Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Christmas Knockout - 17 December 2012

Well, that's it for 2012. Last night's Christmas Knockout rounded off the year, but before we set our sights on the new season there's the small matter of the match report.

Match Report
Nine players took part, a good turnout considering this was only the second week that the darts had been back up and running after the extended break since summer, and it was great to see two new faces. A big welcome to Tom and James H.

Matches were played as the best of 3 legs of 501: the usual format. The draw involved one preliminary round match to reduce the field to 8, the winners of that round going forward to the semi-finals and so on to the final: 8 matches in total.

Tom v Ram
Tom started well, getting a good lead over Ram in the first leg but experience tells and Ram carried steadily on while Tom struggled with his finishing. 2-0 to Ram.

First Round
Ram v James H
New player James H was more than modest about his throwing skills but put in a creditable performance against Ram, scoring consistently and reaching a finish in both legs; however Ram proved too strong and won the match 2-0.

Ben v James Y
After a cracking start - 75, 85, 125 - to build up a decent lead in the first leg Ben suffered yet again from the inconsistency that has dogged his game and allowed James to catch up. He put the pressure on by reducing his total to 40 but James responded in style by checking out 85 with a confident 15, 20, bullseye. The second leg followed for a fairly comfortable 2-0 win.

Anne v Andy
If there was a prize for entertainment value Anne would win hands down: a real crowd-pleaser who always gets the audience behind her. Unfortunately she didn't manage to exert the same influence over her darts and her scoring, usually decent, let her down. Andy put in a slightly below par performance - not as many treble-tops as we are used to seeing - but in the end it was more than enough and he won 2-0.

Matt v Darren
Matt has played in a few of our knockouts over the past couple of years and showed a marked improvement over time so Darren couldn't underestimate his opponent here. Scoring-wise Matt looked steadier but was weak in the finishing: when the first leg got down to both players in the madhouse (double-1) it could have gone either way. Shades of last week's opening leg for Darren - he was in a similar position - but he managed to find the bed eventually to take the longest leg of the night. The scores in the second leg were also close but Darren's finishing proved much better this time and he won 2-0.

Semi Finals
Ram v James Y
Strongbow- and Doritos-fuelled James was confident enough going into this match and with good reason after winning last week's knockout. However Ram had found his range by this point and simply threw better than James to win 2-0.

Andy v Darren
I don't know whether it was the pressure of the match or the pressure on his bladder that got to Darren but he couldn't find the form that he showed last week when he put dart after dart into the treble-19. Against scoring like Andy's that proved fatal and Andy won 2-0 to book his spot in the final.

Ram v Andy
Twenty to eleven and the two finalists were ready on the oche. Andy landed nearest the bull to secure the opening throw and we were away. Both players showed a little more inconsistency than we have come to expect but it was a close first leg that Andy won to gain the advantage. Ram opened in the second leg but fell behind in the scoring as Andy tightened up his throw. Despite a little shakiness on the checkout Ram was too far behind to mount a serious challenge and Andy sealed the match and the title 2-0. Ram was presented with the runner-up prize of £7.50 while Andy received £15 and the trophy. Many thanks to everybody who played and also to those who came along to watch and support.
Winner Andy is presented with the trophy
New Year, New Season
There will be no darts for the next two weeks as it is Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve and other events are taking place in the pub (and elsewhere no doubt), so we will return on Monday January 7th for a knockout and to sign up for the new Premier League season. If I don't see you before then have a great holiday and I hope to see you in the New Year.

A Final Note
I've been asked by Tom to put out a request for people who are interested in playing competitive darts in a local league (Aldershot & District) to get in touch. The winter league has already started so this will be for the summer league. You can contact me directly or via the Royal Standard and I'll pass on your details to Tom. Thanks.

Friday, 14 December 2012

Knockout - 10 December 2012

Darts returned on Monday night with surprisingly few teething problems. The board had been replaced two inches too high and the new carpet meant that the rubber mat with the oche wouldn't stay put. It didn't take long to reposition the board but we spent some time experimenting with taping the mat in place before resorting to a simple strip of tape on the carpet at the appropriate distance. I'm happy to report that a more permanent solution has been found: two metal strips are now in place at 7' (for the ladies) and 7' 9¼". The lighting in that part of the pub is poor - I couldn't see well enough to fit the flights on my arrows - and we had to appropriate a table from elsewhere, but otherwise it's not a bad location.

Match Report
Six of us played in this opening knockout, not a bad turnout after the unexpectedly long break. James and Andy were drawn first with Andy hitting some very respectable scores including a 132 but his finishing let him down and James won 2-1. Darren and Ben played next; Ben's darts were all over the place with a 3-dart average that must have been hovering around 20! but when Darren failed time after time to hit double-1 Ben sneaked in a finish to take one of the unlikeliest legs ever. There was no way that was going to be repeated and Darren finished up the winner 2-1, scoring three 133's along the way.

With the preliminary round out of the way it was on with the semis. First up were Ram and Anne who received byes in the draw. After a shaky start by Ram this settled down into a familiar pattern with Anne scoring some decent totals along the way but not able to keep up with Ram's more consistent darts: 2-0 to Ram.

The two qualifiers, James and Darren, completed the semi-final line-up. I don't know whether it was through warming up in the previous round or the effects of the cider but James certainly found his form this time. Darren continued throwing consistently, hitting another 133, but James was ahead all the way, achieving the night's highest score of 140 along the way to a 2-0 victory and a spot in the final.

All James had to do was keep on throwing that consistently and against Ram in the final that was exactly what he did. Ram looked a little rusty after the months away from the oche, as did most of us compared to the heights of last season, but James seemed to find his old form and won convincingly 2-0.

Next Week
The Christmas Knockout is next Monday, the 17th. Starting between 8 and 8:30 it will be £2.50 per player to enter and is open to everybody. Even if you don't play why not come along and watch?

Thursday, 22 November 2012

Back In Business

After a longer than planned break, Monday Night Darts returns to the Royal Standard on the 10th December, the first Monday after the pub reopens following the refurb. There will be an open knockout competition on the 10th - all welcome, £2.50 to enter, starts at 8pm.

Annual Christmas Knockout
Monday 17th will be the Christmas knockout. Entry will be £2.50 as usual with cash prizes for the winner and runner-up.

I hope to see you all there for a super, smashing, great night of darts fun!

Tuesday, 10 July 2012

Finals Night Match Report - 9th July

Match Report
The league was wrapped up in fine style last night with the Finals Knockout followed by the presentation of prizes.

The draw was based on league position with the top 4 getting the advantage of a second chance if they lost their opening match.

Ben and Sam played first with Ben taking the first leg for an early lead. However Sam came back strongly with consistent scoring to win the match 2-1 and knock Ben out. Andy and James were next up. Andy's finishing letting him down and James won 2-0 with an excellent 113 checkout.

Darren took on Anne and despite a close match scoring-wise he hit his doubles first and knocked Anne out: 2-0. Completing the first round were Ram and Craig. Ram started strongly while Craig took longer to get up to speed and won 2-0 in a fast-paced match.

That set up the elimination quarter-finals between Darren and Andy, Sam and Craig. In the first eliminator Andy struggled to find the form he showed through the league season and Darren proved to be the sharper finisher to book his slot in the semis with a 2-1 win, knocking Andy out. Sam put in her best performance of the season in a very close match against an improving Craig but lost narrowly in the deciding leg, going out 2-1.

Into the semi-finals and first up were Darren and Ram, both undefeated so far. Darren fought hard and put in some good scores but Ram was steady and powered into the final with a 2-0 victory. James, like Ram, had gained his place in the semis by winning in the first round while Craig had to battle through two matches to get here; however he suffered a dip in his form at this crucial stage and Craig won fairly comfortably 2-0.
It was after time had been called at the bar when our two finalists stepped up to the oche. The pairing might have been a repeat of their first round meeting but the result was not. Ram's aim was not tight enough this time around, while Craig looked very sharp and was obviously not tired after playing three rounds to get here. The final scoreline was 2-0 to Craig, a quality performance and a well-deserved win.

For scoring the highest checkout on the night, 113, James won £5. He added to this his half of the £5 for highest score, shared with Darren who also hit a 140.

James also won £10 for the highest checkout throughout the league with 121, while Sam won £10 for the league's highest score of 165.

Ram as runner-up received £20 while last but certainly not least was our overall winner Craig who received the trophy and £40.

A big thank you from me as the organiser to everybody who took part, and to Trevor from the RNLI for agreeing to present the prizes. I had a lot of fun taking part as well as running the show and I hope you will all be back for the next league.

Coming Up
The league will take a break for a few weeks but there will be various knockouts and other friendly competitions over the coming weeks until the league starts again.

Tuesday, 26 June 2012

League Results - Round 14 - 25th June

Match Report
It was a full schedule for the final round of this league with the remaining six matches played in a single night. Everybody was there and Anne made some lovely pies and cakes to feed the players.

Craig had three matches to play because of postponed fixtures and his first was against Ram. There were few signs of any rustiness as both players made a steady start and there were a few ton-plus scores in there. In the end there was little to separate the two and it finished a 2-2 draw.

James and Andy met next, with James starting strongly while Andy took a couple of legs to settle into his rhythm. James seemed to suffer a blow to his confidence after busting 132 with a throw of 140 and after that his consistency was affected. Andy continued strongly to win the match 3-1, scoring a 140 of his own along the way.

Craig's second match was against Sam, where he continued to throw accurately in the face of a spirited challenge from Sam. Despite some good arrows, Sam couldn't match Craig's scoring and deadly finishing and he won 3-0.

Anne played Darren, hitting some good scores and taking a leg. She narrowly missed getting the draw when her attempt at double-4 landed just outside the wire and Darren won 3-1 in the end.

The penultimate match pitted Ram against Ben and the first two legs were very close, with both players scoring steadily and Ben hitting a 94 checkout for 1-1 halfway through. But then Ben's old inconsistency raised its head and he was lucky to even get down to a finish before Ram checked out to win 3-1.

With the clock ticking its way to last orders the final match of the league got under way with Craig taking on Darren. Although Darren put in a creditable performance, Craig was in such strong form that he took all three legs to win 3-0.

Some good darts there, and two players hit 140's and shared the prize for highest score: Andy and Craig. Ben won the highest checkout with his 94. Andy topped the league thanks in part to the bonus points he won for his high scores through the season, but was only one point above runner-up Ram.
League Best Scores
The highest score in the league was 165, scored by Sam on 19th March. Next highest were several 140's scored by Andy, Ben, Craig, Darren, James and Ram.

The highest checkout was 121, scored in the first round by James. Second highest was Ben's 94 in the final round.

Bonus points for highest score and checkout accounted for 35 points overall, with Andy winning the most (8) followed by Craig, Ram and Darren each with 6.

Next Week
There will be a knockout next week - it would have been a catch-up week if there had been any fixtures left to play. The following week, Monday 9th July, will be finals night with the usual end of league playoffs followed by the presentations to the prize winners.

Wednesday, 20 June 2012

Match Report - 18th June

Match Report
The weather was rather warm and stuffy for round 13 and I don't know about anybody else but I was sweating at the end of my match.

Ben and Anne got the ball rolling. Ben's throwing was a little erratic and Anne outscored him consistently, but her finishing proved her undoing yet again as she lost 3-1. Andy and Sam were up next, Sam winning the advantage of throw with a dead-centre bullseye. The match was a close one with Andy's scoring a little below par and Sam took full advantage to gain a draw 2-2.

Darren took on Ram in the third match which saw some good ton-plus scoring from both players with Darren hitting the night's highest 140. However Ram edged it with his finishing, including the highest checkout of 56, and walked out the 3-1 winner.

Anne rounded the night off with a second appearance, this time against James. However tiredness affected her throwing. Despite her having a shot at finishing in the first two legs, James powered ahead in the third and final leg to win comfortably 3-0.

As usual, thanks to all the players and I look forward to the concluding round next week.

Next Week
Only one more round remains, with 6 outstanding fixtures. We will try to get through them all on the night of 25th June, but if time runs out they will carry over to the following week. Three of the top four could still top the table, so it's all still to play for.

Anne v Darren
Craig v Ram
Craig v Sam
Darren v Craig
James v Andy
Ram v Ben

Tuesday, 12 June 2012

League Match Report - Round 12 - 11th June 2012

Match Report
Plenty of distractions for round 12 as the pub remained busy following the Euro 2012 England v France match. A few rather rowdy customers made more than their share of noise and occasionally even walked right across the oche with a total lack of regard for the matches in progress. Hopefully the remaining weeks will see a return to our usual calmer atmosphere.

Ben and James got the ball rolling and James looked steady as he outscored Ben in the first two legs and finished comfortably to go 2-0 up. Ben seemed to find his form in the next leg, hitting a 134 and keeping ahead on the scoreboard, finishing with a quick double. But inconsistency proved his undoing in the final leg and he was only just on a theoretical finish when James hit an impressive 72 checkout to win the match 3-1.

Andy played Anne next, and it started as a typically unwavering performance from Andy with his darts going home accurately. But the gremlins are never far away and both players suffered a bout of dartitis in the second leg with dart after dart failing to find the double. Andy recovered first and went on to take that leg and then comfortably won the third to finish 3-0 with a 140 and a couple of other ton-pluses along the way.

James took on Ram in a fixture rearranged due to the absence of Craig and Darren. It was a close match with good scores from both players, Ram hitting three 140's, and the result was a fair 2-2 draw. In the final match of the night Sam was up against Ram. Ram's form continued from his previous match and despite some respectable scores from Sam, who won one leg with a 66 checkout, he proved too strong and won the match 3-1.

The £5 for Highest Checkout on the night went to James for his 72, while the prize for Highest Score was shared by Andy and Ram, both with 140. Andy remains top of the table, with only 4 points separating the next four players. Any of the top 5 could still finish top, at least on paper, so it's all still to play for.

Next Week
Round 13 will be next week - will it prove unlucky for some? The provisional fixtures, subject to time and attendance (it getting into holiday season now) are:
Anne v Darren
Ben v Anne
Craig v Ram
Craig v Sam
Darren v Ram
James v Andy

Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Not-a-Bank Holiday Knockout Results

Match Report
I'd like to start by thanking James and others for pointing out that it wasn't a Bank Holiday. However it was still a knockout night - I wasn't about to shuffle the fixtures around yet again - and produced some good performances.

Andy and Anne got the ball rolling, Andy putting in some very good scores including a 180 followed by a 2-dart 120 with an unlucky deflection off the darts in the bed causing a bounce out on the third. Anne played steadily but was too far behind in the scoring to mount an effective challenge and Andy won 2-0.

James played Sam in a neck-and-neck match, Sam winning the first leg and James coming back to level it in the second. Well matched score-wise, it came down to the finishing. With both players having a little shakiness on the doubles it could have gone either way but James was the one who hit the target first to win 2-1.

In the third match it was Ram against Darren. In another close match it was the deciding leg that sealed it with Ram's steady eye for his double giving him the 2-1 victory. Completing the first round matches were Ben and Craig. Ben had a slow start and was still well away from a finish when Craig reduced his target to 32, but at that point the gremlins set in and even with more than 20 darts Craig didn't manage to check out, leaving the door wide open for Ben to catch up and steal the leg. Ben then hit a purple patch and led through the next fast-paced leg, checking out comfortably to win 2-0.

In the first semi-final Andy was up against Ram who it seemed could do no wrong. Andy appeared to suffer from some uncertainty setting up his out shots while Ram just powered on, hitting the targets with confidence to win 2-0 and book his spot in the final.

James and Ben faced off in the second semi and Ben's form continued as he took the first leg. James threw with more focus in the second leg and with both players on a double he proved the more accurate making it 1-1. Another very close leg decided the match 2-1 in James' favour.

And so on to the final: Ram versus James. The first two legs were steady but unexceptional performances with neither player showing quite the same level as the previous round, but in the deciding leg Ram pushed himself up a gear and kept finding that treble-20 to build up an almost unassailable lead. A steady hand on the doubles was all that was needed to finish on top and collect the night's prize.

Congratulations and £10 to Ram, and a bonus £5 prize to Andy for his 180. Thanks to everybody for taking part.

Next Week
It's a big, long weekend coming up and we'll be joining the celebrations on Monday night - it's Martin Adams 56th birthday so come along and have a go in the Martin Adams Birthday Knockout. No work for most of us on Tuesday because there's something going on that day as well - party at the pub with a live jazz band and BBQ in the afternoon, followed by a disco into the night to celebrate the Queen's Diamond Jubilee.

Tuesday, 22 May 2012

League Match Report - Round 11 - 21st May 2012

Match Report
It was a super, smashing, great night of darts with very close results all round. Darren and Ben played first with Darren winning the first leg after a shaky start from both on the doubles. Ben then came back and won the next two with accurate checkouts, despite Darren scoring a 140 in one leg. Darren then took the final leg for a 2-2 draw and a point each.

It was an all-female match next with Sam against Anne. Despite playing with a bad back, Sam took an early 2-0 lead, also hitting the highest checkout of 42, but Anne came back winning the third leg with some strong scoring. It all came down to the doubles again in the fourth leg with Sam coming home to win the match 3-1.

The big guns were in action in the third fixture between Ram and Andy. Ram, returning after a 3 week break, looked as if he'd never been away from the oche, while Andy was cool and steady as usual. It was 2-1 to Ram going into the last leg after he had narrowly missed making it 3-0, missing his double to let Andy back in. The last leg might not have been as intense as the first three but it remained close with Andy first to a double and taking the leg for a 2-2 draw.

The final match of round 11 saw James take on Craig. In a fast-paced match with a good many ton-plus scores, both players hit 140 and it was honours even as it finished in another 2-2 draw.

Next Week
There's a two week break from the league because of Bank Holidays and the Queen's Diamond Jubilee, so next week will be a knockout. If people are interested I will also run a competition on Monday 4th June, possibly with some kind of a royal theme - watch this space as they say.

EDITED - As a reader has kindly pointed out, next Monday (28th May) is not a Bank Holiday, but it will still be a knockout.

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

League Match Report - Round 10 - 14 May 2012

Match Report
Round 10 was played last night with a few changes to the published fixtures due to the absence of two of our players. Darren and James got the ball rolling. A solid performance from Darren including the night's highest score of 135 left James behind on the scores. He checked out all three legs, one with the highest on the night - 54, to win the match 3-0 and gain 4 points to move ahead of James in the table.

Andy took on Craig next in a top-of-the-table clash. Both players were evenly matched, although perhaps not showing their best form as the scoring was below average with a few more darts than usual straying from the 20 and hitting 5 or 1. In the end you couldn't separate the two and it finished with a 2-2 draw.

The third and final match saw Ben play Sam. Ben took a 2-0 lead with a couple of accurate checkouts - looks like the practice helped - but Sam kept the pressure on with an impressive string of treble-19's, scoring 134 with one throw and just missing out on the highest score. Ben needed 133 in the third leg, hitting treble-20 followed by treble-17 to leave one dart at double-11 for the match. However the dart went half an inch wide to leave Sam with a chance to come back which she took: 2-1. She had the advantage of the throw in the final leg and scored steadily to stay ahead and take that leg as well, ending up with a well-deserved 2-2 draw.
Next Week
Round 11 is to be played on Monday 21st May.
Darren v BenRam v Andy
Sam v Anne
James v Craig

Tuesday, 8 May 2012

Bank Holiday Knockout - 7th May

Match Report
Two words - double trouble - sum up last night's knockout. The format was best-of-three from 301 with double-in as well as -out. While nobody actually failed to start a leg (by the skin of my teeth in one leg - more about that later), there were some close calls...

James and Darren played first, James taking an early lead in a slow first leg. Then Darren came back with some good scoring and even better checkout (74) to draw level and then win in the deciding leg. Sam was drawn against Andy in the second match. Andy put in his usual steady performance to win in straight legs with Sam having some trouble hitting her starting doubles. Anne received a bye to go straight into the semi-final round, leaving Ram and Ben to battle for the remaining place. Ben barely got started in the first leg, only hitting a starting double 7 when Ram had already reduced his total to double-top which he hit on his next throw. The second leg was much closer, both players getting off to a quick start and Ben even throwing a 140. However he was let down by poor finishing again, missing three chances to check out and giving Ram the chance take the second leg and the game.

Darren played Andy in the first semi. Andy had the edge in accuracy on the doubles and with his steady scoring again secured the first final place. Anne faced Ram in the second semi-final but struggled and lost in straight legs to Ram, this despite a dip in his form in this round.

The final saw Andy take on Ram and I would have backed Andy after the previous round. However as it turned out both players were sharp when it came to the opening doubles but Ram was well ahead on the scoring and took advantage to check out both times without too much pressure from Andy. So it was congratulations and £10 to Ram as the winner, and commiserations and £5 to Andy as runner up. A big thank you to the players and also to those who watched and supported.

League News
Because of holidays there has been a small change to the match schedule to insert a catch-up week before the finals - many thanks for letting me know this far in advance because it makes my job so much easier. Here's the new updated fixture list.
Next Week
Round 10, postponed from last week, will be played on 14th May.
Andy v Anne
Ben v Sam
Craig v Ram
Darren v James
James v Ram

Friday, 4 May 2012

Updated Fixtures

Match Postponed
Because the pub was so busy with the Manchester derby being played on Monday night I took the decision to postpone that night's darts. This means that all the remaining fixtures have been pushed back.
Next Week
Next week, Monday 7th May, is a Bank Holiday and there will be a knockout. £2.50 to enter, starting from 8pm. Double-in, best of 3 legs played from 501 (301 in the case of a big turnout). As usual all are welcome to join in - not just regular league players.

Next League Matches
With Craig back from his holiday we should have a full complement for Round 10 on the 14th May. These will be the matches:
Andy v Anne
Ben v Sam
Craig v Ram
Darren v James
James v Ram

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

League Table & Fixtures - 23rd April

Match Report
Only three matches were played last night in round 9 with Ram being away. Andy and Ben played first with Andy hitting some high scores (two 125's and several other ton-pluses). Ben did manage to get down to a checkout in each leg despite some inconsistent throwing - try to get all three darts in the board next time - but poor aim on the doubles counted against him yet again, Andy winning 3-0 despite leaving the door open with an uncharacteristic lack of precision in his checking out. Andy also hit a finish of 60 to win the prize for highest checkout.

Anne and Craig were second up and Craig threw some steady darts including a 140 which won him the high score prize. Finishing was weaker than usual from both players but Craig had the best of it to win 3-0. The third and last match saw Sam take on Darren. Both players like their 19's and there were a good few treble-19's in a contest that was fairly evenly-matched for scores. Darren had the edge in accuracy on his doubles though, and finished with a 3-0 win.

Next Week
Bit of a reshuffle in next week's fixtures to work around holidays.
Andy v Anne
Ben v Sam
Darren v James
James v Ram

The following week (7th May) will be another knockout, this time featuring double-in - it's an area of the game where we're all a little weak and this ought to provide a little incentive to tighten things up. But don't worry - we won't be using my practice board with the half-width doubles.

Thursday, 19 April 2012

League Table & Fixtures - 16th April

Match Report
On with the second half of the league! Round 8 was played on Monday night along with the outstanding match from round 7. First up, Craig beat Ben 3-1 in a match that was ultimately decided by checkout accuracy. The second match was Darren against Andy which Andy won 3-1. Despite some good scores from Darren, Andy showed an accurate aim to set up his finishes. Next to play were Ram and Anne. Unfortunately Anne was not on top form and tiredness showed after the first leg, Ram finishing the clear winner 3-0. Darren played Craig in the match postponed from Round 7 and produced an upset to win 3-1, while in the final match of the night James beat Sam 3-0.

Darren and Ram both scored 140's to share the prize for highest score, while Craig's 47 checkout in the first match proved good enough to last the night, winning him the prize for highest checkout. Congratulations to all three of them!
Next Week
Here are the Round 9 fixtures for Monday 23rd April.
Andy v Ben
Anne v Craig
James v Ram
Sam v Darren

Thursday, 12 April 2012

Pairs Knockout - Easter Monday

First off, apologies for the lateness of this update: I simply haven't been able to find the time. But now that I have, on with the darts!

Match Report
It was a new format for the Easter Monday knockout: pairs. We had ten players on the night making five pairs (obviously), so that meant a preliminary round to decide the line-up in the semi finals.

The pairs were: Ram & Sam, Ben & Anne, John & Mark, Andy & Matt and James & Gwyn. Both Gwyn and John have competed in previous leagues in the Standard while Matt has competed in knockouts. Mark is a relative newcomer to the Standard's darts events, if not the Standard itself, having only competed in last year's Bullseye, although he is a regular weekend visitor here and member of the darts team in his own local. It was a real pleasure to see some new (and old) faces taking part.

First up were Andy & Matt versus James & Gwyn. James opened the night's play with Shanghai - 120 - and he and Gwyn maintained their momentum to claim the fourth SF spot.

The first semi final saw Ram & Sam take on Ben & Anne. The scoring was well-matched on both sides and both pairs had chances to finish but it was Ram & Sam who proved more accurate on the doubles and booked the first spot in the final.

The next semi involved qualifiers James & Gwyn against John & Mark. The previous match unfortunately seemed to have sapped the strength of the qualifiers and they could not match the steadiness of John & Mark's scoring or the strength of their finishing.

After a short interlude for refreshment it was time for the climax of the night - the Final. Ram was closest to the bull to give him & Sam the advantage of first throw but he struggled to find his usual form and despite some good scores from Sam they were beaten by John & Mark who showed impressive consistency in scoring and checking out. So it was congratulations to John and Mark on their win and £20 to split between them.

Next Week
There's one postponed match left to play from round 7 in addition to the regular round 8 matches.
Craig v Ben
Darren v Andy
Darren v Craig
Ram v Anne
Sam v James

Tuesday, 3 April 2012

League Table and Fixtures - 2nd April

Match Report
We're half way through the league now and the table has settled into some kind of order with the top 4 still very close. That's not to say there won't be any upsets in the coming weeks: the standard of darts is so close that anybody could win on the night.

Ram and Ben got the proceedings under way in a close match which Ram won 3-1 thanks to sharper finishing. Anne played James but despite some steady scoring didn't manage to win a leg and James took it 3-0. Finally Sam played top-of-the-table Andy. She put him under some pressure but he kept cool and landed his checkout doubles without too much trouble to win 3-0. Unfortunately Craig and Darren couldn't play their match due to illness so their fixture has been postponed until April 16th: get well soon guys! Finally a big thank you to Anne for providing a lovely chicken curry that got her two marriage proposals from well-satisfied diners!
Next Week
The league takes a week's break for Easter so instead there will be a pairs knockout on Easter Monday. The pairs will be drawn at random with the top league players seeded to keep things balanced. This competition is open to everybody: just turn up on the night. As usual it starts from 8pm and will cost £2.50 per player to enter.

Tuesday, 27 March 2012

League Table & Fixtures - 26th March

Match Report
Round 6 is over and it's staying very close at the top of the table: only one point separating the top 4! Ben played Anne in the first match of the night, and with both struggling to check out in the third leg they were lucky not to still be playing after hours. Anne won that leg but Ben won 3-1. Craig played Sam next, and despite some impressive scoring (a good number of 80+ scores) the checkout woes continued and neither could better Ben's 6. However Craig did hit a solid 140 to win the prize for highest score of the night, and won the match 3-0.

Darren and Ram were next up and despite both players being well-matched in the scoring Darren's finishing let him down and Ram took the two points with a 3-0 victory in just over 10 minutes. James and Andy were the final two of the night and consistent performances from both of them showed why they are well-placed in the top half of the table. It was an even match and despite Andy taking an early 2-0 lead James came back to level it and finish with a draw. Andy hit the night's highest checkout, a 55.

Thanks to Sam for laying the food on. Well done everybody and I'll see you all again next Monday.

RIP Jocky
80's darts legend Jocky Wilson sadly died on Saturday night, just two days after his 62nd birthday. Always entertaining to watch, he was one of the true characters of the game.

Next Week
Round 7 matches coming up on Monday 2nd April to complete the first half of the season.
Anne v James
Darren v Craig
Ram v Ben
Sam v Andy

Easter Monday
There will be no league matches on the following week, Monday 9th April, because it is Easter. There will be a competition on the night. I'm thinking about having a pairs knockout for a change - let me know what you all think.

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

League Table & Fixtures - 19th March

Match Report
Last night was round 5 of 14 and the table is settling down. No upsets in the matches as James beat Ben 3-1, Craig drew against league leader Andy, Darren won against Anne and Ram took the honours in his match with Sam.

Darren won the highest checkout with a 51 and it looked like Andy and Craig were going to be sharing the highest score with 134 until Sam hit a stunning 165 (treble-19, treble-17 and another treble-19). I did see Ram score a 180 but it was unfortunately only a practice throw. And finally, entering the Hall of Shame is Darren who managed to score 1 with three darts in one of his legs.
Next Week
Ben v Anne
Craig v Sam
Darren v Ram
James v Andy

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Open Knockout - 12th March

Match Report
Not a bad turnout for a Monday night - eleven players including four who are not league regulars. To keep the duration of the legs down they were played from 301, best of three. A few players - I won't name names but you know who you are - had double trouble but there were also some steady performances. The winner was James who pocketed a handy £15, with Andy as runner up taking home £7.50.

Knockout - full results
As always a big thank you to everyone who took part and thanks again to Sam for keeping the players fueled on sausage & chips.

Next Week
Back to the league next week.

  • Andy v Craig
  • Anne v Darren
  • Ben v James
  • Sam v Ram

Next Knockout
The next knockout will be in four weeks time on Easter Monday 9th April. More about this nearer the date.

Tuesday, 6 March 2012

League Table & Fixtures - 5th March

Match Report
Four rounds played now and it's going well. Craig and James opened the night's action. Some good ton-plus scores from Craig gave him the edge and he was unlucky not to check out one leg with 150: he hit his two treble 20's and landed his third dart just outside the wire of the double 15. Fueled by sausage and chip butties we resumed with Darren playing Ben in a mid-table clash. Despite some erratic throws in the middle of the match (several single-figure scores including two 3's by Ben) it was close and finished in a deserved draw with Ben winning the highest checkout with a one dart double-Top. The ladies were up next as Sam met Anne for the first time in the league. Anne was as entertaining as ever but Sam, running on Red Bull, proved the steadier hand and won her first match. Last up were Ram and Andy. In a well-contested match Ram had the edge in scoring with several scores of a ton or more including the night's highest of 137. Accurate checking out sealed the victory for Ram. Well played everybody!
Next Week
Next week will be a knockout competition. £2.50 to enter, open to everybody (not just league players).

Wednesday, 29 February 2012

League Table & Fixtures - 27th February

Match Report
First up were Andy and Anne. Another steady performance from Andy with several tons and accurate finishing left Anne rather out in the cold and it finished 3-0 with Andy hitting the highest score of the night, a 140. Craig took on Ram in the second match. Ram is finding his form after a below-par couple of weeks and won 3-1, also taking the prize for the highest checkout for a 60 - although there were a couple of challenges.

After missing last week, Darren had two matches. The first, against James, was a close contest that finished in a draw. James was unlucky not to check out a 156, hitting a brace of treble tops and then landing just the wrong side of the wire on the double 18! But the drama didn't end there. In the last fixture of the night Darren played Sam. With steady scoring from both it was a close one - Sam threw a personal best 123 and checked out one leg with 52. But Darren edged it with more accurate finishing, missing out on a 170 checkout - treble 20, treble 20... and then missed the bull by a country mile!

Thank you to everybody and well played all round.
Next Week
The next round of fixtures will be played on the 5th March.
Darren v Ben
James v Craig
Ram v Andy
Sam v Anne

And Finally
The first knockout night is coming up a week on Monday (on the 12th March). Remember it's open to everybody, not just the players in the league, so come along and join in.

Tuesday, 21 February 2012

League Table & Fixtures - 20th February

The league is well under way now - two weeks in - and things are shaping up. Looks like my decision to play legs from 501 instead of 301 is paying off: there's some good, steady scoring with more trebles than previous seasons.

Match Report
Andy started the night off with another solid performance - four or five tons - and deservedly whitewashed me 3-0. I salvaged some respect with a 101 and then a 140 in one leg but couldn't find a double with both hands! Anne played Craig, and despite some good scoring and taking one leg with a brief appearance on the high checkout leaderboard, Craig's finishing made the difference. James took on Ram, winning 3-1 although both felt they didn't play their best. And finally, in a substitute fixture since Darren was unable to play his match, I played Sam. She scored well - the scores were well-matched - but I must have benefited from playing earlier because my aim was much improved on the doubles and I won the match. My 140 stood as the highest score on the night and James checked out with a 60 to take that prize.
Next Week
Having played two matches this week with the rearranged fixtures I now have a week off, with Darren playing two matches next time. The fixtures are:
  1. Andy v Anne
  2. Craig v Ram
  3. Darren v James
  4. Darren v Sam
And Finally...
There will be a knockout in three weeks' time (12th March). Open to everybody - come along and join in!

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

League Table & Fixtures - 13th February

Welcome Back
The darts league is back! A new face this season - Sam, the pub's manager, who is also laying on food to sustain our little band. I've made a couple of small changes this time, but it's mostly the same familiar format. The winners of the highest score and highest checkout will now receive a bonus point in addition to the cash prize on the night. Legs are now played from 501 rather than 301 - this reflects the improved standard of darts we're all playing. Lastly, I've dropped the £1 penalty for a score less than 3 - the shame of it is enough!

Opening Night
The first night back saw some good darts. Steady scoring all round - I hit a 139 and both Craig and Andy hit 140 to share the prize for highest score. James checked out with a stunning 121, finishing with a bullseye. A very well-deserved £5 there. Anne played well, drawing against Ram and hitting a 68 checkout in the process. And finally Sam, thrown in at the deep end with a match against last week's knockout winner James, settled into her game quickly and hit some good scores. Well done everybody!

Knockout Nights
Following the success of the occasional one-off knockout competitions through last season, I've set aside several Monday nights for more of the same this season. Don't forget that even if you're not playing in the league you can still play in the knockouts - they are open to everybody. Some of these will feature double-in, some will be doubles and I'll also repeat the team event we had last year. And the "special" board with half-size doubles and trebles might make an appearance as well...

Knockouts will be held on these Mondays:
  • 12th March
  • 9th April (Easter Monday)
  • 7th May (Bank holiday)
  • 28th May (Bank holiday)
Finally, I am leaving Monday 4th June free because it is a special bank holiday for the Queen's Diamond Jubilee and there are likely to be other events taking place.