Column #HR 328 Old Dart Coach apologize? Not Likely. PS: Cricket sucks!

Monday, February 14, 2022
Column HR328
Old Dart Coach apologize?  Not likely.  PS: Crisket sucks!

One might recall Irving Berlin’s The Song is Ended, but the Melody Lingers On when thinking about the recent Seniors World Championship.  (Editor’s note: The Old Dart Coach quotes a lot of old song titles and lyrics because he doesn’t know any new ones, certainly any suitable to appear in a “clean-cut, non-sexist, politically correct” family publication like Dartoid’s World.)

The “A GINN ERS” as described by Su Padre are against everything – and the Seniors World Darts Championship pulled them out of the woodwork (and from under rocks).  Many took shots at the play of “real” Senior players.  Proverb 16:18 states: “Pride goes before the fall.”  Greats don’t ever lose pride.

Phil Taylor: I’m not the player I was, I’m still 16-time World Champion.  I’ve got the right hump because I’ve embarrassed myself in front of people who have paid good money to see me and the only thing I can promise is you will not see me play like that again.  If I don’t put it right, I’ll retire fully.

Mr. John Lowe: The messages keep coming, the World Seniors was a massive success, A knowledgeable audience, and played in the finest of sportsmanship.  I probably didn’t expect the reception I received. It took me a set to settle after such an experience.  I’ve been fortunate to have achieved so much throughout my playing career, I now realize what it means to others, see you at Lakeside, and the Bunus Arena Hull, the WSDT has begun.

Eagle-eyed Roger the Dodger noticed that in the Senior group photo one player was missing.  Not there?  Winner Robert Thorton.  The Dodger suggests “he was practicing.” Makes sense – he won £30,000 but no photo.  Good trade.

The Dodger added: We all forget just how long it is since the likes of Bob Anderson & Co have been out of competitive darts.  There is more to life when you’re in your 60s.  Just as in Seniors golf.  As Senior events become more regular the standard will improve.

In Seniors golf the courses are set up for them.  Can’t do that in darts although bigger doubles and trebles might help.  Oh wait, the PDC already did that.

Tom from Dublin:  The age should be increased but in my mind 60 years old would be better.  It was great to see the audience watching the darts instead of farting around in fancy dress, ignoring the darts completely.

The ODC should apologize, but he won’t, for short shrifting night 1 of the Premier League.  Peter Wright took night one worth £10,000 and five points.

There were a couple of themes that emerged from night 2 in Liverpool – and included is that Wayne Mardle has no shame.  He actually called the night’s winner Jonny Clayton “The Ferret Crossed the Mercy.”

Have you no shame Wayne?  Rhetorical question.

In sport a player can go from the penthouse to the outhouse faster than a Mardle pun.  Peter Wright took night one of the Premier League, then added a Players Championship the week following.  On night 2 he got blasted by Michael van Gerwen 6-1. Wright averaged 84+ as compared to 100+ opening night.  For van Gerwen it was a little sunshine in what had been a cloudy year averaging 102.98, which is really 103, with a 75% finish.

One would think that the old van Gerwen was back.  A cursory look at the match with Jonny Clayton would dispel that theory as he lost 6-4.  “No so fast, bucko.”  There are times when the Tungsten God gets the “RA” for no reason.  van Gerwen averaged 105 with a 66% check rate and lost?  “Hold on there, Shirley!”  The Ferret was furiously averaging 106.64 with a finish rate of 75% – winning 6-4.

van Gerwen led 4-1, including legs of 12 and 13 darts.  Then the Tungsten Dart God stepped in.  At 4-2, Clayton unleashed a 12-darter (140, 180, 135 and out) when van Gerwen had the first chance at a 12 darter (99, 135, 180 – but missed the bull on an 87-check.

Clayton got the wining leg when van Gerwen missed the bull on an 89 finish allowing Clayton to erase 32 for the win.

Often a missed finish is of little consequence as the leg is won anyway.  van Gerwen missed finishes in 2 of 10 legs (bulls) and the match 6-4.

One can almost hear van Gerwen thinking, “Wat verdomme?”

English translation?  WTF!

Joe Cullen recovered from his opening night shellacking to reach the final by beating James Wade (6-3) and Gerwyn Price (6-4).  Cullen would break the 3-3 tie against Wade with a spiffy 20 darter. The winning leg was a beauty of 11 darts (T37, T40, T80 – 12 and d32).

After each held serve, Price broke and then held for a 3-1 lead.  That became 4-1 in 12 darts.  Price wanted 97 which all know is T19 and double tops. In stepped the Dart God when his T19 actually became a T7 that was followed by a pair of missed darts. Cullen took the leg but lost the next to go down 2-5.  Unbeknownst to Price “The Fat Lady” was singing as Cullen rolled to the next 4 for the win.

In the final Cullen had 3-1 and 4-3 leads that could have been 5-3 but for a miss from 60 with the ever popular 20, d20, d20.  Door open – as Clayton used 18 and 16 darts for the win.  Clayton using a dyslectic Lawrence Welk (a “two a” and an “one a”) moved to the top of the Premier League table.

Cullen’s disappointment would be short lived.  He would annex both weekend Players Championships worth a hefty £24,000.

On Saturday he handed Aussie Damon Heta 8-4 where Heta missed 8 winning doubles in losing legs.  After Cullen stated the oblivious, “I’ve played terribly today and won the tournament, so what more can you ask for?” the ODC from the bunker said, “Play better!” Finally, someone listened as Cullen strolled to an 8-1 Sunday win over B. van Berg.  “I played better today.

Really good players win when they play bad.

Meanwhile in Huntsville, Alabama, the Sgt. Leonard Gates was having himself a Cullen type weekend.  He ruled the singles at Shoot the Moon wining both the 501 and Cricket singles beating Jason Brandon 2-0 and 2-1.  Brandon captured the 301 singles 2-0.  Gates not entered.

One old “lyric” the ODC keeps repeating is:  Cricket darts suck – “but you don’t have to hit a double.”  Gates won the last leg of the Cricket single by outscoring Brandon 1,260 to 1,190.  Doubles not a factor.  If you can’t hit triples don’t worry about doubles.

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.
Howie Reed

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