Again another couple of months on and I hope you are all keeping fit and well?
August saw me sidelined, as I have had a complete left hip replacement op, which was very much a success, and I honestly now feel the best I have in well over 2 years, what with the pain and tablets. But being laid low ensured I had plenty of time to sit and watch the darts from my sofa. A fans’ eye view, if you will.
The Hungarian Darts Trophy was won by Gerwyn Price, defeating ‘Bully Boy’ Michael Smith 8-2 in front of a fabulous 4500 crowd. It was pleasing to see the youngsters qualifying for the main event and show what talents the PDC has waiting to make their breakthrough. Bradley Brookes and Keane Barry were superb.
Next on the TV agenda was the PDC World Cup of Darts, and did I enjoy this one from my sofa. Gary Anderson elected not to play and ‘Big’ John Henderson came into Partner ‘Snakebite’ Peter Wright as Team Scotland.
There was a lovely touch by the Aussie duo of Simon Whitlock and Damon Heta, having Kyle Anderson’s name on their shirts in honour of the man himself. The World Cup, I thought, would have been retained by Wales despite the seedings. (What do I know about darts?!).
Scotland in the quarter-finals took out Team Netherlands in a thrilling last-leg decider and then Wales in the semi-final again with a last leg decider, to reach the final. Team Austria with Mensur Suljovic and Rowby John Rodriguez also had a decider in their quarter-final against Team Northern Ireland and then glided past an out-of-form Team England in the semi-final.
Your champions are Team Scotland, who beat Team Austria in the final. Personally, I thought it was one of the best World Cups we have had.
Next on my sofa was The Nordic Masters World Series event in Copenhagen. Again a cracking watch, which saw Fallon Sherrock finally get her chance to play in the World Series after lockdown halted her previous opportunity. Fallon had a convincing win over qualifier Niels Heinsoe 6-1 to earn a quarter-final place against ‘The Iceman’ Gerwyn Price. Sadly Gerwyn had to withdraw from the tournament with an arm injury, which put Fallon into the semi-final, where she was to play Dimitri van den Bergh, who in his quarter-final took out Gary Anderson.
Dimitri, after taking an 8-2 lead and 9-3 lead, found Sherrock make a remarkable comeback to win the semi 11-10 and make the final of her first PDC televised event against a rejuvenated Michael Van Gerwen, who won through on his semi-final 11-7 against Johnny Clayton. The final was an absolute cracker, which saw Sherrock take a 6-3 lead, then the ‘Green Machine’ kicked in like we know he can, winning the title – his first in over 200 days – 11-7. He was back and with a vengeance.
We now have an abundance of darts coming up over the next 3 months, during which I will be back to calling, started with the Grand Prix, more next time.
It’s seemed a long one this month, but it is fabulous to have darts back on the screens and with the fabulous crowds that support our amazing sport. Maybe I’ll soon be in shape for a round of golf with Keith Deller?
Till the next time folks, stay safe and well, and see you soon.
Russ Bray is a PDC referee and writes in association with William Hill and Unicorn