Thursday, January 26, 2006

Jolly Drovers 5 - 5 Chelmsford

A disappointing evening, which for me personally was almost a carbon copy of my performance in the home tie against The Drovers last week; We started well and won the Team game, with my average score being >70. I was paired with Brian in the Doubles game, and we took a 0-2 lead with a comfortable win. I threw a 140 and scored two 80+ shots to leave us well in the lead when Brian finished on the 10 I left him (S5, S1, D2).

By the time I played my Singles game we had a 2-3 lead and I was throwing very consistently. I seemed to be on my way to a win, but messed up my D20 finish and my opponent was straight in with a one dart finish on the D20 as if to reiterate the importance of good finishing. This is a lesson I seem to be learning on a daily basis ;o)

Chelmsford then lost the next two games, but Willie and Allan won the last two points to give us a 5-5 draw on the night. To top off a disappointing evening we lost 5-0 in the dominoes. There’ll be an updated league table this week, so we’ll see what this means to us.

Man Of The Match goes to Brian, who threw well and won all three games he was involved with.

Jolly Drovers feedback

The picture is from an earlier practice session in the house, which no doubt caused me to think it would be a good idea to try and leave "tops" in my Singles game. How wrong I was.

Anyway, The Drovers’ board is a Winmau SFB with rounded wires and staples, surrounded by a rope guard. The board itself is housed in a narrow alcove which makes it very cramped for the players and the marker. I’d like to see them move the board to one side of the narrow alcove rather than being central, as this would give the marker more room to work in.

The board lighting was a little dim, and I was sure the board was an inch low, but this may be due to a slant on the floor. As usual the buffet was excellent, and they had hand drawn Black Sheep at the bar.

Friday, January 20, 2006

Lyndon's "2nd Anniversary" Evening

Pictured : A 180 on the practice board

Last night was the 2nd anniversary of Lyndon’s tenure of The Chelmsford, and a big night was planned. Unfortunately the singer we had booked was unable to attend, so we almost had no entertainment for the evening. The buffet was never in any danger, but we really wanted some entertainment to go with it.

Heath then had the idea of Darts / Dominoes / Pool competitions. I printed some fixture sheets for the three 16 way competitions, and we managed to get more than 12 people to participate in each, on what was a busy and enjoyable evening in The Chelmsford.

I won the Darts, John S won the Dominoes, and Stephen won the Pool. All three winners received a bottle of Champagne, and I hope we have more nights like this in the future.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Chelmsford 8 – 2 Jolly Drovers

A great result for the team, but disappointment for me personally as I lost my Singles game to be one of the only two to drop points. It all started so well for me, scoring 100, 99, and 136 with my three shots in the opening Team game to get us off to a winning start. That’s an average throw of 112, and accounted for a third of the 1001 points the six of us needed.

In my Doubles game paired with Roger I threw some slack shots (as did all four of us), but I redeemed myself with a couple of tons at the right time and a one dart finish on the D10 Roger left for me.

Things were going well, and we took a 5-0 lead before I spoilt the run and lost in my Singles game. I was well beaten too, needing 190+ at the time my opponent finished on D14. Just a scrappy win in this game would’ve sealed a great night, so I was really deflated.

Willie then lost his Singles game to make it 5-2, but from this point Peter, Brian, and Alan all won to make it 8-2 and give us our best result for months. No "Man Of The Match" this week, as it is a tie between Roger / Alan / Peter / Brian who won all the games they were involved in.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Smelters 6 – 4 Chelmsford

What a great night we all had up in Castleside to play The Smelters. They’re 5th in the league and we’re 12th, so 4 points is a decent result for us. The match itself was memorable, and read on for a dramatic ending :

We weren’t doing too well in the opening Team Game of 1001, and my scores were ordinary. However, we kept track with them down the board, and my final shot was 125 to leave Lena 58 to finish on. Smelters missed their chance to finish, and Lena finished in 2 darts with a strange but effective choice of D20, D9!

Then we had a very lean spell, losing the next six legs, and were drifting towards a heavy defeat. In the Singles game I had the opportunity to play one of the top 5 players in our League, Timmy. I couldn’t get going in my match, and lost without ever getting anywhere near his score.

We then had an amazing spell to win the final three legs. Willie again won his Singles match, Roger is in great form and finished on D1 in a nail biter, and then Peter put one hand on the "Highest Finish of the season" trophy by checking out with a spectacular 150 (T20, T18, D18). It was absolutely brilliant, and this pro quality finish gets him this week’s Man Of The Match.

Fingers crossed this will remain the highest finish of the season and Peter brings some silverware back to the Chelmsford on Presentation Night. Even last night Smelters missed a 170 finish by the width of a wire, so we’ll need some luck.

I had a chat with Timmy after our Singles match and was amazed to discover he doesn’t practice at all any more, and only gets his darts out on a Tuesday night. Also, he only ever loses a handful of Singles games each season (typically 3 from 28 games), so I really could’ve made a name for myself if I’d played out of my skin and beaten him :o)

Smelters Feedback

From this point forward I’ll drop the categories I’ve been using and just provide the feedback in free form:

Their board is a Winmau Diamond with blade wires, and is a huge improvement on their board last season. The lighting was a little dim, and I think the beam was trained on the top half of the board. The oche is a brass strip very similar to ours.

It was a very quiet evening in The Smelters, with only a small handful of non dart players present, but they laid on a terrific post match meal which included a hot pot dish with roast potato slices.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Practice makes . . . erm

Although my DartPro averages over the 10 months since April ’05 have fluctuated, they certainly haven’t fluctuated very much. The monthly averages have been :

53, 52, 51, 54, 56, 53, 50, 54, 53, and 53

These are the averages in many hundreds of games of 501 straight start, and they include the darts taken to sink the finishing double. Getting stuck on D1 can ruin the stats, and needs to be "equalised" by a few 15 darters every now and then, but the monthly average always seem to come around to 52 ish.

So what does all the hard graft result in? Just consolidation really, and it takes me 10 throws to finish a game of 501. In order to gain a tangible improvement I’ll have to increase my average to 56 and above, as this is the point at which I’d be completing my games of 501 in nine throws as opposed to ten (see the chart, above).

Anyway, I’d better get back to the practice board for some more consolidation . . .

Monday, January 09, 2006

League Update, January 2006

1) Cricketers, 119
2) Steel Club, 107
3) Coach & Horses, 98
4) Chopwell Central, 92
5) Leadgate Cricket, 79
5) Smelters, 79
7) Commercial, 77
8) Castleside Inn, 73
9) Derwentside, 72
10) Shotley Club, 67
11) Stanley Masons (A), 61
12) Chelmsford, 58
13) Black Diamond, 44
13) Stanley Masons (B), 44
15) Jolly Drovers, 42

Although we are still fourth from bottom we’ve narrowed the gap between ourselves and the team immediately above us from 7 points to 3 points since the last update. The gap between ourselves and our placing of 9th last season remains the same at 14 points.

Looking at the remaining fixtures we only have five more teams to meet, and the majority of them are our immediate neighbours in the league, with the exception of 2nd placed Steel Club. Therefore there are some points up for grabs between well matched teams, and there is sure to be a tense end to the season.

Following our tough return leg at Smelters tomorrow night we face Jolly Drovers (15th), Stanley Masons B (14th), Steel Club (2nd), Stanley Masons A (11th), and Castleside (in our target position of 8th).

Smelters Preparation

Pictured : The Smelters, Castleside

I’ve have an up and down week on the practice board; poor scores on DartPro, a terrible night in the Chelmsford where I could barely win a game (losing mostly to Roger), but last night a really good evening with Alan, Willie, Lena and John where I finally started throwing consistently and was hitting most of the targets. I won the first game of Golf, but Lena beat me in a tie-break in the second (final) game. These team games of Golf are the ones to win, and we get really involved in them. I’ll post the rules soon.

Still, I think I’ve found the biggest problem in my game. I don’t release the dart well and put an unwanted spin on the darts which sees them veering off to the left and lying at an angle. Tonight I’ll just be practising the release and trying to get my DartPro stats for Jan ‘06 a little more respectable (I’m aiming for mid 50’s, but have so far only just reached 50).

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Chelmsford 3 – 7 Smelters

We started poorly, losing the 1001 Team Game by quite a large margin. I was disgusted with my average of only 36 over my two throws in this leg, and I think the pressure of being back in the team was making me try too hard.

Luckily I then managed to get some smooth, consistent throwing back for my Doubles and Singles games. I averaged 75 per throw scoring nothing under 60 in my Doubles Game with Jean against Tim and Nancy. We lost this game, but in my Singles game against Nancy I kept up the same pace and consistency, and won with a finish on D8.

Our other two points came from the winning finishes of Willie in his Doubles game paired with Roger, and Alan in his Singles game.

Man Of The Match goes to Willie for again finishing well and getting an important point when we were 0-2 down and needing to get our first point on the board. A special mention goes to Tim in their team who was in superb form, scoring two 180’s in the warm-up darts and virtually nothing under 100 during match play. He won most of the silverware at last season’s presentation night and is one of the best players in our league in my opinion.

There was good news on the Dominoes front, with the team winning 4-1 overall, with me winning my match 3-1.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

2006 Begins

We kick off 2006 tonight with a Home game against The Smelters from Castleside. They'll be strong favourites to win both legs, but we need the points if we're to climb the table from 12th of 15 team teams.

The remaining fixtures are :

03/01/06 - Chelmsford V Smelters
10/01/06 - Smelters V Chelmsford
17/01/06 - Chelmsford V Jolly Drovers
24/01/06 - Jolly Drovers V Chelmsford
31/01/06 - Chelmsford V Stanley Masons (B)
07/02/06 - Stanley Masons (B) V Chelmsford
14/02/06 - Steel Club V Chelmsford
21/02/06 - Chelmsford V Steel Club
14/03/06 - Chelmsford V Stanley Masons (A)
21/03/06 - Stanley Masons (A) V Chelmsford
28/03/06 - Chelmsford V Castleside
04/04/06 - Castleside V Chelmsford
18/04/06 - League Knock Out 1st Round
25/04/06 - League Knock Out 2nd Round
02/05/06 - League Knock Out Semi Finals
09/05/06 - Singles 1st Round
16/05/06 - Singles 2nd Round
30/05/06 - Doubles 1st Round
06/06/06 - Doubles 2nd Round
20/06/06 - Finals Night
27/06/06 - League Knock Out Final