The 2019 England Open and England National Singles once again headed to Selsey, this year at its new home in the 18-million-pound White Horse Complex.
Undoubtably, the weekend was dominated by 15-year-old England Youth International Beau Greaves who won both ladies singles events, the mixed and girls youth events. Both Wesley Harms and Jim Williams shared the top honours in the Men’s events, with Harms taking the England National Singles and Williams winning England Darts’ flagship event, The England Open.
Friday saw the CAT B England National Singles played down to the final stages. The women’s events saw Greaves take on Montgomery and Radnor county player Evonne Taylor in the semis, winning through 4-1, whilst Welsh International Rhian Griffiths won her semi-final 4-0 over Australia’s Corrine Hammond to move into Sunday’s live-streamed finals.
The Men’s semi-finals were contested between Harms and Lancashire’s David Evans, with the Dutch sharpshooter winning through 5-1, and Wales’s Wayne Warren and Nick Fullwell, with Warren edging out the West Midlands’ player 5-4.
Sundays finals saw Greaves take her first title with a confident 4-2 win over Griffiths. Despite a slow start, the pair soon found their rhythm and Greaves moved into a 2-0 lead with an early break. The remaining legs all went with throw, which saw the Yorkshire A star win by two legs.
Harms, who seems to flourish at the Selsey-based events having won the England Open three times previously and the England Classic, won his first England National Singles title with a 6-4 win over Warren. The first three legs all went against the darts, before Harms held out in the fourth to move two legs clear. Warren came back with a 13-dart leg before Harms broke again in the seventh in 14 darts. Warren took the next two legs before Harms saw the game out in the tenth leg, registering a 98.81 average in the process.
Saturday’s England Open attracted an influx of players, with over 500 men and just under 150 women competing in the BDO ranked CAT A+ competition.
The hotly contested tournament saw 25 of the top 26 BDO World Ranked Women in attendance, with only Australia’s Tori Kewish missing who was playing in the New Zealand Masters.
Early casualties in the ladies’ event included number eight seed Trina Gulliver MBE, sixth seed Anastasia Dobromyslova and Paula Jacklin all in the last 64.
The semi-finals saw Greaves progress once again, this time to face Aileen de Graaf, with Fallon Sherrock stepping up against number one seed Lisa Ashton.
The Men’s event was equally competitive, with seeds falling at the first hurdle including Gary Robson, Aaron Turner and Daniel Day in a testament to the depth of players at the event. Jeffrey Sparidaans, Tony O’Shea and Andy Hamilton were all knocked out in the last 256 stage, before 2018 champion Kyle McKinstry missed opportunities against Pip Blackwell in the last 64, losing 4-3 to the 2017 Lakeside qualifier.
The semi-final line up for Sunday saw David Evans progress to his second of the weekend, to face Wayne Warren, with Wesley Harms pitched against Jim Williams in Sunday’s final.
Sunday’s Open semi-finals saw de Graaf push Greaves all the way, breaking the youngster in the fifth leg to lead 3-2, but Greaves fired in a 13-dart leg to break straight back and held her throw in the final leg to win 4-3 and move into the final.
Ashton’s semi-final against Sherrock saw the four-times World Champion storm into a 3-1 lead, before the Buckinghamshire player kept her composure to take the final three-legs. Ashton had darts to win in the sixth and seventh legs, however missed doubles proved costly and Sherrock stepped in to claim a place against Greaves in the final.
The final was yet another match which went the distance, this time seeing Sherrock taking the first break of throw in the fifth leg and move within one leg of victory after holding in the sixth. Greaves held her throw in the seventh, but a nervy final two legs from both players saw a flurry of uncharacteristic missed doubles, and Greaves finally found the winning double to take her second BDO ranked title of the weekend 5-4.
In the Men’s England Open semi-finals, David Evans took the first leg against the Warren throw, but strong scoring and deadly finishing from the Welsh stalwart saw him take the next five legs to win out 5-1 with a 96.84 average.
Warren would face fellow Welshman Jim Williams in the final as he came out the winner in a close match against England National Singles Champion Wesley Harms. The pair were neck and neck, with Williams holding his throw in the eighth leg to level the match at 4-4 and force a decider. Despite Harms having the darts, Williams fired in his second 12-dart leg of the match to deny Harms a second final of the weekend. Williams registered a 92.31 average.
The men’s final all went Williams’ way, with Warren struggling to reproduce his earlier form, it looked like Williams was going to win 6-0 before Warren took the fifth leg. Warren left a finish in the sixth, before Williams took out 116 against the throw, and move within one leg of victory. Williams the took the final leg in 13 darts to win 6-1 and take his first ranked BDO title of 2019.
England Darts also ran two youth events alongside the BDO ranked tournaments; a dedicated Girls GP Singles and Overall GP Youth Singles.
In the girl’s event, Beau Greaves progressed to the final to face fellow England Youth player Shannon Reeves. Neither Greaves nor Reeves had dropped a leg en-route to the final, however Greaves’ dominant performance from the weekend continued into this final, beating Reeves in straight legs.
The Overall Youth GP singles final was a much talked-about line up as World Youth Champion Leighton Bennett won through to the final to face Greaves. Greaves’ run to the final saw her take wins over top up and coming players including Lennon Craddock, Dalton Storr, Nathan Potter and Brad Phillips, whilst Bennett had an equally difficult draw, beating Shannon Reeves, Brandon Stockings, George Lynch and Connor Arberry.
The final didn’t disappoint, and the duo – who hold the combined age of 28 – gave the crowd another nine leg thriller, which following a few missed doubles in the final leg from Bennett saw Greaves step in and take the Overall Youth GP title 5-4, with Bennett registering an 85.77 average compared to Greaves’ 82.80.
Full results can be found at www.englanddarts.co.uk
Photos courtesy of England Darts