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  • Writer's pictureJo Clements

Troublesome Travels

Up bright eyed and bushy tailed ready to catch my 6 am train to Manchester Airport. Only to find, once I'd turned my phone on, that my train had been cancelled. Lucky for me Kev was able to flex an hour off work so he ran be to the airport in good time. I met up with the usual darting pals and set about the arduous task of getting through the airport system. Once through we found our flight had been delayed.... Perhaps another transportation sign of things to come for our weekend in Belgium.

Once in the hotter climes of Brussels we set about meeting our transfer to the hotel.... They weren't there. We made contact with them to be told they had cancelled our booking and we should " have a nice day".

After an unexpected train and taxi we finally all arrived at our hotel. Tired and warm, we quickly freshened up and went to the warehouse venue for a couple of hours practice before heading back to the hotel for an early night.

Saturday morning saw the first of the silver ranking events. I was feeling quite poorly. Possibly something I had eaten the night before. On the darts front, for the first time ever I had changed my darts.... Cloned my original set, but had them custom made 2 grams lighter. I had only played one super league game with them but figured they were OK so I'd left my normal darts back at home. However once I started practicing they didn't feel right. They felt alien in my hand. I knew I wouldn't be able to concentrate fully if I used them so managed to find my original 30+ year old set in my darts case. I brought these out of retirement, briefly.

I really wasn't settling on Saturday and struggled to focus due to I'll health, I wasn't scoring, barely finishing. Needless to say I went out in last 32 with a 2.3 loss. After getting home earlier Saturday and having a sleep I met up with friends to go out for a nice meal. I was a little apprehensive at, first. But needed to try food. It was beautiful and just what I needed. Another early night ready for the Sunday, silver session.

Feeling loads better I was up early again to head over to the venue, even though I wasn't playing until 1 am. With the problems we were having getting to and from the venue, non existent Ubers and taxis, I figured it was best just to get there and no try on my own. There was alot of sitting around. Changing back to my lighter, cloned darts I had a good hours practise. They were feeling better, or was it because I was?

I won my first 2 games 4.0. I hit a nice 2 x 180 in one game. I was feeling OK, the darts felt better and I was having a more enjoyable day. Into the last 16 I went. Here is where I faced my old adversary Aletta Wajer. It used to be I came out the victor in these matches however Aletta has really worked hard on her game. She won the Antwerp open to claim her first WDF title. So I knew it would be a battle, and certainly wouldn't be easy. Admittedly, it was far from our best game. A few good scoring bursts here and there. I was 1.0 up but despite being approx 200 in front, just could not find the double. Aletta then found her scoring boots, kicking off one leg 180, 140 and I had lost my treble. Again, Aletta was victorious but it's always a pleasure playing her. She is a challenge and give upmost respect to her opponents before, during and after games.

With yet more transportation troubles getting back to the hotel we finally got back after the weekend of darts. We all went out for food. Fatman and Throbbin saved the day in a road rage incident before we all went back to the hotel for the last early night.

I only picked up 22 points over the weekend which isn't good enough really but now I have quite a break until my next game. I am going to practice hard with my lighter darts and really try to get a few more points under my belt to hopefully play again in the World Championships - but will it be the last time ever at The Lakeside?

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