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Day five of the 2017 BDO World Championship from the Lakeside and we’re into the second roud of matches. There are a few people talking about the ‘shock’ of Wesley Harms getting knocked out, but readers of this column will have been all over Krzysztof Ratajski, as I pointed out Harms is a bit of a spent force, and the Pole duly delivered. Tomorrow, we have two games in the afternoon, and then we have three in the evening session. We have a high class field playing today, with Scott Mitchell facing Geert de Vos, then Martin Adams taking on Jeff Smith in the afternoon. Darryl Fitton takes on Pip Blackwell in the first match of the evening, followed by Jamie Hugher and Jim Williams, and we round out the day with Glen Durrant and Paul Hogan facing off. It’ seriously a stacked day of darting action.
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Scott Mitchell vs Geert de Vos
Geert de Vos put in one of the performances of the first round with an average of 96.90, and that was with just the one maximum. Scott Mitchell did what was expected of him, a nice solid 87.81, but just the one maximum. To be fair to Mitchell, he was never pushed by Mark McGrath so he didn’t have to come out of second gear.
The question is, can Mitchell get out of second gear against a classy opponent? Also, can Geert de Vos keep this standard up? Amazingly, Mitchell leads the head to head between the two 4-1, winning the last four meetings between the pair, including at this stage in the 2015 BDO World Championship. Mitchell won 3-1 in the World Masters in December, so it’s clear to see why he’s favourite for this. However, I was impressed by De Vos in the first round, so I want to keep the faith in him and I’ll be backing Geert de Vos to win in what looks like a real bit of value.
Martin Adams vs Jeff Smith
Here’s Wolfie! And Jeff Smith, of course. I was impressed by Martin Adams in the first round. He proved he was perhaps the best clutch player in darts with some huge finishes when he was under the kosh. He also averaged a very decent 91.74 and was just really solid for the most part. His opponent, Jeff Smith, has also been very much the same. While Smith has been pushed by both Asada and Dawson, he came through them well and his 91.71 average against Brian Dawson showed how his game has improved from the prelim and he looks to be on course for a decent run if he can keep it up.
Smith and Adams met in the first round last year, which Smith won 3-0. While Adams might be in a better place this year than he was 12 months ago, you can’t forget that the past 12 months have been hard on Wolfie and he won’t be happy facing such a tough opponent at this stage of the tournament. Sadly, I have to say that I can’t see Martin Adams getting past Jeff Smith here. Adams was let off against Ryan Joyce, and he won’t be as fortunate against Smith, who is clinical on his doubles. Smith is the outsider of the two, so we have to go with Jeff Smith to win as, again, like Geert de Vos, he looks real value to make it to the last eight.
Darryl Fitton vs Pip Blackwell
The first match of the evening and I have to say it’s the one I’m looking forward to the least. The crowd might love Darryl Fitton, but he never does anything for me, and all I’ve seen is average darts from him. And Pip Blackwell, well, the least said about his performances on the Lakeside stage the better.
Fitton averaged 85.26 against Wouter Vaes, and was never troubled by his Dutch opponent in his 3-0 win, while Blackwell hauled it out of the fire with a 3-2 over Dean Reynolds and an average of 81.36. Blackwell just doesn’t seem to go well at the Lakeside, and Fitton will be so happy with ths draw, even though the head to head is 2-2. I can see Fitton getting through this comfortably, as Blackwell averaging a shade over 80 would be no match for the Dazzler, so take Darryl Fitton -1.5 sets.
Jamie Hughes vs Jim Williams
Jamie Hughes averaged 94.38 in his first round win over Martin Atkins, while Jim Williams averaged 82.62 against Tony O’Shea. It sums up the disparity between the two, really. The head to head is 3-0 in favour of Hughes, with Hughes winning 3-2 at the World Masters in December. Nothing points to a win here for Jim Williams, and I can’t even say he’s value at 3/1 to win this. Hughest started with some real power scoring and was averaging over 100 at times, something Williams was nowhere near against O’Shea. If Williams can nick even a set, he’ll be lucky, I think, so take Jamie Hughes -2.5 sets to continue his march towards a maiden Lakeside title.
Glen Durrant vs Paul Hogan
The last match of the day and Glen Durrant is the favourite for it and I’m sure Glen Durrant will win it. Durrant is capable of averaging over 100 and he will do at some point this week. Paul Hogan almost blew a 2-0 lead against Martin Phillips with a real dip in form in sets three and four, but he did manage to come through with an average of 91.62. Durrant will win, like I said, but there’s no value on backing him to win.
Instead, take highest checkout over 128.5, as both men have big finishes to their name already, with Hogan hitting a great 150 against Tom Sawyer, while Durrant has a 167 from his first round match against Nick Kenny. I think that line is seriously low, so get stuck in.
I’ll be back with more free tips for day six of the 2017 BDO World Championship tomorrow, so I’ll see you then.