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!
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.
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