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  • Writer's pictureJo Clements

battles at the Belfry

After a 8 hour night drive/journey which included and early morning Channel Tunnel stint we arrived at the Velotel Hotel at 6am. We were prepared to get our heads down in the car until we were able to check into our room for the next 3 days. However, this fabulous hotel advised us that our room was ready so let us in very early to enable us to catch up on some much needed sleep.

Friday night saw the Pairs Competition. I was playing with my fellow "lefty" and Lakeside 2022 opponent Suzanne Smith. We gelled well together. When one of us dropped off, the other stepped up. In the earlier games honours were shared with the scoring and doubles. So much so, we never dropped a single leg until the final.

We got through our opponents fairly quickly and before we knew it we were called on stage for the Pairs final against Noa-Lynn van Leuven and partner. It was a fairly even game, despite us taking a 2.0 lead. But our opponents came back. We continued our game, working well as we had done in our previous games. My scoring power kept us well in the game, with at least one treble every visit. Suzanne's awesome finishing left our opponents with around 200 points left when we knocked up 701 in 20 darts. We were crowned Belfry Ladies Pairs Champions.

Saturdays Silver ranked competition started well for me, despite a few loose darts. In the last 16 ladies I now faced Russian born but German International darts player Irina Armstrong. I just could not get going. I soon found myself 3.0 down in the race to 4. I dug in, found some consistency and form and pulled it back to 3.3. The last leg decider was a nervy thriller from us both. I snook the winning double and moved into the last 8 ladies!

There wasn't much of a turnaround time until the next game, in fact when our game had finished I found that I was already 5 minutes overdue to play former Dutch International and title winning Aileen De Graf. I did manage to get to the toilet and have 9 practise darts before our game started. Hindsight again... Maybe next time I will make sure I am fully ready to play before I start, rather than trying to keep to time constraints. Needless to say, despite my best efforts and a nice 177 to leave me on double 10 in the final leg, Aileen took out a sweet double top finish to end my run in the last 8.

After an early night I was up bright eyed and bushy tailed ready for Sundays second Silver ranking event. My first game was against my darting friend and lovely lady, Kathy Geeraerts. We have had many battles over the years on the circuit. Today was no exception with us both not playing our best, but legs were close. I managed to take 4.1 victory into my next game.

As with Saturday, I managed to get through to the last 16 ladies again. I was playing some really good stuff, but still the erratic darts came now and then.

For a second time I was to face Irina. This time I took a little more time to prepare myself before the game, so that I felt that I was not rushed. I set off with some great darts. I took a 3.1 lead with a lovely 14 dart leg! But the game was far from over as Irina came back with a vengeance. With the score tied at 3.3 we were both playing on fumes.... We both had so many darts at the winning double. Alas, this time it was Irina who hit the victory shot. Honours evenly shared between us over the weekend. Both having a last 8 and last 16 place.

I must admit the games against Irina were so hard both mentally and physically with them going all the way, and I did enjoy them but I can honestly say I would be happy if I never played her again! Haha.

I left Brugge with more Euros than I had taken, some good results, some renewed confidence and a Pairs championship to boot.

Looking forward to battling some more at the PDC Womens Series at the end of October.

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