- BDO World Championship
Controversy strikes as O'Shea books Waites final
Tony O'Shea will contest another BDO World Championship final 12 months after he finished as a runner-up, after he triumphed 6-4 against Wesley Harms following a controversial finish on Saturday.
With the match locked at 4-4, Harms was disturbed by a fan at a crucial moment, and O'Shea capitalised to set up a meeting with Scott Waites.
The action that took place before that unfortunate incident was thrilling. O'Shea nailed a 120 checkout in the very first leg of the match and followed it with a 121 clearance en route to the first set. Harms then responded with a 120 of his own to level at 1-1.
The standard stepped up a notch with O'Shea checking out 160 in the third, but he missed a shot at double-tops for the set, allowing Harms to take a 2-1 lead.
Back came O'Shea, levelling at 2-2 before producing an 11-dart leg as he moved ahead 3-2. A 12-darter in the sixth set further cemented the Silverback's advantage, and he managed to move into a 4-2 lead despite missing seven darts for the set.
Dutchman Harms was not done and he battled back to 4-4, but then controversy struck. Harms looked set to level the ninth set at two legs apiece when a fan shouted "miss" just as he lined up a double. Both players looked visibly disgruntled, but O'Shea stayed focus to move 5-4 ahead.
He then peppered the treble-20s in the tenth set, finishing with a flourish to book a date with Waites in the final.
A disappointed Harms told ESPN: "Somebody called out and I was put straight off. So then we went to the next leg and I was scoring well again, but when I got to the double I was just waiting for someone to shout again. So I wasn't focusing on the double and that's why I pulled the dart."
O'Shea commented: "I apologised to Wesley and to be fair to Wesley he said, 'It's nothing to do with you'. He was a gentleman. But I just had to get on with the job."
Scott Waites underlined his status as tournament favourite as he marched into the final with a resounding 6-1 victory over rookie Richie George. Third seed Waites powered to a 5-0 lead, and although George avoided a whitewash, he was ultimately left to rue his inability to land the doubles as Waites eased over the line.
Bookmakers' favourite Waites had never previously progressed past the quarter-finals, but he ended his Lakeside hoodoo when he defeated Paul Jennings on Friday night. And he continued where he left off, winning 12 successive legs to race to a 4-0 lead as George was left to rue a series of missed doubles.
The 23-year-old had the chance to take the opening leg, but his failure to land double-three saw Waites pounce. He showed real determination to claim a 77 checkout to take the opening set 3-0, and it was more of the same in the next three.
George, son of former world championship finalist Bobby, produced a thrilling fightback to defeat Dutchman Jan Dekker on Friday night, and he finally got on the board as he landed double-six at the third attempt to win the opening leg of the fifth set. But Waites was relentless as he wrapped up the set to to take a 5-0 lead into the interval.
George showed some of the accuracy that saw him knock out Dave Prins and Jimmy Hendriks in the opening rounds as he claimed the sixth, but it merely delayed the inevitable as Waites clinched a convincing victory to bring a memorable debut to an end for George.
"It's absolutely fantastic to go up there and be five sets up at the break, it was brilliant," Waites said. "I was really happy the way the game went today, I hit my doubles early on and that put a lot of pressure on him early.
"That's my job done for today now and I couldn't be happier so I can just put my feet up now and watch the second game."