Following the resounding success of MAD’s previous multi-title events, such as the Contender Series Finals, Mayfield, Rochdale offered up more regional title challenges, and a national title match, to the hundreds of spectators anticipating an accomplished Friday night of darts.
Whilst regulars of the Mayfield Rugby Club may be more familiar with alternative physical displays of sporting prowess – the herculean darting clashes they were set to witness – ensured attention was firmly placed elsewhere than from their pints of Boddingtons.
The Apache’s super-regional title, a battle between the experienced incumbent and challenger youthful Jim Moston.
Mark ‘Mile High’ Hylton, a multiple major PDC quarterfinalist, and on the back of several local open competition victories, got off to a raucous start, scuttling to a quick-fire 5-0 lead over Moston with clinical finishing and great set up play.
Showing character, Moston kicked off the sixth leg with a maximum, finishing the leg in 11 darts. However, this was not enough to stop Mark Hylton from retaining his Apache regional title and he ensured this in the eleventh to complete a brace of legs finished on 32 and complete a 7-4 win.
Chris ‘Quanny’ Quantock was set to defend his regional title against Whitby-based Richie ‘The Seasider’ Parkin. The game got off to a flyer with Quanny racing to a 3-1 lead with assistance from a particularly debilitating 170 finish.
Five out of the first seven legs a break of throw, neither player could capitalise on the constant shifts in momentum and the players went into the interval at 4-3, courtesy of Parkin inflicting a 14-dart break with a 96 check-out.
Quantock appeared determined to retain his belt and coming into the second session, he set out to coerce an increased level of consistency in his game. Would back-to-back 14 dart legs be the breaking point?
Parkin was acutely aware of the precarity of his situation and reeled off two skin-saving legs, the game was poised to go to a decider.
In the finale, Richie had to adjust his position to get sight of double twenty and narrowly missed with the dart going into double 1. In the next visit, Chris, opting for the lesser-spotted route of big 7, treble 16, and double 20, took out 95 to seal the victory.
The North East clash saw Dave Prins bidding to retain his title against Shaun Matthews who had recently shown promise at the British Pentathlon.
Having set out confidently, Matthews appeared determined to wrestle the Nomads belt from Prins. This was not to be the case as Prins reeled into a 5-1 lead with a James Wade like consistency on tops and tens. Despite Matthews’s best efforts, including a 180 in the previous leg, Matthews could do nothing to avoid the scoreline of 5-2 going into the break.
The break only served to enthuse Prins, who came out of the blocks determined to squander as little time as possible. He started to strut his stuff in the following two legs and concluded the fixture with a seemingly ever-reliant competency on double 10.
Scott Marsh, having just won the 2021 WDF British Open, came to Mayfield as a challenger in fine fettle. Up against Marsh was a doughty opponent in Darryl Fitton; the Dazzler would not roll over easily and the long-anticipated clash would get off to a flyer.
Straight out of the blocks, four breaks of throw were exchanged in the first four legs.
Looking imperious on tops and tens, Marsh took the lead and appeared to get a stranglehold on the game in the penultimate leg of the session and was on the verge of another break, except his efforts thwarted by a stirring 112 finish from Fitton ensued to maximise punishment.
As sure as night follows day, Scott Marsh would find double 10 to win an important leg. He did this in the seventh to retain a crucial advantage going into the first break.
Unfortunately for Fitton, the five-minute interval would prove fatal for his chances in retaining the English title. Marsh returned with an inspired look and gritted his teeth at an opportunity to break throw with 69 left.
He looked to be hitting top form in this game and, at times, looked unstoppable on tops and tens; he may prove to be a difficult adversary to future title challengers. Despite Fitton’s heroic attempts, which included two tonne-plus out shots, he could not prevent Marsh from taking his MAD England belt.
Current Falcons title holder Stu Wilson was set the challenge of defending his belt against illustrious dartsmith Wes Newton in the ultimate line-up of the Mayhem at Mayfield event. The inclusion of a PDC Premier League alumnus and World Grand Prix semi-finalist ensured that the last game of the night would captivate the audience.
This game went the distance and had all the bells and whistles of a classic darts match. This became immediately obvious following the, somewhat recurring, trend of the four opening legs resulting in four breaks of throw.
The game exploded after the early trades of throw. Wilson claimed the first hold with a confident 126 finish on double 18.
Responding to this, Newton clinched the sixth leg to draw back level and it took another tonne-plus outshot from Wilson to snatch the lead going into the break; four 18’s and double 16 ensured this.
With the game ran at an indivisible pace, both players were throwing in rhythm, and neither could capture more than one leg in succession. Like all classics, however, there was a final twist in the tale of this game. Wilson, with his second attempt at 116, sent the game into a deciding leg, creating a break of throw in the process. This would prove fatal, taking out 86 with his last dart in hand, Stu Wilson retained his title.
Words: Darts World Editorial Team – From Issue DW577
Darts World Magazine (Issue 577) and Christmas bundle offers
Subscribe or purchase your copy