Scott Mitchell came through a classic with two-times world champion Scott Waites on Friday night to reach his first semi-final since he won the world crown in 2015. The game was nip and tuck right through until its conclusion not long before midnight at the Indigo at the O2, with plenty of breaks of throw. Waites missed the chance to go within one set of the title at 3-2 up when Mitchell dragged proceedings level again. After winning the next set 3-0, ‘Scotty Dog’ looked set to book a place in the last 4 but it was the Yorkshire-based thrower who doggedly fought back to take the game to a decider. Mitchell was back on top and a leg away from the title before long though, heading into a 2-0 lead, before Waites reduced the deficit in the final set to one leg. After missing a chance to level the match however, Mitchell took out 68 to make the semi-finals.
Mitchell will play Welshman Wayne Warren, one of the most impressive performers of the event so far. Warren has dismissed Justin Thompson, Andy Hamilton and Chris Landman to make this stage, his best run at a BDO World Championship. And Warren has been clear that he isn’t at the event to make the numbers up and is, on paper, the favourite for today’s first semi-final, which will make for very interesting viewing.
The second semi-final will be contested between Jim Williams and Mario Vandenbogaerde. Williams came into the event as second seed and off the back of a televised title in the BDO World Trophy earlier in the year, but hasn’t always had it his own way en route to the last 4. Gary Stone took him to a fifth and deciding set in his first match and a second consecutive semi-final at the World Championship certainly seemed far from view then, but since he has made easy work of Ryan Hogarth and Paul Hogan, who registered a disappointing performance against the Welshman despite having coasted to the last 8, just missing a 9 darter against Adam Smith-Neale in the process.
As for Vandenbogaerde, the dream return to the darts circuit continues as he goes within two wins of a world title in his first BDO World Championship. He has matched the run he made at the Circus Tavern in October and has had a pretty faultless run to this stage. The Belgian took a 12 year break from the sport before picking up his darts once again in 2018 and has never looked back since, and will certainly fancy his chances.
It’ll be number 1 against number 2 in an enticing women’s final today too, as Lisa Ashton goes within one win of a fifth world title. She defeated Corrine Hammond 6-0 in legs in the semi-final and has yet to be really challenged in the competition so far. ‘The Lancashire Rose’ may well find that challenge in her opponent Mikuru Suzuki, however, who defeated Ashton in last year’s World Championship en route to her infamous crown. She struggled past young star Beau Greaves in the semi-final after similarly tough battles with Maria O’Brien and Anastasia Dobromyslova and, although yet to show her best, will have a good chance of retaining her title this evening.
Image Credits: BDO