CLASSIC WINS FOR DE GRAAF & HUGHES.
Aileen De Graaf and Jamie Hughes took the honours at the Winmau BDO British Classic at The Spa, Bridlington. The Ladies event was always going to be too hard to pick a winner, with so many of the players peaking at the right time and as expected all the 'Big Guns' reached the last 16. Australia's Corrine Hammond continued her impressive run through the competition with a 4-1 win over England's Tricia Wright to set up a last 8 clash with World Champion Lisa Ashton. Corrine always looked comfortable and it was no surprise when the match went to a deciding last leg you sensed the Australian would progress and this proved to be the case, the World Champion beaten 4-3. Another tasty last 8 clash saw Deta Hedman come out on top in a tight struggle with Fallon Sherrock 4-2. From the bottom half of the draw Lorraine Winstanley saw off Maria O'Brien 4-2 and Holland's De Graaf had to endure a deciding final leg herself but prevailed against Northern Ireland's Grace Crane 4-3.
Semi Finals and Deta Hedman simply had no answer to Corrine Hammonds level of play, Corrine not only scored highly throughout but also her finishing was deadly and as a result she enjoyed a whitewash 4-0 success. The second semi final proved to be a much closer affair. Lorraine setting the early pace only to see De Graaf come storming back and hitting the big scores when it mattered most. A 4-2 win for Aileen saw her set up a mouthwatering Ladies British Classic Final with the in form Hammond.
The Final lived up to its billing and with neither lady giving an inch we went to a 9th and final leg. It was the Dutch star that held her nerve and to the delight of the watching crowd captured the 2017 Winmau Ladies British Classic.
In the Men's event, the World Number One and one of the big favourites to lift the title Mark Mcgeeney suffered an early 3-1 loss to England's David Evans in the last 128. Defending Champion Scott Waites made it to the last 32 but that's where the defence of his title ended when Darius Labanauskas got the better of the former World Champion 4-3. Other notable casualties in the last 32 round were Scott Mitchell who lost out to Canada's Jeff Smith, Scott's trouble on the doubles proving costly. The Dazzler Darryl Fitton also bowed out at this stage 4-3 to Paul Brown. Ominously still in the competition was Glen Durrant who enjoyed 4-1 triumphs in the rounds of the last 32 and 16 over Ryan Joyce and Paul Brown respectively to set up a Quarter Final with Wayne Warren, recent runner up in the BDO Gold Cup. Three of the four last 8 matches went to a deciding final leg with James Hughes beating Kyle McKinstry, namesake Jamie squeezing past Neil Duff and Jim Williams edging out Krzysztof Ratajski. That brought us to the last Quarter Final, Warren against Durrant and it was the Welshman who showed composure to sink the World Champion 4-2.
So the Semi Finals had a battle of Wales, Warren v Williams and a battle of the Hughes's ! Jamie enjoyed a comfortable victory over James 5-1 whilst Jim Williams produced a gritty performance to defeat his fellow Welshman 5-3.
In the Final Williams set off the better and was the first to settle and at one point looked to be running away with the match, however a couple of stray darts along with Jamie lifting his own performance and before we knew it the players were throwing at the start of an 11th and final leg. It was Jamie Hughes who hit the winning double to take the Winmau BDO Men's British Classic for 2017 and to cap off a fantastic day of top quality BDO darts in Bridlington.