HUDDERSFIELD’S Scott Waites tackles Ted Hankey tonight as he aims for a quarter-final place in this year’s BDO Lakeside World Professional Darts Championships.
And the Outlane-based player will be looking for a repeat of last year’s first round match at Frimley Green, when he ditched former champion Hankey – nicknamed ‘The Count’ – in straight sets.
The 34-year-old Waites, from Outlane, earned his place in this year’s second round after beating Andy Boulton 3-1 in a tough 42-minute opener, which needed all his expert finishing skills to see him safely through.
He narrowly missed taking the opening leg of the match against the throw when he wired bull for what would have been a show-stopping 123 finish, but he then levelled the set and went ahead with 106 and 116 checkouts.
Joint favourite Scott Waites then blasted the week’s biggest finish of 156 (since improved to 160) when he hit two treble 20’s and a double 18 to take the opening leg of the second set before karaoke-loving Boulton came back to edge the second set.
But from that point 2011 World Master Waites steamrollered his opponent with some solid finishing, including another checkout of 134, as he took the contest 3-1.
“Fortunately, it was my doubles that got me through,” said Bradford-born Waites, who plays locally for the Dusty Miller at Longwood in the Golcar Darts League, and for the Foresters at Crosland Moor in the Primrose Hill and Newsome League.
“It’s always a relief when you get through the first round, and I did find it a struggle to get my range on the trebles, although I was pleased with my finishing overall and had several good checkouts.”
Waites will now face former double winner Hankey, who scraped into the last 16 after just seeing off debutant Clive Barden 3-2.
The ‘Count’ lost a 2-0 lead and had to dig deep as the match went into a nailbiting fifth set.
Twelve months ago Waites swept Hankey aside when he notched 19 tons, including a 154, to get his Championship away to a solid start, before losing out to St Helens’ Steve Bunting in the second round.
Waites has already ensured a minimum payday of £3,000 for reaching the second round, but after a successful 2011 which saw him win the Masters, British Open and WDF World Cup, the Outlane sharpshooter – who started the tournament as joint favourite with holder Martin Adams – will have his sights sets on richer pickings, like the £100,000 winner’s prize, not to mention the trophy and prestigious title of World No1.
Tonight’s best-of-seven sets second round clash, broadcast on BBC2 is scheduled for a 6.30pm start.