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.