Monday, December 29, 2008

Unicorn Hero 95% TA, 27g

Now I've had the chance to use my recovered darts alongside the replacements I can see a couple of differences between them. You can see in the picture the new gold ones have a slightly longer grip area and the the part where the point joins the barrel is slightly less bulbous. The new ones are exactly 27.0 grammes as opposed to 26.9 (they are laser etched with their weights to 0.1g precision).

These differences cause no problems at all, but the grip on the new ones is far more effective, and this is causing a worse release and my darts are veering to the left. I think this will decrease as they take a bit more damage and become smoother, but in the meantime I'll use the old ones for matches and the new ones for practice. Overcoming the poor release on the new ones seems to help overall technique when using the match darts, so I think this arrangement will work well.

Now I have tried these in both the Latinum and plain finishes I can see the benefit of Latinum. Maybe it is best to get them in this smoother finish and then roughen them up with the blade of a metal file if required. The pattern on the plain finish is extremely grippy.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Moorcock 4 - 6 Chelmsford

I don't think too many of us settled into our games tonight as we saw several good leads wasted. On any other night I think we'd have scored a few more points but we just seemed determined to make a close game of it.

What a great location up at The Moorcock though. It feels like it should be aother County as you drive West past Castleside and out onto the moors.

Sunday, December 21, 2008


Many thanks to Paul for finding my darts and passing them on.

Losing them was easy enough; being stupid enough to take them out with the dog for a walk in a coat that doesn't have decent pockets, but getting them returned was a harder journey. Someone found them and left them in a prominent position on a fence. Paul spotted them and left them thinking that the owner would find them easier if he left them where they were. Then he remembered the blog and matched the "lost" story. By this time they'd fallen off the fence and were in a field.

Many thanks to him for digging them out and letting me know. A huge relief, and I'm getting my 26's with the haymakers now :o)

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

New Darts

Unicorn Golden Hero 95% 27g

I lost my regular set of darts last week. Maybe they'll turn up somewhere, but in the meantime I have been using the excellent Harrows Magnum 27g's. They're the best set I've ever owned (courtesy of Les allowing me to swap with him when we were given a free set each in Barbados), but sometimes they can be "twitchy" ; my tons become 140's with them, but the 45's become 26's if that makes any sort of sense.

I bet if I stuck in with them they'd be "the ones", but they're no longer available in 27g and I don't want to become dependant upon a dart which is no longer manufactured.

I've therefore ordered direct replacements for the Unicorn Hero 27g's from Pure Darts, and I've opted for the titanium finish pictured. When they arrive I'll need to file the points down to 2.5cm, so while I do that I may need to call upon the Magnums again for next week's game.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Team Cup Competition V Jolly Drovers

Tonight we played the Team Cup Competition where dominoes wins are just as important as darts wins. Basically it's a Team game of 1001 DSDF darts followed by a Singles game of dominoes, with the games swinging between the two disciplines until a winner is found.

We had no problems in the darts at all, but the dominoes were causing concern. Thankfully Roger hit the winning double for us in the final game of the night, but it was Willie who lead the way for us, sinking a D1 in one of the darts games and then winning his dominoes game.

Its a strange format, but this puts us into the final four. I was happy enough with my own game, but you don't get that many shots at the board in this format so it was hard to get into any sort of true rhythm.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Chelmsford 7 - 3 Stanley Masons

Picture from last week's Away game

We carried a bit of good luck in last night's game, with several wayward shots finding their way into D20 and T12 etc. Mark H even scored a lucky ton with two unintentional D20s. Apart from that he played a strong game though, leading the way in the Team Game and carrying me in our doubles game.

Dawn from their team will be sick of the sight of me after four games against me in three weeks in Singles, Doubles, and Cup. There were many similarities to last week's game.

We're still quite low in the league table, but these 14 points in the last fortnight should see us moving in the right direction.

Saturday, December 06, 2008

"Too Many" on a 72 finish

I mentioned in the previous post I avoid finishes that can "bust" if the first dart is wayward, but I noticed Bobby George took this to a higher level while commenting on the World Masters Darts today.

For a 72 finish he avoids my favoured T12 route as if you're left with 60 after the first dart you can bust it while aiming for a S20 to leave D20. It's a fair point, especially after seeing this happen on the stage today.

So I've had a bit of a rethink about a finish which was previously a reflex. The T20 approach must also be ruled out, as with 52 remaining you'd have the same problem on the S20. By illimination this just leaves the T16 route : Getting the treble leaves D12, but the single would leave 56. Again, I'd avoid S20 for the afforementioned reason and go S16 to leave D20 where an unwanted treble would still leave a nice D4.

This is hard to follow, isn't it? I bet I just go T12 next time I'm on 72 :o)

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Stanley Masons 3 - 7 Chelmsford

A Stanley sunset by Karen Burnip

It was a bitterly cold night last night and it was no surprised to find both our own bar and the Stanley Masons deserted apart from the participants themselves. We were at full strength apart from our non-playing captain's absence, but SM were missing one of their best players.

I've picked up a virus with all the dog walking in the early morning frost so it was just a night I wanted to get through, and I think I played a decent game under the circumstances. Hopefully It'll clear up by next Tuesday if I look after myself.

There weren't too many moments worthy of mention, but our new player Kris has developed a really steady throw and is hitting the steady S20's which are so valuable at this level.

Actually, one thing worthy of mention: I noticed one of our players tackle a 49 finish by going S17, D16. As so often happens he bust it by hitting an unwanted T17 with the first dart. I'll blog about this aspect of finishing later, as I would have tried S9, D20 to avoid that. Even an unwanted T9 would have left a nice D11 at shoulder height. We all know s**t happens, so why give it a helping hand?

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Chelmsford 7 - 3 Punch Bowl

A picture from the Away leg a fortnight ago

A result that flatters us a bit, but seven valuable points nonetheless. We won the opening Team Game to give us a 50% success rate in Team Games for the season so far. Punch Bowl immediately equalised in the next Doubles game but from that point we showed some good finishing to built a lead.

I was pleased with my own game and managed to show some proper focus. I think this is the result of a reduced practice regime, meaning that I approach match nights as a change rather than just part of a weekly slog. I just have the one practice session a week now to try and improve my throw and become steadier.

Some good news is that Peter Mc will be available for all of the games up to January at least so there'll be some good competition for selection.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008


Remember the new puppy I blogged about in May? He's fairly grown up now (7 months) and has rapidly become a really well trained dog. This is just the breed rather than my skills though. Labs are just so compliant you can't go wrong with them.

He has loads of commands and tricks. The one and only darts command he has is visual; When I point at my darts he gets up off the floor and walks away from the practice oche, well out of bounce-out range.

One command I'm proud of with him though is "other side"; he'll be walking to heel off lead and swaps over to the opposite side. This is really handy on the Derwent Walk when cycles and other dogs approach.

And with Labs they'll stick to the rules you set like sitting calm when a sheep or other dog appears even if you are 40 yards away - he'll just sit and wait for you to catch up with him.

Top dog. I can't wait to see what he can do at a year. Maybe retrieving the bounce-outs might suit his breed - and save my back :o)

Cup Doubles Competition

Practice shot on the Mad House

Roger and I got through to the next round of the Cup Doubles competition last night at the Wheatsheaf in Leadgate. We didn't play very well but managed to scrape through 2-1 against Buck and Dawn from Stanley Masons in a game where none of the four will have been happy with our performances.

The other games on the night were of a much higher standard, and Roger and I will have to play far better than we did to get any further when the next round is played next March.

To take a positive I thought our finishing was decent, but that usually happens when the score building isn't good.

Meanwhile back at The Chelmsford Alan P and Peter M got through with a "bye".

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Punch Bowl 4 - 6 Chelmsford

We had our first trip to League newcomers The Punch Bowl of Edmundbyers last night. It's a smart country pub in the traditional style with an open plan layout, and it's a 7 mile drive through the back roads from Ebchester.

They're a comparatively young team and although we got off to a good start the matches started going their way. We needed to win the final two Singles matches to secure a narrow victory.

One of their players finished his 501 game in 19 darts and it would have been even less if he hadn't slipped up on two throws.

We have the Cup Doubles competition next week before we host the return leg against the Punch Bowl on the 25th of November.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Deflectagrip Stems

The new range of Deflectafrips

I noticed from the new Tommys Darts catalogue that the humble Deflectagrip stems have undergone a bit of an image change recently, and their online store Puredarts reflects the changes.

I'm all for change and trying new products, but the Fluro, GLO, and 2 Tone additions to the usual choice of just plain old Black / Blue / Red / White seem to have undermined the age old beauty and selling point of the Deflectagrips : They're boring. Unashamedly and utterly boring. No matter how many dart barrels and flight shapes I've tinkered with the Deflectagrips are the constant where you fit a set and know you're not going to be replacing any broken ones for months on end. Sometimes I swap between Short tand Medium, but that's it.

I enjoyed using the aluminium and titanium ones earlier in the year, but I wouldn't dream of taking them on a trip away from base like the the Barbados tourney because the spares I'd need would take up too much luggage space! With the Deflectagrips I'd take four sets with me and bring back two unopened.

So, it's nice to have a wider choice, but I don't think I'll be exercising that choice thanks. I prefer to think of them as dependable rather than boring ;o)

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Chelmsford 3 - 7 Cricketers

As expected the Blackhill Cricketers put last week's poor start behind them. Consistent scoring ond good finishing saw them win the opening Team Game and all three of the Doubles games. This put us 0-4 down and we needed to scrape a few points in the remaining six Singles game to avoid a heavy defeat.

7 points from 2 games are a reasonable return for us against The Cricketers though, and believe me when your opponents are disappointed with throws like 135 you know you're in for a tough time and every point counts.

They're hosting a competition at the weekend, and I'll do my best to enter it. It's all good experience and I'm sure it'll be a great event.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

The Castleside Inn

Sadly The Castleside Inn have dropped out of the League, and all points scored against them are void.

It's really sad to lose a team and I suspect they've suffered from the problems that most pubs and clubs have been facing for the last few years.

The Beer & Pub Association report that pub closures are approaching 30 a week (source), and it's worrying times for a game like darts which is heavily dependant upon the pubs that we play in. Special events and unique selling points can only go so far to compete for the pound in your pocket during times of economic uncertainty.

All the best to Noel and co. up there, and I hope they're able to field a team at some point in the future.

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Cricketers 6 - 4 Chelsmford

Picture from Stevie's phone camera, thanks

We had a great night up in Blackhill on Tuesday. The Cicketers are one of the League's best teams so we had the chance to pit ourselves against a team who will be in the top two at the end of the season.

There was EPL football being screened in the main bar so we had to play in the side room, but this turned out to be a good thing as they erected their full size professional standard oche. The lighting was flawless and the throw was absolutely perfect. If the other bars have made no changes to their boards from last season I can confiedntly say that this is the best throw in the league. Strangely I think they only use this set-up when the main bar can't be used. The stage must take some setting up I suppose.

On a night where Cricketers took a while to settle we took some good early points in the opening Team game and the Doubles games. This settled us, as no matter how positive you feel mentally there's always the chance of getting beaten soundly against the top three teams.

I predict a backlash from them next week. This will feel like 4 points lost to them and we'll need to be focussed.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

The Blackhill Cricketers Darts Team

Photo from the Blackhill Cricketers site

The Blackhill Cricketers Darts Team now have an online presence at Blackhill Darts. There are a few sections under construction, but it's a great idea to have a team site and I'll check it for updates throughout the season.

They're certainly piling the points on in the League.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Singles Cup night -- Coach & Horses

We had a strangely low key and quiet night up at the Coach & Horses, Leadgate tonight. I endured the best and worst of my own game to scrape through to the last 16 for the first time. At one point I had the dreaded 1-0 lead and throwing really well against the darts to clinch it, but my finishing deserted me and it had to go to the wire in the 3rd leg.

I was a bit disappointed to get all of the poor mental game that I've done so much to remove from my League games come back on Cup night, but I did just enough to make it through to the second round where the heat will really be on and we can see those problems properly magnified :o)

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Chelmsford 6 - 4 The Turf

Pictured : On my wish list - the John Part Unicorn "Hero Golden" 95%

Most of the players from both teams "upped" their games from last week, and this resulted in a very close match where all of games went right to the wire. The Turf brought good support with them which made for a great atmosphere.

Sadly for us our newest player Kris has switched job and wasn't there. He's now working up at Slaley Hall and is unlikely to make many more appearances for us. On the other hand our old stalwart Chris picked up the darts for his first game during my time with the team, and he played a very strong game despite losing his Singles game.

I personally had a few problems score building, but my finishing was good. I never seem to get both aspects together these days.

A very enjoyable evening and I'll be watching for The Turf in the League, as I think they'll pick up a lot of points and do well this season.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

The Turf 3 - 7 Chelmsford

A good result for our team, and I had to console myself with a "team" performance, getting the winning doubles in the opening Team game and my Doubles game with Roger, but losing in my Singles game. Too many of my first darts were straying into the 5's.

Peter and Alan were our most consistent players on a night where we never felt comfortable or settled. The Turf's board is Unicorn Eclipse like my practice board (excellent, and needless to say there were no bounce outs on the night), but it is the stark lighting which takes some getting used to.

After my long walk home from The Turf last season I made sure I was first on the team bus :o)

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

The Blackhill Ward Knock Out, 1st Round

We had a break from the League last night and played Stanley Masons at home in the The Blackhill Ward Knock Out, 1st Round.

The format is a mix of darts and dominoes. The darts consist of three team games of 1001 DSDF, and although we got the right result with a 2-1 win in the darts none of us really settled and played well. In one game both teams struggled to even get a steady 60.

The other two legs were OK though and I was pleased to get the D9 finish in the opening game.

The dominoes result went the right way too, and we've progressed into the next round which will be played on the 16th December 2008.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Chelmsford 4 - 6 Coach & Horses

A neat practice shot. They landed in the board from left to right.

C&H played a much better game than last week, yet we were still able to score 4 points to take the total to a reasonable 25 from 4 games. After going 0-3 down with C&H showing impressive form it was a relief to get something out of the game, and C&H only secured the win in the final leg of the night.

Performance of the night has to go to C&H's Billy who hit the winning finished in his Team, Doubles, and Singles games. Every time he was looking at a double he hit it.

C&H's Ian scored a 180 and immediately followed it with a 123 which was millimetres away from being a consecutive maximum.

Alan P from our team finished from 66 in impressive manner; after bouncing out on the T10 with his first dart he then succeeded with the 2 dart out shot of S16, Bull.

I was fairly happy with my own game overall, but like the rest of our team I was a bit of a slow starter.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Coach & Horses 6 - 4 Chelmsford

Unicorn Hero 95% T/A, 27g

We got off to a bad start last night, trailing by 300 points in the opening 1001X Team Game and allowing C&H the luxury of a leisurely point.

From this point though C&H seemed to ease off and a couple of them didn't play to their usual standards. This allowed us into the game and we managed to pick up 4 points and even feel we could have had more.

Kris and Alan P both hit a string of high scoring shots in their Singles games, and I was pleased with my own game. I think practising less is making me feel a bit more relaxed on match nights, and I'll post about this soon.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Chelmsford 8 - 2 Castleside

Good vertical accuracy on a practice board 180

Castleside made some minor changes to their team from last week, and most of the games were close despite the score. I found from my chats with them
last week that many of them don't play that often. This always rings the alarm bells for me and I went to great lengths to stay focused and take nothing for granted. The points they won in the Singles game against our rising player Kris and the Doubles game with our senior player Peter demonstrates this point.

The performance of the evening went to one of their players from Wigan who is currently contract working up here. He hit the highest finish of the night by taking out a 91 finish against Kris in a Singles game with an unconventional but effective T20 / S11 / D10.

Castleside also had an older player who hit the bull on most of his shots in the Singles game. This was helping him to score build very well, and I think the surprising number of bulls was rattling his opponent, Mark H. The game was tight to the end, with Mark very relieved to hit the winning double.

I was pleased to get a good string of steady 60's as well as some high scoring shots. Steady 60's are the holy grail for me. I'm sick of having to try to rescue 45's and 26's with 80+ shots.

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Tommys Darts news

I've just received an e-mailed newsletter from Pure Darts, the on-line presence for Tommy's Darts. There are a few new products worth a mention:

They now print personalised text on flights using the hot foil process. They have been doing something similar for quite a while, but this time you can choose the type of flight the message is printed on, and importantly you can opt for the strong R4X flights. I've had flights printed in the past, but until now they used the ordinary flights which are not as durable as the R4Xs.

New to their products are football flights, football stems, UK County emblem flights, and some new international flights.

The Deflectagrip Nylon Stems I use are now at a rock bottom price of just 13p per set, and they're doing a range of 95% Tungsten alloy darts at just £12.99 per set. There's not much choice in the 27g weight I prefer, but the other weights seem well represented. Take a look at their site - the range is huge.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Castleside 1 - 9 Chelmsford

Practice darts

Our opening game of the season went well with a victory against some new faces in the Castleside team. Castleside were capable of getting more points from this game, but we finished well in most of the games to minimise their chances.

We fielded our new player Chris, and he did well in his first League game. He's only just bought his own set of darts and started practicing but he fitted in well and won a Singles point.

My practice on the lower doubles during the week paid off as I finished a D19 quite well, but I struggled to get a good first dart into the 20 on a few occasions, often trying to rescue shots by covering on 19's.

Elsewhere on the night The Wheatsheaf beat The Turf 9-1 away.

Monday, September 01, 2008

Our 2008/9 season starts tomorrow night

The Unicorn Hero 95% 27grms

I've just being doing some very light practice in the last two weeks. Typically I'll play a game of Bob's 27, three games of 301 DS/DF, and three games of 501 straight in.

DartPro is really very useful in recording my progress in these three formats, and when playing the 301 & 501 games I class it as a defeat if my average for the leg is less than the prevailing 3-year average which I've built up over the years on DartPro. This adds a bit of pressure on the finishing shots, as slack finishing ruins the three dart average for the leg.

One slight difference to my grip has come about while trying to improve accuracy on the low doubles such as D3. I noticed I got better results by holding the dart nearer the tip, and in tightening up on the low doubles this grip seems to do well on the mid and high targets too.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Oh Happy Day

I think the hat was meant to be a tennis stick cover

Surely all of us dart players know what it feels like to be beaten by someone who picks the darts up for the first time and just play the game for a laugh. It hurts. They never play you again, or anyone else for that matter, so you don't get the chance to exact any sort of pathetic revenge.

So imagine my glee to beat Deborah at tennis whilst on Holiday. She used to practice and everything. She thinks she's dead good. I beat her on pure serve and volley 6 love. To top it all I've laid the old tennis bat down and I won't give her a chance to, erm, exact any sort of pathetic revenge :o)

League season opens next Tuesday

We had some great news at our informal practice night tonight as the fixtures were pinned up on the board ; as it stands all of last season's teams are still present with the addition of The Moorcock, so we'll have 16 teams.

The Moorcock is a typical old fashioned pub up on the moors and they have a very strong team. We had a great couple of Friendly games against them in October 2005 so I'm really pleased they have joined our league. We play them in December and I'm looking forward to it.

We open our season against The Castleside next Tuesday.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

League News

Pictured : A practice shot on Doubles

I don't have any firm news to confirm from the recent League meeting, but at this stage it seems there will be at least as many teams competing in 2008/9 as last season.

This is good news, as I suspected one or two might drop out. One still may drop out, but we definately have a new addition. As soon as I have the starting 15 / 16 I'll publish the teams here.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Chelmsford 5 - 5 Wheatsheaf (2nd leg, Friendly)

Our team were missing three people from last week's game and we only just managed to field 6 players. A large party arrived from The Weatsheaf though, and we had a good night.

As with the previous week we made a really strong start and raced to a 3-0 lead before Wheatsheaf pulled it back and made it 5-5 in the final Singles game of the evening.

This will probably be our last game before the season starts in September, so it was good to put in a decent performance with a team line-up which could be fairly close to the team we'll be fielding next season.

Sunday, August 03, 2008

New board, and a new personal 501 record

I've had the Unicorn Ecipse dart board for a few days now, and I now have a new personal best to break it in with - a 13 darter in a 501 game, which is an average of 115.62 per throw. The scores were 140, 140, 100, 81, and a D20 with the first dart. This is by far the best leg I've ever played. The other legs I played tonight were rubbish, but these brief highlights give me encouragement.

There have been no bounce outs whatsoever from the Unicorn Eclipse yet. The wiring is superb, and it is a huge improvement over the Winmau Blade III I've been using since August 2005. There are design problems with the Blade series which cause the wires to become raised from the board, and the treble wires can become flattened in a strange spider's web pattern.

Saturday, August 02, 2008

One Week Trial - Titanium Stems

My trial of the Harrows "Silver" Short Titanium stems didn't go too well. They were too short for me, so I'll have to try the Medium ones to give them a proper airing. The short length caused inbalance on my 27g 5cm darts, so as mentioned I'll need the longer version to get a fair result.

Until then there are just a couple of observations ; some of the stems I received were not perfectly machined and did not spin "true" in the hand, so for every couple of packets you may need to bin the odd one. Also, the thread on the stem to attach the flight holder was incredibly fine and I'd prefer a chunky thread. I just didn't have confidence that these replacement tops would survive any sort of serious punishment with such a fine thread.

One very surprising positive is that you get a nice reflection on the dome part of the stem which acts as a strong guide for subsequent throws. I find this really helpful, as it allows you to concentrate on the throw and block out distractions. No other stem I've tried gives this type of reflection.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

4th Americas Cup Pictures

Thanks to Rosemarie Duff for sending me some photos of the Americas Cup.

Pictured are Kim Whaley-Hilts (Womens title winner from Canada), the victorious USA team, and the Trinidad & Tobago team (red shirts) and Cayman team (white shirts).

Wheatsheaf 6 - 7 Chelmsford (1st leg, Friendly)

We got off to a great start against Wheatsheaf up in Leadgate last night, but we couldn't maintain the pace and they pulled the scroreline back to a more realistic looking single point victory for us.

I thought we played well against a team with so many strong players, and as expected following our battle for 5th place last season which Wheatsheaf eventually won nothing will be decided until next Tusdays return match.

We had a slightly different format on the night : Two teams of 8 players (a good turn out) played 1 1001X Team Game, 4 Doubles games, and finally 8 Singles games.

Great hospitatlity was provided by the managgement, and thanks to Jay and Lena for arranging these games.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Americas Cup results from Rosemarie Duff

The 4TH America’s Cup in Darts took place at the Cascadia Hotel this weekend beginning a on Friday 25th and ending yesterday, Sunday 27th July. Eleven teams participated ranging from Canada to Brazil.

Once again the Caribbean teams were unable to take the Americas Cup from the Americans as they won for the fourth consecutive time ousting Canada in the finals on Sunday.

Kim Whaley- Hilts of Canada took the Ladies Title winning over Maureen Shepherd of Barbados. In the Men’s category, Gary Mawson of USA beat Canadian, Jerry Hull to take his place as top male player of the event. Mawson also won the award for the most 180’s scoring an impressive 17 in the Tournament.

While the T&T team played extremely well in the first round, qualifying at the top of their group after beating Barbados, Cayman Islands, Guyana and St. Lucia, they were edged out by Jamaica in the knockout quarter finals. However, the local team hopes to successfully defend their Caribbean Team Title in the next event.

The main competition, the 17th Caribbean Darts Championships, will begin on Monday 28th at 5pm. with the opening ceremony and parade of teams, to be followed by an Open Luck of the Draw Doubles. Team games will begin at 10am on Tuesday with 12 competing teams which include Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Brazil, Cayman Islands, Florida, Guyana, Jamaica, Puerto Rico, St. Lucia, Turks and Caicos and Trinidad and Tobago. The public is invited to come and support their National Team at the Cascadia. Further information on this event can be found on the darts website at

Completed : One Week Trial - Alloy Stems

I've completed my one week trial of Alloy Stems, and the results are positive. I didn't break or bend any of them, and after a full week of play that is quite a surprise to me following my earlier experiences with them.

My DartPro stats for the week showed an improvement of 2 percenatge points against the rolling 28 month average, and I scoreed two 180's with them - well above my usual average of less than one per month.

The problem with them loosening during play disappeared, so it seems a few good tightenings make the thread work better with the tapping within the dart.

I'm almost a convert to the Alloys, and I'll take them to tomorrow night's friendly game against the Wheatsheaf before moving on to trial the Harrows Titanium Stems later in the week.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

4th Americas Cup underway

The action has started in the 4th Americas Cup being hosted by Trinidad & Tobago.

The results and fixtures appear here.

Friday, July 25, 2008

MND Benefit Evening, Derwentside 02/08/2008

The Derwentside are holding a Motor Neurone Disease
benefit evening on Saturday 2nd August to commemorate their Landlord Ken, who sadly died earlier in the year.

Tickets are £5, and the featured bands are The Toxic Pixies (pictured) and YIC/DC, which I assume is a local AC/DC tribute band ("why aye" is local dialect for "yes").

I'll be attending with some others from The Chelmsford, and I'm sure it'll be a good night.
They always have good music nights up there, and of course we'll be remembering Ken and supporting the cause.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

One Week Trial - Alloy Stems

This week I'm trialing the "Silver" Short Alloy 35mm stems from Pure Darts. I'm going to give them a try for a full week and see if they offer anything over the Deflectagrip Nylon Original stems I normally use.

I'll post the results next Monday, but in the meantime there are some general observations I've noted following the first session with them :

  • Although labeled "Short" they are actually in between the "Short" and "Medium" lengths of the Deflectagrips. This caused my first few shots to land in the board at a steeper angle, but after a few minutes I seemed to have sub consciously adjusted and the angle of attack is now perfect.
  • Those "holes" you can see in the picture allow you to put a dart point through them to tighten them up firmly. Despite this I found that they became loose a couple of times, so you'd need some Silicone "O" Rings to stop this from happening.
  • They look great. I'm sure there's no silver in the alloy, and I notice they put quotes around the "Silver" description. They're probably mostly aluminium, and they look really slick. it may sound irrelevant, but it's good to have kit which looks the part.
So, I'll now give them a full week's work-out and post the results.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

TTDA 25th Anniversary

Trinidad and Tobago Team Pictures

The Trinidad & Tobago Darts Association was formed 25 years ago, and to coincide with the anniversary they are to host the 4th WDF Americas Cup and the 17th Caribbean Darts Championships. Running from the 25th of July to the 3rd of August at the Cascadia Hotel and Conference Centre the competitions will involve 13 teams, including Brazil, Florida, Canada and U.S.A. with a total of approximately 200 players.

After meeting the T&T team in 2006 and 2007 I am very interested in their progress. I've been in constant touch with Nannette Brooks (T&T Ladies' No 1) over the last two years, swapping tips and advice, and generally sharing our progress in our respective leagues. Although we play at vastly different levels it's great to have someone to share darts issues with as well as just keeping in touch.

Full details of the competitions are available at the official web site including photos of all the competing players and a timetable of events, and I'll post any additional news which Rosemarie Duff sends me. I'm certain Nannette and Vivekanand Dyal (nicknamed Rabbit due to his large family!) will do very well in the Womens and Mens titles. Good luck to both of them, as well as all of the players from the other teams who were such great company in Barbados (Barbados, Guyana, Cayman Islands, and T&T themselves). I really wish I could be there this year, but I think it'll be 2009 when I can next make it.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Practice Night

None of these on Tuesday

With no league games to compete in until September and only two friendly games arranged we had a fairly low key practice night on Tuesday. It was interesting to see the same type of things as on some match nights ; really slack shots from most of us, with only Alan P being on target.

That's OK on a practice night, but not when it happens in a League game - when it matters. It's hard to learn anything from it though.

Towards the end of the night I was getting plenty of good shots in, but had it been a league game this would have been at the point in the night when the opponents had left and we would be just winding down with a few friendly games. I would also be the time when you'd hear lots of "Why didn't you do that in the game?" type comments, and if only I knew the answer . . .

Monday, July 14, 2008

Wheatsheaf Friendly Games

Now the 2007/08 season is over our Tuesday nights will just be practice games until the new season starts in early September.

To break things up a bit we have arranged two friendly games against The Wheatsheaf
in Leadgate :

Tuesday 29th July : Wheatsheaf V Chelsmford

Tuesday 5th August : Chelmsford V Wheatsheaf

Sunday, June 29, 2008

The new "darts" shirt

Click image to enlarge

Whoa - my new shirt from Toffs arrived on Friday, and I think it may use it for next season's games.

It's a Middlesbrough "Away" shirt from the 1970's in thick cotton, and it's really comfortable to play in.

Note how the lighting set-up has been altered to be dog proof. If he'd have chewed the other side of the mid cable off switch Bracken would be in dog heaven now, so lesson learnt. Hey, he wouldn't do it again, would he :o)

League Placings, 2007/8

As suspected, we dropped to 6th position on the last day of the season, but we're still really pleased to appear well up in the top half of the table.

Congratulations to The Cricketers on their title, and they'll be collecting their trophy on Presentation Night, Delves Club, 08/07/2008.

On the table of leading Individual Singles players the Chelmsford's Peter McLean and myself both made it onto the leader board, in 13th and joint 15th position respectively. It was quite a buzz for me to see my name on that list of the top 24 players for the season. Peter would've been even higher if he'd been able to play more games.

180's Scored, 2007/8 Season

Congratulations to Alan Parkin for achieving joint fourth in the 180's table. This blog was useful to Alan in tracing one of his “lost” (unrecorded) 180's. By using the SEARCH BLOG option at top left we were able to find the details of all three of his maximums. One of these had not been recorded on the post-match game card, and we were able to rectify this.

Interestingly Phil Borthwick notched only a single 180. He went through the season undefeated to top the Individual Placings with 28 wins from 28 games, and he also won the Singles cup. This seems to be a prime example of “180's for show, Doubles for dough”, but I'd still have loved to get my name on the 180's list, and well done to Alan for being our only representative.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Finals Night 2007/08

Picture from Roger's mobile phone

Our League's “Finals Night” was held at Leadgate Cricket Club on Tuesday night.

The Chelmsford's only representative was Jimmy, who lost in the dominoes final to Joe of The Commercial.

The darts were of a really high standard. The big hitters in the league contested the Singles and Doubles semi finals and finals, with the action relayed on big screen. Here are some brief notes on the way it went :

Doubles 1st semi : Neville and Stevie beat Stu and Gary. S&G did well to pull back from a 2-0 deficit before Neville sank the D9 to make it 3-2 in a close game.

Doubles 2nd semi : Tim and Davey were in top form to overcome Graham and Phil 3-0 (18 darts, 14 darts, and 19 darts gave them an overall average of 88 per throw including the finishing).

Singles 1st semi : Phil beat Davey in a game where he was twice trailing, but got to grips with the darts he'd had to borrow due to an earlier emergency to take it 3-2. Most of the legs were 17 darters, with a 15 darter at the beginning.

Singles 2nd semi : Stevie had a bye due to his opponent being unavailable.

Doubles final : Tim and Davey were in great form and were righting any lax shots with 140's. They beat Neville and Stevie 3-0, with Davey taking out 25 (S9, D8) to clinch it.

Singles final : Phil was a very popular winner to beat Stevie in the final. Stevie has been a champion in earlier seasons and looked gutted to lose both the Doubles and Finals, but Phil had been getting stronger as the games went on and had totally found the T20 by the time he played the final.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Bob's 27

Bob's 27 is a great little practice routine I've been using for the last few weeks. It was devised by Bob Anderson and concentrates on Doubles accuracy.

You can keep a note of the running score on paper, in your head, or if you have a laptop handy DartPro handles it nicely with it's usual stats and graphs to help you identify the doubles you have the most trouble with.

You start off with 27 points and go round the board throwing three darts at each double from 1 to 20 in sequence, finishing on the Bull if you prefer. Every double you hit earns you the double's score and is added to your total, but missing a double with all three darts means you must subtract a single double from the total. Once you're down to zero or less the game is over.

I've only ever been right to the end of the game once, but for me it's a good bit of practice on the lower value doubles. That shot on D7 (pictured) is my best ever shot in Bob's 27 - I've not managed three in a given double before or since.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Tommys Darts

I get a lot of visits to this blog from people Googling the term "tommys darts". I've always praised them for their good customer service, and this week has been no exception.

They delivered the wrong flights, but immediately posted replacements when I queried it with them on their Pure Darts site.

I'd asked for the R4X flights (left), but they accidently sent the Amazon ones (right). I'm sure the Amazon range is for female players, so I didn't want to be seen using them after that business with the light purple (allegedly pink) flights from last year :o)

Incidentally, I've proven the Ruthless claim of them being 33% thicker than ordinary flights by clumping 18 of each type together and measuring the width. The results were 8.25mm for the R4X against the 6mm of ordinary flights. No wonder they are so durable.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

No reason for this post . . .

. . . I just wanted to brighten things up a bit.

Don't be fooled by the curls - she can hit a 123 under pressure :o)

138 Finish

I don't get many big finishes, and this 138 is definitely the best I've hit for months. I was playing 501 legs on DartPro, and the first dart was perfectly in the T20.

This left 78, and I prefer 18's on this as hitting the single leaves 60, for a prospective D20 finish next time round.

Luckily the T18 just crept in, and instead of my usual trick of fluffing it on the 3rd dart I hit the D12 fairly centrally.