By Alex Moss
8 JANUARY 2017 • 11:59PM
Jamie Hughes began his 2017 BDO World Championship campaign with a 3-1 victory over Martin Atkins, while Krzysztof Ratajski and Raymond Smith both came through exciting preliminary round encounters at Lakeside.
Hughes, one of last year’s beaten semi-finalists, began his bid to be crowned world champion for the first time with a first round success against Lakeside veteran Atkins.
After taking the first set 3-1 and opening up a commanding 2-0 lead in the second set, Hughes was pegged back as Atkins won three straight legs to pinch the set and make it 1-1.
Fourth seed Hughes powered in three legs in 14, 15 (106 checkout) and 16 darts to clinch the third set 3-1, and then took the next set by the same scoreline to set up a second round clash with Jim Williams.
Australia’s Raymond Smith fought back from the brink of defeat to knock out Belgium’s Davy van Baelen in a tie-break final set in the preliminary round.
The battle of the two debutants went all the way to a final set, but after van Baelen, who took out checkouts of 132 and 120, had come from a set behind to lead 2-1 in sets and 2-0 in legs, it looked like Smith was heading home.
But the North Queensland Classic champion reeled off three straight legs to pinch the fourth set to force a deciding set, which he won 4-2 to progress into a first round clash with Martin Phillips tomorrow evening.
Poland’s Kryzysztof Ratajski made a winning return on his first appearance at Lakeside for eight years, coming from 1-0 and 2-1 down to edge past Willem Mandigers 3-2 in the preliminary round.
The opening four sets all went the distance, with checkouts of 146 and 102 helping Dutchman Mandigers win the first and third sets.
Ratajski responded by taking the second and fourth sets, before a 104 checkout sealed a 5-3 win in the final set and a first round meeting with ninth seed Wesley Harms on Tuesday afternoon.
Fallon Sherrock dropped just one leg as she powered through to the quarter-finals of the Ladies World Championship at Lakeside.
The seventh seed lost the first leg against Scottish debutant Olive Byamukama, but won the next six legs to complete a 2-0 win.
Sherrock will now face two-time world champion Lisa Ashton in the quarter-finals, in a repeat of the 2015 final.
Sunday January 8
Evening Session (7pm)
Krzysztof Ratajski 3-2 Willem Mandigers (P)
Fallon Sherrock (7) 2-0 Olive Byamukama
Raymond Smith 3-2 Davy van Baelen (P)
Jamie Hughes (4) 3-1 Martin Atkins
Click here for the latest results, updated draw and order of play