Almost half way through the season and a familiar name tops Division 1. Very close behind, one point in fact, are the Hyenas, really up for some silverware this season.
Porterhouse slip away from the top 2 after their encounter this week with the Meerkats, in a match they were never behind until the eleventh leg. The Bears from Breakaways open up a massive 6 point gap over the Jaguars after the return of their own Phil Taylor, in the shape of Mike Smith. Still a long way to go, Meerkats unbeaten run likely to end soon possibly at the hands of Sporty Spicers Hyenas on January 29th.
Breakaways are certainly not a one man team, but when Mike Smiths around, he lifts the team and his presence is usually worth a point or two. Angie Craggs 85 and 135 proved valueless in the opener as Smith finished the 701 on D16. Some powerful scoring from Jaguars Simone De Lacy and Dee Green also went begging as Mike Snow wrapped up the second on D4 after a 98.
A 180 from Del Lister was nearly wasted in the third, Mike Smith coming to the rescue on D1. Lister made it 0-4 on D20, Louise Richardson adding to the Jaguars problems with D4 to complete the 601, De Lacy and Hilda Wilkinson scoring well to set up their own finish. Snow paired with Sarah Simpson in the final double leg and ensured the draw on D18 for all six legs without reply. Craggs reversed the trend after the break and with Pat Schofield on next, a comeback looked possible.
Her opponent, Lister, had other ideas making sure of both points on D8. Green made it two for the hosts on D13 after some excellent scoring. The scoring continued in the next for Jaguars, this time from De Lacy but Mike Smith wasn’t fazed as 75,100 and 140 set up D4 for 2-8. Sarah Simpson made it 9 with some consistent arrows 85,81 and D6, leaving Tracey Simpson to take the last on D15 against a free scoring Snow.
Pint Depot Queens remain firmly at the foot of Division 2 after their eighth defeat of the season, but apparently with good reason. Their rendition of " Agadoo. We’ve got two,two,two" etc, is all they know from that awful tune, so gaining any more legs would be totally wasted. Well that’s Debbie Wrights version of events. Good scoring from the Royals in the first was thwarted by Ken Treble’s double after Rachel Broadhead had left tops.
Evolution piled on the pressure in the next Jak Doggatt 121, Tracey Gilbert 121 and Derek Halpin 85, but surprisingly Queens were with them to leave Marie Dunne the pleasure of planting her first arrow in D4 to level. Ann O’Keefe kept her royal ones in the hunt for the third, but Doggatt and Halpin would have none of it, the latter posting 180 and double for 1-2. Gilbert added a third for the visitors on D11. Broadhead paired with Lyn Fozzard in the second doubles, Fozzard hitting an excellent 101 to pressurise the opposition, but Doggatt calmly planted his darts in D8 for 1-4.
Treble made it 1-5 at the break on D10. Totally rejuvenated after the fifteen minute break at the bar, the Royals came storming back to take the next via Dunne and a 5 minute rendition of " We’ve got 2,2,2, etc etc. The visitors took the next two courtesy of John Williams D10 and Maggie Nicholls. Vi Turner gave a good account of herself in the next, unfortunately Treble got the better of her on D10. The last two went the same way, Doggatt D17 and Halpin D10 against a fine effort from Ann O’Keefe.
Que Pasa Kestrels had a nail biter with the Sporting Misfits, the match being decided in the eleventh leg by Zoe James on D4 against a tough opponent in Chris Miles. Kestrels had started well enough, winning two of the three triples via Alan Preston 133 and both doubles, D20 and D9. Karl Cooper taking the first after a 105. Russell Lyness increased the lead for the hosts followed by a D8 from Gilly Kirby to increase the lead to 3. Cooper threw well in the sixth, 3×81 but it was left to partner John Ashworth to close the game on D2 for 4-2.
Another Cooper, Sonya, pulled one back for the Misfits in the opening singles on D2, leaving son Karl to finish his nights work on D15 to level. Kirby faced Leah Chesworth for the lead and it was a real ding dong both players going for it, but it was the latter who came out on top on D4. George Caine D8 ensured the draw, leaving James the honours for both points. Preston took the last available leg for 5-7 on D10.
Hyenas keep up the pressure on the Meerkats, with a fine win over the Que Pasa Eagles. The hosts were 5-1 up a half time, the visitors winning a creditable 3 of the 6 singles available. Highlight of the evening was Sporty Spicers 158 out, equalling Pat Scofields effort earlier in the season. Sporty took a slightly different approach using T18,T18,Bull. Nice one son! Den Hall, Stuart Clark and Kevin Wood were the Eagles singles winners.
Meerkats got away with murder against Porterhouse, although a nice 20 tons tally wasn’t that bad a haul but the finishing from both sides could have given two different results. A nine ton thriller between Ray Hayes and Paul Durrant was spoilt by finishing, the latter eventually pegging out on D8. Pat Abrams couldn’t buy a treble or double earlier in the evening, but eventually found some from taking out Brian Nash 2-0. Sid Cross was the Porters star man taking out 3 game shots before winning his singles against Del Kingsbury 2-0 after 2×100,140 and a tasty 77 out ( S19,S18,D20).
Busters got the better of the Pint Depot Kings going 5-1 up at half time. Depot took 3 of the singles and if reflected throughout the match,the result may have been a draw. Gary Minor starred for the Kings with 2×100,140, Matt Cummins supporting with 2×100. Mark Filer pounded the trebles once again with 140,125,121,10, Ray Harvey 100,134 and Paul Dowington 125 and a 96 out.
Finally its that time of year. A mid season break for the extravagance of Christmas and the P.D.C. World Darts Championship at Ally Pally. l spent a few days recently down in Marbella with an old mate of mine Rod Harrington, former World Matchplay champion and now Sky Sports darts pundit.
The usual subject came up over dinner and we discussed current form players, likely to succeed at the premier event. Gary Anderson is the one to beat at present, he is showing more consistency of late and converting those massive scores into winning legs. A new addition to the family arrived earlier this year, so the 250K first prize will come in handy. Michael Van Gerwen is not exactly struggling at the moment, but that extra bit of magic seems missing.
The extra media coverage on the Dutchman maybe a clue to his form. Never dismiss Phil Taylor who is smarting a little at not being No 1. He has everything required to take his seventeenth title, including the desire to prove a point. He is far from finished and may well take 20 titles, although l cant see him doing that in four years, but who knows. We both agreed that Adrian Lewis is the " dark horse ".
Former manager of Lewis, Keith Deller himself a world champion, has now been reinstated as "Jackpots" manager and is probably the reason we have seen the re-emergance of the Stoke wizard as a major threat. Surprisingly, William Hill are only offering "odds on" for a nine dart 501 from anyone. if you want to win some Christmas cash, bet on two or more. Taylor is favourite, Van Gerwen second favourite. One for the youngsters, the P.D.C are offering in excess of £200,000 for the 2015 youth tour. Oh to be young again.
From Derek Kingbury, Linda Cross and myself may we wish all Euronics darts players and their families a very happy Christmas and 2015
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