Dartoids World

Column #HR395 Interesting week?

Thursday, February 22, 2023
Column HR395
Interesting week?

Before the Old Dart Coach became the world’s Master Darts Writer he pontificated on the “manly art of self-defense” (now “person art of self-defense”. Growing up as he did listening to Friday night fights on the radio he remembers the in-round announcer describing the first round with more action “than a service girl with a stolen credit card”.  Then the between round guy would opine, “That wasn’t a particularly an interesting round”.

Darts last week?

“Not particularly interesting.”*

(The ODC needs an asterisk to qualify that statement.)

Of interest last week?  Darts Royalty.  “The Queen” Deta Hedman proved again why she’s the Rolls Royce of darters.  For the 7th time she captured the Scottish Open.  Her first Scottish Open win was 28 years ago.  “The Queen” is the quintessential “never give up” example – the embodiment of everything all dart players should embrace.  For class, ability and longevity Deta is the female version of Paul Lim, just taller.

Deta entered the final against Rhian O’Sullivan who was smoking hot, going 8-1 in her two preceding matches with averages of 85.25 and 98.52 (a missed double accounting for the one lost leg).

Deta found herself down 4-3 in the race to 5 when in the 7th leg O’Sullivan was at 61 with Hedman at 177.  O’Sullivan would face double trouble – she had 9 darts to check (from 36) for win.  O’Sullivan then wasted 7 doubles allowing Hedman to draw level.

The decider went to Hedman against the darts as O’Sullivan wasted 6 from 40.  The win advances Deta Headman into 3rd in the WDF rankings, ahead of O’Sullivan.  Both trail Beau Greaves who laps the field.

El Estados Unidos last weekend saw the Syracuse Open.  The WDF website lists it as a WDF event.  Not so, as the tournament eschewed WDF “approval” this year.

Hurt attendance?  Nope.  This year there were 277 more singles entries producing $255 dollars of added revenue (plus no $250 sanctioning fee).

Carolyn Mars (’01) and Marie Carli (Cricket) took regular singles as Cali West copped the pro version.  The men’s side also had three different winners.  Ryan Vander Weit took the pro singles, Doug Boehm the Cricket and Danny Baggish (’01).

Nostradamus is quoted today though he assumed room temperature in July of 1566.  The ODC is darts Nostradamus – with apologies to the faithful, “Cricket is deader than Kelsey’s reproductive organ”.

At the Syracuse Open ’01 Singles drew 277 combined entries.  The combined Cricket singles drew 149.  Pro ’01 singles drew 189.

Maybe some daring tournament will grow a set by trying something new.  How about no score Cricket with three marks from 20-13 and Bulls and equal darts?  This would save time and maybe increase entries.

There’s an old saying (well, it’s not old yet but will be eventually) that “you can’t win the Premier League in the first weeks”The corollary is that “you can lose it”.

There are those that call the PL “nothing but an exhibition”.  That could be true  although with £1,000,000 in the pot £275,000 to the winner and the runner-up grabbing £125,000 that’s some kind of exhibition!  Not too Chablis.

Going into week four (of 16) both Peter Wright and Jonny Clayton need to “whip up their horses”.  The pair have combined for 2 points – scored by  Clayton with his 6-1 win over the fading Chris Dobey (6-1) last week.  Clayton would lose to eventual winner Michael Smith in the semifinal. Clayton led 4-2 when he got hit with an avalanche of great darts (13, 12, 14) falling behind 4-5. Clayton leveled in 15 but fell to the same number of darts 6-5.

Peter Wright, who the ODC predicted would wake up on his home turf of Scotland which really isn’t, was scoring in his 4-6 loss to finalist Dimitri Van den Bergh.  Wright had no trouble putting up the points (98.23 to 94.76) – it was that irritating double causing his downfall. Wright would collect on only 4 of 14 doubles as Van den Bergh hit at a 50% rate.

Michael Smith played one of the best finals in the PL ever.  Smith averaged 109.42 exiting at 54.5% – winning 6-4.  Smith would break in leg 1, then hold for a 2-0 lead before leading 3-1. Smith would hold throughout with only a 16-dart leg to start over 15.  Smith added legs of 12 (T40 check), 13 twice, 14 and 15.

This Thursday the Premier League action moves back to the Land of Guinness and Dublin.  Both Clayton and Wright face daunting tasks.

The venue was not kind to Wright last year as he went out 6-3 to Jonny Clayton who finished runner up that night.  Wright was sitting third then and is 8th now.  He’ll draw the red-hot Michael Smith.  Clayton gets no brake as he faces joint points leader Nathan Aspinall. 

Night Four – Thursday, February 23, 3Arena, Dublin, Quarter-Finals (first round.  No points) 

Michael Smith vs. Peter Wright: Smith will bury Wright leaving him at the bottom of the table.

Gerwyn Price vs. Dimitri Van den Bergh.  Take the Dancing Darter who averages 94.76, 105.73 and 97.66 (when he lost to Michael Smith last week 6-4).

Jonny Clayton vs. Nathan Aspinall.  Last year in Dublin Clayton had three 100-plus averages, losing in the final to James Wade 6-5.  It’s a different Clayton this time around as he meets co-leader Aspinall.  Aspinall prevails. 

Michael van Gerwen vs. Chris Dobey.  The “Bloom is off the Rose” for Dobey as he wilts under the pressure of MvG.

Semi FinalsMichael Smith over Dimitri Van den Bergh.  Smith duplicates last week’s 6-4 win.  Michael van Gerwen over Nathan Aspinall 6-5, reversing last week’s 6-4 loss.

FinalMichael van Gerwen over Michael Smith 6-4 as Smith struggles with outs once again.

      2023 Cazoo Current Premier League Standings  

  Points Nights Won Matches Won
Michael Smith 7 1 4
Nathan Aspinall 7 0 4
Gerwyn Price 5 1 3
Chris Dobey 5 1 3
Dimitri Van den Bergh 5 0 3
Michael van Gerwen 5 0 3
Jonny Clayton 2 0 1
Peter Wright 0 0 0

The darts world gave the ODC lemons last week.  He made a lemon meringue pie.  What a guy.

Stay thirsty my friends.


  • Howie Reed

    Astute, often controversial, and always humorous, the Old Dart Coach, Howie Reed (a former rodeo cowboy and advertising executive), is heralded as the Dean of Darts Chroniclers - the most prolific and widely followed writer ever about our sport. He goes back decades with the legends and knows where the skeletons are buried (just ask any of the ADO and WDF old-timers!). Here are four well-known facts about the Old Dart Coach: 1) he is a Republican, 2) he loves the ladies, 3) he can drink most anybody under the table, and 4) he throws darts as bad as Dartoid.