The BDO Darts World Championships at the Lakeside arebubbling up nicely as they approach the later stages of the tournament. Withthe number one seed already out, as England’s James Wilson was toppled by thequalifier and Swedish supermarket manager, Peter Sajwani, the favourite’s taghad transferred to Alan Norris. However, he became another victim yesterday asDarryl Fitton came through a deciding set tie-break against the number two seedto claim his place in the last eight of this year’s event.

They served up a mini-classic as the match went thedistance, with both players locked together at three sets apiece.

All the setshad gone with the darts up to that point, as both players maintained theirfocus, with Norris continually being pegged back after going ahead. They still couldn’tbe separated at two legs all in the deciding seventh set, at which point the ultimatewinner needed to win by two clear legs. Norris had chances before then to closethe game out in the sixth set but narrowly failed to do so and it was Fittonwho proved the stronger at the death, as his opponent missed opportunities ondoubles again in the seventh set and gave him the chance to progress, whichFitton duly took to clinch the match.

For Norris it was another match to look back upon andponder, after reaching the final at the BDO event last year when he wasdefeated by Stephen Bunting, who switched to the rival PDC championships thisyear rather than defend his crown.

Giant killer, Sajwani could not repeat his success in theearlier round against Wilson, as he went out of the competition to England’s RobbieGreen 4-0 as the Swede suffered something of a reality check. His exhuberanceon stage was clear as he danced a jig when winning an early leg, but hismoments of success were few and far between against the consistency of hisconqueror this time.

The two had shared a conversation before the match andGreen found his flamboyant rival to be a genuine and likeable person, but thegeniality stopped on stage as the man from Wallasey simply outplayed him to cruiseinto the next round.

After the high scoring of the PDC event in the previousfew weeks, many pundits have questioned whether the BDO event is on a par withit, as the early rounds have indicated a distinct drop in the three-darts’ averagesin comparison. The jury is probably still out on that as the likelihood is thatthe standard of play will improve as the competition moves into thequarter-finals and beyond, but for now matches such as Fitton v Norris canserve as the hors d’oeuvre for things to come.

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