Monday, March 31, 2008

Unicorn Hero 95%

Unicorn Hero 95% Tungsten, 27 grms

These are the new Unicorn Hero 95% 27 grm darts I've been trying for the last few weeks. They're waiting in the wings in case I lose my Harrows Magnum 27grm, which are no longer manufactured.

I accidentally selected the "Latinum" option when I ordered them. It's hard to find out exactly what Latinum actually means, but one site described it as "New Unicorn Latinum Tungsten Technology Gives Smooth Release & Soft Feel".

"Smooth release and soft feel" is a bit of an understatement! They always felt greasy and wet, and I couldn't actually grip them properly. It's like a fine satin finish, and really hard to explain until you actually hold them. Anyway, to counter this I've taken a metal file to them and roughened them up a bit. You can see the effect in the picture. This makes all the difference, and I can throw them quite well. Also, I took 3mm off the points to make them exactly 2.5cm in length, which is the length on all of my favourite sets (Hi-Tec, Alan Glazier Shark, Magnum).

You'd be wise to avoid the Latinum finish unless you really need this silky smooth finish on your darts, but apart from this I'm quite pleased with them. They are individually laser etched with "26.9g", so I didn't file that bit :o)

Thursday, March 27, 2008

My odds of ever hitting a nine darter

Pictured : The bad news

My odds of achieving a 9 dart finish in a game of 501X are an absurd 18 million to one.

Using my DartPro data from the last 1,207 legs of 501 I've been able to work it out:

I get a 180 every 300 shots, so an opening score of 180 would be 300 / 1

To follow it up with another 180 I'm assuming the odds would be roughly the same, give or take a few extra nerves when it dawned on me that the 9 darter was "on".

That would leave 141. I only hit finishes as large as this this at a rate of once every 200 games, so that's 200 /1

This gives us the 18 million to one (300 X 300 X 200 = 18,000,000)

I probably play around 70 games per month, which is 840 per year. I can therefore confidently predict that I should finally have my 9 darter in the year 23,437

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Doubles Cup, 2008

Pictured : Practice darts. Only two of these "count"

Roger and I competed in the last 16 of Doubles cup competition last night at the Coach & Horses, Leadgate. We were knocked out in the first round 2-1, but we both played a decent game and made sure that our opponents (Stevie and Chris Chivers) had to beat us rather than us giving them anything. I felt a lot more stable following that practice routine I'll be explaining later in the week, and I got a fair few steady 60's, 59's and a couple of tons over the three legs. I missed a 112 finish by an inch on the last dart, but Roger finished the D10 I left.

Jay Coulson played his first game after a shoulder injury and did well to get into the second round, before losing to Tim Richardson and Davy Gill. There was the usual high standard on display at this stage of the competition, and several players seemed to be scoring several consecutive tons and showing just how well you have to play to progress into the final 8 teams.

The oche in the Coach & Horses was perfect, despite the stepped walk up when retrieving the darts. The lighting seemed to be the main factor, and I was able to totally concentrate on the board with no distractions in peripheral vision. Nights like these are a real highlight of the season, and Roger and I both enjoyed the event. I just wish I got more competitive matches like this to bring my game along.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Delves Club 8 - 2 Chelmsford

Delves Club beat us at a canter last night. They weren't playing as well as they can, but most of the times they needed to “up” the pace they were able to do so. One impressive string of scores from them came from Fish, with a 100 / 180 / 100 sequence.

Alan P from our team hit a 180 in his Singles game too, but lost the match due to narrowly missing his finishing doubles. Peter was easily our man of the match, winning his Singles game and his Doubles game paired with Mark.

No joy at all for me. I couldn't get steady shots into the board despite the great throw they have at Delves. I hit a large number of 45's and 41'1 and lost my Singles game to Dave Crawley who absolutely battered me, and I am desperate to show them the better side of my game in the return match next week.

Peter has given me a really interesting practice challenge and I'll blog it later in the week. Keep tuned, because I'd be surprised if many people will have heard about this new idea for “stance”.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Chelmsford 5 - 5 Leadgate Cricket Club

This was a much better showing from us tonight, as we drew with the team who had beaten us so easily last Tuesday. We lost the opening 1001x Team Game, but not by such a great margin this time, and we had a two darter left if they had missed their winning double.

Again, Gerry (the Celtic fan I mentioned last week) seemed to be their strongest player, and he was a real threat all night. It's hard to learn from players who just seem to hit such a high percentage of 20's, but I'd love to be able to play so solidly.

Paul C was back for our team after a few weeks off, and I think he was our steadiest player, winning his Singles game and contributing well all night. Roger played a decent game too, on a night when he wasn't expected to be available.

I played well in my Doubles game with Roger (a couple of 80+ scores and a 140 to allow us to overcome playing against the throw), but I was still happy seeing him hit the D1 I had trouble hitting. Also, I got a win in my Singles game against last week's opponent, Les.

All square on the night then, but we dropped the points last week, and it could cost us 4th position in the league.

Monday, March 10, 2008


I've been trying a new stance over the weekend (figure 1). Both feet firmly on the floor with the weight evenly spread between them, and a straight back with no lean whatsoever. This is so weird for me, because as you can see from figure 2 I normally put all of my weight on the right leg, with an awful lift of the left foot as I throw. I want to get rid of this lifting of the foot, even though I've made improvements over the last few months.

I've had some incredible practice shots with figure 1, regularly putting three darts in the same double bed, and my best ever shot on the Bull (50, 50, 25). But the bad shots are worse than ever, and after a fair bit of DartPro recording I've proved that figure 2 is the more accurate over a long enough stint on the oche.

The good news is that when I revert to figure 2 the lifting isn't as bad and it seems to have improved my overall stance. I'll stick to the old way for now, but during the close season I'm thinking of roughing it out and becoming good at figure 1. I daren't do anything drastic at this important point in the season, but I'll use it in practice to improve my balance etc. Figure 2 could never be used in a long tournament because it is so tiring, but I can throw all day in figure 1.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Leadgate Cricket Club 7 - 3 Chelmsford

We suffered a heavy defeat on Tuesday night. It wasn't just the 7-3 score, but more our really poor showing and overall performance. This doesn't detract from LCC in any way though, as they played consistently well all night and could have won more legs. At one point they were 300+ ahead of us in the 1001X Team game, which was a real first for us this season, and losing this opening game so emphatically set us off on the wrong foot.

Their veteran player Andy was as sharp as ever, and the rest of the team were playing up to his standards. Remember I've been praying for some good solid steady 60 shots? One of their players (Celtic fan – didn't catch his name) had this totally nailed with long strings of 60 / 60 / 100 / 60 throws.

For next week's return leg at least we know we can only play better, but we've put pressure on ourselves by losing so many points in the first leg.

Our only points on the night were a Doubles win for Pater and Alan, and Singles wins for myself and Willie. Peter narrowly missed a 164 finish (25 instead of the Bull), and Roger played a good consistent game, so it wasn't all bad.

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Darts Exhibition Night

Pictured : Bob Anderson

Here are some further details of the event Alan from the Derwentside commented upon ;

On Friday 14
th March, the Derwentside are hosting a Darts Exhibition Night featuring Bob Anderson. Tickets are on sale now priced at £8, available from The Derwentside tel 01207 502562

The Limestone Cowboy has a string of world and international titles, including World Professional Champion 1988.

This should be another great night at The Derwentside, and I'll blog some pictures and a review of the event.

League Update 19th Feb 2008

The good news is that we've maintained our position in 4th place, but Coach & Horses are just 3 points behind us with two games in hand.

Pos... Team ............. Points . Played
.1) Cricketers ............ 137 ... 16
.2) Delves Club ........... 130 ... 16
.3) Chopwell Central ...... 123 ... 18
.4) Chelmsford ............ 110 ... 18
.5) Coach & Horses ........ 107 ... 16
.6) Commercial ............. 91 ... 18
.7) Shotley Club ........... 84 ... 16
.8) Turf ................... 79 ... 18
.9) Wheatsheaf ............. 70 ... 16
10) Derwentside ............ 69 ... 18
11) Jolly Drovers .......... 66 ... 16
12) Leadgate Cricket Club .. 65 ... 16
13) Smelters ............... 58 ... 16
14) Stanley Masons ......... 22 ... 18