OB claims Lakeside spot for World championships

MARIA O’Brien has claimed a place to compete in the BDO World Championships at Lakeside in January, virtue of her 10th placing in the World rankings.

The top tournament in the BDO calendar, that will be contested from January 5-13, will have Lorraine Winstanley appearing as the No.1 seed for the first time, ahead of the reigning 4-time Lakeside world champion, Lisa Ashton.

Maria will be hoping to replicate the form she showed in Budapest, Hungary, at the end of last month, when she was a prolific member of the England ladies team that won the WDF Europe Cup.

Europe Cup started with the team event and England ladies were on top of their game when winning all their group matches to claim a semi-final spot against Sweden.

In a very well contested encounter, the score stood at 7-7 before Maria shot out to edge England in front at 8-7 followed by a win from Deta Hedman which put the team in the final against The Netherlands.

The final was surprisingly one-sided with England defeating their Dutch opponents 9-1 to claim the title of team champions with Maria boasting wins over Sharon Prins, Anca Zijlstra and achieving the match-winning point when defeating Vanessa Zuidema.

Maria got to the last eight of the singles before bowing out 5-1 to Dutch thrower Femke Herms but made amends in the pairs when, with her partner Deta Hedman, the duo won the gold medal when defeating England team-mates Lorraine Winstanley and Fallon Sherrock 6-5 in an absorbing final.

At the end of the tournament, the table showed that England ladies had won the title of European champions by no fewer than 91 points from second place The Netherlands.

Before competing in the world championships, Maria will be making another trip across Europe when she will be in the line-up for the Czech Open which will take place in Prague from November 16-18.

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