Anything is possible
Thursday 9th May saw myself and two good friends head off for our annual visit to Prestatyn and The Welsh Darts Open 2019. Finishing work earlier I grabbed my darts and case and we were off. The holiday site and chalets are quite dated but with the big darts family there I always find this competition fun.
Friday morning saw the start of the Welsh Classic where I got off to a good start but had very close games from the outset. I won my first two games and then won the opportunity I had long dreamed of, playing my Idol Trina Gulliver yet again. We have played twice before with Trina being the victor on both occasions....third time lucky for me?
I set off to a two nil start against Trina but her wealth of experience and ability enabled her to pull it back to two all. I took the lead 3.2 but yet again Trina pulled back to take it to a final leg shoot out. I threw fairly steadily, hitting good scores at the right times. I had left myself 40. Stood at the oche I composed myself as I knew that if I did not finish it here then I would be the loser once more. I took a deep breath and went outside the double, again I threw...this time hitting the outer wire. Third dart thrown and it went right in the middle of double top. I had finally won against my Idol Trina. Never did I think I would ever play her let alone take any legs from her...but to win made all my dreams come true. A little tear filled my eyes.
After 10 minutes to compose myself I had to play Youth darts ace Beau Greaves in the board final. Beau played awesomely and took victory 4.0 however the scoreline does not reflect the full cat and mouse of our games. Beau went on to get into the classic final. She then went on to beat Anastasia Dobromislova in the final itself and be crowned Ladies champion.
Saturday is time for yet more darts but with a little hint of fun. Myself and fellow Smokies Bandits team mates always get dressed up and play. This year our theme was Dark Angels. We had to create our look whilst still being able to play. This year I was playing with fellow Lancashire player Lee Shewan. Both were up for a laugh and wearing lightweight Angel wings we cruised through our first game with myself hitting a 180 wearing coloured contacts too.
Unfortunately we were narrowly pipped in our second game but enjoyed it nevertheless and made new friends in our opponents.
Sunday was the main competition. The higher category and the one I needed to get as many points as I could to help towards boosting my rankings. I had a tough group but continued my good form from the weekend getting through my first 3 games quite easily, even defeating Yorkshire counties Giffy Khoasoi but
I had yet another test in the board final my good friend and very talented and dangerous darter Mandy Smith. It was a very tight game with some fantastic scoring from both of us. As this was the board final it was best of 7 rather than best of 5. I took the legs to 3.1 where Mandy initially thought it was over however I mentioned we had to play on a little more.
Mandy came out all guns blazing and pulled back the legs to 3.2. She was building momentum scoring 180 with her second three darts. I knew I could not allow this to happen. I kept my scoring with her. At the point I saw a little glint of a way through I threw a crucial 180 to give my the advantage and get me on a finish first. Both missing 3 darts at doubles I had left myself 74. Mandy would not miss again ...I had to take it out. I stepped up to the oche and calmly finished in two darts. I had won my board final against an awesome player (who had also taken out the seed Priscilla Steenbergen). I was physically and mentally shattered. But I had no time to think about this as I was up next against the Mighty One, the Lancashire Rose - Lisa Ashton.
As you get further into the draws your opponents get tougher. There is none more tough that my old county captain and friend Lisa Ashton. A nervy start from both meant that I missed darts to break throw and go one leg up. With Lisa going into the lead I needed to keep with her. I managed to equalise and get the legs to 1.1 but then Lisa stepped up a gear. Despite remaining calm and staying with her all the way I bowed out in the last 16 with a 4.1 defeat.
I eagerly await my next game and the updated rankings to see if I have moved ever closer to fulfilling yet another of my childhood dreams of playing at lakeside. Is it a possibility for me this year? We will see!