Veenstra edges Heydon in Lakeside classic

Richard Veenstra survived match darts to come though a deciding leg against Nigel Heydon in the Sunday afternoon session of the 2019 BDO World Darts Championships. Scott Waites also progressed while Maria O’Brien defeated Deta Hedman in an upset in the ladies’ draw.

Nigel Heydon came into his tie with the eighth seed Richard Veenstra having come from two sets down to defeat Jim Widmayer in the preliminary round yesterday afternoon.

It was Veenstra who got off to a flyer, winning the opening set 3-0, and only giving Heydon two darts at double. ‘The Undertaker’ got off the mark in the opening leg of the second set, firing in a 16 dart leg, before reeling off two more legs to level up the match at 1-1, averaging 92 in that set. Richard began the next set with a maximum, but Nigel threw a superb 14 darter to break throw, and with solid legs of 15 and 16 darts, he held his throw to take the crucial third set 3-1 and lead 2-1. Heydon was looking to finish the match in this set, and started off with a terrific 11 dart leg, before throwing a maximum in the next leg. Veenstra knew he had to respond or else his Lakeside hopes would be over all too quickly, and respond he did, throwing a 180 of his own before smashing in a brilliant 140 checkout to level the set. He fired in two 180s in the next leg to break the throw of ‘The Undertaker’, and levelled the match by holding his throw on double 10.

At 2-2, the match was anyone’s to be won, and it would all come down to who would crack first. Veenstra threw first in the set, which had no real advantage in the sense he had to break Hayden’s throw somewhere along the line. The first four legs of the set were all comfortable holds of throw, which sent the match into a tiebreak. Neither player was showing any signs of wilting as the set got as far as 3-3 without any darts to break throw. Veenstra threw a fabulous 12 dart leg to make it 4-3 and heap the pressure on Heydon. Richard finally looked to have the match won when he left 40 to seal a tremendous tussle. However, Nigel had one last hurrah in him. On 132 to save the match, he pinned the bull with his last dart to spark huge cheers from the Lakeside crowd, save the match and level the set again. The momentum was now with Nigel Heydon, who got a key break of throw in the next leg on double 8 to make it 5-4. This time it was Veenstra who faced the prospect of losing the match and he responded superbly by leaving 36 after twelve darts. However, Nigel managed to leave 122 for the match, which he came so close to by wiring the bullseye. Richard cleaned up double 18 to send the match into a final set tiebreak. Veenstra pinned the outer bull so when Heydon missed the 25, the Dutch man had the crucial advantage of throw. Richard left himself on 108 after twelve darts to seal a classic win, but Heydon responded with a 139 to leave 76 and heap the pressure on. Veenstra hit the treble 16 with his second dart but snatched his match dart at tops into the single five. Nigel had a chance for a huge win in his career, but hit the five with his first dart. Incredibly, his second darts found the treble 7, which gave him another match dart at the bull, which was wide in the 14. Veenstra had 35 to finish the job and he duly did to seal a Lakeside classic round 1 match. The appreciation was clear between the players after the match, but it was Richard Veenstra who progressed to face Scott Waites in the last 16.

Scott Waites had come past Jeffrey van Egdom 3-1 in the first match of the session, with a very impressive scoring performance although his doubles were off at times. Scott started as he meant to continue, throwing a 180 with his first three darts and sealing the opening leg. Jeffrey showed signs of nerves by missing four darts at double 16, allowing Scott to pounce in the Mad House, before cleaning up the set 3-0. Jeffrey got off the mark in the second set on double 5, as the first three legs went on throw with the Dutch man leading 2-1. Waites missed 5 darts at double to level the set, allowing the Dutch man to take out a brilliant 83 on double 9 and level the match at 1-1. Scott came back from the break all guns blazing, taking the opening two legs to go within a leg of a 2-1 lead. Jeffrey got off the mark after Scott missed 2 set darts, but Waites was not to be denied, checking out double 18 after Van Egdom missed two darts to level the set. With a 2-1 lead, there was no stopping ‘Scotty 2 Hotty’, who took the final set 3-1 to defeat Jeffrey van Egdom by the same scoreline. Waites’ tally of 8 maximums in 15 legs would challenge anyone, but his 22% on doubles will have to improve if he is to beat Richard Veenstra in the next round.

In the ladies’ competition, Maria O’Brien defeated Deta Hedman to progress to the quarter finals with an upset win. It was ‘The Heart of Darts’ who broke Maria in the opening leg after O’Brien missed 6 darts at the outer ring. However, Maria recovered to win the next two legs before Deta sent the set to a decider after O’Brien missed one set dart. Hedman threw a solid leg to leave 54 for the set, but hit treble 14 with his first dart. This seemed to throw Deta off, as she misses two set darts at double 6. This allowed O’Brien to finish 56 on tops and lead 1-0. Maria won the opening two legs of the second set to go within a leg of the match. However, Hedman threw legs of 21 and 19 darts to level the set, but missed one dart at tops to make it 1-1. This allowed Maria O’Brien to nail double 8 to win 2-0 and knock out two time finalist Deta Hedman.

The preliminary round game between Krzyzstof Kciuk and Brian Lokken also took place, in the hope of drawing Dave Parletti in the first round proper. Krzyzstof won the opening set 3-1 with superb checkouts of 160 and 119, although Lokken struggled with his doubles. The second set went all the way to a decider, and Brian was guilty of missing three darts at double 16, allowing Kciuk to take out 69 with a nerveless bull to lead the match 2-0. Lokken hit back to win the third set 3-2, but his doubles demons returned in the fourth set, as he missed darts at doubles in two separate legs, allowing the man from Poland, Kciuk, to take the match 3-1 and book a tie with Dave Parletti.

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