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  • Writer's pictureJo Clements

Boiling in Brean

We set off early Friday morning to start our four and a half hour road trip to Burnham on Sea and Brean Sands Pontins Holiday camp. This competition was in place of the fabulous Selsey. The sun was beaming and it was glorious conditions for driving. However everyone else seemed to be thinking the same. What with road works and a lot more cars on the road due to the gorgeous weather, our journey ended up taking us just over six hours.

I last went to Brean nine years ago so I was looking forward to going back to see if anything had changed. Alas it hadn't. In fact it was as if everything had been stuck in a time warp. The accommodation included, but we knew what to expect.

After a quick unpack and freshen up it was time for pairs. England darts were trialing a new darts scoring system, Steel Dart Pro. It was a little like Darts Connect but without the problematic Internet signals. This new system was fairly easy to use, and does have the potential to be good however at the moment it is quite basic. It doesn't give you any match stats, leg by leg etc. It just calculates your running average over the games you play.

Pairs was quite uncomfortable to play due to the volumes of players in the venue and the heatwave outside. Our opponents were two young ladies who play on the Youth circuit. The roller-coaster of a game came to an end after some fantastic scoring and finishing by Hannah Meek. There is certainly some brilliant talent coming through the youth channels.

Saturday was an early start to get seating and play the first of the Silver singles events. With temperatures still soaring I started my bid against fellow circuit player Aletta Wajer. In previous games I have had the edge but not today. Both our scoring was good but Aletta finishing was exemplary. I soon found myself 3.0 down. I managed to claw myself back to an even keel with a nice 14 dart leg. It went all the way. It was the first to take out the winning double. After missing 3 match darts Aletta wrapped it up and sending me out of the days proceedings.

Sundays competition was again Silver ranked. I was determined to do better than my previous attempt. However sickness struck. I must've eaten or drank something wrong because my stomach was cramping big time! I made numerous trips back to our chalet between games to try to ease the pains. No matter what I drank, nothing stayed in. I dare not eat. So very unwell, dehydrated and in yet higher temperatures I went again.

My first game was against Tracey North. It was far from our best. We were both struggling with the heat. I managed to scrap out a 4.1 victory.

Game 2 saw my face a fantastic young lady called Gemma Bowen. Gemma had taken time out of the sport and Youth darts career to raise her family, but you wouldn't have known. She threw very consistent, high scoring darts.

I ground out a 4.2 victory here after missing a 150 check out by the narrowest of margins and two double double checkouts on the bounce. I was into the last 16 and I was to face my good friend Evonne Taylor.

I tried to re-hydrate myself to give myself some energy. However with my lack of fluids and the soaring temperatures I struggled. My hands were pouring with sweat. I was constantly trying to dry them by rubbing them on my trousers but it was to no avail. Evonne was by far the most consistent and deserved to go on into the next round.

My darting weekend was over. Despite being unwell I had a fab time with my darting friends and family.

I am looking forward to a few weekends off now, to spend time with my family and get some practise in ready for my next crusade in Antwerp.

Onwards I march.

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