Column #HR332 Here’s to the ladies!

Wednesday, March16, 2022
Column HR332
Here’s to the ladies!

The Old Dart Coach wishes a belated Happy Birthday (#80) to Irish great, John McKenna.  The ODC’s first Guinness on St. Patty’s Day will be for John and also Tom Firth.  Firth traveled from Dublin to last week’s UK Open.  He echoed the Old Dart Coach’s opinion (assuring a column mention) that Michael Smith did not play “smart.”  Howie-ever, if Michael Smith had stood back until Danny returned to behind the oche it might have had a different result in his poor scoring.

Peter Wight’s arrival at #1 hasn’t gone well.  On his 52nd birthday arriving on stage for Premier League play he got a warm welcome from the fans but not so warm from Jonny Clayton as he lost 6-5.  They were tied at 5 when Wright missed 1 at 36 allowing Clayton a T21-check (20, t17 and dead bull) for the win.

The weekend proved no better on the German Darts Championship as he withdrew from the Quarters before a match with Michael van Gerwen – possibly due to a resurgence of his gall stone problem.  Missing at both events was Gerwyn Price with a badly swollen hand.  With no reason provided, the ODC reckons he might have hurt it while training for his upcoming charity boxing exhibition.

Michael van Gerwen became the first to repeat as winner in this year’s Premier League.  He collected £20,000 for those two nights.  He beat James Wade (6-5), Joe Cullen (6-1) and then defeated Michael Smith 6-4 in the final.  The van Gerwen vs. Wade match had it all – 11 legs, T30 & T21 finishes (by van Gerwen) and T12, T20 (by Wade).

van Gerwen would score a hat trick when he annexed the German Darts Championship over the weekend with an 8-5 win over Rob Cross.

Cross was brilliant in building a 4-1 lead with the only loss to a leg with a 100-check (T20, D20, D20.  van Gerwen would level at 4 – getting to the tie with another 100-check of, of course, 20, D20, D20.  A 121-check 12-darter regained Cross the lead (5-4) which would dissolve to 5-5 then to a 6-5 lead for van Gerwen that would stand.  The hat trick was worth £65,000 over three events.

The world is halfway through Women’s History Month.  The ladies of darts (Europe division only) were rewarded with two valuable options – travel to the Isle of People (formerly Isle of Man) for the Darts Festival or play the PDC’s first four Women’s Series events over two days.

The Isle of People had three ladies’ singles.  Two top ladies chose the Isle of People over the PDC – Deta “The Queen” Hedman and Beau Greaves.  They met in all three finals with Greaves collecting the hat trick.  Clearly, her dartitis had done a runner.

The PDC Women’s Series which encompassed 2 days and four events was a two lady show. Two prominent women missing were Anastasia Dobromyslova and Mikuru Suzuki, but over 100 ladies showed up.

Lisa Ashton ruled Day 1.  She was unchallenged, taking the opener 5-2 over Wales’ Rhian Griffiths.  With leads of 3-0 and 4-1, obliviously Ashton was never challenged.

Ashton would repeat in event #2 with a 5-3 win over Robyn Byrne.  They were tied at 3 when Ashton broke it open in 14 darts.

Fallon Sherrock was the only player to take Ashton to any decider on the first day.  Sherrock led 4-3 when Ashton created a 12-darter to level, then closed with d8 after Sherrock missed d20.

Sherrock rebounded on Day 2, trailing Joanne Locke 3-1 in the best of 7 (thanks to missed doubles).  The next 3 legs went Sherrock’s way denying Locke a double chance for the win.

The last match of the two days was the best.  A classic – Fallon Sherrock vs. Lisa Ashton, best of 9.

Sherrock lost an ugly first leg in 21 darts.  The next 3 legs went to Sherrock in 15, 14 and 15 darts with Ashton’s only double opportunity a missed 3 at 36.  At 4-2, Ashton took over allowing Sherrock only one dart at a double – that being the red bull.  Lisa Ashton ruled.  “Some things get better with age” – although she was darn good younger.

With four events finished there are only eight chances left for women to qualify for the Lady’s Matchplay in Blackpool.  From the 12 events the 8 top money winning ladies will spend a July summer’s day at the beach.

Lisa Ashton amassed £3,000

Fallon Sherrock – £2,250

Rhian Griffiths – £1,100

Lorraine Winstanley – £1,100

The number entries for the Lady’s Series must be pleasing for the PDC with maybe the next step a full women’s tournament before a live audience.

The spectacle at PDC events with the crowd have become very displeasing to many.  After attending the UK Open Tom Firth wrote, …and these people in the Audience are supposed to be Darts Enthusiasts?  Think that I will continue to go to the seniors competitions when real darts supporters attend. 

At the Premier League last Thursday, the fans were standing with arms raised above their heads yelling.  One might have thought they were watching the French and Italian armies in training for the next war.

Neil Kennedy has played darts on both sides of the Atlantic.  He’s “agra”.  The recent crowd disorder has me hopping mad as it seems no one cares or is prepared to do anything about it.  These people are taking the “piss” and need to be sorted out.  These “Muppets” that watch now have no idea, no clue what darts etiquette is.  I don’t know what the price of tickets is to get in, but I won’t be paying it to witness this carnage that’s for sure.

At the German Open, referee Georgie Noble did something about the crowd.  On Saturday night, there had been players complaints of whistling.  On Sunday during the match that Daryl Gurney won over Joe Cullen (6-3), the crowd was quiet – then whistles rang out as Cullen was going for d10.  Finally, after two warnings Noble had had enough.  He asked to have those whistling identified and said he would have them ejected.  The crowd cheered.

Before Noble was a top tier referee, he was Little Georgie Noble Jr. scooting around the grownups at the Morning Star Bar until corralled by Georgie Noble Sr.  Jr. knows how to silence rambunctious kids as he was one.

From Paul Killington: Watching the Premier League tonight I couldn’t help but feel the Walk-on Girls have let standards slip – they’re not quite as attractive as they used to be. 

Silence is Golden.

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.
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