Defending champion Scott Waites kicked off his title defence with a hard-fought victory over Cambridgeshire veteran Dennis Harbour, as Darius Labanauskas, Mark McGeeney and three-time women’s world champion Anastasia Dobromyslova also recorded first-round wins on an entertaining night at the Lakeside Country Club on Tuesday evening.
The sixth seed and reigning champion Waites came through a tough first-round tussle against Dennis Harbour to keep his title defence alive. ‘Scotty 2 Hotty’ averaged 90.54, landed two maximums and took out a pivotal 142 checkout en route to victory, as Harbour was dumped out after averaging 89.28 and landing four maximums.
Harbour made an accomplished start; landing his first maximum and taking out 80 to lead. Waites responded with a 13-dart leveller, but ‘The Harbour Master’ converted a two-dart 96 finish to regain the initiative. However, the defending champion tied the set on D16, before conjuring up a magical 142 finish to steal the set; with Harbour poised on D12.
Harbour responded strongly by registering a 13-dart break early in set two. He couldn’t cement this break however, as Waites levelled on D4 having earlier missed the bullseye for a 161 outshot. ‘Scotty 2 Hotty’ wasn’t scoring at his proficient best but his finishing was clinical and this pattern continued, as he posted 60 and 76 kills to double his lead. Continue reading