Maria wins Slovak Masters title with defeat of Hedman
MARIA O’Brien claimed her second Slovak title in as many years with an outstanding performance in the x- bionic® sphere in Šamorín, near Bratislava last night.
The Business Development Manager was returning as defending champion after claiming her first ever Category A title last February when winning the Slovak Open but this time around she won the Slovak Masters.
Maria safely negotiated the early rounds before emerging a 5-1 winner in the quarter-finals against Laura Turner.
Her opponent in the semi’s was Anastasia Dobromyslova, a three-time world champion and also a former winner of the World Masters, World Darts Trophy and the Finder Masters.
But in a very tense best of nine-legs encounter, the scoreline stood at 4-4 before Maria hit the winning double.
Maria’s opponent in the final was Deta Hedman, who had defeated Lorraine Winstanley 5-1 in her semi-final and was a repeat of the final of the INDO Irish singles which took place back in November in Killarney which O’Brien won.
Maria began really well and after just nine darts of the opening leg left a checkout of 151 and although she missed early attempts, found double eight with her 24th dart to go one up.
Hedman levelled with a win in 18 and then led for the first time at 2-1 when she hit the bull in a checkout of 108 to take the leg in 15.
The “Heart of Darts” then made it 3-1 with a 17-darter before Maria began to pull back the deficit when winning the fifth and then made it 3-3 with a win in 19.
OB then put together the best leg of match when, aided by a maximum 180, she edged 4-3 in front with an 11-darter, only for the Witham thrower to level at 4-4 with a win in 16.
All was set for an enticing deciding leg and after 12 darts Maria left herself 66 but Deta was equally productive and on her fourth throw hit a maximum to leave double tops.
But it was a shot she was not going to get as Maria stepped up to the oche and needed just one bite of the cherry to check out in 15 and become the 2020 Slovak Masters Ladies’ champion.