Tuesday, 18 August 2015

Hope you enjoyed chapters 1 to 5

Hi Guys

I hope you enjoyed chapters 1-5 of How i got into darts, and that it answered alot of the questions you have been asking me.

I am not sure if and when i will release the 'year in the life of a pub darts player' ebook so i'm pleased this hasn't gone to waste.

as i'm not playing at the moment please don't take the delays in posting to mean i have disappeared its just i have nothing to report on at the moment.

Take Care and thank you for reading/commenting

Kind Regards


How I Got Into Darts: Chapter 5: Realisation

Chapter 5: Realisation

When you watch darts on Television the majority of the match is usually spent with watching the professionals attempt to smash the treble 20 to the infamous “180!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!” by the match caller.  Of course not even the professionals can hit perfect 180’s every time however each match usually features several. At the time of this book the official highest amount was a staggering 21 hit by Dutchman Raymond Van Barneveld against Phil Taylor in his 2007 PDC world championship final win.  The most combined 180’s in a match was in the 2013 PDC Grandslam of Darts between Phil Taylor and Adrian Lewis which produced an incredible 32 and in my opinion was the greatest display of darts power scoring in darts history (certainly televised) and the highest recorded average was Michael Van Gerwen (MVG)’s ridiculous 121.86 in his 6-0 routing of Steve Beaton in a 2012 PDC Championship League darts match.

Now the professionals make it look easy however the reality unless your incredibly gifted, it’s hard enough to hit 60 regularly when under pressure let alone 100s and when you move down to pub level, especially the lower leagues the 180 occurrences are rare, and the average 3 dart average can be in the 30’s or under.

For example, in my first full year of league play in 2014 (excluding 2 external tournaments), which spanned the summer league and a portion of winter league I played 33 matches which encompassed 84 legs.  During this time only 1 player hit a 180 against me, no one hit the next highest 177 (t20,20,d19) , no one hit a 9 darter (finishing a game of 501 in 9 darts, the perfect game),  and no one hit a maximum checkout of 170 (t20,t20, bull). In-fact my Captain at Al’s Bar Kevin had been playing league darts for 33 years, and had never hit a 180 in a competitive league match.  Incredible given that he was far from a poor player and would consistently get at least a few 100+ scores in his matches. Furthermore after chatting with players over time it was not uncommon for some players to highlight that they’d never even hit one even in practice, even after years of playing.

Does this mean that the matches were any less exciting, and some were not good quality? Of course not it’s just not world class standard and anyone who goes to a pub on a Monday night expecting to see 110 averages, 9 darters and multiple 180s are in for a shock.  In my league they don’t even record the averages (maybe that’s a good thing). Of course there are 2 sides to every story, part of the reason for a lack of 180’s is down to the fact that most single matches are comprised of  best of 3 legs however the standard is of course far lower. 

This is ‘honest’ darts at its grass roots level and over the seasons you meet all kinds, and you hear all sorts of stories. Inevitably there is always one  player with a massive ego sporting a set of £80 Phil Taylor darts that brags about the 9 darters (finishing a game of 501 in 9 darts, the perfect game) he’s hitting every day in practice and then proceeds to ‘power’ score 26 as he loses 2-0 and doesn’t get to a finish. Every 26 is usually met with a look of confusion and a shake of the head as if it’s a complete shock and unexpected. The excuses then follow. The air conditioning, a shoulder injury, the dog dying when he was 7, anything to excuse the shock of not hitting back to back 9 darters, this usually occurs every time you see him play and you never do see him hit that perfect game.

What I am trying to get to is that unless you are very lucky very few new dart players hit a 180 early on, and sometimes it can be a long time coming. I was fortunate in that I hit one about 3 months after I started in practice.  It is an incredible feeling when it happens and for the novice/lower league player remains the mecca of darting accomplishment.  I think it is important when you play to forget about what you see on television. These players are professionals and this is their job and as such you shouldn’t judge your skills against those who are in effect paid to do it and can spend 5-8 hours a day practising.  If you do it can become an exercise in frustration which will actually make that 180 harder to hit.   The trick is to capitalise on it, and not hit a total score 26, 3, 15 or 7 with your next 3 darts as you often see happen (or happens to you), and to enjoy it. Oh and it gets a BIG cheer from everyone in the vicinity when you do, which for about 5 seconds makes you feel like a superstar.

How I Got Into Darts: Chapter 4: My First Tournament (and it went badly)

Tournament Low’s (and not John)

I started the New Year 2014 off in the dog-house. I had elected to drink Xmas day with my Brother-in-law and to be honest I overdid it.  I behaved like I had been possessed by the ghost of Oliver Reed and after a few loosening beers decided to test the levels of human alcohol tolerance.

We had set up a darts board for a family throw about, however i got carried away.  I was throwing back lagers like water before him and I moved onto the spirits as the family (foolishly left us to our own devices) This basically saw me spend about 9 hours playing darts in his (cold) conservatory whilst my wife became increasingly more irate and we were dragged in to play pictionary.  Unfortunately the move from cold conservatory to roasting hot living room was a mistake and a quick inspection from the wife quickly revealed that we had consumed 1 x 1.5 litre bottle of vodka, 1 x 1.5 litre bottle of Glenlivet scotch, 24 bottles of staropramen lager and eaten a kilogram of Mexican fire cheese. 

The results were spectacular. I will admit it now I was a complete arsehole for behaving this way. Within an hour of being brought into the living room, we had both managed to be an utter nuisance during Pictionary (during which time I had apparently drawn a picture of a uterus instead of a pirate ship??)  and then I left to go to the kitchen and was found slumped head first in the kitchen sink being sick. Given how much I had unloaded the wife made the mistake of moving me into the kids playroom and resting me on the sofa to ‘sleep it off’. Big mistake I exploded yet again and was then dragged to the bathroom where I proceeded to be sick in the bath and sink. I remember none of this except awaking at 5am, and feeling like I was going to die.

As you can I was not flavour of the month after this. In 1 night I had managed to turn my wife off of darts, ruin xmas night and ruin several rooms in my sister in laws house ( I did pay for all the carpets to be professionally cleaned, and bought her a big bunch of flowers as an apology)

It was probably a bad idea then a day later when still feeling terrible, and also being a complete novice (4 months playing)  for me to enter my first tournament for the PDS, called ‘triplication’.

This was a nightmare experience of epic proportions, as a combination of nerves, lack of practice, quality of opposition (1 off to Q school, a few ex BDO’s and ¾ the County line-up), some dubious “ahem”  chalking and the unfriendly nature of the locals (it was like something out of a film!, my stepson and I walked in and the place just looked at us, and it took 3 hours for someone to speak to us) saw me lose 6 matches and win just one leg out of 13. The writing was on the wall before I even threw a competitive dart. I was sat their watching the players warm up and they were averaging about 140, and I suddenly had the realisation I was out of my depth. It was like watching the PDC top 10 warm up. These guys were serious. I thought I was going to a friendly darts tournament when in fact I’d stepped into something far more serious. These players were hardcore fueled off the back of the recent PDC world championships!  I started to warm up and literally I couldn’t get above 26. My scoring non-existent, I decided to get my ‘eye’ in aiming for bull. Honestly I was closer to the floor or the door than the bull.   I may as well have been chucking traffic cones at the board!!!! To make matters worse I couldn’t have a drink (had driven to venue due to location) and in my group I drew 2 top county players and the county youth champion.

I could see that people were looking at me (literally the only non-regular there) and thinking that I was either  a) utter shite or b) deliberately throwing bad to appear worse than I was (a ringer).

It was then my turn to step and throw for the bull. Now given my mental state at this point I would have thought  it more likely that I’d hit the skirting board or the chalker  however I stepped up and threw a perfect bull. No joke it went right in the centre.  My opponent looked at me with a “26 in practice, yeah right” look on his face. On reflection this was probably the worst thing I could do as instantly my opponent thought “hello, he can play” and decided to switch on his ‘A’ game. I then proceeded to have the biggest mare of a start ever.

I stepped up and with my heart beating like I was going to have a heart attack I seemed to lose all motor skills and co-ordination as my beautiful Winmau testaments turned into pumpkins in my hands and I lost all throwing control. Seriously I could barely stand upright, I must have looked like a total mentalist.  I then  proceeded to hit above d20 and have 2 bounce out of t20 scoring 0, to stunned observation, which wasn’t helped at all by the chalker exclaiming “zero??????” which of course drew everyone’s attention. No joke I would probably had thrown better wearing boxing gloves.

 I felt sick! Seriously I could have dropped my darts and emptied out there and then. It felt like Phil Taylor had run in and penalty kicked me right in the nuts!

My opponent then went on to score 140 and after that I never recovered as I suffered a right drubbing. He ‘done’ me in minutes with 18 dart and 16 dart legs.  With that said it can and does happen. The great Eric Bristow lost his first world championship match and kicked off with a score of 1 (2 bounce outs) in the 70’s.

Surprisingly despite being as deflated a 10 year old balloon, in my next game I took on the county youth player and actually had a great session winning the first leg (d16) before I dropped the next 2 legs closely.  I was mentally fucked, embarrassed and not enjoying it one little bit. What was supposed to be abit of fun, had turned into an utter public humiliation. And to think I thought I could do well here!

 My hands were sweating, I was sweating profusely, and I just waited disconsolately to be called for my next ‘hammering’.

 My third game was a write off. I can’t even remember it exactly as I think I’ve subconsciously tried to block it out. I recall that I felt like Mr Butterfingers as my hands were so sweaty that I could barely grip the things despite their aggressive grip, and my flights kept falling out. All I can remember is that I kicked off with 60 and that was the highlight!  I think my opponent’s lowest checkout was 134 or something like that. At this point my 26g darts felt like they weighed 26kg each. To further add to my misery as the ‘loser again I had to chalk and one of the players had, had a go at me for being slow (I did say it was my first time) and blamed me for breaking his rhythm!

Hang on a minute I’d lost 3 right! I can go home?, not on your nelly. Yep it wasn’t bad enough I’d got trounced in 3 consecutive matches because now I had the pleasure of entering the ‘losers’ group. Or the Hampshire County ‘B’ team as it should have been called. These guys were still miles better than me and this is when the ‘dubious’ chalking kicked in. I was playing a young lad who was highly regarded and my stepson noticed that my scores weren’t exactly adding up. I looked to be ahead in the first match by some way but he was ahead by 47 despite only hitting 30’s.  Unfortunately this was not the venue to raise ‘concerns’ (it made the pub out of ‘shameless’ seem like Disneyland . There were holes in the ceiling with water coming in and allsorts) and I had to let it go. Deflated I dropped that game and then got whitewashed in my next 2 as my heart wasn’t in it. I do remember suffering 2 150+ checkouts against me, however the hammerings were mercifully quick.

I finished stone dead bottom in what was probably the worst performance anyone has had at a PDS tournament by miles. On this day I swear Stevie Wonder could have turned up and done better!

On reflection entering it was a silly move. Here I was, a novice darts player entering a tournament with barely a 37 ave (p3d) after only 4 months of play. I had assumed (wrongly) that there would be a mix of skills which may give me some chance and my ambition betrayed my skill level.  There is nothing worse than finding yourself in a situation where you grimly become  aware that you are both totally and hilariously unprepared and out of your depth. It is a horrible combination and feeling and you are given 2 choices. Turn and run and probably never ever go back or at least try and make a go of it even if hopelessly outgunned.  I chose the latter and whilst  humiliatingly painful and embarrassing  it’s good to at least get the experience of these tournaments as down the line I’d only find myself in the same ‘unknown’ situation anyway.

Now I know that some would be disheartened by the experience however I did get respect in some quarters for braving it (by the organiser) when so early in my darting life and after licking my wounds took it for what it was/is a learning experience. 

Monday, 17 August 2015

How I got into darts - Chapter 3 "oh my god i cant hit a thing"

How I got into darts - Chapter 3 “Oh my god I can’t hit a thing”

The 13th August 2013. That is the day that I officially traded weights and boxing gloves for pints and tungsten.  

 For no particular reason I elected to go with the Whitlocks first, and attached the supplied setup. Medium aluminium stems and standard flights. Now, when you watch the pro’s they pump out 180’s for what looks like fun and assumed that at worst I’d hit what 60 with 3 darts? After all its only 7 feet away!I took a Bobby George stance as this is the stance I have always had in my head since I caught a few legs of George vs someone back in the 1990’s and boy was I a star!, actually I wasn’t!!!. With no teacher, assistance, idea on setups and throwing action (other than a bad impression of someone on television) you can imagine the results.

I watched in dismay as the darts flew and wobbled all over the place.  No joke I hit everything within a foot of the board as well as the board itself, or rather specifically the cabinet. Needless to say within the first 2 hours the cupboard and surrounding area looked like it had been on the receiving end of small arms fire.  I can safely say that I wasn’t a prodigious MVG talent from the off. 

I don’t know what I truly expected but it certainly wasn’t to be so utterly inept as I appeared to be.  No joke I was rotten.  I tried a rear grip and I sent them afoot above the board. I tried a middle grip and they flew in all directions. I tried the front grip and they were almost doing 360’s! It was a horribly frustrating experience. My personal favourite was when I tried a 4 finger grip ala Adrian Lewis and launched them 3 foot under the board!

After a week of this misery all I seemed to have achieved was a ruined cabinet, a very sore right arm, eye strain and a miserable disposition. I truly was wondering whether at 32 it was too late and a waste of time.  Nevertheless I elected to persevere (I don’t give up), and slowly but surely things did seem to get abit better, albeit it slowly. I’d hit 60 or 80 and then hit nothing but 1’s or 5’s for the next 2 hours which was an immense source of frustration but at least I was starting to get it hitting the board (most of the time).

Having given up bodybuilding, my muscle mass started to reduce and I actually found this a benefit as my muscles were starting to relax abit and my tricep wasn’t getting  a throw impairing ‘pump’ after 5 minutes. Unfortunately my improvements coincided with a changing of my darts to Red Dragon Hellfires 26g and this started the mindset that there must be a perfect dart out there for me. The search for the ‘perfect’ dart was now on, and I think I ignited a secret dart barrel addiction.

To give an indication how bad I was at this point, I played my then 11 year old son at a match and eventually we ended up on D1, after a very long painfully slow and low scoring game.  I’m not kidding here, the scores were so pitiful that it took about half an hour to get under 50. Eventually after a succession of horrendous board missing finishes we both ended up on D1, the infamous madhouse. I find it somewhat appropriate that it took 180 darts, yes 180 to hit D1. I am convinced that at least 40% were off the board! . It was a nightmare!

How I got into darts - Chapter 2 Getting started

How I got into darts - Chapter 2 Getting started

Well up to about June that year I had been avidly bodybuilding and was up to about 260’s and huge. I had suffered a very serious back injury at work in 2009 culminating in 4 ½ months off when I prolapsed a disc and herniated 2 above and below it however I had built myself back up, and was doing occasional work at boxing events as a judge and officer in charge on top of my regular job and had also toyed with the idea of returning to active competition in 2011 so my time was pretty full up and actually playing darts just didn’t seem feasible with the time I had on top of a family and a near 3 year old. I also hadn’t had a drink in 3 years and just couldn’t see where I would fit in with it or vice versa.

Unfortunately whilst deadlifting my right leg went. Whilst on the ascent the leg started wobbling (a bad sign), and I felt a shocking pain in my back. Now this is a clear indication to ‘STOP’ however having worked through so many injuries before, and in ‘obsessed’ mode I powered on through the remainder of my workout. Now this was INCREDIBLY STUPID!, especially given my previous injury and its severity,  The next day  it was a chore to say the least to get out of bed and whilst very uncomfortable I made it into work. This though was the least of my problems, after an hour I tried to get up and couldn’t, my back went into spasm and I literally couldn’t stand. I was in agony and unable to move.  It was so bad that I had to phone my then 74 year old Father to come and pick me up. Bare in mind I worked at a Hospital I literally had to crawl on my hands and knees down a corridor that felt as long as the Great Wall of China whilst letting out the occasional moan of agony! I must have looked like a lunatic. Thankfully my Father had a van and I literally crawled all the way out of the building and into the back of his van, totally fucked!

Needless to say I wasn’t back to work the next day and was off for 2 weeks. After another 4 weeks uncomfortable I saw a physio who did some minor manipulation but gave me major relief instantly.  I also submitted for a full physical and was diagnosed with hyper mobility in certain areas (hands, back, fingers).  That diagnosis in effect spelled out ‘end of heavy weight lifting’ to me. God I wish I’d had that diagnosis 13 years earlier. Heavy  deadlifting, squatting and bent barbell Rows were the worst thing I could do with a hyper mobilised back and I was and had been going ‘real’ heavy for years.  It was basically a small miracle that my back hadn’t gone out years sooner (and under heavy weight). It was a BIG blow though. Working out had been a major part of my life since I was 15 and 17 years later I had to face up to some realities.  The boxing, wrestling, martial arts and bodybuilding had taken quite a beating on my body which at 32 was starting to show wear and tear. I was therefore faced with a choice, either carry on as I was and risk adding more damage to my already damaged back or accept the fact that this chapter in my life was over.

I was never someone who wanted to give less than 1000%. The prospect of lifting light weights just didn’t appeal and I knew that eventually I’d talk myself into eventually going heavier and heavier and risking the same result. I therefore needed a hobby that would be competitive, but wouldn’t tear me up physically, and darts seemed to be the perfect answer and something I could do in theory into old age!

 Now that I had decided that I wanted to start playing darts I realised that I would need a place to practice that wouldn’t involve a lot of travel. In doors was a no go, however I had a big summer house at the end of my garden  which had been my gym for the last few years. Now my gym had everything, benches, dipping racks, squat racks, 1000 Kg in weights, every bar you can imagine, you name it! This was all quality gear and didn’t take long to go, within about 48 hours everything had been sold via and I was about £1,000 better off. I now had the perfect space to practice darts in!

So what do you need to play darts??? Well a dartboard helps, so I looked on Gumtree and found an old Winmau Blade 3 board with wooden case was available for about £20. I thought I was getting a good deal but in hindsight I wasn’t.  It was ok, but a little hard and abused (doesn’t matter though does it? Boards last for years right??). Not that I knew this at this point. Anyway, I was savvy enough to realise that I would need to get the dimensions right in order to play properly so I invested in a Winmau measurer and set about setting it up! Now I must be thick however setting the cabinet up wasn’t as easy as I thought and after a lot of swearing and a row with the wife (who I got to hold it for me) I’d now hung the damn thing!

Now I had a dartboard I needed some darts. Easy right?, Wrong!!! I went on Amazon and typed in darts and literally there was hundreds of the things. Rather stupidly I imagined they’d all be pretty similar but here they were all looking different. Different sizes, weights, shapes etc, and all endorsed by different characters. I really had no idea where to start. I must have spent several hours looking and reading reviews, however I had a problem. No one I knew actually played darts and there wasn’t a darts shop in the area where I could go and try some out.  I therefore elected to go with 3 that I liked the look of:

Ted Hankey 24g atomised: Because they looked cool
Simon Whitlock 24g: Because he looked cool and I liked the packaging
Red Dragon Hellfire 26g: Because they were cheap at £12

That is the beauty of darts though, it is a comparatively cheap sport to play and so my 3 purchases set me back about £50.

How I got into darts - Chapter 1 Getting Interested

Hi Guys

Before i injured myself and decided to take a sabatical i was writing an e-book. A kind of 'year in the life of a pubs darts player' thing.

Well seeing as this blog has got such popular feedback i thought i would post the first chapter here:

Chapter 1

I had been a peripheral fan of darts for a few years, thanks mainly to my father-in-law and brother-in-law, both of whom were fans. I do recall watching bits of darts occasionally over the years when I was a young man but since I didn’t have sky then my main memory of darts were of Martin ‘Wolfie’ Adams versus Taylor, Andy Fordham versus someone, Bobby George doing some coverage on BBC one and talking to an ex bodybuilding darts player called Robert Wagner (not the famous actor), and then at some point in the 2000’s a large’ish man in shades entering to a madness tune (Darryl Fitton). It was something where I’d catch a few legs on BBC One, or maybe a few legs on Sky if a girlfriend had Sky. but not something I’d actively seek out.

 I had got bought a rubbish darts board when I was 11 or 12 at home but didn’t play it much. My parents hadn’t done the measurements and so it remained hung on my door for a few years, occasionally beckoning me to throw the horrendous mental and plastic darts that came with it at it before it disappeared in the trash.  Looking back now it was abit of a random purchase for my parents then. Very house proud they weren’t exactly keen on room damaging toys, I can’t recall them watching it very much and I don’t recall being into darts then at all so I have no idea why they bought it. I do remember that we always watched Bullseye so maybe I had asked for it one day?? My two resounding memories of this are that it was yellow and black and made of wood and that my now deceased Mum god rest her soul, hit a bulls-eye on her first throw. After that it’s sad to say that further memories of it have got lost in the haze of time. Looking back it’s a shame that I didn’t make more of it then as it could have led me on a different path.

Anyway I had caught the 2013 world championships and watched the majority of it, culminating with Phil Taylor winning his 16th world title and it interested me. I was still working in Boxing at the time and a venue where one of shows was going to be held had flyers of a darts exhibition that was going to be held there (in may) so I looked it up online and saw that the company was called Modus Darts and were the major name in UK dart exhibitions.

I wasn’t really familiar with a lot of the names however the tickets were only £15 each so I booked them and a few months later we went down .
The exhibition had:
Paul Nicholson
Michael van Gerwen
Les Wallace
Vincent van Der Voort
Any Jenkins
Simon Whitlock
Robert Thornton

All I can say is that a darts event is like no other. The atmosphere, the music , the crowd interaction, it all comes together to create a unique experience. As soon as veteran MC and commentator John Gwynne came out and did his bit (a mix of dry stand-up, crowd bating and wit) it got the crowd at fever pitch. I didn’t know it at the time but Gwynne is a true legend of the game. I was instantly hooked on the atmosphere at least from a spectator point of view. Van Gerwen was a class above this night and won it.

Celebrating 2 years of playing darts!

Hi Guys 'n' Gals

Just celebrated 2 years since started playing.

In this time i have:

Met: bristow,lowe,voort,deller,fordham,george,anderson (bob), taylor,monk, Jenkins (andy), Priestley

Played: bristow

Finished runner up in County mixed doubles

Won a few minor cups (pub easter one and new year one)

Consistently average : 50+

Had a 100+ ave in a few matches

had a checkout of 125 (25-60-d20)

As you know i have stopped playing due to injury and assessing where i go next

Thursday, 6 August 2015

Still have it!

Hi Guys

Just having a gentle practice, and playing against an App bot.

Played 8 legs (all wins) and hit

3 x 100
2 x 140
10 x 60+

Averaged around 52 p3d.

Checkout percentage was only 30% which would account for the low average, otherwise average would have been in the mid 60's.

Not to bad for a light play with 0 practice the last few weeks

Monday, 3 August 2015

Re-Evaluating my darts future!

Hi Guys

I have been re-evaluating my darts, in the wake of leaving the team and quitting.

It will be only 2 years in August since i started playing and in that time i have achieved alot:


Phil Taylor (WC x 16)
Eric Bristow (WC x 5)
Vincent Van Der Voort
Arron Monk (former youth world champion)
Dennis Priestley (WC x 2)
John Lowe (WC x 3)
Andy Fordham (WC x 1)
Keith Deller (WC x 1)
Bobby George (NOTW x 2)
Bob Anderson (WC x 1)

That's 7 world champions with a combined tally of 31 world titles between them.

I have played Bristow
I have got to the final of the leagues mixed doubles cup (July 14)
I won the Sutherland 3 nations cup
I won the Al's Bar Easter cup
I have won a total of 14 out of 33 league singles matches (for a win ratio of 42%)
I have won 7 of 14 league double's matches (for a win ratio of 50%)
I have hit a 112.6 ave
I have checked out a 125 (25,60,d20)
Become the best in the pub

All this was achieved despite back issues and the fact that i was constantly changing my darts set-up (don't think i used the same set for more than 2 weeks consecutively), and tinkering.

maybe i do have something to offer?? i have got to a double and almost won matches when using sets of darts i'd never used before, against very, very seasoned and good opposition.

I will go and evaluate, re-hab and hopefully come back stronger than before.

I already have an invite to join the PDS (Portsmouth Darts series - the PDC equivalent for our area) Grand Prix (14 weeks and with major £££ payouts), so watch this space.

Firstly i need to get healthy,  get proficient in chalking and settle on a set of darts and then who knows, maybe in 2016  we can make a run at all the PDS events?

Take care


12th match of the season: Lost 2-0 and team lost 5-4

Hi Guys

For some reason this didn't seem to post.

This was to be my swansong fixture in darts for the time being and for the team known as Al's Bar.

There had been a lot of dissention going into the match with players arguing, bitchiness,  and drunk and childish behaviour.

Now this was a fixture we could and should have won.

Unfortunately we got off to a bad start and ended up 3-0 down with all the matches going to a final deciding leg.

I was up 4th and against Shannon. Now i was 3-0 against the BIH and have beaten Shannon before, however my nagging injuries, the atmosphere, and the fact that i'd changed to a set of 25g MVG before the match saw me lose 2-0. I did get to a double on the first leg however my scores were all 50's and Shannon decided to play a blinder. In truth i was beaten before the start.

The team went on to lose 5-4 in a close one.

After that i tendered my resignation a few days later.

I was gutted, however i needed to re-evaluate everything. Playing was taking a physical toll and my back went (again) and i wasn't enjoying it.

The following week the team played the Good intent in match 13 and lost 9-0 in their worst defeat of the season.

I think though there is and was a distinct difference in my ambition and the teams. The majority of the players would show up and feel content to hit a 100 once even if they lost 2-0 and the team lost 9-0 whereas i was harbouring ambitions of playing in the BDO one day. That is a BIG difference!

Kind Regards