Column #353 Old Dart Coach ON PROBATION!

Tuesday, July 12, 2022
Column HR353
Old Dart Coach ON PROBATION!

(Editor’s note: The ODC has been placed on public probation from Super-Secret Probation for his inexcusable behavior.  The USA defeated England 9-0 in 1985 in Brisbane, not Melbourne.  We apologize for his actions – as many have before.)

The ODC: “Do to my obsequiousness nature I humbly accept my punishment.  My defense is “autocorrect.”

While the ODC was writing on the English Tsunami some names were omitted.  Helen Scheerbaum and Julie Nicoll, to name two ladies, along with Conrad Daniels – an all-time great.  For the invaders there’s Dave Whitcombe, Tony Brown, Colon Baker, Jockey Wilson, Pat Piper, the courageous Sharon Colclough, Babs Evans and the “Grand Dame” Lil Combs.

Another who deserves mention is Biddy Roberts.  She’d show up every year at the North American selling subscriptions to Darts World.  Biddy was a great sales person.  Your one year subscription was for life.  She’d track you down.  No hiding.  Biddy has passed on but it’s a good guess she’s back as a teacher to Indian phone people reminding you that “your car warranty is due to run out.”

She married at the Sahara – her husband in a walker.  According to sources, he had money.  No fool she.  The ODC and date (name withheld to protect the guilty) attended the after ceremony of champaign drinking.  The dating duo proceeded to the dance where the ODC’s date left him, disappearing into the night not to be seen again until the next day.

He: “Where did you go?”

She: “You left me.”

Just another he said, she said.

Not mentioned is Phil Taylor in the English Tsunami.  He wasn’t part of it and never a factor.

As the ODC was penning his words of yesteryear’s “invaders” some were taking part in the Seniors Matchplay…

Neither North American fared well.  John Part exited to Peter “One Dart” Manley 11-10 as Dart Maple’s scoring deserted him in the last two legs.

Lisa Ashton would shoot down the “American Eagle” Larry Butler – which is illegal in the USA.  Butler drew level at 2, then got buried with a 4 leg Ashton barrage from which he never recovered, losing 8-4.

Invaders Bob Andersen, Mr. John Lowe and Keith Deller all left after the first round.

For the second Geezer Event on the trot Robert Thornton claimed the £10,000 first place check.  Thornton would have to go all out to beat a rejuvenated Phil Taylor 12-10.

While some can’t wait to criticize the Seniors the ODC is not one of them.  Forget averages.  The question is: was it entraining?  The final between Thornton and Taylor was pretty darn good.  Thornton would seal the win in 14 darts as Taylor sat on 60.  Good stuff, Maynard.

Enough about the past, what about the future?

Thanks to the PDC and their development programs the future is bright for the men.  And ladies’ darts couldn’t be brighter on the world stage.  The UK has Beau Greaves who, at 18, is among the top five if not top 3 in the world.

Golfing great Jack Nicklaus was once asked, “Can you get better?”  His reply, “Why – no one can beat me now.”  That’s about the situation for Greaves.

The USA has its own phenom in 18 year old Aaja Jalbert…

She is by far the best youth player in the USA and is sneaking up on the best women.  Just the past weekend, she had a career three days.  On the first day, she annexed the USSDA Youth Cricket title and darn near won the USSDA Women’s Cricket Nationals, losing in the final to Paula “The Boot” Murphy.  Paula is wearing a boot as the result of a broken foot which might have happened as she was practicing the “en pointe” for a possible career in ballet.

Then Aaja partnered up with Sandy Hudson, who she beat in the Nation Cricket Singles, in both of the “big girl” doubles.  Hudson’s credentials include 8 trips to the Winmau World Masters, and she is the reigning America’s Cup Singles champion.  Hudson is trying to find her form after double knee replacement surgery.

The ladies won both doubles.  The ’01 pairs was a 2-0 whitewash of Michelle Graybeal and Lisa Brasel.  The first leg was a crusher as Jalbert started 120-106 as Hudson added T40, then 85 as Jalbert took out 50.

In the Cricket pairs they never lost a leg, going 8-0.  Playing Women’s Singles Cricket Aaja Jalbert was unstoppable.  Initially she was not going to play as she had a flight to catch but after some consideration changed her mind.  A women can do that.  Jalbert never lost a leg going into the finals and never lost one there either.

Her semifinals meeting with Michelle Graybeal, winner of the ladies ’01 singles, was a first leg classic.  It went 120 darts with Jalbert winning 583 to 502 when she went DB then SB for the win on the way to 2-0 victory.

The final was over quick as Jalbert and Paula Murphy both had to make a run for the exit.  They decided to flip a coin and split money.  Aja won the coin flip, going 1-nil to get the 5-4 win.  Great sportswomenship by Ms. Murphy.

Ms. Jalbert currently is #4 in the WDF Youth rankings but really second as she’s behind two Russian girls who no doubt will be tossed by the WDF.  Jalbert is trailing Hungary’s Tamara Kovács by 10 points BUT Aaja has said she will play no more Youth events.  Still, an invite to the Lakeside is there.  Wouldn’t it be delicious if while at the Lakeside some promoter arranged a match between Aaja and Beau Greaves?  Damn straight.

Old Chainsaw Joe Chaney got the Stihl cranked as he cut down Leonard Gates like a Redwood in the ’01 Singles at Charlotte.  Chaney would defeat Leonard Gates 3-2, wining the decider is 12 darts.

Thanks to Chuck Hudson who assisted with this Hall of Fame effort.

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.