Suzuki and O’Brien progress to Lakeside semi finals

Maria O’Brien and Mikuru Suzuki booked their places in the semi finals of the 2019 BDO World Darts Championships in Lakeside on Thursday afternoon. Scott Mitchell breezed past Krzysztof Kciuk to book his place in the quarter finals of the men’s draw.

Maria O’Brien continued her impressive form by defeating Fallon Sherrock in straight sets to make her way into her first Lakeside semi final. Sherrock had produced arguably the performance of the tournament in the previous round in beating Corrine Hammond 2-0, while O’Brien had knocked out Deta Hedman by the same scoreline. The first two legs of the match were strong holds of throw, before O’Brien laid down a marker with an excellent 13 dart leg, finished on double 12. She left 74 for the set in the next leg, but missed two darts at double to allow Fallon to clean up double 16 and send the set to a decider. Maria nailed a 140 to give herself the advantage and never gave it up, pinning double 20 to take the opening set. O’Brien broke Sherrock’s throw in the first leg of the next set with a superb 14 darter, but Fallon responded with an excellent 60 finish to keep herself alive in the game. Both players held their throws solidly to send the set into a crucial deciding leg which would determine the outcome of the match. Maria threw three straight tons to leave herself 141, which she wired the double 12 on for the match. However, Sherrock was way behind in the leg, giving Maria three darts at double 6 to win the game, which she converted with her final dart to complete an excellent win. O’Brien had never won a game on the Lakeside stage only last weekend, but now she faced the prospect of being one match away from a World Championship final.

Her opponent in the semi final will be the Japanese superstar Mikuru Suzuki, who fought her way past Sharon Prins in a match where neither player found their best form. The first leg was a very nervy affair with both players missing numerous darts at double and ending up on double 1. Suzuki eventual finished the leg off to break Prins’ throw, but missed 10 more darts at double in the next leg, allowing Sharon to break straight back. Suzuki took out an impressive 66 finish to regain the lead, before taking the first set on tops to lead 1-0. Mikuru hit double 2 to lead the second set, but Prins responded with a superb 100 checkout to hold and level the set. Suzuki went within a leg of the match with a vital 88 finish on double 16, and finished the job with the best leg of the match, a 14 dart leg to make her way into the last 4. The Japanese star will know she will have to up her game against Maria O’Brien, but she deserves lots of credit for making the semi finals on her debut.

Scott Mitchell became the sixth man into the quarter finals after he comfortably came past Krzysztof Kciuk with a very decent display. Mitchell got of the ideal start, winning the first set 3-0 against the darts with legs of 17, 15 & 18 darts to lead the match 1-0. Kciuk got off the mark in their second set with a break of throw, but Mitchell hit straight back on double 20 after the Pole missed two darts to hold. ‘Scotty Dog’ fired in a superb 13 darter to control the set, and took a 2-0 lead in sets after Kciuk missed 7 darts at double, allowing Mitchell to pin double 16. Scott took the third set very quickly 3-0, even though Kciuk had darts to win two legs. The Pole took a two leg lead in the fourth set, but allowed Mitchell to level it up after he missed a set dart. When Krzyzstof missed two more set darts, Scott stepped in to pin double 16 and take a comfortable win. It was a decent tournament overall for Kciuk, but Mitchell, who plays Jim Williams in the quarter finals, proved a bridge too far for him.

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