The Chase is on!
After a short break in the BDO calendar Friday 26th July saw me head off to Luxembourg for a double headed category C competition. These are not normally the competitions I would attend with having only Peterson providing one off sponsorship however this one was a must with the race for Lakeside and for my dream to stay within my grasp.
After a short but turbulent flight we arrived in Luxembourg to be greeted by temperatures of over 33 degrees. Our hotel was a short walk away from the airport.
Tired we checked in to our room but despite opening the window and having the air conditioning on full blast we were still sweltering. Not a lot of sleep was had by either myself or travelling companion & future sister in law Heather.
Early Saturday morning we took the city bus from the airport to the huge D'Coque venue. A truly impressive building however with it being made of glass and with no air conditioning it made it hotter than ever. My first task was to mark the first game. Luckily for me it was a fairly quick game. It was so hot sweat was dripping from the markers so you can only imagine what the players felt like.
After my marking was done it was time to try to go outside to cool down. My first game was a little unsettled. It was harder coping with the heat than playing itself. Despite this I went on to sieze a 4.0 victory. After another cool down session and short break I had to play Dutch Veteran Astrid Trouwborst. We had a great game, both scoring heavily however my clinical finishing helped me checkout a nice 111 to get another 4.0 victory. On to last 8.
The last 8 saw me face another Dutch lady. This time a Dutch International Vanessa Zuidema. Again this was a high scoring game. At least one of my darts hitting a treble each throw. My finishing was good hitting what I needed when I needed. I managed to break Vanessa's throw by taking out a pinpoint 96 on the bull. I was into last 4 of the Luxembourg open.
Fatigue and heat was setting in. Despite keeping myself hydrated I had started to flag. My game had finished very quickly however I had to wait for others to catch up. I was approached by Aileen De Graff who complimented me on my throwing this weekend. Her fellow Dutch ladies must've told her how well I'd been playing. I needed to keep it up as it was Aileen whom I faced next.
Going for bull Aileen hit outer, calmly I stepped up and hit centre bull. We were off. Another high scoring game however this time my accuracy on the treble eluded me. I missed 2 darts at double to take the first leg. Aileen upped her game another gear. Despite keeping with her I was not able to better her 16 dart legs. I lost 4.0, but was still happy with how I had played during the day.
Sunday was the masters. We needed to get to venue early to secure coolest seats. However I was not playing for 4 hours. Again it was warm but not as warm as previous day. I knew I was up against a tough player first game in Janni Larson Danish player. We have met a couple of times however previously I had been victorious. I set of reasonably well and took a 3.2 lead. I needed the double to win the match however despite my best efforts I wired them each time.
Janni equalised and we set off in the deciding leg. My treble 20's were nowhere to be found. The more I tried the more they missed. This is where Janni' s experience shone through, she held her nerve dug in and knocked me out in the last 32.
Another competition done, another semi final and trophy plus a few more points keep my dreams alive. Big thanks to Kev for paying for our room and to Heather for accompanying me so I wasn't alone.
On to Antwerp.