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After rather uneventful first day of the BDO World Championship, we head into day two of the tournament with high expectations for a bit of a shock or something just a bit more interesting than the fare we had on day one. While we started off with a potential upset for Glen Durrant, after he lost the first set, he went on to win 3-1 and then very little shocking happened after that. Well, how poorly Tony O’Shea played was pretty shocking, to be fair. Day two starts with Wolfie and we’ll also see 2015 BDO World Champion Scott Mitchell and we finish the day with Jamie Hughes taking on Martin Atkins.
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Martin Adams vs Ryan Joyce
Ryan Joyce won his prelim match in relative comfort yesterday and earned a tie with one of darts most famous players, Martin Adams. It’s been well documented the struggles Wolfie has had with his health, and of course I wish him well, but more importantly, it doesn’t actually seem to have affected his form too much. Adams got out of his group at the Zuideruin Masters, although it wasn’t a particularly tough group, and then lost 3-0 to Glen Durrant in the quarter-final, but it was enough to show that his Grand Slam of Darts performance wasn’t a sign he was on the decline too much.
It’s tough, because playing a prelim has set players up to play well in the past, but the Lakeside stage is Wolfie’s home, and I don’t think Joyce played well enough against Nilsson to convince me he’ll trouble Adams too much. If Adams can play at a consistent level of around a 90 average, he’ll get through without too much trouble, so take Martin Adams -1.5 sets
Paul Hogan vs Tom Sawyer
It wasn’t long ago that Paul Hogan was everyone’s outside tip for the title after a big run at the UK Open, but he’s been struggling to really get any form together, although he made the final of the BDO Gold Cup, an event he has won in the past. Tom Sawyer is the American qualifier, and I have to be honest, I don’t know too much about him. He’s got some great results Stateside, but how that translates to the Lakeside is another thing.
I think Hogan should have too much for our American friend, as he’s been here and done it before, and although Sawyer has a big win over Glen Durrant this year to his credit, it’s a different kettle of fish being in front of the TV cameras and on the Lakeside stage. Hogan’s experience and skill should come out and I see another relatively comfortable win, so take Paul Hogan -1.5 sets
Scott Mitchell vs Mark McGrath
205 BDO World Champion Scott Mitchell will have been happy watching Mark McGrath play his prelim match on Saturday, as the Kiwi didn’t show too much in the way of scoring that would trouble him. Mitchell is going to just batter the bit scores in and even if he’s a bit dodgy on his doubles, I think McGrath will be too far behind to put him under real pressure. There’s no value to be had backing the favourite here and all the lines seem rather skinny, so for the last match in the afternoon session, it’s no bet.
Krzysztof Ratajski vs Willem Mandigers
Another prelim match here, of course, and Ratajski has had some experience of the Lakeside before, losing his first round match in 2009 3-2 to Edwin Max. Ratajski has been playing the qualifiers for the PDC European Tour events, and qualified for the International Darts Open, where he lost 6-1 to Chris Dobey and had one dart at a double, so his average of 93.69 is a bit of a blip as he didn’t have a chance at doubles to bring it down. However, he did win the Hungarian Classic, beating Zoran Lerchbacher, who won his prelim game at the PDC World Championship and pushed Robert Thornton in the first round. Willem Mandigers played last year at the Lakeside and lost 3-0 to Scott Waites. He averaged 87.24 which wasn’t bad at all for his debut.
It looks tight here, but I think Mangiers is coming into this with a bit of form behind him after a final, a semi-final and two quarter-finals in October and November, as well as getting through qualifying. A lot will be made of Ratajski’s PDC form, but it hasn’t been stellar, and I think Willem Mandigers to win is the sensible play here.
Raymond Smith vs Davy van Baelen
Yet another prelim match and it’s Australia versus Belgium in this one. Davy van Baelen came through the qualifying route, and he did take out Glen Durrant in the Denmark Open semi-final, but he’s done very little of note besides that. As for Raymond Smith, a run to the last 32 of the World Masters is his big result this year, after some fine wins back home in Australia which secured his place here.
To be honest, it’s hard to tell what either man is bringing to the oche here, as there’s little info about them I can use. My gut says Davy van Baelen will be too good, but a good feeling on an odds-on shot isn’t great, so we’ll just say no bet, but if he turned up and throw some shocking darts, I wouldn’t be surprised either.
Jamie Hughes vs Martin Atkins
What’s interesting here is that while Jamie Hughes is a short-price favourite to win, Martin Atkins leads the head-to-head 3-1 between the two, although Hughes won the last meeting. To be fair to Jamie Hughes, there’s a reason he’s 2/7 to win and that’s because he’s the BDO number two, he won in Zuideruin, made the semi-finals of the World Masters and impressed in the Grand Slam of Darts, winning his group amongst other good results this year. Atkins has struggled and has only made one final this year in the Antwerp Open, which he lost to Jimmy Hendriks.
I think it’s safe to say this should be comfortable for Hughes, as he’s got a great game at the moment, while Atkins is regressing. The BDO number two should win this comfortably, and as much as I think he should win 3-0, in case he doesn’t win the bull before the start, we’ll just take Jamie Hughes -1.5 sets as our safer bet.
I’ll be back with more free tips for day three of the 2017 BDO World Championship tomorrow, so I’ll see you then.