AN improved performance saw Maria O’Brien pick up good ranking points with a run to the semi-finals of the ladies singles, when competing in the Winmau 2019 Scottish Open at the Normandy Cosmopolitan Hotel in Renfrew at the weekend.
She began with a 3-1 victory over Jane Robson and followed it up when defeating Buckinghamshire’s Sara-Louise Mallott in three straight legs.
Maria’s first test came against Linda Ithurralde, but despite the former winner of the British Open and World Masters taking her the full distance, O’Brien edged it 3-2 and advanced as her group winner.
The World No.8 overcame Jo Clements 4-0 before meeting Kirsty Hutchinson for a place in the semi-finals.
Hutchinson caused a shock in the previous round when she defeated the former World No.1 Lorraine Winstanley 4-0 and played her way to the quarter-finals without dropping a leg.
But that form counted for nothing against O’Brien who won 4-1 before going on to a semi-final meeting with Fallon Sherrock.
Maria had defeated Sherrock in their previous two meetings but found it hard going against the 24-year-old thrower from Milton Keynes and crashed to a 5-2 defeat.
Two throws of 140 plus a ton should have given her the impetus to claim the opening leg but she missed her doubles and Sherrock came from behind and scored 216 points with her last five darts to go into an early lead.
But Maria levelled, aided by back to back tons, and then moved 2-1 in front with a 17-darter but that was the last leg she was to win.
It was not the best performance from either player, but Fallon hit four doubles on the bounce to win 5-2.
Sherrock could not raise her game in the final either and the £1,000 winner’s cheque went to Lisa Ashton who took the title by a 5-1 margin with a three-dart average of 85.00.
Lisa and Maria made a good start in the ladies’ pairs, winning their first four matches without dropping a leg.
They kept up the pressure in the semi-finals and defeated AnnMarie Potts and Linda Ithurralde 3-1 for a place in the final against Deda Hedman and Beau Greaves.
In the best of five legs final, it went to 2-2 before Hedman and Greaves hit consecutive throws of 140 and 97 to give them the advantage in the deciding leg and Hedman made no mistake on her next visit and finished in two darts for a win in 20.