Column #HR400 GOLD (chemical formula: Au)
Thursday, March 302, 2023
GOLD (chemical formula: Au)
The headline shouted GATES GOLD! “The Soldier” Leonard closed the gate on the UK’s hopes of a Senior Challenge of Champions winner.
Yes, the Old Dart Coach knows that Gates wants to call himself “Soulger” (no such word exists).
Gates played really minor league baseball with the Abilene Prairie Dogs, Massachusetts Mad Dogs, Catskill Cougars and Nashua Pride.
A non-invited player, Gates made it into the main draw via a Golden Ticket. He trailed only a couple of times. Gates had two 100+ averages in the qualifier including a whopping 108.91 against “Rocket” Ronnie Baxter. The final match produced checks of 13, 13, 13, 15 and 15 including finishes of 116 and 130 in a 5-nil win over Wales’ Mark Layton.
Over 3.5 million viewers tuned in for the main event. Most were shocked by the result of the Gates vs. Phil Taylor match. The match produced more mood swings than your average run of the mill “Drama Queen”. Gates’ 10-8 win included 6 double digits checks. At 1-nil it was Gates in 12 with a 95 check. At 3-2 Gates, Taylor burst forth with 3 to lead 5-3. Gates drew level at 5 which Taylor helped by missing 3 at 32. Taylor regained the lead 7-5 and then Gates bounced to an 8-7 lead using 121 and 78 finishes. Taylor got 1 to level at 8 but then Gates closed the “ding dong” battle with checks of 101 and 102.
Richie Howson upset Robert Thornton 10-6 reversing a loss to Thornton in the 2023 Seniors finals. Canadian David Cameron eliminated Kevin Painter 10-5. Trailing 6-7, Martin Adams went on a 4-leg run to defeat Tina Gulliver 10-7.
After round 1, Mr. John Lowe, MBE posted, Howson knocking Thornton out in good style, Cameron beats an out of sorts Painter, Lennard Gates beats Taylor and Adams wins in a tight game over Trina Gulliver. The semi-finals and final – tough to pick out the winner, all quality players. The bookies make Gates the favorite, surprisingly Adams at 4/1. I think Cameron is the player to beat.
Gates led 8-4 over Martin Adams when that lead disappeared in a tsunami of darts. Adams’ 5 leg run produced a 9-8 lead – the last leg, thanks to Gates’ failure to close from 40 with 6. Gates fired a run of 3 for 11-9. Gates took 2 of 3 for the 13-10 win.
Canadian David Cameron broke a 10-all match with Richie Howson taking out 150 for an 11-10 lead in the race to 13. The roof collapsed on Cameron when Howson took three in 14, 14 and 11 (as Cameron sat at 181, 143 and 229).
Gates controlled the final leading 6-1 and 9-5. Then Gates moved to 11-5 with a pair of magnificent 11 darters. At 12-7, the “whips and jingles” attacked Gates as he missed 7 closing darts, losing 3 legs. But the “W&Js” disappeared as Gates opened the decider T80 and a ton, allowing him to close from 71 with 7 for the title.
Well, Mr. Lowe, MBE was semi correct.
In all sports there are winners and losers and with the ODC it was always pure GOLD. Quotes on losers range from “Show me a loser and I’ll show you a loser” (baseball manager, the late Leo Durocher) to Carl Sandburg’s “God, let me remember all good losers” (which the ODC favors).
The ODC was a terribly loser until one day when he lost to a “a one-eyed, one-horned, flyin’ purple people eater”. His usual infant terrible act ensued. It was stopped cold when a good friend said, “Why are you mad? You ain’t that good.” Reality hurts.
All-time great darts “Fugazi”, Paul Nicholson, probably thought he struck gold when he tweeted his all-time losers. The main target? Gary Anderson (of “fartgate” fame) as he makes a comeback winning a his first PDC ranking title in eons. “I read a tweet from Paul Nicholson saying I’m one of the world’s worst losers. Going to have a wee chat with him when I get him on the corner.”
Gerwyn Price was golden last week as he had his way twice with Michael van Gerwen. The first was a 6-1 Premier League win followed by a 6-4 triumph as Price annexed the Interwetten European Darts Open 8-7 over Dirk van Duijvenbode. The pair were level at 6 in the race to 8. van Duijvenbode moved to within one from victory in 13 darts. As he is want to, van Duijvenbode missed 3 from 36 for the win. Price leveled at 7 in 18 with a 108 finish followed by a can of “WA” – T, T80, T30, 91 and out in 2.
Current Standings 3/30/23
|Points||Nights Won||Matches Won|
|Michael van Gerwen||25||3||15|
|Dimitri Van den Bergh||9||0||5|
This week’s stop for the Premier League is Berlin. Last week, Peter Smith got his dance back as he faced Michael van Gerwen for the third straight week. The two previous meetings? 6-1 thrashings. The effort to change his luck this time included the use of a set of “Michael van Gerwen” signature darts. van Gerwen led 5-4 when Smith leveled. But alas, poor Smith fell under the spell of the Newcastle Curse. After gaining a Ton, his next trip yielded only 28 with a 20, t1 and 5. Against MvG, Smith had 8 -t1s, 7-1s,4-T5 and 4-5s. 23 scoring darts accumulated only 95 points.
Dimitri Van den Bergh will eliminate fading Michael Smith
Back on track Chris Dobey will take out Nathan Aspinall
Jonny Clayton vs. Michael van Gerwen – will add to Jonny Clayton’s woes.
The red hot Gerwyn Price will reverse his 6-5 loss to Peter Wright in week 6.
Chris Dobey will get revenge for his 6-3 loss to Dimitri Van den Bergh in week 5 – reaching the final to meet Gerwyn Price who’s going for his 4th win. He’ll get it.
Pure Gold is Paula Murphy when it comes to WDF-ranked events in the USA. She’s the undisputed Queen of the Oche. Paula added to her points total with another WDF win last week – with a 5-3 win over Cali West. Murphy is ranked #5 with the WDF on the road to the WDF World Championships (without last week’s points). If the ODC has figured correctly, the win should vault Murphy to the 3rd spot passing both Rhian O’Sullivan and Deta Headman.
Remember the words of William Shakespeare found in his play the “Merchant of Venice” –
“All that glitters is not gold” (chemical formula: FeS2 – Fool’s Gold).
Stay thirsty my friends.
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