Diary of a Darts Player

Follow my journey from 'Mad House' to 'Double Top'. The BIG time beckons......

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Back to action.....

Yes I am still here. Blogging hasnt been a prioity for the past two months as I have been out of work/contract. My darts skills have been a rollercoaster ride over this period. I have been practising for the odd string of days, but then I get way laid & im back to normal again.

So since the last blog I have:

Lost in the Bolton Open
Won against Lord Ashton in the league
Lost against Ruxtons in the league
Lost against Royal Oak in the league
Lost againt Freeholders A in the league

Yes a pretty dismal two months on the competitive scene, but its not for playing badly. My opponents have been finsihing first time my scoring has been quite good but ive been pipped at the post. Anyway back to blogging and last nights action.

Skerton Hotel (h) - 16/01/07

Last nights team were the above. A team who we'd heard a lot about, but for wrong reasons. Apparently they dont turn up, cant mark etc. You get the picture. Anyway half eight came & they had 5 players. It was decided to go with our best five players that had turned up.

Dave Murby kicked us off & as always impressed us with his darts. A 61 off, a ton followed with a 140 & a nice double top out. A good start. I went up next. Confident of grabbing a win I hit two consective tons and rounded off with a 16 out. My recent practice had paid off. Ross George got off to a flyer producing some nice arrows with 16 off & two ton pluses. His finishing wasnt the best but he nailed 'Mad House' to take us 3-0 up. Rob Lancaster toed the oche fourth. Eventually getting off, he had some nice darts but his opponent was always snooping around his score. A hard fought finish, but Rob just couldnt find his double to take the leg. Taking us into the break was Paul Haywood. A dazzling performance once again. 80 off, 140 followed by a ton & a double ten out. At half time a sure victory was acomplished.

Darts: 4-1
Dominoes: 2-4

We negotiated that Skerton could play some ringers as it was only fair for lads that had turned up for us. Mick Daly went 6th & was paired against a female competitor. Her darts were better than some of ours on the night but Mick took the game with a double 8. Steve Tennants new darts were on fire. Several pre-practice tons he looked in good form. A 102 off saw him get down to a 'Mad House' out. Dave Walker topped the night off with what looked to be a victory, but sadly he couldnt find the last dart to take a win. So overall.....

Darts: 9-1
Dominoes: 8-4

Personal Performance Indicator (PPI):

Back to a winning form after a dismal two months. I have been practicing well & recently purchased some new darts. The seem to have made my control a lot better. See below. I have also altered my stems for a longer one. Again this has improved the overall throw. I have started to stand a lot different aswell, more of a 90 degree posture as to 45.

My new darts are Ruthless RingGrip 24g

Buy them here -

Lets hope for another winning streak & its the John O'Gaunt next week.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Up for the cup.........

Challenge Cup 1st Round - Three Mariners (a) - 21/11/06

We visited the Three Mariners once again for our 1st round cup match. Having beaten them comfortably in the league, we were confident of another victory.

For the darts 11 players were needed. This is to avoid any draws.

Stuart Lacey started us off. With a nice 99 off, his darts were below his usual par. A slight fright when his opponent had a chance to take the match, but Stuart came through a bagged a double 4. New boy Ross George found his practice form & produced a ton followed by a 140 securing a double top out. Andy Markham in his usual 3rd place threw some impressive darts, landing the first maximum of the season. His finishing was spot on with a 63 nailing single 13 followed by the middle bit (Bull).

3-0 up & surely we were cruising to an easy victory.

Steve Shaw toes the oche in 4th. He struggled to get off using around 15 darts before hitting 52. A 140 followed by a second 180 of the night. Things do really come in two's. His finishing wasn't quite the same although he managed to put us 4-0 up. I stepped up fifth. A young lad was my opponent. Confidence at normal levels I was sure I could win. Getting off with my new favoured double top I followed this with a ton. Very average darts throughout & eventually finishing on a double 8.

Half time & we were in cruise control.

Darts: 0-5
Dominoes: 2-4

Half time saw another new face. Nathan Sharples stepped up. Steady darts throughout but he couldn't quite finish on his needed double 4. Paul Haywood got off to a flyer with an 80 off. Sadly no ton pluses this week, but an impressive 88 checkout (treble 30 + double 14). Another player who is amongst those who have lost only one this season. Steve Tennant got back into winning form throwing a ton 40 with a nice double top out.

Now 7-1 up we had the darts side of things in hand.

Rob Lancaster toe'd 9th. Back from holiday he was in impressive form. Throwing nothing lower than 55. His darts have really improved these past few matches; although the negativity is still present (Stop shaking your head!!) Rob won his match a can now boast a winning streak. Dave Murby & Dave Walker won both their matches easily.

A final 10-1 finish at darts. Our biggest score to date. Complimented by a dominoes win we hammered the Mariners 17-6 overall.

Darts: 1-10
Dominoes: 5-7

Back at home next week after a 3 weeks & it's the Lord Ashton that faces us. Personally I have a tournament this weekend in Bolton. A few big names entering I need to be prepared.

Personal Performance Indicator (PPI):

A slow return to form. Practice has been present at home, but limited. For the remaining 2 days left this week I would be stupid not to practice for Saturday's event. Yes I know that 2 days won't win me a tournament, but at least I can make myself look half decent.

Updates Sat/Sun.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006


Brown Cow - 14/11/06 (a)

Well after last weeks 'dry' performance & practice becoming little more than looking at my darts could we produce a win to get us back up the league?

A copy of the league was handed over & we were in a mere 11th out of 16. The defeat against the Horse & Farrier still has a lot to do with this position. Last week result is basically void & im sure the Duke are soon to be kicked out of the league for wasting everybody's time & effort.

The Brown Cow - I haven't been there for around 5 years. The pub used to be a typical ale hole - dark, dingy & full of old blokes. Now it has changed. Doubled in size, more open & brightly lit. A nice darts venue. Once again another team we haven't played before. One known darter, Geoff Diamond. I got told he played for Lancashire at some stage. These were also 2nd in the league.

pic. A bigger Brown Cow


Steve Shaw started the night producing a 112 off. Steady darts throughout with a 32 check. New boy Ross George threw second. Looking promising during practice he couldn't get off & struggled to produce the same display. With the game at 1-1, Andy Markham once again produced a nice display of darts. 62 off followed by two tons with a 20 check. Back in front Dave Murby threw fourth taking his match with a 20 check. Now well back in the lead at 3-1, could Dave Walker spring a surprise & take us into a good half time lead. A 38 off followed by a 125 it looked promising. His finishing lacked finesse but Mad House came in handy & we were 4-1 up at the break.

Darts: 1-4
Dominoes: 4-2

Re-grouping for the 2nd half I decided to join the cause. Bear in mind that my home practice has been non-existent, pre match practice I looked to be on form. A few 140's & felt OK. First 3 darts I got off with 80. My highest check in so far this season. This was possibly the worst thing I could have done. I think I may have found my nerve issues. Read more in PPI. My next sets of darts were very below average. 41's, 26's you get the picture. Eventually I got down to 83. I went for a treble 17 to leave 16x. I hit a single 17 & should have really gone for an even double to leave a 1 dart finish, but I chose double 17. Wired, back to top for 20 leaving 46. My opponent was also struggling at double 16. In a nutshell my opponent hit his double 16 leaving me with nothing. Gutted as I should have won this one.

Anyway we move on & learn to loose before we win. Both Pete Kennington & Steve Tennant lost their matches. At 4-4 we needed 2 wins to take the game. Paul Haywood was back on form with a 42 off, ton & a double top check. 5-4 up could Aussie Mick Daly continue with another win? No....although good darts with an 84 off followed by a 109 his opponent struck first taking the draw.

Overall we played well on the night. A slightly disappointing 2nd half with at least 2 other games we should have taken, but that's darts for you. Beaten on the night after the doms result. It's only a game.

Darts: 5-5
Dominoes: 7-5

Personal Performance Indicator (PPI):

The bandwagon grinds to a halt. To be honest & not disrespectful it shouldn't have. As mentioned after a good set of darts, in this case an 80 off I seem to cave into a nervous wreck. I can feel my arm & stomach shaking. This is something I must try to combat if im to continue the journey. I am hoping that this week sees the board finally back up. My practice im sure will be back to square one & I only have myself to blame.

Any next week it's the cup & back to the Three Mariners.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006


Severe blog deprivation I know, but at the moment there is nothing to blog. When I say nothing I mean nothing. I havent practiced for ages, the room where the board once hung is now our bedroom and where the board is soon to be hung is now being decorated so im unsure when I will be back on the home oche.

Anyway there was another match last night.

Duke of Lancaster - 07/11/06 (h)

Another pub thats new to the fixture list & that have apparently not turned up to a couple of matches this season. Why?, i dont know. The pub has more recently become the meeting point for people who have an alternative approach to the mating cause. Now im not one bit against this, but think hard.......imagine a puff darts team?!!

Anyway quite suprisingly we had a good turnout early for this game. Our players do seem to be getting a lot better & I seem to be getting a lot worse. Im still holding this down to the severe lack of practice due to the mentioned above. Anyway 8.30 came around & we were due to toe the oche.

No sign of the Duke's team. A few minutes later & a bloke asked for the captain.

G: 'Thats me how can I help?'
D: 'Well im from the Duke of Lancaster & we havent got a team'
G: 'OK, how many players have you got?'
D: 'Two'
G: 'Oh dear.......!!!, I'll give you till 9 to get a team together'
D: 'Yeh, but no-one wants to play'
G: 'Ok, do you want to forfeit the match?'
D: 'Suppose we'll have to........'
G: 'OK, that'll be twenty two - nill to us then!!'
D: 'No probs, cheers'

And that was that. A resounding 22-0 victory in the space of 30 seconds. Im sure I will need to explain to the league secratary what happend, but what else could be done. They didnt want to play we were ready. Anyway surely we'll be top of the league?

We had an inter tournament with the players that turned up. I was hammered in the first round & went home early.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006


Sorry for no pre-match build up & nich blogging for the past several days, but I have been in Dublin & busy working.

I will start with my brief trip to Dublin. Lovely city, nice people, good drinks but quite expensive. The World Grand Prix was attended & it was a little disappointing. We didn't get there early enough to get a decent seat so we were right at the very back. Sky sports did kindly put big screens up all over the place, but we may aswell have watched it on TV. Suppose I should appreciate that I was there to witness that mental darts atmosphere. Anyway another Taylor win. The guy is a trophy machine. I can't knock his achievement & id love to hammer him one day!!

Anyway onto darts played at a much higher level than those see in Dublin.............not!

Three Mariners - 31/10/06 (a)

pic. Three Mariners Pub, Lancaster

Any potential ghostly goings on would be blamed on the fact that we were playing in one of Lancaster's oldest & haunted pubs. A win and a re-coup of the points lost from the hammering last week was needed.

Weve never played the Three Mariners & to be honest I was expecting an easy match. I don't know why, but I was. This is another pub in town that doesn't seem to be of a darting nature. More a tourist pub, because of its history.

We managed to pull a team together & we were all on the rebound. Stuart Lacey kick us off, away for a few weeks & this showed but confident & composed he got us off to a winning start. 16 off, 16 out. Dave Walker took to number 2. Could he gain his first victory? 37 Off & some nice darts, but sadly beaten at the double. Back from absence, Andy Markham was in impressive form. A 49 off followed by 3 tons in succession and a favourite double 16 finish put us back in the lead at 2-1. Pete Kennington's darts improved once again. He threw 2 tons, but couldn't find the double to earn us another point. Mark Rigg was 5th but sadly couldn't take us into the break with a lead.

At the break we were 3-2 down at darts, but cruising 5-1 up at dominoes.

With a severe lack of practice & feeling a little nervous I took to the oche at number 6. Unsure why the nerves were kicking in, possibly because I felt it necessary to have a 5 out of 5 under my belt. Finally on the 12th dart I was off. My next 9 darts were poor, barely getting over the 40 mark. My opponent was also struggling to land an off, but I kept on going. Down to 279 I managed to hit a ton. Needing to land a decent finish for what was hopefully my final 3 I hit a 97. An 82 finish in sight I decided upon Bull, double 16. I won't go on, but I did eventually finish on Mad House! A massive relief as my opponent had nailed it down to a double top finish, but I was fortunate that he couldn't finish.

Pulled back to 3-3 we needed a good second half. Paul Haywood's slight dip in form continued but he eventually got off on double top & like me had a Mad House check. Rob Lancaster picked up an impressive win. The highest out of the night awarded to him, 53. Dave Murby's was form was back on track & with another 60+ off he picked up another point for us win a double 8 finish. Aussie Mick Daly rounded the night off with his first competitive win to make it 5 straight second half's points.

So another good darting performance & with a couple of players out we stand in good position to keep winning & pushing for a high place going into the Christmas break.

Darts: 3-7
Dominoes: 4-8

An overall win of 15-7 & a few points re-couped as hoped from last week.

Personal Performance Indicator (PPI):

My run continues. How?? Im unsure as this was an unconvincing performance coming off the back of a good win last week. I put it down to my lack of practice. I seriously need to start doing some or I may aswell hang up the arrows. My nerves were all over the place. Why?? As mentioned I think it's because ive pressured myself into needing to win. There is a big competition that I have entered coming up on the 25th. There will be good players there & I don't want to show myself up. Performing like this will. Anyway enough slating, 5 out of 5. Enough said.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

A lesson in darts.......

Horse & Farrier - 24/10/06 (a)

Last night was our 5th league match. As mentioned previously the team we played are a good set of darters with a few of them playing at super league standard. Pre-match tensions were settled by the news that we were currently lying 5th in the league & only 4 points from the top. A nice start for a team that's only been together for less than 6 months.

pic. The Venue

I got there an unexpected hour early so I had a good practice & hitting the twenty's but my double starting/finishing was way off the usual mark. Some people say this is a good thing because when it matters you usually hit what you want & by not hitting you are ridding these from your system.

Anyway we started the match with Steve Shaw. He eventually got off with a 52, but sadly couldn't get anywhere near any tons & his opponent was on fire finishing in 21 darts. This is super league standard. Dave Murby & Dave walker both were defeated easily although Dave W did get off on a nice 84. Mick Daly played there best & well know player Fran Lynch & as expected was defeated. Fran throwing 3 toms on his way to a double 16. Rob Lancaster rounded up the first half, but was beaten.

At half time we were five nil down at darts & four two down at dominoes. Not the start we wanted.

Pete Kennington kicked off the 2nd half & produced a nice display. Peppering the twenty with a 60 off followed by a 116. His finishing lacked & was eventually beaten. Now 6-0 down we needed a consolation point. I took to the oche to try and achieve it. The oche at the Horse & Farrier is spacious & has a good level of lighting. I felt comfortable in the surroundings. I was to play a super league player. Again not phased I set about the task. Throwing first I didn't get off, neither did my opponent. 6th dart in & I was off on 16 (8x). My next few sets of darts were consistent with my current average my highest being a nice 100. My opponent was also throwing well keeping up with my pace. An eventually double top was needed & I checked out on the 2nd dart. The consolation point was gained & I was a happy man.

Sadly we never gained anymore points in either the Darts or Dominoes. Steve Tennant & Paul Haywood both lost their darts matches.

Darts: 9-1
Dominoes: 8-4

Our first defeat at darts & to be honest it was expected, but not on this scale! I'm sure we have dropped down the league after this defeat.

Personal Performance Indicator (PPI):

4 out of 4 now & the confidence is increasing match by match. A few comments from more experienced team players in the team we nice to hear post match. Apparently I look confident & my whole game has improved over the past few months. This is what I want to hear. Considering the lack of practice my game didn't drop. My current average was proven & let's hope this can be built on.

Anyway im off to admire the pros, but not too much!!

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Big match nerves.........

Its Tuesday & another league match beckons. Tonight we play away at the 'Horse and Farrier'. Another team literally a stones throw away from home.

Weve played these before in the winter league & they are a good outfit. Twice beating us comfortably. They are quite a star studded team with several of their players playing for Lancaster in the Super League. This doesnt really put me off because I soon hope to be at their standard. Hopefully tonite we'll have a strong side out & stun a few people.

I am confident, but I have a niggly feeling that the severe lack of practice will show tonite. Again I am working late & practice will be quite minimal pre-match.

Fingers crossed. Match review tomorrow.