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  • Writer's pictureJo Clements

Agony & Ecstasy

Following the passing of my beloved father and my confidence diminished due to lack of practise It was county time again. The Red Army marched on at our home venue St Thomas Club Wigan against the Blues from Lincolnshire. I arrived to see my team mates and friends on the opposing team. I had missed the last game in Essex. I was back anxious and heartbroken as the last time I was here, so was my father to see me win and hit my first 180 in 5 years.

Our Saturday squad gave us a great start to the weekend it was on for the Sunday players to finish off and take victory. I was drawn out last. Playing a very dangerous & capable player in Shelley Bontoft-Gash. It came to my game and Lancashire were 2.3 down. I not only had to win for myself I had to try to get the draw for the team.

When I began to play I was over thinking, I could not settle. Despite taking the lead in leg 1 and despite hitting my second ever county 180 I could not hit the double. You can't do that against Shelley. She soon made me pay by catching me napping and taking a 2.0 lead. I was all but defeated until something came over me. I dug deep to pull a leg back.

Forth leg and with my eye clearly set in I hit back to back 180's. The whole club fell silent as I stepped forward to go for the potential 9 darter. Unluckily for me I only hit 100. But 41 left after 9 darts felt amazing! With a new confidence & spring in my step I leveled the match. The deciding leg I started as I'd left off the prev two... hitting my 4th x 180 of the match. I confidently stepped forward and hit my double. Won the game for my dad, myself, my confidence and got the draw for my team.

From the lovely Lancashire to Southern Ireland for the Irish Open. Southern Ireland is somewhere I had always wanted to visit so what better time. We arrived at our spectacular hotel right next door to The Gleneagles - darts venue.

Pairs went well. Myself & Heather Lodge were beaten by Mandy Smith & Paula Jacklin. Winning a few Euro's to boot.

The big Category A+ comp went well. Some good scoring from myself. I found myself in the last 16 playing Priscilla Steinbergen. I just could not find the treble twenty. I bowed out 100 euros richer and ranking points - my first of the season.

Category C comp again started well. I had a tough start against a young Irish girl whose first 6 darts were 2 x 140. I managed to dig in once again and took four legs on the bounce to claim victory.. After a little mix up with the draw sheets I got myself once again into last 16 after beating my fellow Morecambrian Sue Green with a lot of help from double 10.

Last 16 I faced Maria O'Brien ( the Ice Cream splatter ). Unfortunately I came out second best. However it was nice to know I lost to the overall winner of the Sunday competition.

Kev and myself took some time away from the darts to spread his mum & dads ashes in a place they had always wanted to go. We found a beautiful place for them and will endeavor to return & visit this beautiful place & country each year.

Next weekend see's me head to the third country in under one month & Prague. I am looking forward to revisiting this truly beautiful place once again.


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