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Darts: Mitchell makes big impact in Holland
7:00am Wednesday 12th December 2012 in Latest Sport
DORSET darter Scott Mitchell overcame horrendous travel problems to reach his first ever TV semi-final.
The Bransgore ace made the last four of the prestigious Zuiderduin Masters, one of the BDO’s flagship events, to make a huge statement of intent ahead of the Lakeside world championships next month.
Mitchell, though, was lucky to even reach the event, held at Egmond, north of Amsterdam, after heavy snow fell on the Dutch city.
‘Scotty Dog’ told the Echo: “Heavy snow hit Amsterdam overnight on Thursday and, in particular, Schiphol Airport where we were due to land.
“I was due to fly at 6.45am from Southampton and was delayed. Stephen Bunting (world number one) eventually bagged a lift to Holland via Facebook after his flight from Liverpool was cancelled!
“Eventually, we got on the plane at 10am and, after a bumpy landing through a snow cloud, we got to Schiphol.”
Mitchell got off to the worst possible start when he was beaten 5-3 by home favourite Michel van der Horst in his opening group game and needed to see off Bryan de Hoog by to progress to the last eight, with the Dutchman needing only two legs to snatch the quarter-final place.
Mitchell stormed into a 4-0 lead and, despite de Hoog hitting back in the fifth leg, the Dorset thrower completed a 5-1 win to win Pool F and set up a mouth-watering quarter-final clash against last year’s world championship runner-up Tony O’Shea.
Mitchell flew out of the traps against the Stockport man, winning the opening leg with a 156 checkout, before clinching the first set 3-1.
With the second set locked at 2-2, O’Shea was sitting pretty on 100, but Mitchell took out 120 to move two sets in front.
Mitchell’s stunning form continued in the third set as he checked out 121 with O’Shea sat on double top and, although the Dorset county star missed 83 for the match, O’Shea fluffed his lines on 64 and Mitchell hit double eight to secure a stunning 3-0 triumph.
Mitchell, though, met his match in the last four when he was paired against Scouser Bunting.
The Lakeside favourite stormed to the first set 3-0 and, running a 100 average, he continued to dominate when winning the second set 3-1.
Mitchell claimed the first leg of the third set, before going 2-1 in front and claiming the set with a pinpoint double five.
Bunting, though, held his nerve and took out double eight to claim the fourth set 3-1 and the match 3-1.
Mitchell added: “I played a guy on the top of his game and came up slightly short, but I was happy to show I can play well on TV.
“Funnily enough, we had more travel problems on the way home.
“Our 40-minute taxi ride to the airport took an hour and 20 minutes and we ran through the airport to make the flight only to find it had been delayed for 40 minutes!”