Williams and Ashton triumphant at the BDO World Trophy

Jim Williams and Lisa Ashton lifted the 2019 BDO World Trophy titles after three days of exciting action at the King George’s Hall in Blackburn.

After recording a relatively routine 5-1 win over former Premier League star Wez Newton in the first round, the Welshman hard to work hard to beat qualifier Scott Taylor, who posted a tournament record 104.6 average in his first round win over Derk Telnekes, 5-4 to make it to the Sunday.

In the quarter-final ‘The Quiff’ started well against the USA’s Joe Chaney, leading 5-2 at one stage. ‘The Chainsaw’ won three legs on the spin to force a decider but Williams held his nerve to win 6-5 with a 90.95 average.

That led the England Open winner to face off with New Zealand’s Mark McGrath, who had accounted for the Dutch trio of Chris Landman, Martijn Kleermaker and Wesley Harms to make the semis, for a place in the final. Williams raced into an early lead and this time there was no hesitation as the 35-year-old won 7-2 with a 92.57 average.

The final obstacle between Williams and the title was Dutchman Richard Veenstra, who had enjoyed a far more difficult route to his first BDO major final.

‘Flyers’, the top seed in the men’s event, was solid but unspectacular in his 5-2 opening round win over Justin Thompson and he then had to survive match darts against both Nick Kenny and Daniel Day to make it through to the semis. Against Day, who surprised a lot of people by making it to the quarters after being a late replacement for Canada’s David Cameron, Veenstra trailed 4-0 at one stage and survived five match darts to win 6-5.

He then had a slightly easier time of it in the semis against Poland’s Sebastian Steyer, winning 7-4 with an 80.01 average.

In the final, Williams broke Veenstra in the second and fourth legs to move into an early 3-1 lead but the Dutchman broke back twice to lead 4-3 at the mid-game interval.

‘The Quiff’ broke in the first leg back with a 15-darter and went onto win four of the next six to prevail 8-6, eventually winning the match with a 76 checkout, his highest of the final. Williams, who pockets £8,000 for his first BDO major win, is the first Welshman to win a major in the organisation since Martin Phillips at the 2014 World Masters and he finished the final with an 85.36 average.

Eight men’s seeds, including Scott Waites, Dave Parletti and 2018 finalist Michael Unterbuchner, fell in the first round of a competition which had its fair share of surprises, while Andy Hamilton finished the tournament with the highest finish after taking out a brilliant 170 against Wesley Harms in the last 16.

Lisa Ashton won her first major of 2019 and the 11th of her career thanks to a 6-2 final win over Anastasia Dobromyslova.

The two women had met three times previously in World Trophy finals, with Ashton leading 2-1 but ‘The Lancashire Rose’ initially trailed 2-0 against her Russian-born opponent.

The 49-year-old then won six legs on the spin to win 6-2 with an 81.04 average and pick up the £3,000 top prize.

Ashton had secured relatively comfortable early wins over Corrine Hammond and Casey Gallagher before getting pushed all the way in her semi-final with Aileen de Graaf. The Dutchwoman had beaten Mikuru Suzuki in the quarters but Ashton was not to be denied as she won 5-4 by taking out a superb 134 checkout.

It was a return to form in the other half of the draw for Dobromyslova, who dropped just one leg in her opening three games against Sharon Prins, Maria O’Brien and good friend Lorraine Winstanley. In all of those games the 3-time World Champion averaged over 81 but she was just caught cold in the final by Ashton, who was playing in her sixth final in the last seven ranking competitions she has entered.

With the 2019 World Trophy now in the books, the seeds for the 2019 World Masters in October are also now set. Ashton leads the field for the ladies once again ahead of Suzuki and De Graaf, while Harms edges out Veenstra to be top seed by just one point, with Williams third and Wayne Warren fourth.

Photo – Tip Top Pics

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