Posts Tagged ‘World Championship Darts’
Wednesday 23rd December 2009
One final fun night at the Darts, even though my mates were somehow expecting to see Barney or The Power. Well they’ll have to make do with the current Premier League Champion, The Machine.
Once again the weather was playing havoc with our plans and the almost impossible climb uphill via the icy pavements to Alexandra Palace. Even so, the place was packed out again and everyone was getting comfy for another great night of darts.
Up on first was Wayne Jones (No. 22) against Alex Roy. In a pretty tight contest the high ranked player managed to outscore the Ace of Herts 3-1 and book a place into the second round.
In the preliminary match, Sweden’s Magnus Cariz was up against Spain’s Francisco Ruiz. An easy 4-0 victory for the Swede put him through to a round one match later on against Colin Lloyd.
It was time to enjoy some of the great food on offer whilst Dutch superkid Michael Van Gerwen and crazy-haired Peter Wright took to the oche. In a pretty tight match, Mighty Mike came out on top 3-1 against the red and white dreadlocked Snakebite.
The current Premier League Champion, Jame Wade (No. 3) was up next against Steve Brown. This turned out to be the match of the night with high scoring averages and great outshots. The Machine finally coming out on top 3-1.
In the final match, Colin Lloyd (No. 10) was up against the qualifier Magnus Caris. The Swede was no pushover and Jaws had to put in a great performance to triumph 3-1.
Favourite moment was finally getting to hear the words to Colin Lloyd’s walk-in song “what’s that coming over the hill, is it a monster, is it a monster?” live. Another great night at the Darts. Shame I now have to wait 2 months until the Premier League debuts at the O2!
Monday 21st December 2009
With reports that Alexandra Palace train station had closed and tv coverage showing the area at a complete standstill due to the extreme weather, it seemed almost certain that the event was going to be cancelled.
Even though a mate had called earlier to say the heavy snow had meant it was impossible for him to get across London, I still planned to make the short trip to Alexandra Palace. I was just about to turn off the TV when I heard Sky reporting that due to the chaos on the roads, there was a chance the event was going to be cancelled. With players struggling to make it and with safety of thousands of fans to take into consideration, it was probably a wise idea.
But then reports were coming in that some of the players had managed to make it to the venue, whilst others were on their way. There were a few hundred people inside the arena too. The PDC website was not saying anything specific in case of refunds and a similar lack of advice was provided by Seetickets and the venue itself. So I was torn between the warmth of my home or the crazy journey in the worst snow the UK had seen in years.
The moment I’d heard that there was a possibility of all the matches going ahead as presenters, commentators and players like Paul Nicholson had walked a couple of miles to get to the venue was all I needed to hear before an instant decision was made. One of the matches was already underway, but so what, I had to go.
It was an interesting journey, mostly trying to stay on my feet. A short train journey followed by an almost impossible walk up the hill to Alexandra Palace. The cars on the road were going nowhere, as the ones up the hill were stuck facing the ones down the hill.
One player who wasn’t waiting around was Dutchman Vincent Van Der Voort. Whilst I was still making that ridiculous journey up the hill, Greased Lightening strolled to a 3-0 victory against the qualifier from Gibraltar, Dylon Duo.
I managed to catch most of the preliminary match between Japan’s Haruki Muramatsu and Poland’s Krzysztof Kciuk. The man from Japan came out on top 4-1, going through to a round one match later on against Ronnie Baxter.
With John Part’s late arrival the next match was a superb tie between crowd favourite Terry Jenkins (No. 6) and the latest pantomime villain Paul Nicholson. By now there was around 1,500 inside the venue (around 75% full) to see the match of the night. The Bull scraped through 3-2, but I have a feeling we’re going to see great things from the Aussie-Geordie Nicholson.
Next up was Ronnie Baxter (No. 7) against qualifier Haruki Muramatsu. The Rocket was in fine form and with a superb display, shot to an easy 3-0 victory.
And finally it was the turn of 3-time World Champion John Part from Canada who was up against Toon Greebe from The Netherlands. The Dutch have provided a number of good young players in recent years, but Toon was unable to match hype with performance, as Darth Maple cruised to an impressive 3-0 win.
Favourite moment was back home watching the recorded coverage of the night. Sky cut to a shot of me, as Dave Allen and Eric Bristow were saying ‘credit to these guys for coming out in this weather without even knowing how they’re going to make it home, it could be the biggest sleepover ever’! Ok it wasn’t the easiest journey back, but it was well worth being a part of this crazy night.
Sunday 20th December 2009
Even with the UK covered in heavy snow, it can’t be used as an excuse to miss a night at the home of darts. So it’s back down to Alexandra Palace to join faithful the Barney Army.
One of my tips for a successful tournament Kevin Painter (No. 15) was up against the Austrian qualifier Mensur Suljovic. The qualifier proved to be a tough first round opponent with The Artist managing to scrape through 3-1.
Next came the preliminary match between New Zealand’s Phillip Hazel and Slovenia’s Osmann Kijamet. This was a good tussle between the two qualifiers with Kijamet coming out on top 4-2, returning later in the final round one match against Andy Hamilton.
The third match of the night had two top players battling it out in a first round tie. It was the turn of England’s Jamie Caven (No. 26) against Scotland’s Garry Anderson. In a fantastic match, with both players on match winning averages, The Flying Scotsman triumphed 3-2.
Time for the Barney Army to sing their hearts out. Poor old Warren Perry had the tough task of taking on Raymond Van Barneveld (No. 2). The qualifier from New Zealand found the task almost impossible. With Barney on decent form, he cruised to an easy 3-0 victory.
The final match was between Andy Hamilton (No. 14) and Kijamet who had qualified earlier. The Hammer cruised to a 3-0 victory in a match that had the crowd cheering throughout.
Friday 18th December 2009
Finally, a chance to see Darts right on my doorstop. Well ok it’s less than a 10 minute train journey, so it’s as close to my doorstep as I could ever hope.
It’s the start of crazy weather season and the UK is now covered in snow. But it’s Friday and the opening night of the darts which also includes World Number 1, Phil Taylor on the bill. Unlike the set-up at Wembley, the tables at Alexandra Palace are much closer together.
There was an interesting match-up in the opening game between the inconsistent Wayne Mardle (No. 17) and the German qualifier Jyhan Artut. Mardle failed to show up once again and was completely outclassed by his lower ranked opponent. Artut going through to the next round with an impressive 3-0 victory.
Next came the preliminary match between Denmark’s Per Laarson and Philippine’s Christian Perez. In an interesting encounter, Perez managed to hold out for a 4-3 victory, meaning he’d be back for a 1st round match against Robert Thornton at the end of the night.
The third match of the night was also going to be the match of the night. Both on paper and on the oche, Dennis Priestly (No. 9) vs Kevin McDine was going to be special. The game had it all. Great comebacks, superb outshots and high scoring averages. McDine finally managed to come through this tight affair, with a 3-2 victory.
Now it’s time for the man almost everyone had come to see, Phil Taylor (No. 1). As usual, the noise was deafening as Taylor walked to the stage. In the end, it was a pretty routine affair, winning 3-0 with a 100+ average, which is the minimum we seem to expect from Taylor nowadays.
The final match had Scotland’s Robert Thornton up against Perez who had qualified earlier. In a drab affair, the world No. 16 finally came out on top with a 3-1 victory.
A fun night at the darts and it’s always an honour to see the Darts Master at his sublime best. The rest is just a bonus.