REVITALIZED Scott Mitchell reckons swapping packets of crisps for apples and oranges is paying off – after venturing deep into the Dutch Open.

The Bransgore thrower dropped an astonishing nine pounds in weight last week following a health kick which he started at the end of January.

And the 46-year-old believes his dietary shift bore fruit at the notoriously competitive tournament in Assen, where he won nine matches to reach the singles semi-finals and triumphed in the pairs.

Mitchell told the Daily Echo: "I doubt I'll ever be the complete sportsperson with the game I'm playing but I'm all for anything which can help you.

"I'm not out there to lose five stone or anything silly like that, it's just about making my food give me more energy. Instead of getting a bag of crisps when I'm hungry, I get an apple or an orange instead.

"It's not to change my size in any way but it just makes the longer days a bit easier. Dropping nine pounds last week didn't half help at the Dutch Open!

"I'm changing my mindset on how and when I eat and seeing where it takes me. I'm eating the same amount of food so it's not as if I'm hungry!

"For the first couple of weeks it seems to have been working but how long I can resist and stay on it, who knows?"

Taking his place in a men's tournament of around 3,000 players, Mitchell came through seven matches to reach the last 16, seeing off William Franken (3-1), Robin Hand (3-0), Rients Visser (3-1), Mark van de Ven (3-1), Steffan Schroer (3-0), Ron Wisniewski (4-2) and Stephen Rose (4-2).

'Scotty Dog' thrashed Lakeside youth champion Justin van Tergouw 4-0 next before sinking Richie Edwards 5-3, only to lose out 2-0 (3-2, 3-2) to Scotland's Ross Montgomery in the semis.

Elsewhere, the Dorset county thrower enjoyed pairs success alongside James Hurrell, the duo banking a 5-4 victory over Mark McGeeney and Craig Quinn in the final.

That drew Mitchell level on pairs wins at the Dutch Open with Raymond van Barneveld and Co Stompe, who have won three apiece, although Martin Adams leads the way on four.

Mitchell, who is today due to undergo a scan on his troublesome right knee, has been named in the England squad for the British International Championships.

The event will see England take on Scotland and Wales at Cedar Court Hotel in Bradford at the end of March.