O'Brien remains in the mix for BDO World darts title

MARIA O’Brien remains on course for a tilt at the Ladies' BDO World Championship crown after she won her opening match when defeating the former World No.1 Deta Hedman.

Despite having six darts to win the opening leg, it went to the three-time world championship runner-up, but Maria kept her head to bounce back and level in 17.

She also won the next to edge in front for the first time only for Hedman to level before O’Brien won the fifth and deciding leg to clinch the all-important opening set in a best of three format.

Despite Hedman throwing first at the start of the second set, it was O'Brien, with the help of three tons, who took it in 18 before moving 2-0 ahead when clinching the next in 21.

PHOTO: By courtesy of British Darts Organisation

But Hedman, a winner of over 130 titles world-wide, won the next two both in 21 before Maria once again won the deciding leg to win 2-0 and move into the last eight.

The Business Development manager, who finished with a 23.60 single-dart average against Hedman’s 22.51, will now meet Fallon Sherrock on Thursday who defeated Australian Corrine Hammond 2-0 with a 29.89 average.

Reigning champion and odds-on favourite Lisa Ashton (25.27) was sensationally defeated in two straight sets on the opening day of the tournament by qualifier Mikuru Suzuki (26.61).

After winning the first set 3-2, the Japanese thrower took the opening leg in 16 and although Ashton edged in front with legs won in 14 and 15, aided by a checkout of 101, it was Suzuki who made it through to the quarter finals when taking the next two legs in 19 and 15 for a set average of 30.04.

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