Column #HR337 Chuck Hudson tells it LIKE IT IS!
Wednesday, April 6, 2022
Chuck Hudson tells it LIKE IT IS!
Golden Age darters have fond memories of the Lakeside Country Cub, Frimley Green. The names of darting greats names roll off the tongue like water over Niagara Falls. This week, the ancient venue plays host to the WDF’s World Championships. Most of the names of the participants are so unknown they might be in witness protection, but first…
Betting is a big part of the Premier League. A really big score is putting together a parley or accumulator, especially when you find a Bingo free square. But beware – there’s “many a slip between cup and lip.” Michael van Gerwen was the free “square” against James Wade. A sure thing…
Whoops! Wade methodically spanked him 6-2 finishing with 12 and 13 darts. From then on, the first round was all chalk. Joe Cullen raced to a 4-0 lead over Gerwyn Price – Price helped with 9 missed doubles. Cullen would prevail 6-3. The final score of Wright’s 6-5 win over Gary Anderson was sloppy. Weight got to 6 after Anderson couldn’t check 68 with 3. Jonny Clayton’s 6-1 win over Michael Smith proves that averages don’t mean much. Smith led the averages 99.81 to 99.53 but had only 4 double opportunities – the one he converted was a T21.
James Wade was tied at 2 with Joe Cullen when he broke out with games of 14, 13 and a pair of 17s for a 6-2 win. In the other semi, Peter Wright led 2-0 in 11 and 14 darts. Cullen capitalized on 5 Wright misses to level. From then on it was “Good Night Nurse” for Cullen as Wade took the next 4 for the win.
The final between Clayton and Wade turned into a brilliant display of “approach shots” – Wade was 100% on doubles. Clayton won 6-1 with the following set ups. T80s to equaled 86, 100, 38 a T77 for 24, T40 for 41 and T27 for 43 grew. He missed the bull on the T27. (As a postscript, Michael van Gerwen was 4-nil down to Peter Wright Saturday in the Players Championship. He opened a Giant Economy can of “WP” taking 8 on the trot for the 8-4 win.)
The WDF (Woke Darting Foolishness) “Our” World Championship kicked off at the Lakeside. The current saying is “It’s Putin’s Fault.” That was true for Anastasia Dobromyslova (3-times champion). An older one is, “Never get in a scent fight with a skunk.” Alas, the ODC has succumbed. A BDO fanatic posted the following.
“The bookies’ favourite (nice spelling) on the grounds that he plays in the PDC (MERCENARIES… Different game on regulation equipment up against the BDO (FAMILY). Proves again that regulation darts is the TRUE test of a player, particularly at the Home of World Darts.”
“Regulation equipment”? The same board and darts as the PDC. If this person is a spokesman for the BDO family they’re the doppelganger of the Gallaghers of Chicago TV fame, not the Brady Bunch. This delusional clown ends with, “And does anyone know if Veronica is a lesbian or attached to any man, I wouldn’t mind a crack at her while I’m here.” And then from Anthony Eno (a poster with no self-awareness), “I’m disgusted by some of the comments on the internet these days. I love our sport, particularly those who are genuine members of the BDO (FAMILY).”
Here’s how his BDO family answers: “Go get fu***d fruit loop. Why do people answer that nutcase 🙄? This guy has a screw loose – BDO is dead will never rise again, thank God.”
Liam Morris dared to stand up for Anastasia stating, “Can’t believe they banned those lovely warmongering Russians!” Eno, Liam, “scum like you should be banished from the (family).” The sound of a slamming door with a raised finger and a “Foxtrot Oscar.” The most telling comment is “Seen better darts in the pub and it all costs is a pint.”
North American’s didn’t do well. Paula Murphy drew Hungary’s Veronika Ihasz (mentioned previously by the Whack Job). Murphy would lose 2-0 (3-0, 3-0) with only two legs in play where Paula missed 6 doubles. Canadian lady Darlene Van Sleeuwen exited 2-1 in a match that could only be described as horrid. There was only one leg under 20 darts. Legs were won in 40, 33 (2), 27 (2), 32, 28, 23 and a pair in 21.
The ladies’ field had quality as it’s their world championship. As until this year it was the ladies only option. The field would have been stellar with Anna, Lisa Gulliver (a 10-times champion) and ticket seller Fallon Sherrock. Gulliver and Sherrock are playing in the PDC. Still quality.
The reigning 2-time Champion “Miracle” Mikuru Suzuki advanced with a 2-0 (3-0, 3-2) win. The Queen, Deta Hedman (#1 in WDF points) got a rather rude welcome from Aussie Tori Kewish being ousted 2-0 (3-0, 3-0). The final leg of the first set was some kind if ugly. The two combined for a total of 77 darts and 39 double attempts. The dart beginner’s favorite out was hit: DOUBLE 1.
USA’s Kevin Luke’s lost 2-0 (3-2, 3-2) to England’s Steve Hine where he never had a shot to turn it around. Jules Van Dongen went down to Netherland’s Ryan De Vreede 3-1 (2-3, 2-3, 3-1, 1-3). Van Dongen had his chances especially in the second set with a 2-nil lead, but he failed to check with 3 from 52. In the 4th set he couldn’t erase 72 in 3 to draw level.
The Solder Leonard Gates was the last Yank on the stage against England’s Steve Hine, who had ousted Kevin Luke 2-0 with an 83+ average.
Hine would prove to be a Yank killer as he squeezed out a 3-0 (3-1, 3-2, 3-2) win where Gates had chances. In the first set he wasted 9 from 64 to stay alive. In the second set he couldn’t check 3 from 70 and in set 3 at 97 he managed only 73.
Two of three Canadians men moved on. Rory Hansen 2-0 (3-1, 3-2) and Shawn Burt 2-0 (3-1, 3-1) with David Cameron exiting 2-1. Cameron lost set 1 (0-3). He would reverse the score in set 2. Cameron led 2-1 in the deciding set but failed to close from 56 with 6, losing the leg in 24 darts. The loss came in 21 darts with no Cameron double. Rory Hansen was on the wrong end of a 0-3 ejection (3-0, 3-1, 3-1). In the final set he had 6 darts to win and extend.
The event ends on Sunday. So far, the best take-away has not been a chicken curry with Nan Bread but the post of Chuck Hudson on a trip to the Lakeside:
Flight to London… $1,000.00
Rental car, hotel and event tickets… 1,000 quid
Cold Strawberry Cider… 7 quid
Me sitting in a nearly empty Lakeside holding a “FREE ANASTASIA” sign… PRICELESS!
Stay thirsty my friends.