Column #HR316 Tungsten Double Start Heaven for the ODC – and Johnny Clayton!

Saturdat, October 16, 2021
Column HR316
STungston Double Start Heaven for the ODC – and Johnny Clayton!

The Old Dart Coach was in his element when the £450,000 BoyleSports World Grand Prix kicked off on October 3 in the dart year 2021.  The seven-day event would be filled with missed double starts, whopping finishes and many complaining about either the short format or the double start.  It’s called the “PDC whine and bottled for your pleasure.”  The ODC was in Tungsten Double Start Heaven.

Then, after watching night one that went according to seed, the Tungsten God tossed her first wrench in the PDC’s plans.  She can be a cruel mistress.  Monday October 4 had an all-star lineup with Gary Anderson, Peter Wright, Michael van Gerwen and the ODC’s longshot pick Jose de Sousa (vs. Glen Durrant).  Just before airtime, the ODC noticed on his jam-packed social calendar that there was a doctor’s appointment on the schedule…

He rushed to the appointment hoping to salvage some of the darts.  He arrived on time and informed the check-in person (Elizabeth):

“I’m here for my 12:30 appointment.”

“Your name?”

“Howie Reed.”

“One moment… Mr. Reed your appointment is for Monday, November 4th.”

“This isn’t November?”

“No, it’s October.”

“No wonder no one came Treat or Treating last week.  I had candy and the light on.  Bummer.”

Arriving home, the ODC learned that while he was away the top seed in the lower half of the draw had gone out.  Faster that a speeding bullet his fingers typed “Slaughter at 31 Charter St.in Leicester,” the address of the Morningside Arena.  With care and love, he then completed the best column he had ever written and prepared to send it to his most honorable editor.  Then, in jumped the Tungsten God, with an assist from that very evil Bill Gates.  Blip!  Column gone.  Sucked forever into the mysterious ether.

But the show must go on…

The Monday Night Massacre started when Ian “Diamond” White did a number on Gary Anderson, 2-1 (3-2, 2-3, 3-2).  White was playing competitively for the first time since recovering from surgery.  White would overcome a 2-nil deficit to win the first set.  On his way to a second set win, leading 2-1, White missed 2 which sealed his fate – allowing Anderson the win.  Double trouble allowed Anderson 1 dart to finish in the final leg, tied at 2.  The “turtle like” start allowed White 9 darts to finish.  He needed all to win.

Next up against the wall was 5-time winner Michael van Gerwen against fellow countryman Danny Noppert.  This one had a bit of “CON TRA IS EE” which is always nice.  Noppert would win in straight sets 2-0 with each set being 3-2.  Van Gerwen had a 2-1 edge in the opener but failed.  In the second set, van Gerwen had a leg of 160, 171 setting up a 9-darter but then missed the bull for a 170-check.  The controversy was short lived.  Noppert claimed during the break that van Gerwen was “stomping” on the boards while he was on the oche.  Wayne Mardle and the ODC, after further review, decided that Noppert was Foxtrot Oscar Sierra.

Funny thing happened to Rob Cross after his introduction and walk on as he would soon eliminate Peter Wright.  Mr. Cross forgot his darts.  Being the gentleman he is, Mr. Wright then offered Mr. Cross the use of his darts.  Mr. Cross declined and then proceeded to send Mr. Wright home 2-0.  That just proves that no good deed goes unpunished.

Now, Johnny Clayton remained the only seed left in the bottom half of the draw making it as clean as a stripper’s reputation that we’d see Clayton in the final.  Clayton appeared in a spot of trouble when he lost the first set to Jose de Sousa only to rally for the 3-1 win.  Clayton reached the finals after a struggle against Krzysztof Ratajski.  He fell behind 1-2 before a powerful 3-0 and 3-1 two sets for the win.  Dutchman Danny Noppert made it to the semifinals only to get crushed by Clayton 4-1.  In legs it was 13-7.

As suggested the top half of the draw would prove a little more difficult and it was for all but #1 seed Gerwyn Price, a world champion who played like one.  He reached the finals with a winning set record of 12-3, winning legs 37-24.  He whitewashed Dave Chisnall (3-0) and Michael Smith (2-0).  The semifinal against Steven “Family Guy” Bunting didn’t start well as Bunting took the first 2-sets 3-1 and 3-2.  Price then caught fire taking the next 4 sets 12-5.

When Price defaulted against Fallon Sherrock the ODC suspected a “hint of Limburger.”  He was possibly wrong as Price’s arm trouble kicked up before the final against Johnny Clayton.  Clayton would lead off with a 160 from his first 3.  That led to racking up 9 of the first 15 legs which led to a 3-nil lead.  Clayton would lose the 5th set when he missed a bull finish.  Clayton finished the 5-1 match with a 116-check after other outs of 170, 152 and 110.  WOW – was worth the £110,00!

Up now is the “How’s Your” Cazoo European Championship worth a nifty £500,000.  Peter Wright is back to defend his title from last year (beat James Wade 11-4), hoping to reverse his first-round exit from the Grand Prix last week.  With no Johnny Clayton, make #1 seed Gerwyn Price the big favorite to walk away with the title and £120,000.

Yes, the ODC is a “chalk eating weasel.”

Stay thirsty my friends.  “Let’s Go, Brandon!”

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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.