COUNTY DARTS & Superleague darts, it seems so long since we’ve played any competitive darts due to covid, some have played friends & comps on line but everyone has said what a pain that was not only the playing but the setting up, the camera on dartboard camera watching you throw and scoring yourself, so great to be back to some form of NORMALITY whatever that is.
Some haven’t even picked a dart up for nearly a year some have not missed it and have decided not to play this year hence the new Dorset squad.
Me personally I’ve missed it something rotten, so good to see everyone again. Anyway I’m getting ahead of myself.
How did Dorset get on?
Week ending Saturday 18th/Sunday 19th September saw Dorset play there first County match of the season Away to Sussex. Sussex have changed there home venue now playing out of Haywards Heath Social Club. The venue was a decent size and the stage set up etc was good, only down side was the practice boards were on a different floor so players couldn’t watch the action going on up on stage, on don’t get me started on the AIR CON. Anyway onto the match
Up first for Dorset Donna Mabbatt v Hayley Phillips the game stopped halfway through 2nd leg (rusty scorers bad connection on pc’s) the game one of missed doubles, Donna did poke out 115 (60 15 tops) to level at 1-1 the match going to a deciding leg and Sussex’s Hayley Phillips saved her best leg to last no messing at the double and was Sussex Lady of the Match with a 16.26 average. Lin Bellingham up next slow start for her and she’s well back on 233 as Sussex take first leg, another game going to a deciding leg BOTH had chances to win, match to Sussex. Sally Old (Lady’s captain) up next took her game to a deciding and gets Dorset its first point.
Roz Annette’s up next had moments of brilliance hitting some big scores but was evenly matched against Ellie Williams the match not surprisingly going to a deciding leg Roz not only taking the 3-2 win but was Dorset’s Lady of the Match with a 14.96 average. Lorraine Woodrow next up loses the first leg, the game one of so many missed doubles from both players but Lorraine takes the next 3 legs in a row to take the win and put Dorset 3-2 up with one to play. Last up Julie Boggust v Disney Dunbar ( DOUBLE DEE) a good scoring game both a little nervy at the doubles Julie hit the highest average for the Lady’s B teams (17.19) but it’s all about the double and Double Dee takes a 3-1 win as was joint Lady of the Match and the Match finished level at 3-3.
Men’s B and what a cracking first game to get us underway Harry Jackson (28.69) v Richard Perry (26.34) both were fast throwers both scored well very entertaining to watch Harry taking leg one Rich wiring 32 for a 146 shot out then levelling at 1-1 game played in good spirits Sussex taking the 4-2 win and hitting a 28.69 average no surprise Harry Jackson was Man of the Match for Sussex. Next up Ricky King what a find he is for Dorset he looked so at home on the stage hard to believe it was his debut. First leg 140 ton out, 2nd leg wants bull for a 122 shot out hits the 25 but takes the leg .14 dart 3rd leg and goes onto take a 4-1 win hitting a 25.89 average. Next up Nathan Warren v Scott Mitchell. Scott hits ton 111 to leave 32 and goes 1-0 up. So nice to see Scotty play live instead of just seeing the scores on the screen (how I’ve missed this) Scott goes ton 140 ton 137 out 14 darter 2-0 real EXHIBITION stuff from Scotty I know he’s been playing and WOW 31.31 average taking a 4-0 win and was Man of the Match for Dorset.
Robby Morris (23.00)next up misses a few doubles and finds himself 0-3 down but he battles back starting the 4th leg with back to back 140s and takes the next two legs but loses 2-4. Nigel Lamb (Slammer ( 24.00) next up. I just went out to splash my face Air Con turned off while games on (AS TO NOISEY ?) and returned to find Slammer 0-2 down. Great 3rd leg from Slammer and he pulls a leg back but a few missed doubles and he loses 1-4. Carl Beattie (25.37)on next slow to find his range but goes 2-0 up. Better 3rd leg from Carl even poking a 106 and goes onto taking a 4-0 win. So after 6 games all even at 3-3
Damian Mudge next up playing Tim Pierce (25.49) Damian not throwing as well as he usually does a little rusty me thinks not helped by Sussex’s Tim Pierce hitting 3x 180 s Damian losing 1-4. Ryan Mabey v Cliff Prior next up, first leg to Cliff with throw, Ryan BUSTS 141 in the 2nd leg but takes the leg. All legs go with throw forcing a deciding leg then it was a question of who can control the nerves and hit the double longest leg of the Match leg giving itself up to a relieved Cliff Prior. Nick Turner (23.84) v Lewis Gurney (28.24) with a name like LEWIS GURNEY ( two great players names) you would think he must be good well he must be an A player or be having an exceptional game going 2-0 up and in the 3rd he went bull bull just missing the 32 he did miss a few doubles in the 4th leg which Nick pinched Nick losing 1-4.
Roy Pidgeon (24.03) up next v Lee Gladman (23.47) as the averages suggest a close game when one player hit the double the other was sat on a double or low shot out match going Sussex’s way. Steve Alden up next starts with a score of 121 but after that Steve had what can only be called a NIGHTMARE he’s SO MUCH better than this losing 1-4. Last up Mark Grimes now Mark plays for my local Super league side who I support and he hasn’t picked up a dart for over a year it’s been only the last 4-5 weeks he’s started playing again, but the man has Natural Ability and he had moments were his darts were good missing double 12 for a 141 shot out a shot out he’s hit 141 before when he did a 9 dart perfect leg for Dorset a few seasons ago. Mark did more than enough to take a 4-0 win hitting a 23.57 average.
Sussex 8 Dorset 4
Not the start Dorset had hoped for going into a Sunday trailing 7-11 and on paper Sussex have a great A team, Dorset’s side isn’t too shabby either.
Up first for our Lady’s A Cathy Campbell who travelled up the morning of the game and it’s GAME ON do we shake hands? Hug? No, we touch knuckles that’s that out of the way. Good start for Cathy two tons and 46 out. A nice 125 followed by 60 and Cathy gets first crack at a double 2-0 100% on doubles for Cathy 2 from 2. The better leg from Sussex’s Kelly Ryan and she pulls a leg back. Cathy with scores of 123 121 and a ton on her way to poking out 96 to take a 3-1 win and was Dorset deserved Lady of the match with a 22.51 average. Follow that girls.
Trina Perry up next playing Lisa Withers Trina sat on 30 as Lisa takes the first leg. Trina misses the bull for a 122 shot out returns levels at 1-1. Two scores of 133 ( yes she plays on the 19s) got Lisa to the double first but misses SO MANY at the double Trina steals it. Game goes to a deciding leg BOTH miss doubles leg and match to Sussex.
Julie Frampton up next v Becky King. Julie busts 68 Becky pokes out to take first leg. Julie hits 86 to leave tops Becky pokes out again. Both start 3rd leg with 140s but Becky King takes not only the win 3-0 but is Sussex’s Lady of the Match hitting a 18.11 average.
Suzanne Trickett breaks Sussex throw to go 1-0 up scores of 132 and 93 to leave 36 which she hits 2-0 up. 3rd leg Suzy hits a 140 to leave 98 which she then hits to take a 3-0 win Always in control and a convincing 21.47 average.
Katie Mitchell v Trish King up next, Trish takes first leg breaking Katie’s throw. Katie hits 129 to leave a double Sussex poke out. Katie takes the 3rd leg hitting double one but loses 1-3 leaving Sam Kirton up last to get a draw. Took Sam a while to get going and find her range but finishes leg 1 in style 137 then 42 out. Sam pokes 74 to go 2-0 up, took her foot off the gas in the 3rd leg missing a few doubles but takes a convincing 3-0 win hitting a 20.59 average and getting Dorset Lady’s a draw 3×20+ averages not bad girls.
Bring on Men’s A.
Kevin Smith (22.81) v Steve Cross (26.37) both players start with a 140 Steve however followed his with another 140 180 and poked out the 41 left breaking Kev throw, Kev missed 3 @tops to break straight back but not to be and Kev loses 0-4.
Danny Pierce v Jim Withers (26.37) Danny hits Dorset first 180 of the weekend but Jims not missing much Danny losing 0-4.
Robbie Martin (24.19) v Tony Ayres (26.03) Robbie scores really well but is a little rusty around the double and also loses 0-4 the scoreline NOT reflecting the game at all. So 3 games in and Dorset’s Men haven’t won a leg yet.
Daniel Perry (25.91) v Rod Hawkins now Daniel knows Sussex’s side inside and out as he played in there youth team so ALL the pressure on him and he’s now were he belongs in Dorset’s A team. Well Dan didn’t disappoint Took Dan a while to get going but one dart at tops is all he needs to give Dorset Men’s A there first winning leg. Dan misses bull for a 122 shot out Sussex level at 1-1. What a 3rd leg both players start with 3 tons and a 140 Dan gets the double 2-1. Dan starts the 4th leg with a 180 and hits 95 to leave tops eventually hitting 1x to go 3-1 up.Rod pulls a leg back Dan takes a deserved 4-2 win and you can tell he’s pleased as he shouts GET IN and gets the deserved applause from BOTH teams.
Steven Earley v Jason Yates (24.13) Steve takes his match to a deciding leg and what a time for Jason to hit a 180 and Jason goes onto take the win.
Scott Mitchell v Conner Lovett(26.89) what a game this turned out to be. Scotty starts with a score of 5 (yes he threw all 3 punished for being close) then Scott started finding the range a little late as Conor pokes 44 to break Scott’s throw and Connor gave it some, think that got to Scott as like yesterday THE EXHIBITION DARTS STARTED. 12 dart 2nd leg from Scott to level and break straight back. 180 140 140 out in two 11 dart leg 2-1. 15 darts 3-1 Connor scores well in the 5th leg Scott on 61 hits the 25 wires the double 18 returns pokes 9x for a 4-1 win and a 34.57 average. That Conner Lovett like our Daniel Perry a name to watch out for in the future.
Mark Grimes (29.96) v Cavan Phillips (28.56) up next for Dorset. Cavan hits 57 busting the 51 he has left and Mark with throw takes leg 1. After 12 darts Mark sat on 28 yes one dart 2-0 up. Nice 17 dart leg and Marks 3-0 up and cruising. With throw Cavan goes 140 180 ton and he’s out in 13 darts. Mark misses 3 match-winning darts at 24 Sussex pull a leg back. 6th leg Marks back 180 ton 140 misses the bull leaving 39 no worries in two Mark Grimes of old winning 4-2 with that 29.96 average.
Richard Wright (Freddie) v Richie Edhouse (27.63) first 5 legs all went with the throw putting Richard 2-3 down. Sussex hit a 180 at the right time but Freddie on 122 hits two treble 18s and wires double 7 Sussex taking a 4-2 win.Richie Edhouse is Sussex’s Man of the Match.
Dale Masterman up next (The Big Show) Dale rushes into a 2-0 lead wires 32 for a 146 shot out returns one dart to go 3-0 up. Dale pokes 150 (highest shot out of the weekend ) to take a deserved 4-0 win.
Next up for Dorset Mark Porter (Potty) v Joe Davis (25.39) Potty far from his best he’s another one whose hardly thrown a dart for 18 months or so and it showed Potty far from his best going 0-3 down but he takes the 4th leg to pull one back. Another 180 for Sussex and Joe goes onto take the win. Dorset’s men need last two matches to draw as trailing 4-6.
Carl Beattie (24.56) v Micheal Hammond (24.01) Nervy darts at the double in the first leg Sussex breaking Carl’s throw then pokes 111 to put Carl 0-2 down. Carl pulls a leg back then in leg 4 hits 128 to leave 24 Sussex poke out 1-3. Carl has a couple of bounce-outs and on 82 hits the bull misses the double 16, then 8x finally hitting double 4. Carl now scoring better and levels at 3-3 deciding leg fight back on. Close deciding leg Carl with the darts that made the difference Carl hitting a 131 to leave 32 which he hits to take the 4-3 win.
Last up Tommy Morris (27.85) v Adrian Gray (24.96). Never easy going on at anytime but going on last to get a draw now that’s PRESSURE. Tommy wires tops for 78 shot out Adrian takes the leg with the throw. Tommy throws FAST & FURIOUS Adrian tries to slow him down having a sip of water, (why not nothing wrong in that) Tommy’s not for slowing poking 101 to level at 1-1, then starts the 3rd leg 140 140 ton (not worked then) 14 dart winning leg to break Adrian’s throw and go 2-1 up. Adrian fair play 11 dart leg to break back and level at 2-2. We’ve got a great game on our hands here nip & tuck anyone’s. 4 tons in a row from Tommy blocks the double 18 hitting 9x to go 3-2 up with a “come on” it’s got really NOISEY here (but not when players are throwing) Tommy on 80 hits the treble 16 misses the double with two darts but returns to take a 4-2 win .
Best game to last ??? Probably not CERTAINLY the most entertaining so 6-6 draw.
Lady’s B drew 3-3 Men’s B lost 4-8 Lady’s A drew 3-3 Men’s A drew 6-6
End result Sussex 20 Dorset 16
Well what a great game to kick off Dorset’s season a great weekend of darts HOW IVE MISSED ALL OF THIS. There is only one winner this weekend and that was THE DARTS. Certainly a mixed bag performance-wise Scotty Dog what some averages YOUR THE MAN not bad for a farmer bless. We win as a team we lose as a team. 3 draws and a 4-8 so close. Onto the next one at least it’s not far to travel as we are at home.
Will see you all there not long to wait either. It’s wrong to single anyone out but considering the last couple of years, I’m proud of you all.
Words: Martin Maidment
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