- BDO World Championship
George marches on to set up Waites semi
Richie George's Lakeside fairy tale continued as he produced a thrilling comeback to reach the BDO World Championship semi-finals with a 5-4 victory over Jan Dekker.
George followed in the footsteps of his father Bobby, a two-time finalist at the event, as he battled back from 3-1 down to set up a last-four clash with Scott Waites.
Dekker looked to be firmly on course for victory at 3-1 after some wayward darts from George, but the Brit rallied to claw himself back into the match before winning a deciding set.
After winning a tight opening set against the throw, George appeared to capitulate and Dekker raced through the second set, winning nine out of 11 legs to take a 3-1 lead.
But George, making his debut in the competition, began to find his rhythm again and back-to-back 13-darters helped him take advantage in the fifth set. With the momentum now fully in his favour, George continued his march, and a double ten saw him draw level having been down and out at the end of the fourth set.
After the interval George once again was guilty of losing focus, but made the doubles when he needed to take a 4-3 lead. An 86 checkout saw him break throw early in the eighth set, but Dekker dug deep to force a decisive ninth set.
But that setback failed to deter George, and when Dekker hit 13 when aiming for double four to level the final set, the result appeared inevitable as George sealed the victory.
"I played well when I had to play well, and when I didn't have to play well I played terrible," George told ESPN. "It's the same old story again. I hit the finishes when I had to but three sets of it were awful."
George will face Scott Waites in the semi-finals after the third seed survived a late wobble to beat Paul Jennings 5-2. Waites, the red-hot favourite for the title, broke his Lakeside hoodoo as he reached the semi-finals for the first time.
Waites made a real statement of intent as he opened with a 156 checkout in the opening leg, before a finish of 142 saw him seal the opening set.
It was more of the same as he powered to a 4-0 lead, but on the brink of victory, Waites appeared to falter. Jennings won back-to-back sets to halve the deficit, but Waites held his nerve to book his place in the last four.