Wednesday, December 30, 2009

A Week Off

Steadier than my walking skills!

No league darts this week as we had a break. Actually I didn't realise we weren't playing and I rushed down on Tuesday night and had a heavy fall in the ice.

Nothing broken, but I'd put that down to the 4 layers I was wearing.
Have a great New Year and we'll be back out on the oche soon. I hope to have a pair of crampons by then. They won't improve the darts, but at least I'll get there in one piece :o)

Friday, December 25, 2009

Darts Corner Catalogue 2010

I've just received the new Darts Corner Catalogue for 2010 and the stock they carry is amazing. I've used their web site before but because I was just searching for the specific items I was interested in I didn't appreciate their full range. For example, I didn't even know that those "real feather" flights were still freely available, but at Darts Corner you get a choice of shape, colour, and 2BA / Qtr Inch threads. Here's an example.

One slight thing they may want to improve upon is to give bulk discounts for flights and stems, because I can't see any sliding scale costs based on quantities as you get with Tommy's Darts, and 10 of my favourite Ruthless R4X flights look a little more expensive with DC than with TD. If I were to order 50 sets it would be a 30% difference unless there is a bulk discount I can't find in the catalogue?

This is a very minor point though, and their product range matches anything I've seen. All of those odd little hard to find things are covered in their catalogue - in detail and with choices. Also, they were one the first companies I noticed to print the specific dimensions of the darts rather than just the weight and tungsten ratio. They handled my last order well and I'll definitely use them again.
Try search words of "shirt" and "trophy" on their site as two quick examples of what they offer, and then try the same search words on other sites. It's the same for those hard to find things I mentioned.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Chelmsford 5 - 5 Shotley Club

We got off to such a strong start last night it really was a disappointment to lose so many of the final games. We took a 4-0 lead by winning the Team and Doubles games, but from that point Shotley raised their game and allowed us just one win in the final six singles games.

The roads have remained treacherous this week, and luckily the trip from Shotley to the Chelmsford is a short one without inclines. I hope the other teams had no problems.

Man of The Match goes to Kris for winning our only Singles match of the night.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Let it Snow

Look at this shameful display of wreckless drink driving in Ebchester. He's all over the shop!

You can see on this film just how little snow is needed before some of our roads become no-go. This shot was taken opposite the church pointing towards The Chelmsford.

video

Walking in a Winter Wonderland

There's a great commentary on this film!

I'm not sure whethere there'll be any darts on Tuesday night, but at the moment Ebchester has come to a stand-still. This is what just 3 inches of snow does to us.



video

Sunday, December 13, 2009

The Unicorn Eclipse

The Unicorn Eclipse board

Back in August 2008 I blogged about The Unicorn Eclipse dart board. There was feedback received which warned that my poor experiences with The Blade III were due to Winmau's early models of this board.

I've now given the Eclipse board sixteen months of hammer and it still feels like new. There is no deterioration of the bristle, the wires are not damaged, and bounce outs are incredibly rare due to the superb design. I have no complaints whatsover, and I've personally never owned a better board.

The only possible negative point I could raise is that I seldomly play on a board this good in League match play, so maybe I should practice on a poor board at home to simulate the misery of important bounce-outs :o) I know people like Steve D use boards with artificially narrow doubles and trebles to practice on, but if I ever wanted that sort of handicap I'd just put the Blade III back up!

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Shotley Club 4 - 6 Chelmsford

More strange bounce outs on the practice board

We played quite well at Shotley Club last night despite losing the opening Team game. The points were shared evenly though, and we needed to win the last Singles game of the night for a narrow victory.

Man Of The Match goes to Alan, who cranked the scoring up as the night went on and was solid in his Doubles and Singles games. Also, Alan seldom seems to stray away from clean D16 / D8 finishes.

We have no game next Tuesday due to being knocked out of the Team Cup Competition in the first round back in early October. We'll still meet up for a practice night though.

Sunday, December 06, 2009

Barbados Highlights (?!) - Chefette

Fast food?

This was a laugh. All holiday long in Barbados Deb and I were laughing about the "service" we were getting in Barbados. Too cool for school, I suppose.


The Chefette outlet in Bridgetown took the biscuit though. I could't believe how they made 10 customers into a 5 minute queue in a fast food outlet where there were so many staff.

Our server moseyed on over to the serving hatch, then back over to the counter to pick up the cutlery, to then mosey on back to the serving hatch to put it on the tray, to then shuffle back to the counter.
Now I'm not a "process" person, but even I could have saved her a 10 yard trundle there! It was like Resident Evil - you know, when you've only got the knife, but you really want the shotgun :o
)

Be prepared for a very laid back attitude to customers in Barbados. We got great service though from The Ship Inn and Bert's Bar for example, and they got tipped. The rest were about about as pleased with my gratitude as I was with their attitude.

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Chelmsford 7 - 3 The Turf

It was the same points haul for us as the Away leg, but this time we shipped points early in the game. We lost the opening 1001x Team Game, which descended into a Double 1 marathon where I think every player had 3 throws to try and put an end to the misery!

The Turf brought a good crew with them and I really enjoyed the night. There were good strings of scoring from Peter (3 consecutive tons) and Kris (5 consecutive 60+ scores) but I'll hold back a Man Of The Match award this week to see if anyone can really grab it next time.

This Saturday's practice will definitely include some work on the small, odd finishes where a Single is needed to get to a double. I never feel I have this nailed and the importance of it was on show in "the marathon".

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Fund Raiser Event

Thanks and congratulations to Kris for organising a very enjoyable and successful fund raiser at The Chelmsford yesterday. From 15:00 hrs right through to Closing Time competitions were held for darts, dominoes, pool, and quoits and it all went extremely smoothly thanks to the excellent organisation of the event.

Kris has an ambitious plan to raise enough money to buy our own team transport and I'm sure yesterday's takings will been a step in the right direction towards this
.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Race Night

No darts were played last night as the League held a Race Night up at Chopwell Central. There was a strong turn-out from the majority of league teams and a well organised event was held whereby we placed £1 bets on eight randomly chosen race videos. I'm sure this will have been a successful funds raiser for League and we all had a great night out.

I was quite good at selecting the horses which would be given the best odds after the bets were placed, but as usual it was all to no avail as not a single one of mine came in. Jean and a couple of others did well though.

As always, superb hospitality and facilities from the Chopwell Central.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

We Love Darts Magazine

New to the Barbados touring party this year were Amanda and Steve representing the We Love Darts magazine. Amanda is an Assistant on the mag, and she did a great job of publicising it to everyone at the various festival events. Loads of dart flights and complimentary copies of the magazine were given out, and it's a wonder either of them had room for clothes in their suitcases!

She gave me a couple of back issues and I had a good read through them. The editorial style is light hearted and entertaining, and there is plenty of interesting content with comparatively few adverts.

The business side of launching a new mag was a real eye opener to me. I didn't know that Supermarkets charge such high fees for shelf space, and you need a lot of capital to stand any chance. All the best to them, because it is a decent read.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Barbados Highlights - The AT & T Hideaway

The AT&T Hideway

For some strange reason the AT&T Hideway evening has not appeared on the official schedule for the Barbados Darts Tournament for the last two years.

Thankfully Colin Smith rectified this by organising this himself unofficially, so we still got to play the best event going in a tradtitional Bajan venue.

Incredible hospitality and comradery. Top marks to Colin and the AT&T - the best night of the holiday by far!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

The Turf 3 - 7 Chelmsford

Practice darts on the D4

In stark contrast to our poor start against Leadgate CC in October we got off to a flyer against The Turf last night, winning the first four games to take a 0-4 lead. It's a team game, so getting these points in the Team and all three Doubles games reflects well on us.

There were quite a few people in The Turf, with another League's match being played in the Main Bar on one of their three boards. With the pub trade subdued at the moment perhaps this shows one way it can be done?

Man of The Match goes to Roger for sinking the first two doubles of the night to set us on our way. Peter is mentioned in dispatches for a strong Singles game which had the possibility of being an 11 darter after two consecutive ton forties, but a little hesitation on the finish brought the average down.

Catch - up Results

Practice darts on D3

The team have been doing great while I have been away ( ! ) , and here are the results from the games I missed :

04/11/2009 - The Ox Inn 4 - 6 Chelmsford
The Man Of The Match was Kris.

11/11/2009 - Chelmsford 7 - 3 The Ox Inn
The Man Of The Match was Roger. I heard all about his exploits last night - very well done.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Back from The Barbados Darts Festival 2009

The hotel's beach at sunset

We returned back to England this afternoon after another memorable and eventful trip to beautiful Barbados for their Darts Festival.

Wayne Mardel was an excellent host. His sense of humour is well known to all, and it was on show throughout his time with us, as well as some spectacular exhibition tricks such as blowing the darts at the board with his mouth - to a higher accuracy on the D8 than I could ever get the normal way!

Over the next few weeks I'll post the main highlights of the trip. I think with darts you either win or learn when you play competitively, and I sure "learnt" a lot this time around :o)

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Leadgate C.C. 7 - 3 Chelmsford

Practice darts

We made one of the worst starts I can remember on Tuesday night at the Leadgate Cricket Club, going 5-0 down. We were scoring reasonably well (in patches), but we just didn't take out our Doubles, and I think most of the games went down to both sides looking at low finishes so the chances were there.

Thankfully Peter, Alan, and Kris won their Singles game to stop it from being a total mare, and Peter takes this week's MOTM for putting a good string of steady scores together and getting that all important first point of the night.

There were some good all round performances from LCC's Jan, Roly, and Macca. Also, the person who seemed to be covering for Taff chipped in very well.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

The Shirt from Rags

I ordered a darts shirt from Rags on 10th October and just 11 days later it arrived all the way from the USA.

It's a good quality cotton polo shirt with nothing on the front but this brilliant design on the back. The sizing seems to be the same as the UK, with the XL version pictured giving just that little bit of freedom for the throwing arm.

Check out the great designs here and you can expect slick and efficient service from the Cafepress people who handle the orders.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Chelmsford 5 - 5 Leadgate Cricket Club

Pictured : A bounce-out rests on the other darts

For the second week running we drew 5-5 in an evenly matched game, though the standard was a little lower than last week's effort against The Wheatsheaf. We almost took it in turns to win points with LCC winning the opening game, and us getting the final Singles point of the night to avoid defeat.

Their veteran player Alan had a quiet night by his standards, but still checked out a precise 92 finish in his Doubles game (T20, marker dart, D16). Good finishing from Peter and Roger in their Doubles game too with Roger scoring 121 to leave 150, Peter reducing this to a 32 finish, and Roger taking out the double. It was a little against the flow of their match, but a very strong final three throws nonetheless.

No MOTM award this week, as I felt we were all of a similar standard with no-one really leading the way.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Chelmsford 5 - 5 Wheatsheaf

We played a very tight and competitive match against The Wheatsheaf on Tuesday night. The standard was higher than the Away leg a couple of weeks ago and I think this would've been a decent game to watch.

Good performances from players of both teams, and I thought we stood up to the challenge well.

Man of The Match goes to Peter M for a fantastic showing against Sean in a game that was broadcast quality. After trading 100+ shots Peter finished on 66 with 2 darts in his hand with S16, Bull.

It was good to see Jay Coulson selected for The Wheatsheaf and he played a strong game all night. We were both disappointed not to be drawn in our Singles games against each other. Its just a friendly rivalry that wanders into football as well :o)

A reasonable match to report on for the first time in a few weeks, and a fair result for both teams' efforts.

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Team Cup Competition 2009 / 10

Popcorn on the third dart

We were knocked out of the Team Cup Competition in the 1st round last night with a scoreline of Chelmsford 2 - 4 Chopwell Central.

It was a disappointment to take a 2-0 lead and then lose all of the subsequent legs.
In this competition the games swing between 1001 DSDF Team darts games and Doubles dominoes games, with both points being of equal importance.

It's sad to exit this so early because it is a competition I always think we stand a fair chance of doing well in.


No one will admit it but there seems to be a nervous ripple when the darts players realise they need a double to start. In two of the darts legs I noticed that the team that took longer to get off managed to turn it around and win the leg. I suppose 1001 allows you some time to make up a deficit.

We used to play League games with a double start (before my time), but I gather it wasn't popular. I'm undecided either way - it certainly adds a bit of tension from the very start.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Wheatsheaf 7 - 3 Chelmsford

Practice darts : A "dog's dinner" on D20

I think this was a disappointing game for both teams. The scoring wasn't good, but at least the finishing was reasonable. With The Wheatsheaf having an off-night I was hopeful we'd get some points on the board, but 3 was the best we could manage.

Kris got us off to a good start by finishing in the opening team game but things went badly for us in the Doubles games and we found ourselves 3-1 down.

I was again on the lucky side of a robbery in my Singles match as my opponent had appallingly bad luck on his finishing doubles. Really - I could hardly bare to watch as he bashed the wires so many times. As in my Doubles game with Kris at Blackhill I just kept on going to avoid embarassment and somehow managed to sneak it. You just can't learn from games like this.

The other games seemed reasonably close, but our finishing was a little off and I think Wheatsheaf will have been relieved to get those crucial doubles. We should have capitalised but we just couldn't manage it.

Roger gets the MOTM this week for an important Singles win to prevent an even heavier defeat towards the end of the evening when we were trailing badly.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Chelmsford 7 - 3 Coach & Horses

Getting the horizontal accuracy right

Neither team played particularly well last night, and many of us from both teams found it difficult to get some steady score building. In a low scoring opening Team Game Kris sunk the winning 32 with his first dart, and we then won the next two Doubles games to build a 3-0 lead. This good start was key to getting the win because the points swung evenly from this point.

Man Of The Match this week is not an easy choice, but I think Peter should have it for playing the smoothest game with some good scoring while many of us struggled for consistency.

The C&H Landlord (Darren) was playing for them last night and he is quite a character. He's not been in the job up there for very long and I really hope he makes a success of it.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Coach & Horses 4 - 6 Chelmsford

It was a quiet night up in Leadgate last night. We went 2-0 down and we were not finishing when the chances arose. We fared better in several of the Singles games though, and managed to turn it around to a narrow victory.

C&H have a really nice oche, and although the darts cabinet seems to be ordinary it makes a great sound when the darts hit the board

Our MOTM was Kris who played a steady game all night and I can't remember a slack shot from him over the 3 games he played in.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

New Personal Best

Practice darts

I hit a new personal best in a 501 game with Roger in The Chelmsford last night : A 14 darter in 501 SSDF. There were a couple of 140's and a quick finish on D18.

I hit a 13 darter this time last year but that was on the practice board in the house.
I'd love to be able to do this more often, but at least I know I can do and it just needs bringing out.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Chelmsford 2 - 8 Blackhill Club

I thought we played better than last week, but Blackhill's slick finishing condemned us to a heavier defeat. Not a great start on our new Blade III board!

The best Singles game of the evening was was a really quick affair with Nev showing absolute focus to edge out Peter who was keeping up with the high scoring. I could tell from the practice darts before their game that they were both going to go for it.

Peter won't want the MOTM with a scoreline like this, but he is getting it nonetheless as our best player on the night. We played well and showed determination despite the score, and I'm sure we'll pick the points up with more of the same.

I felt I prepared far better for this game and got my mental game right. I'll see if I can learn from this prep and try to figure out what works best.

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Blackhill Club 7 - 3 Chelmsford

We kicked off the season with a reasonable effort against Blackhill Club. After narrowly losing the opening Team game of 1001X we managed to pull it back to 2-2, but from that point Blackhill lost only one further leg to make it a deserved 7-3 victory for them.

There were some great highlights on the night : Peter finished well in his Doubles game (a 98 with T5, T17, D16) and Nev finished on 102 against Peter who was scoring well.

Kris and I were involved in a case of robbery in our Doubles game. We were trailing heavily in the 701x leg due to superb scoring from Collie. He opened with a 180 and followed it up with a 140. The other shots from them were all decent too and I thought we'd be lucky to get out of the 300's but they ended up in the Mad House and Kris finished it for us on D16 to be our MOTM for a good evening's play.

It's a good throw up there. There's a new Blade III board, perfect lighting, and no distractions while throwing. They usually have the excellent Samuel Smiths beer up there, but the Cameron's
Ruby Red was just as good on the night.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Opening Games 2009 / 2010 Season

The new pub sign

We start the season on Tuesday night away to Blackhill Club. Our next two opponents are Coach & Horses and The Wheatsheaf. This is a very tough opening six games for us, home and away against the three, and I think we'll have learnt a lot about ourselves by mid October.

Its great to see a full 16 teams in the League this season. Some teams are not present this time around, but there's a new addition (The Ox Inn) and The Moorcock and Shotley Club are both entering A and B teams.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

The 2009 / 2010 Season

The new season starts on Tuesday 1st September 2009, and the people who run the League will have again been doing the hard work in getting everything together.

I had some practice in the house on my return from a week in Loch Lomond and I'm always interested to see what happens when I've had a break from the game. I got a large number of steady 60 / 59 / 58 shots and some good accuracy on the finishing doubles, but not many high scores. I think steady 60's are only useful if they are supplemented with the odd high shot so I'll do my best to "find" the trebles over the next nine days.

No heavy practice sessions on DartPro though - just as many games with other players as possible.

Sunday, August 02, 2009

Heavy Darts?

Practising the small Doubles

I've never considered my 27g darts to be particularly heavy. They certainly look like the ones most other players seem to throw, but over the last few years I've noticed how the 25g+ weights are slowly being phased out.


I switched to Unicorn Hero when Harrows scrapped the 27g option in their excellent Magnum range. Now Unicorn are themselves putting a 25g ceiling on most of their range, including the Heros. I can still find some 27g sets on-line, but these are end of stock and will need to be bought quickly if I want any spares.

I'm sure I'll always be able to get darts in the 27g weight, but my choice will be limited to lower tungsten ratios and not manufactured by Unicorn, Harrows etc. To see what I mean have a look at Darts Corner, and do searches on Darts Steel-Tip / By Weight and see the difference between the 25g offerings and the 27g ones.

The 27's must have been phased out due to declining demand, but it'll be a shame if I'm forced down to 25g to get the type of darts I want. I can really feel the 2g difference.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Practice Night

Due to commitments and Holidays etc only four of us could make it to practice night on Tuesday. We still managed to make a good competitive evening of it however, and in the last few games of the evening we had a mini competition. It must've been good because the match nerves surfaced, although adrenaline is probably a better word for it because it brought out the best in us.

I've been working on getting darts into the board with a good horizontal accuracy, as the vertical accuracy has usually been OK. This seemed to work on practice night and I was getting a really good success rate at steady 60's and 59's. Far fewer darts strayed into 1's and 5's, and when you're getting steady scores you just need the odd T20 to push the scores up. I've also been working on small odd finishes like 3 and 7 where the first dart needs to be a big 1 or 3 etc without busting.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Close Season

There's no news to report at the moment as The League takes its Summer close season break. We've kept the habit practicing down at The Chelmsford on Tuesday nights though, and there'll always be at least five of us down there.

The practice night game consists of single legs of 501 SSDF where the winner stays on the board against the throw in the following game against the next person in the queue.

Mark threw a 180 as his opening shot throwing first last night but still managed to lose the leg somehow. Its strange how often that seems to happen with some of us.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Personal Stats 2008/9

The past 4 Seasons' Stats

My personal win rate continued to improve in the season just gone, and I'm really pleased with the increase in both Doubles and Singles games wins.

I just felt generally more relaxed when playing, and even when I took a bashing (for example against Davey Gill in the Singles Cup - my 60 / 59 / 45 shots were no good against his constant 100+'s) I felt good and wanted to keep on playing. This is a big difference from previous seasons where I became discouraged too easily.



DartPro Practice Stats


I think practising a bit less has helped, as sometimes when I was practising several times a week it all became a bit of a slog, and by the time Tuesday night came along I wasn't enjoying the game as much.

The practice stats are far more constant however. Each of those orange bars represents a month's average 501 SS/DF and there's no improvement there. Just a strange pattern of peaks and troughs.

I can only conclude what we all know already : There's no substitute to playing competitively, and practice is just an opportunity to experiment with equipment, stance, and finishes. Its nice to be able to swear loudly in the house too - I'd be thrown out of the pub if I chuntered on like I do on the practice board.

Finals Night again showed the standard required. 15 and 18 dart finishes are very rare from me, but they were the standard currency from all of them last Tuesday.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Finals Night 2008 / 2009

Finals night was again held at Leadgate Cricket Club last night. The big screen was not in use this time, but there were plenty of great darts to see if you got near enough to the board.

Davey Gill and Timmy Richardson won the Doubles final with a strong 3-0 victory over Chris and Sean. I got to mark the board for this one, and thanks to Macca for asking me.

The Singles final was a tight affair with Davey Gill coming from 2-0 down to even it up for a tense final leg against Dave Dodds. DG would have been a very popular winner but he seemed to lose his way a little after a big finish to make it 2-2 and his first shot throwing first in the decider seemed to immediately hand the throw back to DD. From that point DD kept his nose in front and took the title after a night of great darts from him.

Congratulations to all who took part though. There were a couple of 180's on the night and some long strings of 100+ shots. It was all played to a very high standard as always

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Evolution Darts - My Verdict

Pictured : Switching to 19's

Firstly, sincere thanks to Zeeple and all the other people in the Shoot It Forward chain for allowing me the chance to try out something different, and these darts have been unlike anything I've thrown before.

As a thrower of 27g darts I found the step down to 17g to be a step too far, but I can still appreciate the quality of the Evolutions. The picture shows how I often needed to switch to 19's because the angle of the first dart would cover the T20, but I must stress this would have happened to me with any light dart. I might have fared better with something nearer the 20g mark.

I had no problem at all in finding the T20 with these, and it felt great when the first dart hit the T20 right in the middle of the bed. Strangely from this point 100's and 140's weren't as numerous as usual with such a good marker, but that would've come with more time.

Pros
  • Very high quality machining.
  • They feel absolutely superb in the hand.
  • The grip is the best I've thrown with. Those lugs allow you to position the dart perfectly in the hand. I don't get this consistent address with my current set.
  • The all-in-one design means you just need to replace flights - not stems.
  • They're different. No mean feat in dart design.
Cons
  • At 128 Euros they are a considered purchase which may deter people from experimenting with them. When you see the tolerances they are produced to on the Evolution site you can appreciate why they're not cheap.
  • They are only available in one weight, and a very light one at that. This is because they are a hard point version of a successful soft tip model, where heavy darts are not allowed. I'd love to see a tungsten version of these steel darts.
Conclusion
The Evolutions are fully recommended to throwers of light darts. If you play soft tip too you will be able to have a similar Evolution dart in this format to give you consistency across both disciplines.

Don't be put off by the price - If they are right for you they are worth it, and I really wish I threw lighter ones after two weeks with these. I've enjoyed my time with them, and now I'll post them on the to next person in the chain.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

The Evolutions at Practice Night

Sadly the Evolution darts didn't make much of an impression with the team at last night's practice. The main complaint from them was the light weight. Alan throws a light dart but even he found the Evolutions to be just too light for him.

I watched the darts hitting the board as they were thrown and they didn't look that bad to me but a couple of the players mentioned the darts veering in flight. This may be due to the grip, which takes a little more time than they had on Tuesday to become accustomed to. In contrast to this I have found the Evolutions have helped with my problem of veering into so many T5's and I'm a big fan of the grip.

It was a different story from Peter though. His first throw was millimetres away from being a maximum (T20, T20, S20), and the next two throws were both high scores with the T20 being found with ease.

Monday, June 08, 2009

The Evolutions - First Impressions

A ton forty

The Evolution darts certainly are unlike anything I've thrown before. They're a very dark “gun metal” colour with what appears to be an oxidised finish which I'm hoping will provide a good grip.

They spin perfectly true in a point protector block, indicating they've been well machined and pointed. Cheap darts don't do this, and give a wobble as you spin them in the block. I've often wondered if the wobble of cheap darts would give the benefit of a rifled effect when thrown (gyroscopically stabilizing them during flight), but I certainly feel better about darts which don't have the wobble.

They are shorter than my usual 5cm darts with Medium nylon stems attached. They're probably the same length as my usual darts with Short stems fitted, and of course with the Evolutions there is no option to alter the length due to their “all in one” design.

The first thing I checked was the flights end of the darts to see if there'd been any damage from incoming darts. They are fine though, with no damage at all. I must admit I'm nervous about causing any damage to them myself, as in the past I've wrecked a set of shafts in a single week. This isn't happening to me any more though, so maybe a combination of switching to 19's when the T20 is blocked and a better throw has developed over the last year.

At 17g (steel) They're a fair bit lighter than the 27g (95% tungsten alloy) I usually throw so they may not benefit me personally, but I'm going to give them a full and fair assessment.

Saturday, June 06, 2009

"Shoot It Forward" comes to Ebchester!

Evolution darts Picture courtesy of Zeeple

This morning I received in the post the set of Evolution "all-in-one" darts from Zeeple via Chavis Mutschler (spelling?) as Zeeple's "Shoot It Forward" concept comes to our small part of North East England.

You can read about Shoot It Forward here.

I'll post them on to the next person in the list when I receive instructions, but in the meantime I'll put them through their paces and post the results on here.

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Chopwell 8 - 2 Chelmsford

[L to R] Mark, Kris, Jean, and Roger

Oi, get those glasses away from the table!

We signed off the 2008 / 2009 season with an 8-2 defeat up at Chopwell, on a warm evening. The games progressed pretty much in the same manner as last week, but this time we were unable to take enough of our chances in what turned out to be 10 evenly matched legs.

Top marks to Lena and Alan P though, scoring our only two points of the night in their Singles games to put us on the scoreboard and avoid a whitewash.

We had a great time up there to round off a really enjoyable season which should see us finish in roughly 6th place from 15 teams, and I'm really not going to read too much into last night's defeat. We did enough over the season to allow us the odd off night.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Chelmsford 5 - 5 Chopwell Central

I thought both teams struggled tonight and it was a fairly low key event. We won the opening Team game against the run of play and at least we took the few chances that came along to get some points against a good Chopwell team.

Sadly for me my good run of 12 consecutive Doubles wins came to an end, but we went out with a fight and this will be a great target to aim for next season. That's a decent run in a two horse race, and I'm really pleased with it, especially as it spanned the Delves and Wheatsheaf games.

Man Of the Match was definately Norman from Chopwell Central who played a strong game all night and hit a 180. Alan P played our best Singles game.

It's the last game of the season next week. I'll take the camera and there'll be the usual Season review to disect and take to my usual OCD level :o)

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Chelmsford 5 - 5 Wheatsheaf

We had a much better showing on Tuesday night. Admittedly The Wheatsheaf stepped down a gear from last week, but we still had to be there and ready to take our chances as they came along.

Even though we lost the opening Team game every one of us had the chance to win the game in what became a D1 marathon.
In contrast to last week we were close in all of the games, and can even rue a few missed chances after we got to five points with a couple of games remaining.

Alan P hit a nice 111 finish (S20, T17, d20) in his Singles game, and there was some good, confident play again from Kris to send us into the last two games of the season against Chopwell Central with some momentum. A good night for us.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Wheatsheaf 8 - 2 Chelmsford

Pictured : A practice Maximum

Our excellent recent run came to an abrupt end at The Wheatsheaf on Tuesday night. Our scoring was generally poor and this meant every time The Wheatsheaf hesitated over a double we were rarely in a position to take advantage, sometimes being a couple of hundred points behind.

They were good though, with some long strings of decent scores. Our only two points came from Peter and myself in our Doubles games, and Kris in his Singles game.

If we want to get a few more points in the home game we've simply got to score better than this. We were rarely near a finish in most of the games, with a few single digit scores to quickly forget!

Great food and hospitality as always up there.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Chelmsford 7 - 3 Commercial

The Chelmsford, April 2009

Neither team played particularly well last night, and The Commercial will be disappointed with a scoreline which flatters to suggest we were four points better than them.

We lost the Team game in a low scoring opening match where neither team were able to get steady scores. The points from the three Doubles games were shared evenly between us, and the first few Singles game went the same way. Luckily for us we won the final four Singles games of the evening to make it 7 - 3 for a scoreline which looked unlikely for most of the match.

A highlight for me was an 81 finish in two darts (T15, D18) in my Doubles game with Roger. I was teased that it would appear on here - they know me so well!

We have a week away from the darts and play in the Dominoes Singles competition up at Chopwell next Tuesday.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

The Commercial 3 - 7 Chelmsford

The sign has taken a battering!

We got off to a really poor start last night, losing the opening Team Game as The Commercial hit a string of 60+ shots and we struggled to keep up.

We equalised in the first Doubles game but the crucial part of this win was the way Roger and Mark beat their best two players on the night in their Singles games, both times needing to hold on and hope for errors in their finishing.


I had a horror show on Double 5 in my Singles game which you really can't cater for in practice. You tell yourself its just the same as a D20 shot, but it doesn't always help. Alan had some terrible luck with bounce outs but didn't let it bother him, and these were good points to collect with just five games remaining.

Great food and hospitality as always up there from Andy and company.

Team Cup Competition V The Derwentside

A Practice maximum

Last Tuesday saw the end of our final chance at a cup this season - unless one of us can check out on 170 or score a bunch of ton eighties that is!

We were beaten by The Derwentside in the Team Cup Competition. This is the one where dominoes wins are as important as darts wins.

The Derwentside made amends for for their poor showings against us in the two league games, beating us 4-2 to progress to finals night. They won the darts 2-1 and beat us in the dominoes by the same scoreline. They're really well balanced in both disciplines, so they have a very good chance of winning this competition, and all the best to them from all of us at The Chelmsford.


Also, apologies for all of the typos and rank bad spelling in the last post - I'll leave them there as punishment!

Monday, April 13, 2009

Bracken

Bracken at One Year Old

The puppy I showed off last year is now one year old. It's been a lot of hard work because he's a very exitable dog with a real yearning for the outdoors but it has been worth it, and now the Winter is passed and I can quickly forget walking him on those bitterly cold mornings when I was full of flu and he was delighted to be covered in ice and tracking long gone rabbitts.

I pick him up from the kenells tomorrow night after a break up in Scotland and I am really missing him. He's my first dog and we've both been through a lot together. Many more advernture to come, no doubt.

He still loves horses even though he's been stood on and kicked by them, so we obviously have the same problem with memory :o)

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Chelmsford 7 - 3 Jolly Drovers

A Shanghai start in 301 DSDF

Although the score was the same as last week's Away leg it was a very different game. The JDs put us under a lot of pressure by playing well in the opening Team game and then playing three very solid Doubles games. However, at the end of these four opening games the scores were tied at 2-2, and we'd managed to match their pace.

The Singles games were all close and although our finishing wasn't up to last week's standards it was still good enough to take all but one of the Singles points.

Roger impressed with his first 15 darts in his Singles game, and despite this leg being the only one that descended into a D1 marathon he was able to get the double. In the other legs The JDs made it an uncomfortable night for us, and I was a relief to get the 7 points.

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Jolly Drovers 3 - 7 Chelmsford

Pictured : D2s in a game of "Bob's 27"

It was a great team effort from us last night. Firstly Kris and Mark kindly provided the transport when the coach didn't show, and we then had a strong success rate on the finishing doubles, with 6 of the finishes being hit with the first dart.

Kris set the tone for these 1st dart finishes by getting the winning double in the Team game, and by the time he did the same in the first Singles game of the night we were in a commanding 0-4 lead.

Although we played well as a team we couldn't quite maintain the pace from this point and The JDs pulled back 3 points in the Singles games before Roger completed a good night for us with a 98 finish on the second dart (T20, D19).

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Chelmsford 3 - 7 Delves Club

Last Thursday's board

It may not look a good result for us but I really thought we put the Away leg behind us and competed well tonight. We can even look back on a couple of oher points that were in the balance.

Phil Borthwick looked to be at his usual best but their other players showed a few vulnerabilities which allowed us to snatch three points and make this a more respectable score-line following the 9-1 defeat on the 10th of March.

I was happy with my own game and I thought I got my mental game right despite a few nerves in the Singles game. The Delves games were a bit of a low point for me last season, but i think I showed them my better side this time around.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Derwentside 3 - 7 Chelmsford

The Derwentside main Bar

These were good points to collect against The Derwentside. I'd seen Mark and Alan play a superb game up at Blackhill Club on Tuesday (Doubles Cup night), and despite not winning they looked in great form (loads of 100+ shots). Also Norman threw a 180 in the warm up and looked to be back to his best throwing his 12g "wasps".

We lost the opening 1001X Team game to take us under a 50% success rate in this point for the season. We really need to do better in this. We then won our Doubles games to take a lead and the Singles games went reasonably well for us. Willie treated us to a D1 marathon though!

Graham and Collie don't play for The Derwentside anymore, but there's still a strong backbone in the team and I thought their two new players contributed well.

The throw at The Derwentside has been changed from last season, with the board now in the side room adjoining the main bar. There are a few more distracions in the preipheral vision when throwing, but I still prefer this new oche to the previous one where a wall to the left of the player made for a more tight feel when throwing.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Delves Club 9 - 1 Chelmsford

The Derwent Walk at Ebchester Station [credit]

This was our worst result for a while, and we did nothing to push Delves out of first gear. It's very disappointing when you don't push the opposition and let them canter through the game. In most of the 10 games we weren't even near a finish.

At least we avoided a whitewash, and I finished on the 68 (S20, S16, D16) that Alan P left for me in our Doubles game.

I put last year's nightmare game against Davey Crawley behind me and played a reasonably steady singles game against the throw, but had 88 on the board as my opponent sunk his double. I reall enjoyed it though and wanted to keep on throwing, so at least the mental game was right.

The return leg is in a fortnight's time due to the Doubles Cup next Tuesday, and it'll be a chance to show we can compete to a higher level than in this game.