Monday, 9 September 2013

League Round 5 - 3rd September 2013

For various reasons including Glen's new commitments on Monday and Tuesday nights I have decided to reduce this season to just one match between each pair of players: the 17th September (Round 7) will be the last round of this league. Glen has already played all his matches so the results to date will all stand. There will be further details provided on the next league night, the 10th September.

Match Report
Tom v Ben
Ben threw first to get the night under way. There was nothing exceptional from either player in the first leg which Ben finished with a double-1 to take the lead. Better darts in the second saw Ben take a lead of over 100 when with 228 remaining he hit his first ever 180, following it up on his next throw with an impressive 16, double-16 to go 2-0 up. A return to the usual averages in the third leg saw Tom run him close but with both going for their doubles it was Ben with another double-1 who took the match.

Glen v Darren
Not a sparkling performance from Glen who struggled on his doubles, but Darren was his own worst enemy with some of the poorest darts we've seen from him in the league and gifted Glen a 3-0 victory.

Nick v Tom
A decent performance from Tom who had one or two chances but Nick proved too strong and kept his nose in front in all three legs, racking up his third 3-0 win.

Claire v Glen
In a slow-paced match with some decent scores around the 80 mark both players had double trouble but it was Glen who finally found the target for a second 3-0 of the night.

Darren v Anne
A great start from Anne with some decent scoring against a below-par Darren saw her take the first leg but she couldn't keep the pressure on and he came back to take the next three legs for a 3-1 win.

James v Ram
Steady darts from James with accurate doubles saw him maintain an edge in this close match against Ram, who has suffered from too many arrows straying into the 5 recently. Both had chances at high 3-dart checkouts only to slip on the third dart but these were the still the most consistent performances of the night. Ram was unlucky to come away with little for his efforts as James won 3-1.

Tom v Glen
It was Glen's last chance to equal the high score and he seemed to be trying too hard as there was an obvious tension in his throw affecting his accuracy. Although leaving his glasses at home obviously didn't help either. Some better checking out than earlier matches gave Glen a third clean sheet of the night.

So Ben joins Ram in this season's 180 club as well as winning £10 for both the highest score and highest checkout 48. Bonus points for 3-0 went to Glen (3), Nick and Ben.
Next Week
  • Anne v Claire
  • Anne v Ram
  • Ben v Nick
  • Darren v Tom
  • James v Claire

Monday, 2 September 2013

Knockout - 27th August 2013

Match Report
Ten players for our knockout - a good turnout. It was nice to see Sam back for this one-off as well.

Preliminary Round
Claire 0-2 Tom
A fairly even first leg stalled when both players had double trouble, with Claire throwing countless darts for double-9 without success before Tom, who'd worked his way down to the Madhouse, finally landed a double-1 for the leg. The second saw Tom take the lead early on but Claire made it down to a double -- the bogey double-9 again! -- before Tom, also wanting 18 to finish hit the target to win 2-0.

Glen 1-2 Sam
Sam had obviously lost none of her skill on the oche since last playing and Glen found himself in a close match. With honours even after the first two legs it was Sam who held her throw to go through.

First Round
Darren 2-1 Ben
A close first leg saw both players reach a finish after some average scoring and it was Darren who checked out to go ahead. Ben came back fighting in the second leg with 60, 60, 60, 100 and 95 to take a commanding lead and although he stumbled a little towards the end he checked out comfortably to level the scores. But it was back to business as usual in the third leg and it was Darren who built the lead and held it to finish quickly for a 2-1 win.

Ram 0-2 James
James looked comfortable against Ram with the big man struggling to find the big scores.

Nick 2-1 Anne
A slow start by Nick was taken full advantage of by Anne who hit some decent scores and checked out to go ahead. But losing the first leg seemed to steady Nick's nerves and he picked up his game to take the next two and go through.

Tom 0-2 Sam
A little inconsistency from Tom saw him fall behind as Sam put in some good scores, building a lead in both legs before hitting her finishes with confidence to go through 2-0.

Semi Finals
James 0-2 Nick
No jitters from Nick in this fast-paced match as he looked sharp all the way. James was steady but it needed a bit more if he was to beat Nick's deadly finishing.

Sam 2-1 Darren
Another close match saw good darts from both players at the opening with the leg going with the throw. Sam had a chance to make it 2-0 in the second but Darren didn't leave much of a chance before levelling the scores. With a place in the final up for grabs both were hit with a spot of double trouble as it came down to whoever hit their double first. In the end it was Sam who found the target to complete the final line-up.

Sam 0-2 Nick
With expectations of another close match this one was eagerly anticipated but in the event Sam looked to have tired after three previous matches and Nick made short work of the match with another display of accurate throwing.

So it was congratulations to Nick, the winner, who received £15, and a hearty well done to Sam who did extremely well to come runner-up after not playing for several weeks, gaining £10 for her efforts.

Next Week
The league returns with Round 5 next Tuesday 3rd September. The fixtures are:
  • Darren v Anne
  • Glen v Darren
  • James v Ram
  • Nick v Tom
  • Tom v Ben
  • Tom v Glen

Thursday, 22 August 2013

League Round 4 - 20th August 2013

The gang's all here - a full house for Round 4 as Tom & Claire were back from holidays and also the welcome return of Anne!

Match Report
Claire v Nick
A lack of recent practice for Claire meant she wasn't confident going into this match, but a few good scores including a 105 did put a little pressure on Nick, who struggled to find his trebles. He had no such trouble on the doubles though and took all three legs for a 3-0 win.

Tom v James
After my suggestion last week that his form might not have been as good as previous seasons, James looked determined to prove me wrong. With both players scoring well it was close but James was more consistent in his aim and sharper on the finishes, including a great 78, and came away with a well-earned 3-0 victory.

Anne v Ben
It was Anne's first match since May, but the way she started you wouldn't have thought she'd not had a dart in her hand for nearly four months. In the end it was only her doubles that let her down, as Ben, after winning a lengthy first leg where both players had numerous throws to finish, picked up the pace in the second. Left with 101 he got the treble-17 and, going for broke, aimed at the bull for a 2 dart out only to hit the 25 instead. A big 9 with his third set up a double-8 for the next turn at the oche which he landed to go 2-0 up. A close third leg saw good scores again from both players (scorer Darren said "Anne scored phenomenally") but it was Ben again who finished with a 48 checkout to win 3-0.

Ram v Tom
Ram made a strong start and took the first leg but Tom was scoring as well as in his first match and came back strongly to take the second on a 38 checkout. The third leg was another close affair until Ram hit his targets in fine fashion to check out with 98. His form continued into the final leg where he scored the night's maximum 132 on his way to a 3-1 win.

Glen v Anne
Glen threw some steady darts against a tiring Anne, but didn't manage his usual quota of treble-20s. After winning the first leg in reasonable comfort he didn't manage to build a lead in the second and Anne reduced her total to 46, a very useful 2 dart out shot, before he put it away with the double on his next throw to go 2-0 up. Anne couldn't manage to keep her momentum up into the third leg and fell behind as Glen took the match 3-0.

Darren v Nick
Rounding off the night as well as starting it, Nick was keen to beat Ram's high score & checkout. Darren had other ideas and put up a strong fight in the closest match of the night. After winning the first leg Darren had a bit of a nightmare in the second, missing the board with all 3 darts to score a zero on one throw: a first for our league if I'm not mistaken. (I'm sure one of you will correct me if I'm wrong!) Not surprisingly Nick took that leg and also the next with a very strong checkout, but Darren wasn't done yet. A nail-biting final leg saw both players neck and neck at the close. Nick needed 170 to seal victory, which naturally would also have meant putting in the highest score & checkout, but didn't find even one treble-20 so it was left to Darren to level the match and secure a draw 2-2.

Bonus points for clean sheets went to Nick, James, Ben and Glen, while the £5 prizes for highest score and checkout both went to Ram for 132 and 98 respectively. A great all-round effort!
Next Week
We take a break from the league next Tuesday (27th) for a knockout. The league will return on the 3rd September for Round 5.

Thursday, 15 August 2013

League Round 3 - 13th August 2013

Match Report
Ben v Glen
Glen opened the scoring with a string of good totals including a 140, Shanghai 120 and a couple at 80+ to build a commanding lead and reach his checkout while Ben still faced over 250. But double trouble not only left the door ajar; it opened it wide to let Ben work his way down to a closing double which he hit to take a most unlikely lead. A timely 132 from Ben gave him a shot at double-top to take the second leg before Glen regained his concentration and found his target to get a leg back on his own throw. The final leg was close score-wise but both players missed countless attempts at their doubles before ending up in the madhouse: double-1. In the end it was Glen who found the target first to draw the match 2-2.

Ram v Ben
Ram came out with guns blazing to build a good lead in the opening leg, hitting a 140 and a ton and carried on to his 65 checkout with a comfortable margin. Ben came back in the second leg with a big opening throw of 134 followed by an 80+ while Ram strayed into the 5 too many times. Ben maintained his lead in the leg and checked out quickly to level the match. Another good leg from Ben broke Ram's throw, but the wheels fell off in the final leg and some loose arrows gave Ram plenty of opportunity to come back and take the leg for a 2-2 draw.

Nick v Ram
Nick wasted no time from the off, hammering darts in with 20 after 20, several of them trebles. Ram was still straying into the 5 too often and Nick went two legs up in next to no time with great accuracy on his doubles. Ram picked up in the third leg and even though Nick put in three 100s he was in with a chance when, with 70 remaining, his shot at treble-10 hit a 15 but his next dart for a big 15 to leave double-top went wide of the mark, out of the board to dash his hopes. Nick cleaned up with his next throw to win 3-0.

Darren v James
With a reputation as James' bogey player, Darren had the psychological edge going into the last match of the night. James was having none of it though, and threw some steady darts while Darren, usually deadly on the 19s, hit too many 7s and 3s to keep up with the scoring, and leg after leg went James' way. Final score 3-0: a decent performance from James and hopefully a sign that he is returning to the form he showed last season.

Bonus points were awarded to Nick and James for their clean sheets. Ram won the £5 for the highest checkout with his 65, while he and Glen shared the £5 for the highest score with 140.
Next Week
Tom and Claire return from their holidays for Round 4 and Anne is hopeful that she will finally be fit. The fixtures (barring unplanned absences) will be:
  • Anne v Ben
  • Claire v Nick
  • Darren v Nick
  • Glen v Anne
  • Ram v Tom
  • Tom v James

Saturday, 10 August 2013

League Round 2 - 6th August 2013

Although our numbers were down with people being away on holidays, we saw some good matches in Round 2.

Match Report
James v Glen
Glen started well and took an early lead with some good darts. James wasn't playing at his best but came back with a 140 and a very steady 71 checkout to avoid a whitewash. With both players throwing consistently it was close and they deserved to share the spoils with a 2-2 draw.

Ben v James
Ben had never beaten James in the league and didn't hold out much hope going into this match, but a run of good scores in the 80's and 90's together with accurate checkouts saw him take a 2-0 lead. While James kept the pressure on in the 3rd leg, Ben started to show his usual inconsistency with some low scores allowing James back into the match. The final leg was pretty one-sided with Ben looking tired as James kept his unbeaten record with a 2-2 draw.

Nick v Glen
This was the first time the two had met in the league; they had played each other socially with Nick reportedly having the best of it, and it was Nick who went ahead before Glen came back in the second with a good 66 checkout. Several 100's from Glen were matched by Nick's 80+ totals with Nick having fewer wild arrows straying into the 5 and 1 overall, but in the end it all came down to the checkouts, where both players had chances in equal measure. A very close encounter finished with the third 2-2 draw of the night.

Darren v Ram
Darren didn't play badly but Ram was on fire, banging in ton-plus scores including a 180 (I enjoyed calling that one in traditional Lakeside fashion), 140 and 135. Darren kept plugging away with steady scores around the 60 mark but Ram was building too much of a lead with the big totals and had little pressure on him to check out. 3-0 to Ram.
Next Week
Next week will be Round 3. Tom and Claire are still on holiday but I'm hoping Anne will be fit to make her first appearance.
  • Anne v Ben
  • Ben v Glen
  • Darren v James
  • Nick v Anne
  • Ram v Ben

Wednesday, 31 July 2013

League Round 1 - 30th July 2013

Last night saw the return of the Premier League. We have nine players this time and everybody will play everyone else twice.

Match Report
Darren v Ben
Darren opened the night's action in a close first leg. With decent middling scores from both players it came down to the wire but the advantage of throwing first proved decisive as Darren checked out double-9. The second leg also went with the darts, levelling the match and guaranteeing a fourth leg. Some poor throws from Ben gave Darren the edge in the third leg to break the throw but the favour was returned in the last leg and both players were happy with a well-deserved draw 2-2.

Claire v Tom
In a lengthy first leg both players threw some wayward arrows but it was Claire who found the target to checkout and take the lead. Tom came back with some better scoring including the night's best 138 and also a 135 (narrowly missing out on a 180 when his third dart landed the wrong side of the wire in the treble-5). But Claire came back in the fourth leg. With both players aiming for their finishing double she found the target first to gain the draw 2-2 to a round of applause.

Nick v James
Finding his form after a lean few weeks of knockouts, James hit consistently good scores and even though Nick didn't play badly he didn't get a look in. James checked out three legs in succession, including the night's highest out of 66 to win 3-0, earning a bonus point for the clean sheet.

Ram v Glen
An unusually scrappy display from Simmonds senior saw Glen race to a two leg lead but Ram fought back in the third, opening with consecutive 100s as Glen's form dipped briefly and winning a leg back. However the respite was short-lived as Glen came back strongly in the final leg of the night to win 3-1.

Congratulations to James who gained a bonus point for his 3-0 win along with £5 for the highest checkout, and to Tom who won £5 for the highest score.
Next Week
Round 2 will be played next Tuesday.

  • Ben v Glen 
  • Ben v James 
  • Darren v Ram 
  • James v Glen 
  • Nick v Anne

Friday, 26 July 2013

Pairs Knockout - 23rd July 2013

Match Report
Eight players for the last knockout before the new Premier League starts and for a change we played pairs, best of 5 legs from 501. The pairs were drawn at random.

Semi Finals
Ben & Glen v James & Sam
It was a slow start from Ben & Glen as James & Sam built up a lead in the first leg, but they allowed Ben & Glen to catch up with some shaky attempts at their doubles before taking the leg. Ben and Glen tightened up their throwing from that point and although it was a close match they took the next three legs to go through 3-1.

Nick & Tom v Ram & Darren
Nick & Tom threw some good, steady darts, including a Shanghai 120 from Nick, and the scores were reasonably close in the second match of the night. However as always it was the checkouts that counted and Ram & Darren hit the target three times to go through with a clean sheet.

Ben & Glen v Ram & Darren
After it took three throws for Bull to decide who threw first a close match seemed on the cards, but some poor throws from Ben gifted the first leg to Ram & Darren. Some good arrows from the pair in the next leg put them 2-0 up before Ben & Glen got their act together, fighting back to take the third with a well-timed 100+ score from Ben to leave the checkout for Glen. But Ram & Darren continued to throw well in the fourth leg, gaining the advantage on the scoreboard and finishing well to win the match and the competition 3-1. The £20 pot was presented to the winners: £10 each.

Next Week
That wraps up the summer knockouts as we start the Premier League next Tuesday. We currently have 9 players signed up, but there is still time to add your name if you want to join us: just come along at 8pm on Tuesday 30th.

As usual the league will take the form of a round robin where every player plays everyone else. Matches are played as the best of 4 legs of 501 with 2 points for a win and 1 for a draw. Bonus points are awarded for a clean sheet (3-0 win) and there are cash prizes for the highest score and highest checkout on the night. In a change from last season there will not be bonus points for the highest score and checkout.

Thank you to everyone who has taken part, and I'll see you next week!

Wednesday, 17 July 2013

Knockout - 16th July 2013

Due to personal reasons Ben was unable to attend tonight so it was the turn of the darts rabble to pull together and organise a night of darts. A good turnout of nine players including the return of Natasha. Same format as normal, best of 3 games at 501.

Match Report
Preliminary Round
Natasha v James
First on the oche to start the proceedings were Natasha and James in the only preliminary round of the night. Natasha has been absent from the oche for many weeks so it would be fair to say there may have been a few cobwebs in the locker, this clearly wasn't the case and she took the first leg with the dreaded madhouse (double one). In the second leg James produced some much higher scores including the night's top score of 168 which allowed him to take this leg. In the decider it was the high scores from James that proved decisive again allowing him to take the match 2-1.

First Round
Tom v Claire
A match that could have gone either way, in the first leg the inconsistent scoring from Tom and the steady scoring from Claire allowed her to build up a lead and take the leg. In the second leg it was more of the same in regards to the scoring but this time Claire could not find the double, this allowed Tom to catch up and hit the double. In the decider Tom's scoring improved greatly, he got down to the double first and took the match 2-1.

Darren v Nick
Last week's runner up Nick took on Darren who at this point was looking rather dazed probably due to the amount of alcohol consumed. The first and second leg were pretty much the same story, Nick was able to produce high consistent scores regularly hitting the treble 20 while Darren could not even hit a treble of any sort. Nick got down to doubles first in both legs and took them out very quickly to take the match 2-0.

Ram v Sam
It was the turn of last week's and the week before's knockout winner Ram against Sam who every now and again can throw a spanner in the works. This looked like the case with Sam winning the first leg with the highest check out of the night 81 but then Ram showed his class which we have become used to by now. Upping his scores into three figures which Sam could not match, this allowed Ram to take the second leg. In the decider Ram continued his second leg form to book his place in the semi final 2-1.

James v Glen
In the final first round game both players matched each other's scores but fell into double trouble with each player having many darts to take the first leg, eventually James took it with the famous double one check out. This may have affected Glen as in the second leg he was clearly below par which James took full advantage of taking the second leg and taking the last semi final place 2-0.

Semi Final
Tom v Ram
The first semi final and as in the famous quote from Bobby George "Trebles for show and doubles for dough."
In the first and second leg Ram again produced high consistent scores with Tom throwing some steady consistent darts; this allowed Ram to get to the double first on both occasions. Unfortunately in this match Ram could not find the appropriate doubles which allowed Tom to catch up. He accepted the invitation taking out the required doubles to book a place in the final and guarantee some dough 2-0.

Nick v James
In the first leg both players matched scores and reached doubles in similar time, slight double trouble again but it was James who took the leg. The second leg James started to hit the big scores and built up a lead and looked the favourite to take the match but Nick had other ideas finally hitting some big scores and taking out an unorthodox double 17 to take it to a decider.  This leg was over very quickly with Nick hitting big trebles regularly and finishing with a double 8 whilst James was still on three figures to book his place in the final 2-1.

Tom v Nick
This was Tom's first appearance in a knock out final and Nick's second consecutive final so well done to the both of them. After losing last week in the final Nick was on a mission to ensure this didn't happen again and although Tom put up a valiant effort it was the high scores and quick finishing from Nick that won the match and this week's knockout 2-0.

Congratulations to Nick finishing in first place winning £15.00 and well done to Tom for finishing in second place winning £7.50.

Thank you to everyone who turned up and helped organise the knockout, if these same nine people sign up for the league with Ben and the giant killer Anne returning....... it's going to be one open exciting league.

This week's match report was written by James: many thanks. You might've got yourself a new job!

Next Week
It's the last knockout before the start of the big one - the Premier League.

Sunday, 14 July 2013

Knockout - 9th July 2013

A different format from usual for this knockout: it was that old favourite double-in. Good practice on the all-important doubles, plus the format tends to prove a great leveller! I must apologise because I've not had much time to write the report this week, so it's just the results.

First Round
Darren 1-2 Ben
Nick 2-0 Sam
James 0-2 Ram
Tom 1-2 Glen

Ben 1-2 Nick
Ram 2-0 Glen

Nick 2-3 Ram

Well done Ram: second win in a row and the £12.50 first prize. Congratulations to runner up Nick who took home £7.50.

See you all next Tuesday for the last knockout before the new league starts!

Thursday, 4 July 2013

Knockout - 2nd July 2013

It was a good turnout for Tuesday night's knockout with eight players including another new player, Claire, joining in for the first time.

Match Report
First Round
James v Tom
First on the oche to get the night under way were James and Tom. A steady performance from James was enough to see him through 2-0.

Sam v Darren
Sam was much quieter than usual as she took on Darren, who hadn't played for a couple of weeks. Some good scores from Sam in a match that went into a deciding third leg which you'd have fancied her to win, especially after Darren scored a personal worst zero in the second leg with all 3 arrows out of the board! But Darren turned things around and finally found his focus to win the third leg convincingly.

Ram v Ben
A confident Ben built up what should have been a decisive lead over Ram in the first leg, helped by a personal best 174, but some loose throws at the finish let the big man back in. It was neck and neck in the second leg with both players scoring well, but it was Ben who checked out to level the match. Ram just had the edge in the equally-close third leg and finished with 24 darts to gain his semi-final spot.

Glen v Claire
Last week's winner Glen took on new player Claire in the last match of the first round. In a low-scoring match it was Claire who had the narrow advantage leading up to the checkouts but with both players having some double trouble it could have gone either way. In the end it was Glen who threw the lucky dart to win 2-0.

Semi Finals
James v Darren
A difficult one to predict with the under-par James against Darren who had such a shaky start in his previous match. In the event Darren threw well, finding his favourite treble 19 regularly and yet again proving to be James's bogey player with a 2-0 win for a place in the final.

Ram v Glen
A Simmonds family affair as Ram took on nephew Glen. Although Glen played better than in the previous round it was not enough to match Ram who appeared to be coasting after his first round battle. A convincing win for age & experience over youth.

Darren v Ram
It was Darren's first appearance in a knockout final as he stepped up against Ram, but any dreams of a fairytale ending were quickly dashed as Ram showed the same form as his previous matches. Darren threw some decent arrows but there only looked like being one winner: 2-0 to Ram.

Next Week
There will be another knockout next Tuesday night and I'm thinking about a different format, possibly double-in... See you all next week! 

Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Knockout - 25 June 2013

It was back to the darts last night after a week off and we had the pleasure of welcoming a new player, Glen. With six names in the hat, Sam did the honours of the draw (so she only had herself to blame for how it turned out - only joking!).

Match Report
First Round
Tom v Sam
The action got under way with Tom playing Sam. Not a high-scoring match but close with both players reaching their final doubles. There was a bit of good-natured argy-bargy on the oche - I've seen less pushing at the January sales - but it didn't affect the outcome which was a 2-0 win for Sam.

Ram v James
A good performance from both Ram and James saw the best scoring of the night with both achieving ton-plus totals. James had the edge in the first leg but it looked like Ram was set to draw level in the second as he built up a lead on the scoreboard. An excellent 86 checkout from James put paid to that and booked him a place in the semis.

Ben and Glen both received a bye into the next round.

Semi Finals
Ben v Glen
Ben threw first but some wayward arrows let Glen establish a lead with some decent scores in the 60-70 range. Both players had trouble with their aim on the doubles but it was Glen who hit the target first to go ahead. Ben had a shaky start in the second leg but picked up to stay close until Glen scored Shanghai 120 which gave him the edge he needed to take the leg and go through to the final.

James v Sam
With both players warmed up by matches in the first round this promised to be a quick match. Sam threw steadily but couldn't match an in-form James who eased into a comfortable 2-0 win.

Glen v James
James won the throw and opened the match with a disappointing score, putting himself under pressure from the off. He held his throw to win the leg and with the second leg also going with the darts it went into a third deciding leg. Although James threw first he was uncharacteristically inconsistent and Glen was first to the finish to win the knockout and the prize of £10  with James getting the runner-up prize of £5.

Next Week
There will be another knockout next Tuesday from 8pm. I hope to see you all there!

Wednesday, 12 June 2013

League Finals - 11th June 2013

And so we come to the end of another season. Although a couple of players dropped out over the course of the league it was a good one on the whole and everybody enjoyed themselves. There has been a bit of interest from new people for the next league, so it's looking good for the future.

Cuddles for the birthday girl!
Match Report
As I said last week, the playoff draw was determined by the final standings in the league table. The bottom four players competed in a qualifying round to join the top two in the semi finals.

Qualifying Round
Ben (3) v Sam (6)
Sam threw first and steadily built up a lead in the first leg before getting stuck on her checkout, allowing Ben to catch up. With both players struggling on madhouse double-1 this leg looked like lasting all night! before Ben finally got an arrow on target to put everyone out of their misery. Ben threw some better darts in the second leg, drawing ahead of Sam despite her scoring a 136 (although it has to be said her 2 didn't help much). A quick 25 checkout sealed the second leg for Ben and he went through 2-0.

"Crouch" on the oche
Darren (4) v Tom (5)
Tom was quick off the mark against Darren and put in some good scores but Darren didn't get caught napping and kept pace in a close match. An excellent 58 checkout from Darren brought the match level at 1-1, setting up a deciding third leg. With that semi-final spot in sight on the finishing line, both players put in the effort and it was Darren who checked out when Tom had a spot of bother on his finishing. 2-1 to Darren.

Ben posing next to the match board
James v Ben
Ben threw first but gradually fell behind James who hit tops with regularity to reach a finish with at least 6 darts in hand. A bit of double-trouble let Ben back in and he reduced his total to single figures before James hit the target to take the first leg. Ben started better in the second leg, scoring 80+ back-to-back before the wheels fell off and he put in a couple of 3's! Meanwhile James, propelled by a 140, had established a commanding lead and booked his place in the final with a clinical checkout to seal his 2-0 victory.

Ram taking aim in the Final
Ram v Darren
Completing the semi-final line-up, Ram played the second qualifier Darren. It was a decent performance from Ram who averaged 68 in the first leg, and although Darren came close it was Ram who went ahead to take the leg. Some loose throws from Darren in the second leg left him adrift on the scoreboard and, despite needing a couple of attempts at his double, Ram took the second leg to go through 2-0 and face James in the final.

James v Ram
With all the earlier matches going to the player higher-placed in the league, top-of-the-table Ram would have to have been a slim favourite going into this match, but James also went undefeated through the season: their league match against each other resulted in a draw.

Ram landed nearest the bull to wit the throw but only hit a middling score, allowing James to take control of the leg. It was close at the finish but James checked out 40 to go ahead. A little frustration was evident from Ram in the second leg following a few off-target darts, and James kept things steady, working his way down to a finish which he quickly checked out to win the match and the title.

Darren shows off his winnings
Tom agreed to present the prizes to the winners (sorry Sam, there was no prize for the lowest score!). For the highest checkout of the night, 58, Darren won £5.
Congratulations to runner-up Ram

Runner-up Ram received the second prize of £20.

And finally, our League Champion James was awarded £30, plus an additional £5 for the night's highest score of 140.

All that remains is for me to thank everybody who took part. I look forward to seeing you all in the next league, starting in July.

League Champion James
Next Week
The next couple of weeks will be knockouts before the new league starts up on Tuesday 2nd July. Please let me know before the end of this month if you want to take part.

Thursday, 6 June 2013

Round 6 - 4th June 2013

There was more reworking of the fixture list as Anne was not recovered enough to play her remaining fixtures, so that meant just three matches to round off this league. I'm sure we all wish her the best and hope she feels up to returning soon.

Match Report
Ben played Tom in the opener and some strong scoring from Tom saw him take the first leg comfortably. Ben picked up in the second leg and hit three 80+ scores, following this up with a good checkout to level the match. While Tom continued to throw well, Ben's throw was inconsistent (unless scoring five 5's - 1, 1, treble-1 - in an evening can be called consistency) and Tom won the final two legs comfortably for a 3-1 victory.

Ben was in action again against Darren in the second match of the night and seemed to have recovered some of his form, finding the treble-20 less elusive than in the previous games. Darren started well, going ahead with the first leg, but his form dipped towards the end of the match and Ben came back to secure the draw 2-2.

The final match of the night, and the league, saw Ram play Sam. Sam scored well throughout, including the night's second highest total of 118, but couldn't match Ram's consistency as he went ahead in leg after leg. Despite a little shakiness on one checkout after leaving himself double-5, Ram won decisively 3-0.

Bonus points went to Tom for the highest score 119 as well as the highest checkout 54, and a clean sheet bonus to Ram.
Next Week
Next week is the Finals, a playoff knockout to decide the overall winner of this league. The final fixtures are:

Qualifying Round
Q1: Ben v Sam
Q2: Darren v Tom

Semi Finals
James v Q1 Winner
Ram v Q2 Winner

Tuesday, 28 May 2013

Bank Holiday Knockout - 27th May 2013

It was a quiet night as a couple of our regular players were suffering the effects of over-indulgence at the weekend but we did have a new player join us: welcome to Nick, who's interested in joining in the next league - more about that over the coming weeks. But first it's the...

Match Report
With just five players it was a fairly short competition with just one preliminary match before we went straight into the semi-finals.

Tom v Sam
Tom started well and won the first leg with a sharp checkout but Sam came back in the second with some steadier throwing to level the match. She continued to throw consistently in the deciding leg, winning it comfortably to go into the semis.

Semi Finals
Ben v Nick
New player Nick was drawn against Ben and it was a close match with both players scoring well and Ben checking out 52 to take the first leg. The second leg started well for Nick who edged ahead before a 134 from Ben put him back in the race. Both players struggled to find the final double but it was Ben who finally hit the target to win 2-0 and go through.

Sam v Ram
It was a good first leg from Sam as Ram initially struggled to find the target, but he got his eye in in the second leg, finishing in 20 darts (a 3-dart average of 75.15!) to level the scores. Sam picked things up in the decider and put in some good scores but Ram was too hot on the finishing and won 2-1.

Ben v Ram
Both players looked on decent form in their previous matches so a close contest was on the cards. Despite a couple of loose throws, Ben led the scoring in the first leg which gave him enough breathing space to find his double. Ram was throwing consistently in the second leg with a couple of tons to draw ahead but a timely 138 from Ben brought him back in range of a checkout. With Ben on 50, Ram reduced his total to 8, putting the pressure on Ben's next throw. His first, aimed at 10, dropped low and landed in the 15. The next was on target for a big 3 leaving 32 which he hit squarely with the last dart to win 2-0 and secure his first knockout win.

Next Week
It's back to the league next Tuesday for Round 6. There's been a bit of rearrangement of fixtures following John's departure, so here are the remaining matches. We will play as many of the matches as possible (three obviously depend on whether Anne is fit enough to play next week).

Anne v James
Ben v Tom
Darren v Ben
Ram v Anne
Ram v Sam
Sam v Anne

The revised league table and fixtures are here:


Wednesday, 22 May 2013

Round 5 - 21st May 2013

It was another short round last night as Anne was again not fit enough to play, and John was also absent. I've not heard anything from John directly but it appears he may be unable to complete the season, in which case I will either find a substitute player or take the "Pools Panel" option of estimating what the results are likely to have been. For now his outstanding fixtures remain in the list.

Match Report
Ben played Sam in the first match of the night and both players started slowly with low average scores. Ben came from behind to take the first leg and he held a narrow lead to hit his double first in the second leg as well. Sam threw more steadily in the third leg but despite hitting a Shanghai 120 Ben's scoring was stronger overall and, with both players trying for their final doubles, he hit double-top to win 3-0.

Next up were Tom and Darren. Tom got off to a good start, taking the first leg but Darren came back strongly in the second as he started to find the trebles more frequently to level the match. A spot of double-trouble for both players saw numerous attempts at the madhouse, double-1, before Darren went ahead and he continued scoring well into the final leg to win the match 3-1, scoring a good 127 along the way.

Rounding off the night were James and Ram. Ram threw first and both players scored steadily but it was James who took the first leg against the throw and carried on to take the second leg. Ram held his throw in the third leg as both players' scoring improved with regular 80+ totals, including a 140 from Ram. The fourth leg was wide open as James had the throw but failed to open with a good score, allowing Ram to challenge for the lead. Even though Ram had a few wild darts, James suffered more trouble with his aim and Ram had a comfortable lead by the time he reached a checkout, and even though James managed to reach a finish, Ram checked out 40 to draw 2-2.

Bonus points to Ram for the highest score 140, to Ram and Ben for the highest checkout 40 and a clean-sheet bonus to Ben.

Next Week
Next Monday is another Bank Holiday so instead of the regular league on the Tuesday there will be a Knockout on Monday night. All are welcome: we will start at 8pm and as usual it will cost £2.50 each to enter.

Wednesday, 15 May 2013

Round 4 - 14th May 2013

Match Report
Only three matches last night as two of our players, Anne and John, were unable to make it, so there has been a little reshuffling of fixtures.

Getting the ball rolling were Sam and Tom in one of the most even matches I've ever seen. There was nothing between them on the scoreboard with both players hitting occasional ton-pluses - including a 125 by Sam - interspersed with low numbers. Tom even managed to bust 127 by scoring a 140 - the highest of the night - that unfortunately didn't count as the highest score because it bust. The final score was a 2-2 draw: an accurate reflection of the match.

Second up on the oche were Ben and James. James started strongly, hitting a treble-20 in each of his first three throws to gain a decisive lead in the opening leg. Ben struggled to hit his targets in the second leg too and was lucky to even reach a finishable total. Just when it all looked to be over, the third leg became a turning point as Ben found his form and started to finally hit the trebles, building a good lead by the time he got below 200. But that was when this brief patch of form deserted him and James narrowed the gap until both players were looking at double-top with Ben to throw first. All three darts landed outside the board and James sealed it on the next turn with the night's best checkout of 40. Result: 3-0 to James.

The last match of the night saw Ram play Darren in a rearranged fixture since both players' original opponents were absent. The scoring was good in the quickest match of the night with both finding trebles regularly. Ram thought he'd scored a 140 but narrowly missed out as one dart lay just below the treble wire, but there were several ton and ton-plus scores logged. Things were looking even in the first half as the score went to 1-1 but while Ram kept up the pressure, Darren started to slip and his scoring declined. Ram pressed home the advantage and came out the winner 3-1.

A special mention to James who achieved the maximum 3 bonus points for highest score (135), highest checkout (40) and for keeping a clean sheet in his match.
Next Week
Round 5 will be played next Tuesday 21st. The fixtures for that night will be:
Anne v John
Ben v Sam
James v Ram
Tom v Darren

Tuesday, 7 May 2013

Bank Holiday Knockout - 6th May 2013

The sun was shining on this lovely Bank Holiday Monday but we still had a good turnout for the darts, including James who was still recovering from the previous day's Sunday Football League Cup Final in which he represented the Royal Standard FC. Darren didn't manage to conquer his hangover and come out but we were joined by Mark, who had competed in previous knockouts.

Match Report
First Round
John 2-0 Sam
Getting us under way were John and Sam. Sam was hampered by an injured left wrist and had to rely on John to hold her darts during her throw. This affected her throwing rhythm and she didn't have her usual consistency. John didn't give any chances and powered ahead in the scoring (three ton-plus scores back-to-back in one leg), winning both legs easily.

Ram 1-2 Mark
Mark looked very composed as he took on the experienced Ram and with good reason as he took the first leg and appeared to be set for the second, but discount Ram at your peril as he came back to level on 1-all. The deciding leg went Mark's way as Ram dropped behind in the scoring, taking the pressure off Mark as he checked out.

Anne 1-2 Tom
Anne took the first leg after building up a lead on the scoreboard followed by a good checkout but trouble on her double in the second leg allowed Tom to catch up and even the scores. Anne had the advantage again in the deciding leg but couldn't capitalise on it as the double again proved elusive, and Tom checked out to go through.

Ben 2-1 James
James wasn't on his usual form and this match was a close one. Some uncharacteristic accuracy on his doubles gave Ben the edge he needed in two of the legs to go through.

John 2-0 Mark
In a match that saw probably the best darts of the night both players started well, hitting good scores in a close first leg. Mark had the advantage of first throw, but although he reached a finish he failed to nail it and John checked out with his next throw. John had the darts in the second leg and continued to score well, while Mark slipped a couple of times and fell behind. John didn't leave any chances as he sealed the victory with a quick checkout to go through to the final.

Tom 0-2 Ben
Ben tightened up his throw to gain a decisive advantage in scoring, and although Tom kept steadily on, even hitting two bullseyes with one throw, it wasn't enough and Ben went through.

John 2-0 Ben
It might have been tiredness, but John didn't find the consistency he showed in his earlier matches, and his scoring average was down which left Ben in with a chance. Both players had a bit of double trouble in the first leg, throwing repeatedly to checkout and it was John who hit the target first to go ahead. Ben had the darts in the second leg and hit a couple of good scores to take the lead, but he couldn't capitalise on it, allowing John to come back while he failed to find the last double. John took the second leg to win the competition and £10 in prize money; Ben received the consolation of £5 for the runner-up.

Next Week
The League returns next week and it's Round 4, the half-way point. Don't forget that league fixtures are now on Tuesday nights to avoid clashing with pool matches. The fixtures for Tuesday 14th May are:

Ben v James
John v Darren
Ram v Anne
Sam v Tom

Thursday, 2 May 2013

Summer League 2013 Round 3

Second Class Citizens?
There was some disruption to our matches because of a pool match going on right next to the oche. It turns out that an itinerant pool team has made its home in the Standard because they couldn't find another venue, and their matches in the Blackwater League are played on Monday nights. So we darts players, who have been playing on Monday nights for a number of years now, have to either suffer the disruption or move. There's no ideal solution to this problem but the decision has been taken to move our remaining fixtures to Tuesday nights.

Match Report
And so on to the matches. First to play were Darren and Sam in a close match that finished 2-2. Anne and Ben played next with Ben throwing some wayward darts along the way but proving better on the doubles to win 3-0. And then it was the turn of Tom and James. Tom's scoring kept him within reach of the steady James, but James proved too good on the doubles and won 3-0.

The final match of the night saw the two league leaders face each other: John against Ram. Both players threw well hitting some good scores, including Ram scoring our first 180 since Craig three seasons ago. Despite that it was John who hit the doubles to win 3-0.

Bonus points for highest checkout went to James for 40, highest score to Ram (obviously), and clean sheet bonuses to Ben, James and John.
Next Week
It's Early May Bank Holiday next Monday so there will be a knockout. All welcome as usual. The league returns the following week on the new night, Tuesday 14th.

Thursday, 25 April 2013

Summer League 2013 Round 2

Match Report
James and Darren started the night off, and it was evenly matched as Darren played steadily while James was up and down, even scoring a 5 and a 3 in one leg (which he won against the odds). It finished in a draw, 2-2, with James having the consolation of the night's highest checkout, 48.

Second up on the oche were Ben and Ram. Ram was in great scoring form and hit two 140's, narrowly missing out on 180 both times. Ben kept plugging away but rarely managed a score over 45, and it was only Ram's double troubles that gave him any chance of reaching a finish. The first leg descended into a race for double-1 as both players missed throw after throw but it was Ram who found the target in the end and again in the following legs. The result: a comfortable 3-0 win for Ram and the night's highest score 140.

John played Sam next and there was plenty of horseplay on the oche as Sam resorted to distraction tactics to try to put John off. It turned out to be counter-productive as Sam's throw appeared to be less consistent than usual while John hit successive 60's to gain a lead in each leg. John's finishing was good enough to shut Sam out for a 3-0 win.

The last match of the night saw Tom take on Anne. Tom threw steadily but it was Anne who had her eye in on the doubles to take the lead and then go 2-0 up. Tom got one back with some decent throwing in the third leg but it was Anne, cheered on by the spectators, who came through in the last leg for her first win, 3-1.

Bonus points for high score/checkout to James and Ram, and to Ram and John for winning 3-0. This puts Ram on top of the table with 8 points, closely followed by John on 7.
Next Week
Round 3 is next Monday and the fixtures are:
Anne v Ben
Darren v Sam
Ram v John
Tom v James

Tuesday, 16 April 2013

Summer League 2013 Round 1

After just a two week break it was back to league action last night with the start of the Summer League. Although it was "Adios!" to Andy and Natasha who decided not to play this time, we welcomed John who made his first appearance in last week's knockout, bringing the league up to 8 players for this season.

Match Report
Darren and Anne kicked off the new season. Although Darren outscored Anne, his sometimes-shaky finishing allowed her to close the gap and threaten a couple of times but he found his doubles in the end to win 3-0.

Sam played James in the next match and put in a creditable performance, winning one leg, but James dominated the rest of the match, scoring a Shanghai along the way as well as the night's best checkout of 60. Result 3-1 to James.

Ben took on John in the third match, and from the start struggled to keep up with John's consistently solid scoring. A couple of out-of-the-blue 121's kept Ben in the game but John's finishing was too good to allow more than the slimmest of chances in any of the legs and it finished a comfortable 3-0 win for John.

Rounding off the night's matches were Ram and Tom. Tom hit some decent totals but finishing was his problem, as a steady performance from Ram in which he hit the night's best score of 134 brought him a 3-0 win.

Bonus points for 3-0 to Ram, John and Darren, plus high score & checkout bonuses to Ram and James.
Next Week
It's Round 2 next week, Monday 22nd April, and here are the fixtures.
Ben v Ram
James v Darren
John v Sam
Tom v Anne

There are two Bank Holiday Mondays in May and both will have knockout competitions. Anybody can come along and join in, the more the merrier!

Tuesday, 9 April 2013

Pre-Season Knockout - 8th April 2013

Match Report
It was a good night of darts to get everybody in the mood for the new league starting next Monday. We had eight players altogether which is ideal for a knockout, including newcomer John. First round and semi-final matches were played as best-of-3 legs from 501, while the final was best-of-5.

First Round
Getting the competition underway were James and Ben. James threw steadily while Ben was slow off the mark, barely reaching a possible 3-dart checkout total before James took the first leg. A good start in the second leg saw Ben take an early lead on the scoreboard but his inconsistent throwing allowed James to catch up and check out to go through 2-0.

Joining us for the first time was John who played Darren, returning after a couple of weeks off. Darren threw some decent darts but was eclipsed by power scoring from John who hit at least one treble-20 with almost every turn at the oche. An impressive performance and a well-deserved 2-0 win for John.

Ram had been drawn against Anne in the third match, and he got off to a pedestrian start which allowed Anne a chance to seal the first leg with a quick checkout on her last double. The second leg was also close with both players having chances to take it before Ram checked out to level the match. The deciding leg was less close as Anne started to lose her focus and Ram got into his rhythm to win 2-1.

Concluding the first round were Tom and Andy. Scores were close in the first leg and both players suffered from double trouble as they ended up stalled in the madhouse, double-1. It was Tom who broke the stalemate in the first leg, but there was a repeat of the double-1 shootout in the second leg as well which Andy won to equalise. It was a better performance from Andy in the deciding leg as he reached his last double first and checked out with little delay to go through 2-1.

James faced John in the first semi and didn't sound confident going into this match after seeing John beat Darren earlier. However James continued to throw steady darts and John, although hitting decent scores again, didn't match the heights of his first match. Both legs were close but it was James who held his nerve on the checkouts to go through to the final 2-0.

Ram played Andy in the other semi. Andy didn't look like the same player who topped the table in the last league as Ram banged in 80+ and ton-plus scores and built up a lead of nearly 400 in one leg while Andy struggled to find even single-20 at times. A comfortable 2-0 victory for Ram.

Two well matched players in the shape of James and Ram, it was James who won the throw in the first leg, but Ram who delivered the goods and took the second leg as well to go 2-0 ahead. James was looking at a whitewash and this spurred him to pick up his game and he took the third leg with the throw, breathing a sigh of relief at not having a zero on the scoreboard. His momentum continued and he won the next leg as well to set up a tense deciding leg at 2-2. Tiredness was evident in both players and their aim wasn't as tight as earlier legs, but both showed a real determination and kept the scores close right to the finish. In the end it was Ram who brought home the bacon, winning the fifth leg for a 3-2 victory and £12.50 prize money. An impressive effort from James as well, who took home the second prize of £7.50.

Summer League
Next Monday sees the return of our Premier League darts for the summer season. Most of last season's players have already signed up - Anne, Ben, Darren, James, Ram, Sam and Tom - and I was pleased that John accepted my invitation to join us. There are still a couple of places available if anybody wants to join in - send me a message or speak to me in the pub before Monday if you're interested.

There will be a small change to the points system next season. Bonus points will remain for the highest score and highest checkout in each round, A draw (2-2) will be 1 point, a win will count for 2 points but there will be an extra bonus point for winning 3-0. I am keeping the entry fee at £2.50 a week: no price rises for darts night at least!

Thursday, 4 April 2013

Easter Monday Knockout

What better way to round off the long Easter weekend than a darts knockout? Well, it worked for ten of us on Monday night: a good turnout. But would the effects of four days of partying (in some cases) tell in the darts? Read on...

Match Report
Preliminary Round
Tom v James
Sam v Anne
To narrow the field to 8 the first two pairs of names out of the hat played each other in a preliminary round. Starting the night's action were Tom and James in a slow-paced match where neither player managed to score consistently, and both had some trouble with accuracy on their doubles as the match went to a deciding 3rd leg which James won to finish 2-1 up.

Sam played Anne in the second preliminary match, and neither player showed the form they had demonstrated in recent weeks: it looked as if the 4-day weekend had taken quite a toll, but Sam led in the scoring and took advantage of that to win 2-0.

Quarter Finals
Andy v Bev
Matt v Ben
James v Mark
Sam v Ram
It was great to see Bev back on the Monday night oche after so long as she took on league regular Andy. Bev obviously hadn't lost her touch and hit some steady scores, outperforming Andy who has not managed over the last few weeks to regain the form he showed during the regular season. This was another match that went to the deciding leg but Bev's finishing was decisive and she won 2-1.

Matt and Ben played next and Matt scored well, drawing ahead of Ben, who started slowly, in the first leg before getting stuck on his double to finish. This allowed Ben to catch up and take the leg. The second leg saw Matt score an impressive 132 but he couldn't maintain that consistency. Again it came down to a shootout on the doubles which Ben won to go through 2-0.

First qualifier James had drawn Mark, Bev's partner, who plays regularly in his home town of Weybridge. Mark looked confident and threw a steady game but James was up to the challenge and they went into the deciding 3rd leg looking evenly-matched. A dip in James's form gave Mark enough of an advantage to take the leg and his place in the semis.

Rounding off the quarters was second qualifier Sam who had drawn Ram. Despite having played one match already, Sam couldn't find her usual form and Ram dominated the match to win 2-0.

Semi Finals
Bev v Ben
Mark v Ram
Because earlier matches had taken longer than expected I took the decision to reduce the total in the remaining rounds from 501 to 301.

After her first round victory over Andy you had to fancy Bev's chances against Ben who had not shown consistent form in his earlier match. In the event, however, Ben hit the totals when needed to catch up, set up a finish and take the first leg. Bev came right back in the second leg, dominating the scores and checking out to force a decider. Steady darts in the third leg from both players but it was Ben who found the finishing double to gain his place in the final.

Some quality darts next as Mark met Ram in a match that saw the best scoring of the night with the players hitting the treble-20 regularly. The shorter format left little room for errors and Ram was punished for missing his double and leaving the door open for Mark to win 2-0 and go through to face Ben in the final.

Mark v Ben
These two hadn't faced each other on the oche since a friendly game on holiday in 2009, and the atmosphere remained friendly despite the evident concentration. Mark threw as steadily as he had through the earlier rounds and Ben kept pace with consistent scoring, but it was Mark who proved to have his eye in for the doubles where his accuracy gave him the first leg. After a steady opening in the second leg, Ben lost his focus while Mark built a lead to gain a good advantage which he pressed home to win 2-0.

All that remained was to present the prizes: £17.50 to the winner Mark and £7.50 to runner-up Ben. Honourable mentions to losing semi-finalists Bev and Ram, and a big thank you from me to everybody who turned up and took part.

Next Week
With the next league starting on the 15th April, it means that the next knockout fixture, on Monday 8th, will also be your chance to register with me for a place in the summer league. We're always on the lookout for new players to join us on Monday nights so if you fancy having a go just come along. Monday's knockout is open to everybody as usual and entry will be £2.50 per player.

Tuesday, 26 March 2013

League Finals Match Report - 25th March 2013

It wouldn't be the Royal Standard if everything went without a hitch and the Finals Night was no exception as Darren withdrew due to illness. This left eight players which is ideal for a knockout draw so the preliminary qualifying match between Natasha and Anne was ditched in favour of both players being included in a revised first round. The draw was still determined by the final league positions with top playing bottom and so on.

First Round
Andy (1) v Natasha (8)
Sam (4) v Ben (5)
Ram (3) v Tom (6)
James (2) v Anne (7)

The first match of this season's finals saw Sam take on Ben in what the league results suggested should be a close match. Sam threw first and built up a comfortable lead while Ben was slow off the mark, even scoring 2 with one throw. Ben caught up after Sam struggled to find her finishing double to check out 36 for the first leg. Neither player managed to break 100 but there were some solid scores and Sam scored the night's highest checkout 67 to take the second leg. It was close in the third leg and came down to both players needing a double to win. Ben hit the target first to go through, winning 2-1.

Top-of-the-table Andy played Natasha in the second match. Natasha made a good effort but Andy proved too strong and she didn't get to a finish in the first leg. Although she closed the gap in the second leg it wasn't enough and Andy won 2-0.

The third match of the first round was Ram against Tom. A dangerous opponent when on his game, Tom couldn't match Ram's scoring and although he had chances it wasn't to be and Ram won a comfortable 2-0.

Rounding off the first-round should have been James and Anne, but Anne withdrew at the last minute for personal reasons. With the consent of James and the other players, Sam took Anne's place and so got a second chance in the competition. This was a fast-paced, high-scoring match with James throwing several ton-plus scores including a couple of 140's, and Sam also scoring a 120 with two darts when her first bounced out off the wire around the treble-20. This close match came right down to the wire with another shoot-out on doubles to decide it 2-1 to James.

Semi Final Round
Andy v Ben
Ram v James

After a decent first round performance Ben felt that he had a chance and despite being over 100 down seized that chance when Andy missed several attempts at a checkout in the first leg to take an early lead. Andy came back strongly to win the second leg against some poor throwing by Ben including another 2 and a 3 that left him floundering way back. A switch from 20's to 19's by Ben proved to be an inspired decision as his darts found treble-19 throw after throw and this kept him in contention in the third leg. Finally, Andy was left on double-16 while Ben was looking at 117 with the darts in hand. Another treble-19 was followed by a big 20 to leave one dart at double-top for a place in the final... which bounced out off the wire! Andy finished up with his next throw and won 2-1 for the first slot in the final.

I expected a lot from the semi between Ram and James and wasn't disappointed. Ram was an utter powerhouse in the scoring department while James wasn't far behind and this match saw both players hit 140's. The first two legs went with the darts meaning we had another deciding leg. Ram threw first, opening with a 125 while James couldn't find the treble-20. A couple of scores in the 80's and a 140 put Ram in a commanding position on 75 after 12 darts with James left needing well over 200, but at that point Ram lost his focus and allowed James back into a match that should have been all over. That was enough for James who took the leg against the odds to win 2-1 and face Andy in the final.

Final Round
3rd Place Playoff: Ram v Ben
Final (best of 5): Andy v James

Ram recovered quickly from his frustration to take on Ben in the playoff for 3rd place. With the pressure off, both players took things a little easier and it was a reasonably close match with decent scores, ending up 2-1 to Ram.

With the midnight bell ringing for time the final got under way between the league's top two players. James had a point to prove after losing 3-0 to Andy in a previous knockout and came out keen to have his revenge. The quiet man, Andy, maintained his cool and threw steady darts, as did James. The scores were back and forward with neither player gaining any clear advantage as we went into the fifth and deciding leg, Andy with the advantage of the throw. It all came down to the final checkout again with James showing steadier nerves to clinch the title 3-2.

With a 3-way split for Highest Score (140), £2 each went to James, Andy and Ram while the £5 for Highest Checkout (67) went to Sam.

3rd place and £10 to Ram
Third place Ram received £10.

Second place Andy received £25.

First place James received the trophy and £40.

2nd place and £25 to Andy
A really big thank you to everyone who played in both the Winter League as well as our knockouts through the season: it couldn't have happened without you, and I hope you'll all be back for the next season.
1st and £40 to James
Next Week
Next Monday is Easter Monday and there will be an open knockout from 8:00pm. £2.50 to enter with cash prizes for 1st and 2nd. All welcome.

Summer League
Sign up for the new summer league over the next two weeks. Talk to me in the pub if you are interested in joining in, and come along on Monday 8th April to put your name down. This league will start on Monday 15th April.