuki. The twenty-five-year-old hairdresser has, however, had a superb 2019, winning several titles all around Europe. She then played superbly in the ladies’ qualifying event averaging close to 100.
Her debut at Alexandra Palace will introduce her to a whole new audience and may prove another boost to her career.
The form and ability of the female representatives keeps getting stronger and stronger. It may not be long until darts becomes a fully integrated sport.
Another of our 10 players of the decade. It is a pleasure to include a female player with no fear that it may be considered tokenism. The Lancashire Rose has knocked down many doors already and I don’t believe she has finished yet:
With the recent, much deserved, attention given to Mikuru Suzuki, and Fallon Sherrock, there is a danger that the huge contribution of Lisa Ashton may be overshadowed.
During the 2010s the four-time World Champion cranked up her performances and captured every title available to her, time and time again. ‘The Lancashire Rose’ seems to have at least a hattrick of every major event. This was achieved against a backdrop of rising standards and a broadening of women’s darts.
Instead of only a few high-quality players, as had been the case in previous decades, there were more and more as the decade progressed. Veteran stars such as Deta Hedman seemed to improve and consolidate while new youngsters like Sherrock and Zoe Jones came through. Ashton still dominated.
The forty-nine-year-old English thrower had risen to prominence at the end of the previous decade and claimed her first notable title in 2008. She seemed to really step up a gear in 2011, claiming first the English national championships and then the Winmau World Masters. In 2012 she defended both titles and reached her first World final, defeated by Anastasia, at the start of 2013. Lisa corrected the glaring omission from her trophy cabinet in 2014, winning the World title and reversing the defeat to Anastasia of twelve months before. Ashton dominated women’s darts from that point on. She is now a four-time world champion (and in a fifth final) in addition to the multiple trophies from the other majors.
After the best part of five years dominating, BDO/WDF, Women’s darts, rule changes enabled Lisa to take on a new challenge and test herself in a new way. In 2019 she began to play PDC events on a level playing field with players of both sexes. She was not alone in making the attempt, and, it seemed that something had tipped for the ladies’ game.
First, Ashton took advantage of an offer from the PDC to attempt qualification for the World Championship in 2018. After claiming her place she made her Ally Pally in the 2018/19 event. She started her first-round clash impressively and emerged with great credit and popularity. She then to attended the PDC Q School event and attempt to gain a professional Tour Card. Although ultimately unsuccessful, she reached the last sixteen twice and finished high enough to remove any further doubts as to her ability to compete.
Ashton then opted to combine the BDO Women’s game with the Challenge Tour of the PDC. She has acquitted herself strongly and gained wins from her debut game (Toon Greebe). She has repeatedly reached the last 16 of these events and defeated players of both sexes and all ranks and degrees of fame.
Although the last year has been less successful, in terms of the Women’s game, Ashton has also demonstrated that it is possible to straddle codes and both ‘Open’ & Ladies darts. Lisa has now played in the World Championships and The Grand Slam of Darts (PDC) as well as the Women’s World Championship, and World Masters, within the BDO system.
It is almost impossible to calculate or overestimate the importance of Lisa Ashton to darts. The next decade may see a huge explosion in mixed-gender darts at all levels and across all codes. ‘The Lancashire’ Rose may well have been the catalyst for it all.
After the surprise exits of Richard Veenstra and Wesley Harms on Wednesday, we completed the men’s quarter-final line-up on Thursday. We also saw the return of the ladies, with eight of the best playing it out for a place in the semi-finals.
Beau Greaves was the player to set the standard in terms of the women’s competition, heading up the averages with an 86.3 against former finalist Aileen de Graaf. With the match coming on her 16th Birthday she was handed a perfect present in the shape of a semi-final spot on debut at the Indigo. Earlier in the session Corrine Hammond booked her place in the semi-finals, she would face Lisa Ashton after ‘The Lancashire Rose’ came past Lorraine Winstanley. Three-time champion Ashton went into the tournament as favourite and is continuing to live up to that tag with some excellent performances.
The singular men’s match in the afternoon session would see tournament favourite Jim Williams whitewash Scotland’s Ryan Hogarth. Following a nervy first set, the Welshman and number two seed began to settle, finding his consistent scoring game and leaving Hogarth in the dust. He would eventually secure the whitewash score line and yet another quarter-final appearance.
Mikuru Suzuki confirmed the semi-final line-up in the women’s competition with a routine win over Anastasia Dobromyslova. The Japanese star was pushed to the brink in set one as Anastasia misseddarts for a lead, but as the pressure built, Suzuki took control.
An eventual average of around the 78 mark enough to set up a potentially mouth-watering tie with teenage prodigy Beau Greaves for a place in the final.
The evening session also confirmed our men’s quarter finalists with Super Mario Vandenbogaerde and Paul Hogan putting out statements of intent. The aforementioned Hogan piled in a 99.8 average as he defeated Martijn Kleermaker 4-1 to make his first World Championship quarter-final since 2006. Vandenbogaerde, who is many people outsider for the title, put in another high quality performance to see off Dennie Olde Kalter. The Belgian started quickly, gliding into a 3-0 lead. But with the match all but over, the Dutchman sparked into life, reducing the deficit to the applause of the crowd. But that would be it for Olde Kalter who faded in the fifth set, with Super Mario making a dream quarter-final appearance at his first World Championship after 12 years away from the game.
Results – Day 6
Corrine Hammond 2-0 Laura Turner Jim Williams 4-0 Ryan Hogarth Beau Greaves 2-1 Aileen de Graaf
Lisa Ashton 2-0 Lorraine Winstanley Mario Vandenbogaerde 4-1 Dennie Olde Kalter Mikuru Suzuki 2-0 Anastasia Dobromyslova Paul Hogan 4-1 Martijn Kleermaker
Featured Pic:L Lustig / PDC (Lisa Ashton salutes the crowd)
Leighton Bennett Bennett became the youngest ever competitor in the BDO World Championships as he took on former champion of the world Scott Mitchell. ‘Scotty Dog’ settled the better, taking the first two sets without breaking sweat.
However, ‘Boom Boom’ returned from the interval re-invigorated, taking the following set as Mitchell’s heart rate began to rise. But that would only be a minor blip as Mitchell returns to his old ways and defeated the 14-year-old with a respectable 88 average.
Number six seed Nick Kenny was the highest profile casualty of the afternoon session as he was defeated by the Netherlands Dennie Olde Kalter in a five set thriller. Olde Kalter had originally taken a two set lead, but was dragged into a decider by the dogged Kenny.
The British Classic champion would show his class in the latter stages, taking out finishes of 90 and 98 as he ended the Welshman’s chances of a first major title.
Elsewhere in the men’s competition there were wins for number three seed Richard Veenstra and World Championship debutante David Evans. Veenstra made it all the way to the semi-finals in 2016, and will be hoping for another deep run in the brand new venue.
Evans entered as 14th seed in his first World Championship and survived a match dart against Stourbridge’s Nick Fullwell. ‘Stretch’ would claim the final two sets to set up a meeting with Andy Hamilton.
In the women’s competition there were routine victories for former champions Anastasia Dobromyslova and Lisa Ashton. ‘The Lancashire Rose’ cruised past Paula Jacklin, recording the first whitewash win of the tournament.
Elsewhere, Anastasia Dobromyslova was far from her brilliant best as she defeated Sharon Prins in straight sets, she knows improvement will be needed as she faces Mikuru Suzuki in the quarter-finals.
There were also victories for Ben Hazel over seasoned veteran Gary Robson and Scotland’s Ryan Hogarth as he defeated Thibault Tricole of France.
David Evans 3-2 Nick Fullwell Dennie Olde Kalter 3-2 Nick Kenny Anastasia Dobromyslova 2-0 Sharon Prins Richard Veenstra 3-1 Justin Hood
Ben Hazel 3-2 Gary Robson Lisa Ashton 2-0 Paula Jacklin Scott Mitchell 3-1 Leighton Bennett Ryan Hogarth 3-0 Thibault Tricole
FAVOURITES Many people would say the champion of the ladies event will be Mikuru Suzuki and Lisa Ashton. In my opinion they are indeed the favourites after Fallon Sherrock had chosen to withdraw. Few people knew Mikuru before her qualifying for last years BDO World Championship and probably even fewer people expected her to win the first round match after she had drawn Lisa Ashton. Well, the rest is history. Lisa Ashton is a four times BDO World Champion and certainly knows what it takes to take the title and wants revenge for sure.
OUTSIDERS Deta Hedman is one of the most experienced and constant players in the ladies competition. However she hasn’t won the BDO World Championship yet despite playing three finals. Perhaps the change of location will help Hedman winning the title a player like she has to win at least once.
Anastasia Dobromyslova is a three times BDO World Champion. She however won her last world title back in 2013. Of course she had played fewer tournaments for some time after becoming mother. However she still made it to five finals in 2019, including the World Masters. The Russian star is always a player to reckon with.
Lorraine Winstanley is one of the players who is in the top of the ladies competition for several years now. She started 2019 with a second place at the BDO World Championship. Since then 2019 wasn’t her best year, but who knows what she might bring on the big stage.
Aileen de Graaf is also one of the players who is in the top of the ladies competition for some years. Aileen won the Finder Masters twice and also the World Masters 2015 and World Trophy 2017. So she know what it takes to win a big event, however at the World Championship her best result is reaching the semi final in 2016 and 2017.
PLAYERS TO WATCH Laura Turner has had a great 2019. Laura won the Isle of Man Open and reached the quarter finals of the World Trophy after making also her BDO World Championship. She however has a tough first round match against Deta Hedman, but if she can beat The Heart of Darts Laura certainly has a chance of going far.
Beau Greaves is known as a very talented player for some years now. In 2019 she played several events between the ladies despite being only 16 years old. Beau showed her class winning the Welsh Classic, Welsh Open, England National Championships and England Open which made her the number 6 seed.
INTERESTING FIRST ROUND MATCHES:
Aileen de Graaf meets in Kirsty Hutchinson a player who developed enormously in 2019. In first instance Kirsty just came short of qualifying, because she ended just outside of the top 14. At the qualifiers she showed she deserves to be in the world championship and she made also clear that the field of the ladies world championship might be extended because there are more and more players breaking through. Aileen is of course the favourite in this match, but if Aileen doesn’t turn up Kirsty might certainly take her chances.
Deta Hedman against Laura Turner sounds very interesting to me. Deta is a player who certainly deserves to win a world title, but until now it haven’t happened for her. This year Deta has a tough first opponent in Laura, who have had a great 2019 and if Deta isn’t in top form Laura is certainly capable of beating Deta.
Mikuru Suzuki will be regarded as one of the favourites in the upcoming World Championship. However her first opponent Maria O’Brien is a very tough opponent, who is hard to beat and have made some upsets on the big stage in recent years. So if Mikuru can’t cope with the pressure she might feel as defending world champion and which Maria might put on her this could become a very interesting match.
A wide open event, with an ever improving standard and depth of field. This could be the best ladies event seen on TV.
John O’Shea saw through a tremendous run to claim the BDO World Masters title with victory over Scott Waites 6-4 in the final.
Despite patchy form performances since his 2019 Lakeside final appearance Waites came into the final as the favourite. As a former champion, he was expected to make it tough for O Shea, who had never previously reached the final stages of a TV event.
It was ‘Too Hotty’ was soon on the back foot with O’Shea taking a 2-0 lead. However, the former world champion hit back to level the match at 2-2.
O’Shea, though, was resilient and refused to bow to his opponents greater experience. He again lead at 3-2 and he continued to build from there. Waites had chances to make it a deciding set but couldn’t punish and ‘The Joker’ threw a 16 darter to claim victory in the tenth set.
The Ladies event was claimed, again, by Lisa Ashton who boosted her ever-growing haul of titles. Her opponent did not make things easy for her and forced Ashton to produce a stirring comeback.
Anastasia Dobromyslova has been in very good shape in recent months and even recorded a record average (BDO) recently. However ‘The Lancashire Rose’ hit back from 2-4 down before she turned things around to win 5-4 and claim the title once again.
Sunday, October 27 Afternoon session
Lisa Ashton (79.59) 5-1 (72.11) Kasumi Sato Anastasia Dobromyslova (80.09) 5-1 (68.43) Lorraine Winstanley Graham Usher (86.74) 2-4 (90.82) Mario Vandenbogaerde John O’Shea (84.17) 4-1 ( 86.00) Neil Duff Ciaran Teehan (77.39) 2-4 (79.16) Michael Warburton Scott Waites (90.12) 4-0 (77.70) Carl Hamilton
Men’s Semi-Finals Mario Vandenbogaerde (90.04) 1-5 (91.55) John O’Shea Michael Warburton (81.96) 1-5 (91.28) Scott Waites
Women’s final Lisa Ashton (85.50) 5-4 (82.76) Anastasia Dobromyslova
Men’s final John O’Shea (88.89) 6-4 (86.24) Scott Waites
Peter Machin was crowned BDO World Trophy champion for 2017, after a spectacular performance against Martin Phillips in the final.
In the match of the afternoon, Wesley Harms produced a sensational comeback, stringing together seven consecutive legs to sent BDO World number one Glen Durrant packing. The Middlesbrough man had taken the early advantage, four legs to the good and seemingly sailing into the semi-finals.
But suddenly the former electrician sparked into action, a 12 darter setting him on the road to recovery. Durrant’s scoring was unrelenting, but it was class that Harms was able to match. Four 180’s and some eye-catching finishing later, the Dutchman found himself on level terms.
With the pendulum swinging his way, Harms would initiate another attack on the Durrant throw. Still peppering the treble twenty bed, Harms would turn the game on it’s head, an 81 finish in the final leg, dumping a distraught Durrant out of the World Trophy, ending his chances of becoming a quadruple major winner in 2017.
Nick Kenny diverted himself into a first major semi-final by slicing through the challenge of Ross Montgomery. The young Welshman had whitewashed Jeff Smith on Sunday afternoon, and the Boss would also prove to be easy pickings for the in form Kenny.
In truth the only separating factor was the undesirable finishing of Montgomery. Quite often the former World Trophy runner-up would find himself with breathing room in a leg, but could not put the final nail in the coffin by hitting that crucial double.
An all Welsh clash was confirmed for the semi-final as Martin Phillips survived a enormous scare against giant killing wildcard Conan Whitehead. The Red Dragons’ skipper stumbled out of the blocks and Whitehead cruised into an early lead, hammering in the big scores for good measure.
The BDO veteran would then shift into top gear, crashing in a 14 dart leg to take the lead for the first time. Whitehead regained his mojo, exchanging blows to level the game at five a piece. With the game in the balance, Phillips would land an instantaneous 11 dart leg to move 6-5. Following one last hurrah from Whitehead, Phillips would book his semi-final spot, landing double 16.
Peter Machin set up a final four faceoff against Wesley Harms following his victory over Martin Adams. The Aussie has made himself at home in Barry, and will now bid to become a two time finalist. The highlight of his outstanding performance against Wolfie was a scintillating 170 check-out; the highest of the tournament. He will be hard pressed to find anybody who can match that feat in the remaining three matches. Machin controlled the contest throughout, always one step ahead of his combatant and will compete for a place in the final.
Martin Phillips strolled into the final with a excellent victory over Welsh counterpart Nick Kenny. The senior of the two home country boys landed his first ton plus finishes to give himself an early advantage. He broke the Kenny throw in the seventh leg, giving Phillips clear daylight, and easing the pressure slightly as he saw the trophy getting ever closer.
Kenny immediately broke back before holding his throw to go within one. But two 180’s and a 12 dart leg later, Phillips resumed control of the clash. The Welsh skipper who is entering his final season on the international circuit, confirmed he will represent Wales in the final as his last dart nestled in double 16 for a brilliant win.
Peter Machin reached the 2017 World Trophy final, producing a second sensational comeback of the day. It was not all plain sailing for the Australian though, Harms had manufactured what seemed like an unassailable lead, 4-0 in just a flash.
The man commonly referred to as the machine then managed to get a grip on the clash. He steadily crept up on Harms, who had overturned a four leg deficit himself against Glen Durrant, taking three of the next four legs. Machin would then take out 122 on the bull, halting the momentum that Harms had built up during the afternoons’ action. He would then apply the finishing touches to another superb victory as he prepared to play Martin Phillips in the final.
The Women’s Final
In the women’s bracket it has been a tournament of surprises. Lisa Ashton was dismissed in round one; as was former world finalist Fallon Sherrock. Aileen De Graaf in search of her second major title defeated Dutch counterpart Anca Zijlstra to reach the final.
Her opponent, Anastasia Dobromyslova defeated the much travelled Deta Hedman to reach this stage. Despite defeating one of the darting greats in the first semi-final it was De Graaf who took the earlier initiative. A 96 checkout in leg one settling her into a natural rhythm.
Double trouble set in during the latter stages of the fifth leg, but despite her opponent having numerous chances to cut the deficit it was De Graaf who went within one of glory on the Barry stage.
Despite missing a further six darts at the double, the door was left slightly ajar as she took out double four at the second attempt to give herself a glimpse of hope. With De Graaf’s concentration slipping, Anastasia would crack in a 118, further reducing the deficit.
The Russian would race into an early lead in the eighth leg of the match, but twelve missed darts at double gave De Graaf the opportunity to put the game to bed, hitting double 11 for a World BDO World Trophy title.
The Men’s Final
Peter Machin avenged his loss in last years World Trophy final by beating Welsh ‘fans favourite’ Martin Phillips in a spectacular final. We were made to wait until the tournament came to it’s exciting climax; a power failure caused an hour and half delay, but the action was electric from the first dart.
Phillips got us underway, taking the first leg but Machin would swiftly cancel his quick-fire first leg out by taking out 90. A feat which Machin would repeat, this time spiking the bull to level the match. Having conceded the next four legs to a resurging Phillips, Machin would find his feet once again. A 149 checkout putting him back in contention.
The pair would then exchange blows in two tight legs before Machin was unable to capitalize on a heavy scoring leg. His six missed darts at double allowing Phillips to come in and steal the leg.
The next key moment would come in leg 16, Machin added to his previous 149 and 150 checkout by firing in a 141 to effectively make the game best of three. The pressure was mounting, but having been in the same position 12 months ago, Machin took the advantage. Double four putting him within one leg of victory.
With the title riding on the 18th leg, sloppy scoring from Phillips would give Machin the chance to tie up the trophy. Three missed darts later, the Welshman’s first dart would stray into the single one, gifting the Australian an opportunity he couldn’t refuse. Machin would duly oblige, hitting double two to seal the deal.
The cookie settings on this website are set to "allow cookies" to give you the best browsing experience possible. If you continue to use this website without changing your cookie settings or you click "Accept" below then you are consenting to this.