Seventh seed Dean Reynolds became the first seed to tumble at this year’s BDO World Championship after spurning four match darts against Pip Blackwell, as David Cameron and Dennis Harbour secured hard-fought preliminary victories at the Lakeside Country Club on Monday afternoon.
Dean Reynolds’ wait for a first win at the World Championship continues after he spurned four match darts in a topsy-turvy clash against Kent’s Pip Blackwell. The Welshman missed three darts for a whitewash victory, before failing to take further opportunities in the final set, as Blackwell prevailed in a scrappy affair with an 81.36 average.
Both players made a nervy start to the tussle after missing doubles, but Reynolds eventually held throw on D16. Blackwell then landed the first maximum of the contest, but Reynolds doubled his tally with a classy 85 finish on the bull, before sealing the set to nil on D8; having missed the bull for a 127 outshot in the previous visit.
Blackwell responded strongly in set two; opening his account on D16 before following up successive 140’s with a 13-dart break of throw to seize command of the set. However, Reynolds stayed alive in the set by breaking back immediately within 16 darts.
This galvanised the seventh seed as he launched a valiant fightback to steal the set. He forced a set decider after following his first maximum with a 14-darter via D8. Reynolds then landed another maximum and converted a clinical 79 kill on D11 to double his advantage, after Blackwell had missed a set dart at tops for a 160 finish.
Both men held throw early in set three, before ‘Pip The Tip’ broke Reynolds with a fine 74 finish. This appeared academic however, as he squandered four set darts before Reynolds pegged a brilliant 100 finish to wrestle back the initiative. However, the seventh seed then missed three match darts at tops, as Blackwell hit the same target to stay alive.
Reynolds bounced back from this setback with an accomplished 76 finish, but Blackwell responded magnificently. He took out 41 to round-off a 14-darter to level, before producing superb 85 and 101 finishes for successive 15-dart legs to force a fifth and final set; leaving the partisan Lakeside crowd stunned.
The Kent ace had the momentum, but Reynolds hit the front in set five after holding in a scrappy opening leg. The seventh seed then produced a majestic leg; firing in successive maximums before finding D4 for a 15-dart break to move to the cusp of victory. However, Blackwell displayed tremendous resolve to stay alive.
Reynolds had his fourth dart for the match, but was unable to peg tops to complete a spectacular 160 finish, and Blackwell found D8 with his last dart in hand to stay alive. Both players were feeling the pressure, but Pip pinned D4 to hold throw and force a tiebreak.
Reynolds had controlled the match from the outset, but lost his composure at a crucial-stage, as Blackwell won his third straight leg via D10 to lead for the first time. Pip had the throw to seal victory but produced an abject scoring leg, yet Reynolds couldn’t capitalise; spurning seven darts at double to stay alive as Blackwell completed the comeback on D4.
David Cameron secured his first ever win on the Lakeside stage at the fourth attempt after coming from a set down to defeat exciting Dutchman Jimmy Hendriks in an up and down preliminary tussle. The Canadian averaged 86.19, landed two maximums and converted 34% of his double attempts to set up a first-round tie with third seed Danny Noppert.
Cameron pinned D10 to win the opening leg in 14 darts, having missed the bull for a 167 in the previous visit. However, Hendriks responded by registering his first maximum and taking out a 120 finish for a 12-dart leveller. The Dutchman then broke Cameron’s throw with a solid 15-darter, before pinning D8 to seal the first set with a 103.7 average.
Cameron restored parity in set two, despite the fact that Hendriks had darts at a double in all four legs. The Canadian secured an early break after following up a 171 by pinning D8, before extending his cushion with a clinical 91 kill. Hendriks took out 100 on D10 to stay alive in the set, but ‘Excalibur’ landed his first maximum and sank D10 to level the tie.
Hendriks secured an instant break in set three with a vital two-dart 79 finish, but Cameron broke back on D16 after the 22-year-old spurned three darts at tops. The Canadian then converted a clinical 119 to regain the lead and whilst Hendriks drew level on D18, Cameron clinched the third set via a 15-dart hold; having left 87 after just 9 darts.
The 47-year-old missed two darts for his third successive leg early in set four, but he rectified matters with a 15-dart hold via D10 after the pair had traded maximums. The next two legs both went with throw, before Cameron exploited a sloppy leg from the Dutchman to pin tops for a 17-darter, to wrap up his maiden Lakeside triumph.
Last year’s quarter-finalist Dennis Harbour will face defending champion Scott Waites in round-one, after overcoming New Zealand’s Craig Caldwell in an attritional preliminary clash. Harbour squandered eight match darts for a 3-0 victory, but eventually completed the triumph with an 81.99 average.
Both players exchanged comfortable holds in a rather sluggish opening. The pair then traded maximums as Harbour regained the lead with a 16-darter, before Caldwell forced a set decider with a 14-darter, having earlier wired the bull for a 164 outshot. However, Harbour maintained his cool to clinch the opener with a 16-dart hold on tops.
‘The Harbour Master’ kicked off set two with a maximum, but Caldwell held firm to nail D8. The roles were reversed in the following leg. The New Zealander fired in his second 180 to pressure the 55-year-old, but Harbour squared the set via tops.
The Kiwi was being worn down by Harbour’s methodical approach and the former Scottish Open winner punished an abject leg from his opponent to break throw for the first time in the match, before converting tops for an 18-darter to double his advantage.
The opening two legs of set three went against throw, before Harbour landed tops for a 17-darter to move to the cusp of victory. The Kiwi prolonged the contest by hitting tops, before a dramatic fifth leg ensued. Harbour had the darts and was in total control, but spurned an incredible eight match darts as Caldwell pegged D4 to save the match.
The scrappy nature of the contest continued early in set four, as Caldwell eventually landed D1 after Harbour missed a further three darts at double to break. The New Zealander was beginning to believe as he crashed in his third maximum, but the Cambridgeshire veteran regained his composure to convert a clean two-dart 65 kill.
Nevertheless, it was Caldwell’s turn to show doubling fragility in set four. He missed four darts to hold as Harbour confidently took out 56 to move within a leg of victory, and these double frailties continued to plague the Kiwi. The 33-year-old missed three more darts at tops to save the match, as ‘The Harbour Master’ finally sealed his progression on D8.
Photo Credit: David Gill
Monday January 9
First Round (best of five sets)
Afternoon session (1300-1530)
TV Coverage: Channel 4
David Cameron 3-1 Jimmy Hendriks (P)
Craig Caldwell 1-3 Dennis Harbour (P)
Dean Reynolds (7) 2-3 Pip Blackwell