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Darts: Tearful Mitchell celebrates Lakeside success
EMOTIONAL Scott Mitchell broke his Lakeside world championship duck and then shed tears of joy on the oche.
The Bransgore ace was clearly overwhelmed as he rested his head on the dartboard after keeping his cool to beat Mark Barilli 3-2 in a deciding set this afternoon.
In his fourth appearance at Frimley Green, Mitchell finally made it past the first round as he overcame a mid-match slump to see off the Scotsman.
Struggling to hit his doubles at times, missing seven in a row at one stage, the 42-year-old regained his composure right on cue to spark jubilant scenes among a bumper crowd.
The 12th seed, known as ‘Scotty Dog’, will now face compatriot Robbie Green, conqueror of champion Christian Kist, in the second round on Tuesday.
Mitchell, whose clash was televised live on BBC, was cheered on by family members who also displayed their emotions at the long-awaited win.
The Dorset thrower, launching darts with his trademark pink flights, was visibly slowing down the game at times, in stark contrast to sharp-shooter Barilli who let the arrows fly at considerable speed.
Initially, Mitchell started rapidly as he raced into a 1-0 lead in sets and a 2-0 advantage in legs before Barilli managed to open his account.
But missed doubles then proved costly as Scotty Dog lost his bark and his opponent edged 2-1 in front.
A huge sigh of relief followed when Mitchell levelled the match before he fittingly checked out on the productive double top to claim victory.
The England international, a big AFC Bournemouth and Poole Pirates supporter, received congratulatory Twitter messages from Cherries stars Steve Fletcher and Marc Pugh after reaching the second round.