2018 LAKESIDE WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP QUALIFIERS
The Spa, Bridlington was the venue today for the Lakeside World Qualifiers, where four men and two women's places were up for grabs for the biggest and and most prestigious event on the BDO calendar. Players dreams all their lives that one day they will step on to the most famous oche in world darts at the Lakeside and compete in the BDO World Championships.
They gather from all over the world and in attendance were some of the games greats which included former World Champions Andy 'The Viking' Fordham and Ted 'The Count' Hankey. However it wasn't going to be a fairytale return for both these players, Fordham losing out to Canadian Dawson Murschell 2-0 in his second round match on his board, with his conqueror then coming unstuck in his next game to American Tom Sawyer.
Two time World Champion Hankey faired much better, reaching his board final but coming up against Paul Hogan who many of you remember came within one dart of knocking Glen Durrant out of the 2017 World Championships and we all know what Glen went on to do after surviving that scare. Hankey had no answer to Hogan though today who's been in fine form this year and must have thought after defeating 'The Count' another appearance at The Lakeside was possible. Hogan knew he was only now two wins away from achieving this but his next match proved to be his last, beaten 2-1 by Dutch star Toon Greebe.
Another established star to bow out was former Lakeside runner-up Jeff Smith, the Canadian being beaten in his board final by Poland's Pawel Wolynka, going down to a 2-1 defeat. 'Silverback' Tony O'Shea an ever present at the home of World darts since 2002 failed in his attempt to keep that run of appearances going, losing in his borad final to Scotland's Alan Soutar who himself progressed to the last match in his section with the Lakeside within touching distance, but it wasn't to be and a 2-1 defeat to Holland's Derk Teinekes put the Dutch star through to the World Championships. He was joined by German Michael Unterbuchner who defeated Toon Greebe 2-0. Third player through was Northern Ireland darter Chris Gilliand, a 2-0 success over Wolynka of Poland.
The final qualifier was to come from Wales, but who would it be, we had an all Welsh clash between Steve Alker and Chris Harris. Both players had been in superb form all day but it proved to be one match too far for the likeable Alker with Harris coming through 2-0 to fulfill a lifetime dream of competing at the Lakeside.
Men's Lakeside Qualifiers
Chris Harris (Wales)
Chris Gilliand (Northern Ireland)
Michael Unterbuchner (Germany)
Derk Teinekes (Holland)
There were two places up for grabs in the Ladies Lakeside Qualifier and as with the Men's event it was always going to be difficult to pick who made it through. Two names from the past set out their intentions early on with Welsh duo Julie Gore and Ann Marie Potts winning their boards to move within two wins of sensational returns to the big time. Other Board winners were England's Zoe Jones and Laura Turner along with Sweden's Vicky Pruim who defeated Claire Brookin 2-1. Our final two matches were Zoe Jones v Norwegian Rachna David and Laura Turner against Pruin. Four players with only two places available and it was heartbreak for both English Ladies as Pruim and David won through to book their places at The Lakeside.
Ladies Lakeside Qualifiers
Rachna David (Norway)
Vicky Pruim. (Sweden)
We also had the BDO World Youth Singles today, played down to the two finalists who will then meet each other on the famous Lakeside stage next January at The Lakeside World Championships. It was no surprise that young Dutch sensation Justin Van Tergouw booked his place in the Final, Justin only dropped one leg in his last four matches today, very impressive indeed. His opponent in the World Youth Singles Final will be Ireland's Killian Heffernen who himself only dropped three legs in his last four matches today to set up a mouthwatering final with young Justin.
BDO World Youth Singles Final
Justin Van Tergouw (Holland) V Killian Heffernan (Ireland)
Congratulations to all the qualifiers today, the standard of play throughout was again out of this World and a special mention to Tony Littleton who hit the magical perfect nine dart leg earlier in the day against Callum Stewart, well played Tony, an incredible achievement that you will remember forever.