Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Chelmsford 6 – 4 Black Diamond

Pictured : A practice shot
As expected, tonight's game was a really close affair between to very evenly matched teams. I though Black Diamond played to a better standard than last week, but thankfully we were just that little bit more effective on the finishing doubles. This means both teams have earned 10 valuable points over the two legs.

We lost the opening Team game, with virtually all 12 players having a shot at a finishing double. I'd hit some good scores, but I'm really annoyed I couldn't hit the D5 I was left. I hit S5, D1, S1 to leave the Mad House (Double 1) for the next player up.

I've never seen so many bounce outs in on night, and our opponents seemed to suffer from this bad luck more than we did. We're getting a new dart board soon, but this will be no comfort to those of us who saw important shots bouncing out of the board – not me for once.

I'd been 250 miles away in Birmingham earlier in the day, and I really had to rush to be there in time tonight. The lack of preparation bothered me, but in the event I was able to sink winning shots in my Doubles game with Jean and also in my Singles game, so it didn't really cause a problem for me on the night. In fact, it was a fairly good night for me, with some nice high scores and just the odd poor shot.

Peter is Man Of The Match, scoring a 180 and winning both his Doubles and Singles games. A great performance from him, and he played a big part in forcing the win.

To round the night off nicely I won £5 as both teams played a game of Burma Road at the end of the night. It's the first time opposing players have stayed behind to have a game with us, and I think I deserved to win the kitty by hitting the required bulls eye with my very last dart of the night :o)

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Black Diamond 6 – 4 Chelmsford

Pictured : Roger from our team
Both teams were very closely matched in last night's game, which makes it all the more disappointing that we couldn't win the last Singles game of the night to at least grab a draw.

We lost the opening team game, but Alan and Peter immediately equalised in their Doubles game. There was agony for Willie and myself in our Doubles game, as we each failed several times to hit the Single 1 when finishing from 9. Unbelievable, and this has never been a problem for me in the past. Maybe I've been practising on doubles and trebles too much, and have neglected the singles!

Thankfully Jean and Roger again equalised in their Doubles game to make it 2-2. Alan was narrowly beaten in his Singles game, but again Peter equalised to make it 3-3.

In my Singles game I didn't hit big scores but there were several steady 60's and the bad shots weren't disasters. I finished reasonably well to win my first point of the season to my huge relief. There were no further wins, but we all seemed to be of similar ability and we can hope to make amends in the return leg next week. Peter was Man Of The Match.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Chopwell Central 7 – 3 Chelmsford

Pictured : Chopwell Central

As with last week, this looks like an awful result, but in fact we are satisfied with these 5 points (2+3) which we have gained in a tough start to the season.

In my three throws in the Team game I averaged 72 per throw. This was way above my practice dart stats, but not quite enough against this team as we went down 1-0. Willie and Mark equalised in their Doubles game to make it 1-1, but Jean and I lost our doubles game (she carried me, with my highest score of 60 – sorry!), as well as Lena and Alan in their Doubles game, to make it 3-1 down.

Willie then won his Singles game to pull it back to 3-2 and grab this week's Man Of The Match award, but we didn't win another game until Alan made it 7-3 with the last throw of the night in his Singles game.

In my Singles game I threw some good darts and was looking at two finishes of 40 and 10, but narrowly missed them to be left disappointed but happy with the overall way I played. As a slight point of interest I was questioned for attempting 54 with T14 instead of the supposedly better way of S18. I reject this wholeheartedly – I'd already seen another player bust his finish by hitting an unwanted treble, and was in no mood to follow suit. S14 D20 or T14 D12 is surely the only way to go if you consider the unwanted trebles you may hit IMHO.

Pictured : Practice shots

Chopwell were very sporting and supported our play, and I've enjoyed these last two matches against them. Good luck to them for the rest of the season, and it's an Away game at Black Diamond for us next week. Also, I believe we have yet another new Cup competition on Thursday night, so it's back to the practice board for me.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Chelmsford 2 – 8 Chopwell Central

Not a great start to the season for us, but we normally get brushed by this team, so the two points were almost celebrated.

We were all struggling to get going tonight, and I think my average shot was roughly 50, with a couple of tons and an 81 rescuing the really bad shots.

We went 0-7 down and were dreading yet another brush when Alan stopped the rot with a good point in his Singles game. Better was to follow though, and Peter M takes this week's Man Of The Match award with a superb point, finishing his 501 in approximately 22 darts (nearly 70 points per throw). He rose to their level, and we need to do the same for next week's return leg.

The season is now underway, and we have a large enough squad to rotate the team according to individual performance. On this performance only Alan and Peter have written their names on next week's team sheet in my opinion.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Regional Finals – result

I'm afraid we're now out of the Draught Bass / Holsten Darts Classic, but I am very proud of our display today. We beat Victoria E (Edinburgh) 5-1, and lost to the excellent West Port (Arbroath) 5-1, which meant that the third “group” game was not played, as it was inconsequential because we couldn't overhaul West Port to top the group and head for Derbyshire in the finals.

The venue was the Duke of Wellington, Kenton Road, Newcastle Upon Tyne. Of the 16 teams competing there were many from Scotland, as well as Hartlepool, Berwick, Newcastle, and Staindrop amongst others.

This was a superb occasion for me, being the biggest event I have played in. Lots of nerves were on display from most of us, but we came through it to give a very good account of ourselves, and we were full value for our place in the Regional Finals.

My lowlights were a few scores of 31, but my highlights were a nice 140 and some great finishing, and I managed to sink three winning doubles at the first time of asking to bag 3 of the 6 points we won on the day. This is really important to me, as I can forgive a few stray darts as long as I hit the finishes.

The format was 4 groups of 4 teams, each playing three games of three Doubles games (701), plus six Singles games (501), with the first team to score 5 points winning the match. The four group winners will now go to the Finals in Derbyshire.

In my first Doubles game paired with Peter I finished the 32 with a miss, then D8, D8. In my first Singles game I finished 57 in two darts (S17, D20), and in my second Doubles game with Peter I finished 40 with the first dart. This is far more precise finishing than I manage on the practice board, so to do it under the pressure of these games is really pleasing. Also, being paired with a senior player adds extra pressure in needing not to let him down, and by hitting the winning doubles in three of the four games I was involved in I feel I did well overall.

Special thanks to Lyndon and his staff for opening up early this morning to feed us and pass free drinks to the team before our trip – very much appreciated.