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.