• Jo Clements

Growing a slight dislike to Pandas

Giving ourselves plenty of extra time Morecambes own fab four headed down to Leeds Bradford airport for our 6.30 am flight over to Bratislava. The packed flight was a little turbulent at take off and landing. I was hoping this wasn't an omen for how my darts were to go.


Arriving early in the fabulous X Bionic hotel we charmed the receptionists to let us check in 4 hours before we were allowed as we were all shattered due to lack of sleep. We checked into our modern and spacious room and had the best sleep ever. For a couple of hours or so. We then had to get up and ready for the Slovak Open competition.

Luckily I had a bye in my first round. I played 2 games, winning both 4.0. My darts were going really straight and my finishing was clinical. My biggest finish was 72 in two and 98 in three. I was into the last 16 ladies and faced a very in form and legend to be Kirsty Hutchinson. Kirsty has huge darting talent and is more than capable of smashing anyone on her day. I knew my darts had to continue how they had and potentially then some to be in with a shot. Unluckily for me Kirsty was on fire. 3 out of our 4 legs she started with 140.


Despite throwing a few good darts as well as being in touching distance of legs I was never really given a chance at a double. Disappointed my earlier form had not materialised I put it behind me to focus on the main Slovak Masters on Saturday 22nd Feb.

Saturday saw me being one of a handful of ladies without a bye. Not only that but I had been drawn against Amanda Harwood ( panda ) yet again. Any first game match is a tad nervy but to have this draw meant I really needed to be on form. Our first four legs went with throw with even the marker gobsmacked at the quality of our darts. The battle was on, again.


However silly little things got to me again. This is something I really need to work on. A player on the board next to me was standing to the very left of her oche. Her stance also meant she held her left arm out 90 degrees to her side. In the midst of our melee this player walked back on my right side. Just as I was throwing, when she was directly passing my right ear, I heard her say something along the lines of how close I was. This then entered my mind when I was about to throw. I started thinking about timing my throws to be polite so as I didn't encroach her space.


I have respect for all players so this was the option I chose. I slowed down, stepped back whilst she threw but in turn lost momentum & rythmn, which against Amanda is suicide. This cost me the game. But never again. I lost 4.2 and was thrown out of the main comp before it had even really begun.


Sunday was pairs day. Myself and sister in law Heather played Suzanne Smith and Kirsty Gibbs. I struggled initially to find the treble 20 but was peppering all around. Again I was happy with my game. I was confident, calm and despite playing the board we lost 4.1. Not such a good result in one of the best comps on the circuit.


One thing I have noticed whilst doing the circuit is how tight some of the board set ups are. Yes there are a lot of games to get through however you should have enough space to throw and to be able to walk off your own natural way.


I'm taking the positives on to Longridge panel darts final, Lancashire county darts and then West Fries xx P.S don't forget to check my gallery for new pictures

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