#JB45 Jambo’s BAAAACK! (And 17!)

Friday, July 17, 2015
Column JB45
Jambo’s BAAAACK! (And 17!) 

It’s nearly two months since the Premier League Finals where Gary Anderson claimed his second major triumph of 2015 – and I again got it all wrong on the prediction front! Between then and now there has been no shortage of entertainment as van Gerwen won in Dubai, Taylor in Japan and Thornton only last weekend in Germany. However, my highlight of the recent schedule was no doubt the fantastic World Cup of Darts.

Before this year, the World Cup has never stood out for me as one of the highlights on the darting calendar, but this year felt different. Admittedly with the doubles format and lesser known players the averages and standard was lower than we come to expect on the PDC circuit but this didn’t affect the atmosphere in the Eissporthalle, Frankfurt. The German crowd were incredible throughout and really helped lower ranked countries such as Hungary and New Zealand progress into Round 2. However, it was the Hong Kong team of Scott Mackenzie and Ting Chi Royden Lam who stole the support of the German supporters and millions of fans across the world. After knocking out Wales in the first round they went on to overcome Republic of Ireland to make the Quarter Finals despite Mackenzie’s crippling case of dartitis. It was Scotland who finally stopped them in the Quarter Finals and it was the Scots who went on to face England in the final.

While watching the final I found myself confused over which team to support. Born to an English mother and Scottish father, I have always considered myself very English with a strong sense of patriotism. However with my favourite players also on the Scottish side I strangely began watching with neutrality. As I did this I realised that as a nation England are possibly less patriotic about darts in comparison to other sports. Whether this is because we have been used to dominating the sport for many years or because of the individualist nature of the game I think it is rather sad. Certainly if darts was able to become an Olympic sport I think this could change.

Finally on the World Cup, my lasting memory from that tournament will of course be the incredible game between Belgium and Australia in the Quarter Finals. Of course we all have come to expect antics from Paul Nicholson and even Kim Huybrechts, however I have never seen a darts match with as much aggression and intensity as this. Even though they seemed more interested in getting under each other’s skin than getting the darts under the T20 wire for large parts, this made for an incredible darts match. It may not be what every darts fan wants to see but I think darts needs these players, characters and games to continue attracting its ever increasing fan base.

On a personal level, since my last post it has been the longest I have gone without writing and I have been working hard to improve my own game. I feel I have made improvements so much so I am thinking of looking into the prospect of joining a local pub team. I think this was highlighted today with a 5:1 win on Webcam Darts averaging over 47 and finishing with a 64 out-shot. I would recommend webcam darts to any aspiring player as an excellent way to get more experience of playing competitive games against opposition of varying qualities.

In addition to playing more darts myself, in the recent weeks I have finished my first year of sixth form college, turned 17 and started learning to drive!

Furthermore, I have started visiting universities such as Leeds and Newcastle looking into the possibility of studying Psychology at University starting in September 2016. Although I have always wanted a career in journalism, I have loved studying psychology and would like to take that further as this still leaves the opportunity for further study relating to the media industry in the future.

Next on my agenda currently however is getting tickets for the World Championship at the Ally Pally again this winter. After going on priority sale last Monday they are officially released for general sale this Monday. After such an incredible experience last time I am itching to walk into the Ally Pally once again so if anyone has any available tickets please let me know!

Otherwise, I look forward to fighting it out with all of you on Monday morning to get the best seats in the house.

To finish, I can’t leave you with anything other than a build up the World Matchplay which all kicks off again tomorrow. Not many darts fans will argue that the Winter Gardens in Blackpool is one of the best venues in the world and this event is admired as the second best by most players on the circuit. Am I going to make a prediction for this great tournament?

Nah… that’s a mug’s game!

I think it is as wide open as ever before this year and I am excited to see how players such as Benito Van De Pas and Joe Murnan can do in this great event. Of course we all know Phil Taylor’s dominance at this event over the years, he loves the long format and the atmosphere but I think he must defend his title here to prove that his career is not drifting to a close. Gary Anderson is at the opposite end of the spectrum to Taylor at the moment, in the form of his life and looking to become only the second man to win the Triple Crown (WC, PL and WM in the same year). Can he do it?

I wouldn’t back against him…

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Jamie Barron
Hailing from Yorkshire, England, 16-year-old Jamie "Jambo" Barron is a passionate darts fan who is looking forward to taking A-Level Media Studies and pursuing a career in sports journalism. More of Jamie's excellent writings can be found at his blog: http://www.jambosdarts.blogspot.co.uk/
Jamie Barron

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