C'est la Vie
Late Thursday 22nd August night the Morecambe mob got in the car to set off yet again for Dover. This time we were catching the ferry for the French Open. Driving through the night we arrived at Dover just before 05.30 am. The ferry over to Dunkirk is becoming my second most mode of transport. This ferry is a lot shorter & smoother in journey to that of the Ben My Chree going over to the Isle of Man. We arrived in our accommodation all shattered so we decided not to enter the pairs on the Friday evening, just to stay in and relax.
Saturday I had a bye in the Category B comp before facing my first opponent from Belgium. I played reasonably well and took a steady victory. Into the last 16 I went. Next game I was to face Aussie Corrine Hammond. Last time we played victory was mine. Would it be again....? Our game was a tad scrappy with both being inconsistent with the scoring and doubles. However I managed to get a 3.1 lead following a nice Bull finish.
All I needed to do was keep on going. Keeping going and staying ahead is hard against the caliber of player which Corrine is. She dug in and pulled it back to 3.2 with a nice 100+ outshot. The next leg I stepped up to the oche with 88. I hit a perfect treble twenty and missed two darts at one of my favourite doubles ( dbl 14 ). It was all square. In the deciding leg Corrine sprinted out of the blocks leaving me some what lagging. We both got down to our out shots however I didn't have a chance to take it out as Corrine hit the winning double.
I have never felt as gutted playing this game I love. Graciously I shook her hand and congratulated her but on the inside I was seething with myself at how I just seemed to hand victory, points and Euro's to Corrine.
With my result from the day before behind me Sunday saw the early start of the Category C competition. I was playing in one of the first matches with Aileen De Graaf marking. I played awesomely ( if I do say so myself ) winning 4.0 which included a 15 & 17 dart leg.
I next faced Andreea Brad from Romania whom I narrowly beat in Belgium. It was an extremely close game. I seemed to be hitting at least one treble twenty a throw. All legs got down to doubles and all games went with throw. The last and deciding leg saw Andreea set off with a great 180 maximum. I knew I couldn't let her get to far ahead so calmy hit back with a nice 140. On this occassion it was Andreea that hit the winning double. There was really nothing between us it was an epic battle and a lot better than our last game. This game showed why we are both up there in the BDO ladies rankings.
Left France with mixed emotions at how well I had played but how I need to seize my opportunities. Still no rest for the wicked, off the the West Midlands and yet another hotel stay for their Category B comp which is likely to be packed with everyone chasing ranking points. After the long hot drive back from France we arrived in Dover ready to head up to Dudley. However we experienced car problems which left us stranded on the M1 for approximately one hour whilst the overheating car cooled down.
After a measly six or so hours sleep we got up and headed over to the darting venue to secure seats as we knew it was going to be busy. I don't think anyone realised how busy. With all the players and supporters alike and the outside temperature it made this venue hotter than where we had just left in France. Everyone was suffering, pouring with sweat even whilst sitting.
My first game was tough. Not only because of the conditions but because I was facing an extremely experienced darter in Maggie Sutton Both our darts were slipping due to the heat but I just managed to slip mine in the doubles to take a 4.2 victory. My next two games I played a little more consistently. I must've acclimatized. Winning 4.0 twice.
I had to face ( yet again ) Vicki Pruim. Third time lucky...? But No. Vicki was victorious yet again. Last 8 with a few extra points and money but my dream is becoming a distant thing.