Martin ‘Wolfie’ Adams couldn’t capitalise on a superb start as he bowed out of the BDO World Championships at Lakeside today (January 13).
The 60-year from Deeping, the oldest player in the competition’s history, lost 5-4 to fellow Englishman Jamie Hughes after blowing 2-0 and 3-1 leads.
Adams didn’t miss a double or bull finish in his first seven attempts, but his finishing detiorated as the contest went on. The three-time world champion missed an astonishing 16 darts at a finish in the crucial sixth set which Hughes won 3-0 to level the score at 3-3.
Adams did well to take the eighth set to make it 4-4, but he missed five shots at doubles in what turned out to be the final leg of the match. Hughes, the number four seed and a semi-finalist last year, won the ninth set 3-1 to advance to the last four again.
Adams, the number six seed who was trying to claim his 11th semi-final appearance, said: “Today was all about the doubles. I couldn’t miss early on and perhaps I got complacent because I couldn’t buy a double towards the end.
“And once Jamie started to play like he could I started to struggle.
“I thoroughly enjoyed it though. I love playing long matches and the crowd was fantastic.”
Adams won six of the first seven legs as he took the first two sets 3-1 and 3-0, and after Hughes took the fourth set 3-1, Adams hit back to win the fourth set 3-0.
Adams was averaging 105 after four sets, but when the doubles woe began it soon slipped and his final three-dart average was just 92.55, but that still bettered Hughes, who suffered a brainstorm when miscalculating a 126 finish in the eighth set, who averaged 91.98.
In fact Adams outscored Hughes on 180s (9-8) and hammered him in scores in excess of 100 (88-56), but the old maxim of ‘scores for show, doubles for dough’ has never been more appropriate.
The sixth set was crucial as Adams was first to a double in every leg, but missed seven darts at a finish in the first, four in the second and five in the third.
Hughes pulled off a one-dart finish at the bull with Adams waiting on 76 to go 2-1 up in the final set.
Hughes said: “It’s always tough against a man of Martin’s experience. He was on fire at the start and you can’t keep up with a man with 100 per cent finishing.
“I just plugged away and I think Martin got tired as he threw some wayward darts towards the end.”