Mixing it with the Men
Things have been quite busy recently on the darts front. From local weekly Panel darts to the 13 week running Premier League. Both of these are predominantly male orientated and pose tough challenges.
Panel Darts comp at The Gordon Club Morecambe consisted of 8 weeks of qualifying. Open to all but mostly men entered and some even traveled from outside on local area to try to qualify and win overall. I was the only lady to qualify beating 3 tough male opponents en route.
Some cracking players from all over Lancashire attended. I ended up drawing a great player and fellow Lancashire team mate James Caton. Whilst I did lose I definitely gave him a game and made him work for it. He then went on to face our very own Dave Chizzy Chisnall. After some cracking games the competition was won overall by Chizzy after a great tussle with local lad Charlie Rouse.
Following on from Panel darts, attention turns to Premier League Darts where I faced my County Sponsor Lee Jackson of W&J Plasterers. I had darts to take it to a 4-4 draw but wires got in the way and Lee took victory 5.3. A crucial game this coming Thursday at Smokey O'Connors as I need victory to qualify in the top 8 of our league.
Once all Premier League games had been done a group of us headed to the mini bus to start the long journey to Dover. Picking up some cracking ladies darters on the way. Namely Lisa Ashton & Paula Jacklin. I can honestly say I have never been so tired travelling to a darts comp. I find it very difficult to sleep when travelling so by the time we arrived in Calais, before continuing on to Antwerp I was almost dead on my feet with being awake over 24 hours by the time we played our first darts.
I was honoured to be partnering Lisa Ashton. We went to the darts venue to take part in the pairs competition. Due to lack of ladies pairs the format was changed last minute to include mens pairs and also mixed pairs, applying a small handicap depending on pairings.
Our first game was a tad tentative however we got better as we went on. So much so we were still there after Midnight. Both of us were so tired, it started to show in our darts and after coming back from 2 Nil down to seize victory on 2 occasions our darts and finishes failed us & we were knocked out in the last 8 pairings. All of the remaining pairings were men. We won 50 Euros and finally managed to head to our beds.
Still tired from the traveling and getting back to hotel late, Saturday saw temperatures of over 30 Degrees and also saw me face my darting Idol and friend Trina Gulliver. This time I was not as starstruck and gave a great game. Frustratingly I wasn't able to get the dbl to take it to the deciding leg despite starting the leg 180, 100, 45, 100. Trina was so cool under pressure and set herself up on a finish so when I missed the 76 out, Trina took it out. I went out first game.
Sunday saw me face another great lady darter and such a nice person in Nikki Goldsmith. I seemed to be cruising along but the worm turned and I started with bounce out after bounce out. Costing me much needed darts. It was a race to the double in the deciding leg. Nikki took it and was so kind as she could see how much bad luck I'd had.
I came back from Belgium exhausted & disappointed in my game and the results, however I have been cheered up and on by my friends and fellow darters. I have to remember how far I have come in such a short space of time. When I first started trying out the circuit never did I ever think I would be taking legs off 10 time world champions, Partnering the current World Champion the Awsome Lisa Ashton and even beating some top players.
So much so people seem to be getting to know my name now and I am proud of that. I must be doing something right.