Column #HR177 If you come for the King you best not miss!

Tuesday, August 30, 2016
Column HR177
If you come for the King you best not miss!

The roots of darts are embedded in Motha England, so it’s only natural that Kings and Queens be crowned. For eons, Phil Taylor has been the anointed King. The Queen? Deta Headman would be the logical candidate, but England already has a couple of Queens in Elizabeth and Elton.

As Taylor has accumulated wins his “haters” have become more vocal. They have been “over the moon” when it appeared the King was dead. Lately, Taylor has given that appearance – if not dead then maybe on life-support. By losing major after major on TV to Michael van Gerwen some are calling him “van Gerwen’s bitch.”

A crude and uncouth bunch of louts they are.

The cure for Taylor was not some new darts, although he tried that – with little success. One must conclude that the “new darts” was more about selling darts. It’s hard to sell “new” darts when your MO lately has been “build a big lead, then take the gas pipe and choke on doubles.” Hell, if you want to play like a “wally” the Old Dart Coach has a set of his darts to sell.

The ODC once asked his pal JK (John Kramer) to “warm up” his darts. He fined tuned them. The ODC then went out and lost. The moral of the story,

“It ain’t the darts.”

The real cure for Taylor was a trip to Aussie for the World Series of Darts where he’s treated the local players with the disdain of a “red-headed step child.” The first stop was in Sydney where he won his 6th Sydney Darts Masters title with an 11-9 win over “Marvelous” Michael van Gerwen.

In Sydney, before Taylor got to van Gerwen, he faced local Corey “The King” Cadby, a 21-year-old originally from Tasmania, now calling Melbourne home. The ODC has a problem with any athlete who has a nickname before actually doing anything of note. In this case, ‘The King” has been the sensation of the DPA Grand Prix Tour (Whoop-TE-DO) this year winning seven times. Taylor dusted him 6-3.

In the final, van Gerwen led 2-1 but missed two at tops allowing Taylor to level. Taylor then built a 5-3 lead before van Gerwen leveled at five – as Taylor missed doubles. The duo was level at six and seven before Taylor went on a three-nil run to lead 10-7. Taylor missed one dart for an 11-7 win. Van Gerwen got to 10-9 when Taylor hit d16 for his 4th successive Sydney win.

NEWS ALERT: The ODC’s book “One Night While Drinking with the Fat Swede” is selling like hotcakes. Unlike IHOP, NO syrup’s needed as it’s already a sweet deal at $30 for hardcover and $24 for soft. Order yours today at mrFwonderful98@hotmail.com. MY name is Howie Reed and I approved this message. We now return you to the regularly scheduled column.  

Next up was the Perth Darts Masters where Taylor had won twice. Taylor again drew “The King” Cadby in the first round. As the late Yogi Berra said, “It’s (was) déjà vous all over again.”

As any darter or golfer knows, there’s nothing worse than asking someone, “How’d you play?” and then getting a 30-minute shot-by-shot account. A ten penny nail in the eyeball is less painful.

Cadby won the bull to start, managing only 221 from nine darts – including a T20 with two darts. Taylor after nine wanted 180. Cadby scored T80 to leave 100. Taylor’s T40 left 40. Cadby: 60-20-10 and out… first leg Cadby.

Taylor leveled, taking out 32 with Cadby on 207. In the third leg, Taylor missed the bull for a 161-check with Cadby sitting on 110. No problemo: 20-54-d18. 2-1 Cadby. ”Thank you.”

Taylor took the 4th when he used 128 to leave 16 with Cadby at 141. Thru four legs, with the match level, Taylor led in averages 114 to 91. After nine darts in the 5th leg, Cadby needed 169 which he whittled down to 72 with Taylor at 220. Taylor’s answer was a T80, leaving tops. After the throw, Taylor gave the crowd the “How’d you like that smirk?” Cadby liked it fine as he used t16 and d12 to win the leg and take the lead 3-2.

Entering the 6th leg, Cadby had never led after six darts in any leg. That changed after Taylor’s throw when Cadby answered a 60 with a T80, which Taylor answered with a T80 of his own – although he trailed. Taylor’s set-up shots had been great. At 165, he left 75 with Cadby wanting 122. The Aussie “King” used t18, t18, and d7 for the win and break of serve.

It’s nice to break serve but it’s how you follow that “that tells the story.” Cadby followed with a T80-T40-T20 to leave 41 after 9. Taylor was no slouch, leaving 121 after the same number of darts. Cadby had his first case of the “yips” as with 41 he went nine, 0, d8 to leave 16. Taylor managed 60, then 11 to leave bull – but hit 15 to leave 35. Cool as an Aussie lass’ kiss, Cadby hit d8 for the 5-2 lead.

Throwing second, Cadby used T40-T80-T40 to leave 56 after nine. Taylor, with the darts, wanted 213 which he got to 74. Cadby hit the 16 but then missed two at tops which gave Taylor three from 74. His third at tops was WAY low. Cadby then hit tops for the win.

Does Cadby’s 6-2 win over “King” Phil now allow him to use a nickname? Well, at least for the day. In Cadby’s next match he faced Peter Wright in the race to 10. Cadby would average 109 for the match with a check-out rate of 50%. After nine legs, he was averaging 115.23 and losing 7-2. In losing 10-2, Cadby had six T80s and eleven T40s but got drilled. He was “King” for a day which is better than never being a King. The future for the 21-year-old? Time will tell.

“Marvelous” Michael would hammer Wright 11-5, then take the title with an 11-4 win over Dave Chisnall.

Next year, the World Series of Darts or some reasonable facsimile thereof will visit Las Vegas July 15-17

There’s still plenty of life in “King” Phil. Those who have announced his demise have dined on “crow” – medium rare, with fava beans and a nice Chianti – more than once. The odds are they will again. The words from the TV series, The Wire, hold true in fact and fiction…

“If you come for the king you best not miss.”

The ODC missed when he failed to mention that “Big” Tony Holyoake from Canada was an original member of the Players Association. Tony was the #1 player in Canada yet was passed over by “Emperor” Oiley Croft to play in the Embassy. Tony then joined the Players Association, playing only a world pairs before retiring.

A little political news… the #1 advisor to Hillary Clinton is Mrs. Huma Abedin-Weiner. She has just announced she is going to separate from her husband. The headline?

HUMA DUMPS HER 51-YEAR-OLD WEINER.

Stay thirsty my friends.

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Howie Reed
The one and only Howie Reed (the Old Dart Coach) goes back decades with the legends of our sport - he knows where the skeletons are buried. Just ask any of the ADO and WDF old-timers! His widely popular column, Toeing the Oche, is a must-read.