Leighton Bennett Bennett became the youngest ever competitor in the BDO World Championships as he took on former champion of the world Scott Mitchell. ‘Scotty Dog’ settled the better, taking the first two sets without breaking sweat.
However, ‘Boom Boom’ returned from the interval re-invigorated, taking the following set as Mitchell’s heart rate began to rise. But that would only be a minor blip as Mitchell returns to his old ways and defeated the 14-year-old with a respectable 88 average.
Number six seed Nick Kenny was the highest profile casualty of the afternoon session as he was defeated by the Netherlands Dennie Olde Kalter in a five set thriller. Olde Kalter had originally taken a two set lead, but was dragged into a decider by the dogged Kenny.
The British Classic champion would show his class in the latter stages, taking out finishes of 90 and 98 as he ended the Welshman’s chances of a first major title.
Elsewhere in the men’s competition there were wins for number three seed Richard Veenstra and World Championship debutante David Evans. Veenstra made it all the way to the semi-finals in 2016, and will be hoping for another deep run in the brand new venue.
Evans entered as 14th seed in his first World Championship and survived a match dart against Stourbridge’s Nick Fullwell. ‘Stretch’ would claim the final two sets to set up a meeting with Andy Hamilton.
In the women’s competition there were routine victories for former champions Anastasia
Dobromyslova and Lisa Ashton. ‘The Lancashire Rose’ cruised past Paula Jacklin, recording the first whitewash win of the tournament.
Elsewhere, Anastasia Dobromyslova was far from her brilliant best as she defeated Sharon Prins in straight sets, she knows improvement will be needed as she faces Mikuru Suzuki in the quarter-finals.
There were also victories for Ben Hazel over seasoned veteran Gary Robson and Scotland’s Ryan Hogarth as he defeated Thibault Tricole of France.
David Evans 3-2 Nick Fullwell
Dennie Olde Kalter 3-2 Nick Kenny
Anastasia Dobromyslova 2-0 Sharon Prins
Richard Veenstra 3-1 Justin Hood
Ben Hazel 3-2 Gary Robson
Lisa Ashton 2-0 Paula Jacklin
Scott Mitchell 3-1 Leighton Bennett
Ryan Hogarth 3-0 Thibault Tricole
By Josh Green (@JoshGreenMedia)
Pics – BDO unless stated.