Dartoids World


Wednesday, April 12, 2023
Column HR402 

The Old Dart Coach walked thru the swinging doors of the Three Dart Lounge.  He heard Neil Diamond singing “Sweet Caroline” as the crowd, fueled by single malt (and assisted by more than a touch of Scottish singing fluid), sang along.

A patron paused singing to take a wee sip…

The ODC inquired, “What the name Benny Hill is going on?”

“Aha the wee one (Peter Wright) like the Lord Jesus Christ has arisen from the dead on this Easter Week…”

The ODC quickly exited for the Stumble Inn, before mentioning that “Yes, Peter Wright made the finals of the Premier League last Thursday but failed to win”.  (Never anger Scottish men in skirts – they can be dangerous, as sheep know…)

Wright was languishing in the basement of the PL table when he arrived in Birmingham.  Snakebite faced a daunting task – taking on Michael Smith straight out of the practice room…

Smith opened with a 14-darter plus a 96 check for 1-nil.  Snakebite then reeled off 6 on the trot.  Wright added a little “in your face” about which the Star tabloid of London headline screamed, “Peter Wright’s ‘insane, s***house’ checkout leaves darts fans flabbergasted”.  That would be a T25 check of bull, 25, bull.  Wright closed the show with a T16 out…

Against Gerwyn Price, Smith broke a draw at 2, leading 5-2 when Price hit his stride leveling things at 5, denying Smith a chance at a double.  In the decider and after starting slow, Smith after used 9 darts to score 381 points leaving 20 – which he closed in 3 propelling him into his first PL final…

If anyone has come back from the PL “doghouse” it would be Jonny Clayton.  He was cruising along with a 4-2 lead against Nathan Aspinall.  Clayton couldn’t finish 12 with 3 and his lead shrank to 4-3.   Clayton recovered, winning 6-4.

MvG took the first leg off Clayton, then The Ferret struck – building a 5-2 lead.  There are times when stats are misleading – in this one MvG checks stats.  They were 3/13 although he missed only 2 during Clayton’s surge.  Clayton got the 6-3 win… The final (Smith-Clayton) was an “I got it… you take it” sort of affair.  The lead see-sawed back and forth with neither leading by more than 1.  That could have changed when Clayton missed a match dart at bull calling for decider.  Given a second chance, Clayton hit tops from 53 for his second PL win on the trot…

Current Standings

  Points Nights Won
Michael van Gerwen 25 3
Gerwyn Price 20 3
Michael Smith 15 1
Nathan Aspinall 15 0
Jonny Clayton 12 1
Chris Dobey 10 1
Dimitri Van den Bergh 9 0
Peter Wright 2 0

As the German Darts Grand Prix in Munich unfolded the fans were dressed up in various costumes ranging from bananas to Super Mario and a pig being chased by 3 butchers.  The match referees and introducer were dressed in “kinda” Lederhosen, vest, high socks and clogs.  (Note to referee Georgie Noble Jr – “Not your look!).  Considering the attire, it’s no wonder the always resplendent John McDonald was MIA…

A rumor circulated that Fallon Sherrock’s current “main squeeze” Cameron Menzies was going to give up his PDC Tour card and give it to Fallon.  The official spokesperson for the PDC stated, “If he gave up his tour card it would not go to Fallon”.

Menzies would lose to Nathan Aspinall 6-3 hitting on 3 of 16 doubles.  Fallon could do better…

Of all the pros Michael Smith has a throw slicker than a “goose shooting buttered bullets out it’s backside.”  His rapid throw is flawless but sometimes a “chink” appears in the amour.  For no discernable reason he gets the “WTF’s” where he can’t seem to find an Indian take out in London let alone a triple or double…

On his way to the final Smith had one of those deals when he averaged only 85.6 against Adam Warner.  Adam Warner may or may not be the son of Alan Warner-Little without the hyphen.  Smith led 3-0 when the “chink” appeared.  Smith would trail 4-3 and 5-3.  Warner leveled at 5 and had 3 darts from 32 for the match.  With 40 being Smith’s highest check he eliminated 116 points (t19, 19, d20) for the win…

Of all the stars of the PDC, UK Open winner Andrew Gilding is the most unlikely.  He has a low key personality with a “aw-shucks” kind of attitude.  After he beat Jonny Clayton 6-1, he was told, “You were for 6 of 6 on doubles.”

“Gee, I didn’t know that.”

Gilding’s next match was a 6-5 win over Dave Chisnell.  He had owned double tops with his torpedo shaped darts.  In this one, level at 5, he used T40 to set up 36 when he had the chance to set up tops.

“Why did you set up 36 when you like tops?”

“I don’t have a favorite out – I like them all.”

“You’re in the Quarter finals against Nathan Aspinall.  How do you feel?”

“Yea, I’m happy.”

He would lose to finalist Aspinall 6-4 after being level at 4 as The Asp used 14 and 12 darts for the win…

Nathan Aspinall would reach his first European Tour final after 42 attempts.  He had some degree of confidence (facing Michael Smith) since in PL play this year, he held a 3-2 edge… though Smith battered him in last year’s Grand Slam 16-5.

Smith would come out on top 8-5 with nary a “hiccup” averaging 102.88, finishing at 61.5%.  Smith started 2-nil in 16 and 17 darts – the two worst of his winning 8 legs.  Aspinall couldn’t have started worse as he missed 6 doubles to take leg 1…

Smith would lead 3-1 and 6-3 where he was almost perfect using 11, 12 (a T30 finish) and 13 darts plus three 15 darters.

Aspinall got his 3rd leg in 15 with a T12 close.  He would narrow Smith’s lead to 6-5 with 15 and 14 darts.  Smith closed things out in 15 and a 13-dart final…

The win was worth £30,000.  Afterwards, Smith would say, “I think that first leg changed the match against Nathan”.   A possible understatement.

The ODC found a double egg yolk when cooking breakfast.  “Hmm”, he thought, “The rooster must have gone back for seconds.”

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.