BDO World Championships: Jeff Smith to face Scott Waites in final
|BDO World Darts Championships 2016|
|Date: 2-10 January Venue: Lakeside Country Club, Frimley Green|
|Coverage: Watch live on BBC TV, online, mobiles, tablets and BBC Sport app, plus highlights and darts extra programmes.|
Scott Waites will play unseeded Canadian Jeff Smith in Sunday's BDO World Championship final at Lakeside.
Ninth seed Waites, 38, eased past number four seed and fellow Englishman Jamie Hughes 6-1 in his semi-final.
He remains on course for a second world title at Frimley Green, having thrashed Tony O'Shea 7-1 in the 2013 final.
Smith, 40, beat Dutchman Richard Veenstra 6-5 in the other last-four tie, sealing the match with a 10-dart leg.
Scott too hot for Hughes
Waites was the only one of the four semi-finalists to have qualified for a Lakeside final before, and that previous experience appeared to give him an edge early on against Hughes.
After two comeback wins over Geert de Vos and top seed Glen Durrant, this was a comfortable victory for the Yorkshireman.
He was 5-0 up inside 46 minutes, winning 15 of the 19 legs that were played before the interval.
Hughes managed to avoid a whitewash by winning the sixth set but Waites, who has recently recovered from surgery on a long-term shoulder injury, comfortably closed out the match.
He almost did it in style, missing a shot at the bull for a 161 checkout, before a successful attempt at double four saw him through to a second World Championship final.
'Silencer' Smith makes big noise
In contrast to a one-sided first semi-final, the second was as tense as they come.
Modest Canadian Smith is accumulating a growing group of supporters 3,000 miles from home and came through an enthralling contest with Veenstra - who began the tournament as a 66-1 outsider for the title.
Neither player held more than a one-set advantage in the match, but Smith saved his best until last.
Leading 3-2 in the decider, he got seven darts into a perfect leg. Although the magical nine-darter did not materialise, a 10-dart leg was more than enough to see him into the final.
As for Veenstra, reaching the last four on his Frimley Green debut was far beyond his expectations.
He was scheduled to return home to the Netherlands on Tuesday, but had to cancel his boat trip home after knocking out third seed Jeffrey de Graaf in the first round.
The 34-year-old has had a memorable week in Surrey, also knocking out defending champion Scott Mitchell in the quarter-finals, and is definitely a name to look out for in the future.
Key stats from day eight
- Scott Waites could join a select group of players who have won the BDO World Championship title on more than one occasion - John Lowe, Eric Bristow, Jocky Wilson, Phil Taylor, Raymond van Barneveld, Ted Hankey and Martin Adams.
- Jeff Smith is aiming to become the third non-European winner of the BDO World Championship title, following fellow Canadian John Part (1994) and Australia's Tony David (2002).
- Smith's 10-dart leg, which sealed victory against Richard Veenstra, equalled the best leg of the tournament so far.
Jeff Smith: "This year has proved that last year wasn't a fluke. I'm just going to keep doing what I'm doing. Anyone can win tomorrow. You've just got to put your head down, play one leg at a time and see where you end up."
Scott Waites: "That seemed a little bit more straightforward than the other two days. Jamie's such a fantastic player and he didn't perform today."
BBC pundit Bobby George on Waites' win over Hughes: "Obviously you can come back from 5-0 down, but you've got to be right on your game to do it and Hughes wasn't on his game today. If you watched him yesterday [against Wesley Harms] and then watched him today, he didn't seem like the same guy.
"Waites didn't play as well as he has in the games before, because he had the pressure to make him play better. He's done his job, he's in the final."
|Scott Waites||Jeff Smith|
|Nickname||Scotty 2 Hotty||The Silencer|
|Lives||Huddersfield, England||New Brunswick, Canada|
|Previous best||Winner 2013||Semi-final 2015|
|Tournament sets won/lost||18/8||21/8|