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  • Writer's pictureJo Clements

Czech out on a high!

Friday 16th Nov saw me nervously head out alone to try to make the 2018 Czech Open whilst I was playing well. I love the security, company and laughs we have when we travel in our local group so going it alone was very daunting for me. I may have been a little over the top with the extra time I allowed myself but after buses, trains, planes and taxis I finally made Prague and met up with familiar faces.

It wasn't as scary as I thought but I would still prefer to travel in our group as we have such a laugh with family and friends.

The venue for the darts was beautiful. The prices for drinks were astoundingly cheap. My first pint went down so well. I could finally relax. Once the warms ups were finished I was taken to the famous " shed " where the drinks were cheaper still. Once we'd had a night cap I took myself and belongings to our shared apartment. Massive thanks to Sue and Steve Cusick for letting me share with them, believing in me and supporting me over the weekend.

Saturday saw the start of my Singles games. Due to the excellent start of the season I found myself seeded yet again. I went on to win my first 3 games 4.0 without losing any legs. Both my scoring and doubles were on point. I was throwing well.

I then faced one of the top lady darters for England and in the world Deta Hedman. Both Deta and Paul have given me help, advice and encouragement when it came to my darts and attending competitions. I had managed to take the odd leg from her in previous meetings but her experience and ability always won through.

I had nothing to lose, I thought about how I'd played so far and stepped up to the oche to try to defeat Deta again. Lots of people were there watching the game and some were encouraging and supporting me. I want to thank each and every one of them because with their help I seized a 4.2 victory!

With adrenaline pumping, my hands shaking and almost crying I shook Deta's hand. Both she and Paul congratulated me.... I was in shock! I had just beaten the current world number 4! A fantastic player who has won over 100 titles in her time playing.

Overjoyed with my results I found out I had another tough game to come against world ranked number 6, Paula Jacklin. I needed to keep my momentum going. I needed to keep calm and stay focused despite quite a crowd forming to watch around us.

After some great darts from us both I managed to compose myself for the match winning double. With a deep breath I threw my dart and it landed smack in the middle of the double. I could barely believe it. I had won 4.1 and was into the last 4 of over 150 ladies. My best ever run!!

I then faced a very on form Lorraine Winstanley in the semi final. Our last game in Northern Ireland was a corker. There was little time between the games now. I tried to keep momentum however my get up and go had got up and gone. I had played two of the toughest games ever but I just could not summon the reserve for another. Lorraine took victory 4.1. She also went on to play and win in the phenomenal ladies final against Lisa Ashton

I won a beautiful crystal vase and 7000 Czech currency. I shared the honours with my darting Idol Trina Gulliver. Never did I think I would ever get to play her, but to be up on stage next to her, claiming the same award as she was more than my dream come true.

There are so many talented ladies playing darts. All of the BDO darters I have had the pleasure of meeting have all been lovely but everyone is there to win and some victories mean more than others.

Czech me out! Being all brave. Sometimes you have to push yourself out of your comfort zone to truly feel a sense of achievement. I'm so glad my manager at work persuaded me to go... Thanks P xx

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