Column #HR 381 In form…

Thursday, November 17, 2022
Column HR381
In form…

Is there a more meaningless term than “in form”?  No.

A darts player was asked, “How are you doing?”  Their reply, “I’m in form.”

Horse players know form equates to losing tickets.  With form and a £1.25 a dart player can go to the £1 store buy one item.

There are exceptions…

During the War of 1812 America invaded Upper Canada.  In July of 1814, the Battle of Lundy’s Lane was fought near Niagara Falls, Ontario.  “It was one of the bloodiest battles of the war, and one of the deadliest battles ever fought in Canada, with over 1,731 casualties including 258 killed.”

In November of 2022, Canada retaliated as an “in form” Trish Grzesik and Maria Carli visited Niagara Falls, USA, for the Bull Shooter.  They went through the field like Joey Chestnut does hot dogs.  Trish and Maria finished 1 and 2 in the singles then 2 and 1.  They took the ladies doubles (combo) and the ladies doubles ’01 and mixed triples.

Two weeks ago, Paula Murphy had her way with machine darts in Ft. Walton Beach, Florida.  Last week, she and Mr. Bigglesworth took the Seacoast Open by storm.  Murphy took the cricket singles, top 4 in ’01, mixed doubles and ladies cricket doubles – and won tournament MVP.

“Chattooga Chainsaw” Joe Cheney won the cricket singles and punched his ticket to the WDF World Cup in 2024 along with Robbie Philips, Cali West and Carolyn Mars.

Form is what Fallon Sherrock always displays, especially with her demeanor.  Regardless, she receives online abuse.  She’s ostracized by fellow players.  “It’s mostly the women.  I’m not welcome with the women anymore.”

Women being mean, jealous and catty?  How shocking.  

“It doesn’t matter what I do, I am still going to get hate.”

During the recent women’s series Sherrock played Beau Greaves in a final.  As in the PDC Players Championship there were no spectators – players sat behind a curtain watching on TV.   The two were level at 3 with no leg going more than 15 darts.  After 12 darts each, Sherrock wanted 40 with Greaves on 148.  Greaves took out 148 and a roar emerged from behind the curtain, breaking best of order.  

“It was literally all the room.”  

Of course, they’re jealous, mean and catty.  Sherrock has what they want – she’s one of the best women players in the world, attractive and talks in complete sentences not grunts.  If Beau Greaves intends to be the face of ladies’ darts, she best get some good advice and take it.

Form and endurance are needed when paying in the 2022 Cazoo Grand Slam of Darts.  After eight groups of four playing round robin the field of 64 was cut to 16 and the knock out took over.  Both ladies, Lisa Ashton and Fallon Sherrock, and Leonard Gates, went out with nary a win.

There were some great matches but, alas, the ODC spotlights “in form” Yank, Gates.  The Soldier’s out chart is harder to understand than the Fermat’s Last Theorem math problem – that took 365 years to solve.

Gates faced Damon Heta and led 3-0 and 4-1.  At 4-3 Gates went off.  Wanting 70 his first dart scored 18, probably he was going for the trip.  His next dart was a miss, then double 16 leaving 20.  Against Jermaine Wattimena and tied at 1, Gates wanted 112.  His first dart scored 20 leaving 92 which called for another 20 shot, hopefully a triple. Nope – t19 leaving 35, then another 19 to leave 12.  One commentator said, “No one wants to face Gates in the World Championships.”  Whisky Tango Foxtrot.  Draw him, hire a car and make sure he’s on time.

Missing from the round of 16 was Peter Wright who fell short by just one plus leg.  He and Alan Soutar were tied with wins at 2.  Soutar moved on.  During the round robin Wright missed 5 darts that would have won four legs.  Against Soutar, won by Wright 5-4, Soutar took out 73 after Snakebite missed two doubles.

The two oldest players in the field turned the clock back…

Raymond Van Barneveld, the 2012 winner, faced Simon Whitlock in a “wing ding doodler.”  Whitlock started out like a 4-alarm fire, leading 5-2, but that turned into a dumpster fire when Whitlock blew a 5-2 lead in the race to 10.  They were even-steven level at 5, 6, 7 and 8.  Barney took a first time lead at 9-8 in a leg that was ugly as it took 21 darts.  Whitlock from T52 went T20, T20, miss.  RvB from 51?  19, d7, 9 – leaving 9.  Whitlock, with 32 – d8, miss, 8.  RvB got the 9-8 lead with 1, d4.

Whitlock trailed with 130 after Barney used T40 to leave 81.  On the heels of a pair of T12 checks the Wizard tossed T20, T20 leaving d5 – which he missed by a hair.  Barney took out the 81 with 19, 12 BULL.  When the bull hit Barney became airborne.  Great hang time for a guy with wooden shoes.

Barney will play Gerwyn Price on Friday as Price fought back against Danny Noppert from 4-7 down.  Price drew level at 8 with a nifty T64-check of T19, T10, Dead Bill in 12 darts.  Price followed that with a 13-darter.  Price would show Noppert the door with 6 darts from 184 and 15 darts.

Michael Smith will get yet another chance for top four when he engages Joe Cullen Friday.  Smith led 4-1 and 5-2 against Rob Cross but Cross cranked it, drawing level at 8 using a pair of 15 and 14 darts combined with checks of 62 and 104.  Smith came back to take the final 2 winning 10-8.

Dirk van Duijvenbode vs. Joe Cullen: Cullen built a 9-2 lead, winning 10-4.

The “in form” ODC will now predict today’s (Thursday) results…

Take Nathan Aspinall over Jermaine Wattimena who will need to start fast to be competitive.  The victor will face the winner of Michael van Gerwen vs. Josh “U” Rock who has been a late season sensation.  Those that underestimate MvG do so at their own peril.  The Rock will be broken.

It’s then “round up the usual suspects” as Johnny Clayton will take out Alan Soutar while Luke Humphries shows the door to Ross “The Boss” Smith.

BIG NEWS RELEASE next week.  Until then…

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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