BDO World Darts Championships results: Lisa Ashton crashes out to Mikuru Suzuki in first round

Lisa Ashton
Lisa Ashton

A review of Saturday's action at the BDO World Darts Championships, including defeats for Lisa Ashton and Tony O'Shea but a victory for Mark McGeeney.

Lisa Ashton's hopes of winning the women's BDO World Darts Championship for a fifth time in six years are over after a shock defeat to Mikuru Suzuki.

Although the Lancashire Rose, who recently participated in the PDC World Darts Championship at Alexandra Palace, was expected to progress, few expected an easy ride against the rising Japanese star.

And so it proved as Suzuki made a dream start to her Lakeside debut by inflicting Ashton's first defeat on this Frimley Green stage since 2016 with a whitewash scoreline of 2-0.

'The Miracle', who reached the quarter-finals of the World Masters in 2018 and even beat Ashton at the same event 12 months earlier, won the opening two legs of the match but had to edge a decider to take a 1-0 lead.

The four-time champion responded by moving into a 2-1 lead in the second set only for Suzuki to pin tops and force another deciding leg.

Ashton looked like she'd picked a great time to nail the only 180 of the clash with her first visit but after further visits of 100, 81 and 100, the Bolton thrower missed three darts at a double and Suzuki made her pay by hitting tops for a match-clinching 15-darter.

Suzuki will next meet Sharon Prins, who defeated Roz Bulmer 2-0 in the day's other women's match.

The Dutchwoman landed the highest checkout of the tournament so far with a 156 in the very first leg although she had to hold her nerve in a scrappy fifth, which she won in 31 darts, to move 1-0 up in sets.

A finish from 90 put Prins ahead in the second and although Bulmer pulled one back with a 92, the seventh-seed completed the job with a 21-darter.

Earlier in the men's event, number one seed Mark McGeeney overcame a stuttering start to move into the second round with a 3-1 victory over Derk Telnekes.

The 2018 runner-up, who missed two match darts in last year's final against Glen Durrant, looked up against it as early as the first leg when his Dutch opponent took out a stunning 145 checkout to get the tournament under way in style.

Although the Gladiator fought back to take the set, Telnekes would later take out 119 en route to levelling what was a scrappy match in terms of quality.

However, both players upped their game on the scoring front in the next two sets, with McGeeney edging the third 3-2 before taking the fourth 3-1.

The 46-year-old from the hotbed of darts in Stockport averaged 88 and threw four 180s.

McGeeney will next meet Conan Whitehead, who booked his place in the second round with a dramatic 3-2 victory over Lakeside veteran Martin Phillips.

The bricklaying 'Barbarian' from Gillingham is making his third appearance on this stage but that's nothing compared to the Welsh legend, who was competing here for the 16th time having made his debut way back in 1991 against a certain Phil Taylor.

Nevertheless, Whitehead ensured his opponent's advantage of experience would be in vain by snatching the deciding set 5-3 in a tie-break having previously spurned match darts two legs earlier.

Whitehead took the opener 3-1 but the former two-time semi-finalist (2010, 2011) battled back to go 2-1 up in sets despite trailing 2-0 in the third.

The 32 year-old, who lost 4-3 to Jim Williams in the second round 12 months ago but impressed at last month's prestigious Finder Masters by reaching the quarter-finals, levelled matters at 2-2 but Phillips seized the upper hand in the deciding set with a 100 checkout to move 2-1 up.

Whitehead held his nerve with a finish from 61 to force a tie-break, where the players need to win by two clear legs to advance, before a timely 120 checkout put him on the brink.

Both players wasted darts at doubles in the next leg as Phillips eventually pinned double 16 to extend the match but Whitehead, who averaged 83, eventually got the job done.

There was to be no dream return to the Lakeside stage for crowd favourite Tony O'Shea as he was beaten 3-2 by Wesley Harms in a hard-fought encounter.

The 'Silverback', who beat Harms in two semi-finals here back in 2012 and 2013 but had not gone beyond the first round since, missed the 2018 World Championship but arrived here in confident mood after putting his injury woes behind him.

Harms was also looking to end a bad Lakeside run of three first-round defeats in the last four years and looked well on track by blitzing through the first set 3-0.

But the 57-year-old from Stockport, appearing in this tournament the 17th time, picked up his game to level the scores at 1-1 before landing a crowd pleasing 120 checkout to edge ahead in sets.

O'Shea hit another 100+ checkout at the start of the fourth set only for Harms to hit back to force a deciding set, which was finely balanced at 1-1 until the 34-year-old former electrician hit the bullseye for a 81 checkout.

'Sparky', who averaged 88, held his nerve to silence the crowd but it wasn't long before both players received a standing ovation for a terrific contest.

Harms will now go on to meet either 13th seed Willem Mandigers or Paul Hogan, who defeated former PDC star Wes Newton 3-1 in the second of three preliminary-round matches on Saturday.

'Crocodile Dundee', who reached the quarter-finals here way back in 1995 and 2006 before 're-emerging' in recent years, produced a clinical performance on his doubles to set up a clash with 13th seed Willem Mandigers.

Hogan famously bust his score by hitting double 16 instead of double eight when leading Glen Durrant 3-0 in sets and 2-0 in legs at his last World Championship in 2017 before crumbling to lose 4-3 but since then he's enjoyed fantastic runs at the PDC's UK Open as a Rileys Amateur qualifier, beating the likes of Gary Anderson and Adrian Lewis.

The 55-year-old from Dudley dominated the clash with Lakeside debutant Newton, who competed in the Premier League during the height of his career in 2013 and 2014 as well as reaching three PDC World Championship quarter-finals, and although he lost the second set, it was a pretty routine win.

Newton was appearing here for the first time having failed to regain his PDC Tour card last year and decided to spend 2018 on the BDO circuit, but he only averaged 78 compared to Hogan's 88.

Justin Thompson won the first ever all-Australian contest at the Lakeside against debutant Mal Cuming to set up a meeting with highlight-rated fifth seed Michael Unterbuchner.

The 49-year-old, making his second appearance on this stage following his first-round defeat to Darryl Fitton 12 months ago, cruised through 3-0 with an average of 91 as his fellow Victorian struggled to produce his best.

During the afternoon session, England's Nigel Heydon came from two sets down to claim an entertaining 3-2 win over Jim Widmayer in a their preliminary-round encounter.

Having come through the play-offs in Bridlington late last year to earn his first ever spot at the Lakeside, the 'Undertaker' looked dead and buried when his American opponent raced into a 2-0 set lead.

However the 48-year-old, who twice suffered first-round exits at the PDC World Championship in 2011 and 2012, suddenly produced a remarkable recover akin to the WWE legend of the same name by winning nine legs on the trot, with the help of checkouts from 120 and 116.

He will now meet highly-rated eighth seed Richard Veenstra in the first round on Sunday evening.

Saturday results & Sunday schedule

Click here for Sky Bet odds

(P) denotes Preliminary Round
Women's event in italics

Saturday January 5
Afternoon Session (1pm)
First/Preliminary Round (Best of 5 sets)
TV Coverage: Quest (freeview channel 37) & Eurosport

  • Mark McGeeney 3-1 Derk Telnekes
  • Jim Widmayer 2-3 Nigel Heydon (P)
  • Lisa Ashton 0-2 Mikuru Suzuki (best of 3 sets)
  • Martin Phillips 2-3 Conan Whitehead

Evening Session (7pm)
First/Preliminary Round (Best of 5 sets)
TV Coverage: Eurosport

  • Paul Hogan 3-1 Wes Newton (P)
  • Sharon Prins 2-0 Roz Bulmer (best of 3 sets)
  • Mal Cuming 0-3 Justin Thompson (P)
  • Wesley Harms 3-2 Tony O'Shea

Sunday January 6
Afternoon Session (1pm)
First/Preliminary Round (Best of 5 sets)
TV Coverage: Quest (freeview channel 37) & Eurosport

  • Scott Waites v Jeffrey Van Egdom
  • Brian Lokken v Krzysztof Kciuk (P)
  • Deta Hedman v Maria O'Brien (best of 3 sets)
  • Richard Veenstra v Jim Widmayer/Nigel Heydon

Evening Session (7pm)
First/Preliminary Round (Best of 5 sets)
TV Coverage: Quest (freeview channel 37) & Eurosport

  • Roger Janssen v Wouter Vaes (P)
  • Fallon Sherrock v Corrine Hammond (best of 3 sets)
  • Mark McGrath v Adam Smith-Neale (P)
  • Wayne Warren v Mark Layton

Click here for the full Lakeside draw, schedule, results & TV guide

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