|Cuddles for the birthday girl!|
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.
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|
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|
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|
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.