OCHE legend Andy Fordham is close to making a full recovery after previously being hospitalised in late February due to severe abdominal pain.
The ex-World Champion reckons he is now on the road to recovery and losing weight following his bowel blockage. Fordham, 58, is now even contemplating a return to darts in some capacity.
He told Winmau TV:
“I’m probably about 90 percent better now. It was a blocked bowel and there was nothing coming out at all and when it finally started to go, it weren’t nice.
The people in the hospital are just unbelievable, you can’t praise them enough.
“I think I’m always going to have a couple of issues but compared to what I was, I feel so much better. I lost loads of weight, but I’ve learned from last time. I’ve been moving around a lot more, I’ve had a couple of goes on the dartboard. It’s slowly picking up. I won’t say I will be getting back to tournament standard but if you don’t try you don’t know.”
Fordham admits that his days of competing at the highest level may be over but did make a bid for Lakeside a few years back.
He added: “I was going a few years back, I think it was Bridlington. It was the British Open on the stage, I beat Ted Hankey. Then I played Richard Veenstra and I missed three darts at double 20 and when I say I missed them, all three darts were on the wire.
“Then he beat me 4-3, I come off and I got told if I would have hit one of those doubles I would have qualified for the Lakeside. It proves it’s there, it’s just got to keep fighting to get it back again.”
In, what has become, an industry tradition Winmau launched their new range of darting good with a social media fanfare over much oflast Friday.
The launch featured three main themes. There were a select number of new models with complex grip arrangements and highly distinctive cosmetics. Then came a group of special editions from Winmau’s stable of world-class current professionals and living legends! Finally, there were additions to existing ranges. Extra weight for darts and forthcoming accessory items.
New Model Highlights:
Sicario: These are an excellent looking dart with what appears to be a highly innovative grip/surface. The barrel shape was chosen, to debut this grip pattern, in order that a variety of throw styles might try it. Our resident coach is quite excited by the barrel surface. Currently, 23 and 25g weight editions are offered.
Majestic: A bullet-style dart with a number of grip and cosmetic features that make it stand out from the norm. The middle, sawtooth type, grip section may appeal to those looking for a shallow but noticeable grip style.
Other new ranges include Overdrive, Sabotage Black and Vanquish. Additional weights have been added to Aspria.
Simon Whitlock SE: This is an extraordinary looking dart. More different angles, grooves, milling and colour than we have seen before! The basic design is similar to the current Whitlock dart but the changing of grip surfaces etc alters the perception of this and turns it into a much sleeker looking piece of design. First impressions are that this is the highlight of the launch.
Dennis Priestley SE: The menace is highly regarded by fans, players and darts business people. It is excellent to see his years of experience and reputation being utilised for modern-day players. The SE retains his red and black iconic colour scheme but refines the grip style on his classic design. DW has yet to see what weights are available but we are hoping for a model that’s 15g or less!
Other special edition sets have been made in celebration of Andy Fordham and new weights added to the soon to be reviewed Daryl Gurney SE
Although these are the highlights, there were plenty of other products, tweaks or additions shown off today. It was a very solid launch which combined some new techniques, using Paul Nicholson to discuss the models for example, and some tried and tested social media work.
The giant killings continued as both the number two and four seeds fell at the second hurdle in the 2017 BDO World Trophy. Crowd favourites Glen Durrant and Andy Fordham also took to the stage in another action packed day in Barry.
Welsh favourite Martin Phillips produced a dazzling performance to convincingly dump out second seed Mark McGeeney. The Red Dragon’s skipper was millimetres from adding a second nine darter to his resume; failing on the eighth dart. His unrelenting scoring gave even the highly fancied McGeeney little chance of a resurgence. Phillips is a man of few words, but I’m sure the darting world will have plenty to say after this performance.
Fellow BDO veteran Martin Adams settled the quarter-final line-up in the mens bracket after dispatching one of the most promising players on the BDO circuit. Having made his breakthrough into the top 16 last year, Reynolds was looking to add a major title to his CV. The experienced Adams settled the quicker; 104 and 107 check-outs putting him in control. After extending his lead to 5-1, Reynolds began his comeback, three legs won without reply. But ‘Wolfie’ confirmed he will return tomorrow afternoon, taking out tops to seal a 6-4 victory.
Welsh wonderkid Nick Kenny put Jeff Smith to sword, drowning the Canadian in a punishing 6-0, containing huge scores and sensational combination finishes. Kenny broke the throw in the first leg and never looked back. His spectacular 142 checkout in leg four compounded the misery for Smith, who will fly back to New Brunswick thinking what could have been.
Ross Montgomery weaved his way into the quarter finals after negotiating a tricky second round tie with Willem Mandigers. The Boss dominated the inaugural stages, taking a commanding 4-1 lead. But Mandigers would take 3 of the next four legs to leave the contest in the balance. The Scot would then fire in a third maximum of the match to give himself the breathing room round off an excellent victory.
Conan Whitehead will find himself in unfamiliar territory after progressing to the quarter final stage for the first time in a BDO major event. For the majority of the contest it appeared the Danish Open champion Darius Labanauskas would find himself in the final eight. But After reeling off three consecutive legs, the Barbarian bullied the Lithuanian into a last leg shoot-out. Which after applying a sixth maximum he would cruise into the quarter finals.
After Danny Noppert and Mark Veenstra crashed out in round one, Wesley Harms was the only remaining Dutchman in the competition. He kept his country’s hopes alive by fighting back from a two leg deficit to defeat James Hurrell. The 32-year-old Hurrell was out of the blocks quickly before the former Electrician notched up five legs on the trot to throw his name into the hat for the quarter-final’s.
Tournament favourite Glen Durrant cruised into the next round, defeating a returning Andy Fordham on the Barry stage. The gentle giant held his own through the first six legs, but the class of Middlesbrough based Durrant shone through in the latter stages. Adding to his ten dart leg earlier in the match, Durrant would rack up six 180’s and a further two 12 dart legs.
Last year’s runner-up Peter Machin conquered the challenge of 2015 World Champion Scott Mitchell. In truth it could’ve been a completely different story had the latter taken his chances. As Bobby Locke once said; “Drive for show, putt for dough”. It is the same in darts, you can bash in the heavy scoring, but if you can’t hit the outer rim, it’s game over. Mitchell will be disappointed with his showing, but will come back strong for the next major.
Aileen De Graaf was the first female participant to work her way into the finals day picture at the BDO World Trophy 2017. She amply decimated Rhian Griffiths, who had not dropped a leg in her first round match against Lorraine Winstanley. The former World Masters champion is yet to make her mark in the World Trophy, but with performances like this, 2017 could be her year.
First round giant killer Anca Zijlstra joined Dutch counterpart De Graaf in the semi-finals. Despite not re-creating the scintillating performance from the first round, her steady scoring was the key to the door, that allowed her to stroll into finals day past an out of sorts Trina Gulliver.
BDO veteran Deta Hedman survived a scare against Rachael Brooks to join the array of talent in the final four. In a drawn-out encounter, the Dark Destroyer fought back from 2-0 down to eventually run away a 4-2 winner. There will need to be leaps and bounds of improvement in her semi final meeting with Anastasia after averaging just 69 against Brooks.
Anastasia Dobromyslova confirmed the semi-final line-up with a comprehensive victory over Australian Corrine Hammond. The 2017 World Championship runner-up whitewashed Fallon Sherrock in round one, but the tables were turned as she nearly received a 4-0 beating of her own against the World number three.
Two-time Lakeside winner Scott Waites was the next big name to go out at the first stage, as he was defeated 6-3 by debutant James Hurrell in the opening match of the session.
Hillbilly carried on his form that saw him recently claim the Polish Masters trophy, as he raced to a 4-1 lead against last year’s quarter-finalist.
But Hurrell made things difficult for himself in the sixth leg as, needing 80 to finish with three darts, he audaciously went for two shots at double 20 and ultimately lost the leg to give Waites hope.
It was a fairly shaky finish for Hillbilly, as he even managed a rare Robin Hood, but Scotty 2 Hotty couldn’t capitalise and Hurrell eventually took out a 56 to reach the second round and face fellow giant killer Conan Whitehead (Fitton’s conqueror).
Eighth seed Wesley Harms reached the World Trophy second round for the second time, as he made reasonably light work of potentially tricky Japanese opponent Yuya Higuchi, despite his throwing hand being injured.
The latter, nicknamed the Dancing Duck, won the opening and penultimate (with a 100 checkout) legs and has a uniquely bizarre pre-first dart ritual, but that did not affect the Dutchman one bit after averaging 101.85.
Legendary arrowsmith Andy Fordham was next onto the Barry oche, and finally reached the World Trophy last 16 for the first time – though he was a semi-finalist in 2002 in the now defunct tournament of the same name.
The Viking eventually outlasted 16th seed Richard Veenstra in a 6-3 victory, thanks to his superior finishing – particularly on double 20.
Fordham now sets up a mouthwatering meeting with a fellow world champion…
Duzza was straight out of the blocks to lead 3-0, and it looked as though the match would be over very quickly, but his fellow Yorkshireman Brian Dawson had other ideas as he got the scores back level.
Durrant, averaging 98.33, soon stopped his mid-match slump, and eventually triumphed in a tense final leg decider 6-5, by finishing on the bull with Dawson needing just 80 if he missed.
In a battle of former World Trophy finalists, it was last year’s runner-up Peter Machin who toppled 2015 champion Geert de Vos 6-3, in a closely fought affair.
Australian Machin finished with a fantastic 124 checkout on bullseye to book himself a second round tie with number two seed Mark McGeeney.
Umit Uygunsozlu was playing in his maiden TV match, and is also the first Turkish arrowsmith to ever take part in the World Trophy.
He showed signs of nerves at first, but a 180 nearly helped him to breaking Scott Mitchell in the opening leg.
Uygunsozlu certainly settled quickly, and was even level at 4-4 and 5-5, but a very relieved 2015 world champion Scotty Dog showed just enough class to edged him out in the decider.
How to follow that match? With Martin ‘Wolfie’ Adams of course!
The 60-year-old BDO legend and three-time Lakeside champion is still on course for his maiden World Trophy crown, after twice being runner-up in the original competition, but had to give his all to make the last 16 this year.
Wolfie initially couldn’t keep up with the pace of energetic Scotsman Cameron Menzies, whose quick-fire throwing speed rivals even that of PDC player ‘Rapid’ Ricky Evans’.
But he clawed his way back into the match from 5-3 down to defeat a distraught Menzies, who looked almost certain to cause an upset at one stage.
In the last match of the day, talented young Welsh duo Dean Reynolds and Jim Williams locked horns, with a second round meeting with veteran compatriot Martin Phillips to play for.
English-born Williams set the pace, going 3-0, 4-1 and even 5-2 up, but quality finishing from Reynolds got him right back into the match to set up a decider.
Despite a very shaky end to the clash, Deano eventually hit double 5 to go through.
In the women’s section, Rachel Brooks put in a steady performance to see off eighth seed Dutchwoman Sharon Prins.
Brooks is now in the World Trophy quarter-finals for the second time, after losing out at this stage in 2015 to Deta Hedman, who she faces next.
That bring us onto the world number one’s match-up, and the Dark Destroyer’s deadly display over fellow veteran Paula Jacklin puts her on the path of reaching her second successive World Trophy final.
Hedman won 4-2, and will fancy her chances against Brooks, who she’s dominated over the years.
Former World Championship finalist in 2015 Fallon Sherrock, who is still only 22, kicked off her match with Aussie Corrine Hammond in strange fashion – recording three, followed by 180 from her first six darts.
But Hammond, herself a runner-up at the Worlds last year, managed to break immediately and doubled her lead with a fantastic 116 checkout.
The 5th seed looked comfortable in her eventual 4-0 whitewashing.
Eight-time Major champion Anastasia Dobromyslova looked lacklustre at times in her 4-2 triumph over Sue Edwards, but did just enough to set up a meeting with Hammond.
The Russian is still on course for her second World Trophy crown, after winning in 2014.
Scott Waites 3-6 James Hurrell
Wesley Harms 6-2 Yuya Higuchi
Richard Veenstra 3-6 Andy Fordham
Glen Durrant 6-5 Brian Dawson
Geert de Vos 3-6 Peter Machin
Scott Mitchell 6-5 Umit Uygunsozlu
Martin Adams 6-5 Cameron Menzies
Dean Reynolds Jim Williams
Sharon Prins 2-4 Rachel Brooks
Deta Hedman 4-2 Paula Jacklin
Corrine Hammond 4-0 Fallon Sherrock
Anastasia Dobromyslova 4-2 Sue Edwards
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