Column #HR408 LUCKY or GOOD? AND a MAJOR ANNOUNCEMENT!
Wednesday, May 24, 2023
LUCKY or GOOD? AND a MAJOR ANNOUNCEMENT!
Golfer Jack Nicholas heard a brainless sportswriter (like there’s another kind) say, “Boy that Nicholas is lucky”. Jack responded, “…funny, the more I practice the luckier I get.”
Had Jonny Clayton heard a similar comment after Thursday night’s Premier League he’d say, “Lucky or good… lucky comes without strings or effort”.
Both Nicholas and Clayton are right.
The definition of the Ferret is “a sneaky devious animal” – sometimes referred to as a weasel. The title fits Clayton to a tee as he weaseled his way into the PL final on Thursday – that despite being taken to the woodshed for a good old-fashioned butt kicking by Nathan Aspinall 6-1.
“Brainless storywriters” fall back on the old cliché, “He opened a can of whoop-ass” made famous in the movie The Water Boy.
Nathan Aspinall opened a giant can.
Maybe Nathan was watching the TV when up popped an advert: “Now for a limited time you can have your own giant size can of WA for only £ 19.95…but wait, you can get another one FREE for just a small additional charge”. Nathan took the buy-one-get-one “almost free” deal.
The Old Dart Coach has enough egg on his face to make an IHOP omelet. He’d predicted an Aspinall loss. He wrote, “His chances are Slim and None. Aspinall’s MO in the PL is high average and losing.” Brainless indeed.
On 7 Legs Aspinall had an average of 103 and a check rate of 60%. The first 2 legs, 27 darts, he tossed T80, T37, T35 and two T34s to go up 2-nil. Clayton could only watch as Aspinall sped to 5-0.
A ferret having a bemused look? Clayton did. He tossed a 12-darter with a stiffy T60 escape which brought grins aplenty.
Even with the win Aspinall needed an “unlikely” win against Gerwyn Price who is hotter than a pepper sprout from “These Boots are Made for Walking” by Nancy Sinatra.
Nathan had chances to draw even with Price at 1-2, 2-3 and 3-4 – missed doubles the villain. Price needed only 14 and 15 darts to close for the win. Aspinall’s hopes of a final four gone.
Aspinall tied Clayton in points but trailed on night wins (2-1) and matches won (14-13). In 2012 Clayton finished 4th, then won the Premier League championship beating Michael van Gerwen 10-8 and José Augusto Oliveira de Sousa 10-9.
Last weekend, Clayton won a Players Championship. An omen or an “OH, Man”?
A can of Nathan’s “WA” must have been found in the practice room by Dimitri Van den Bergh. He opened a 4-0 lead over Michael Smith. The match should have been 2-2 with Smith missing 6 darts for that result. Smith would get 2 legs back using 15 and 15 aided by a missed check from Van den Bergh. The Belgium used 12 and 14 darts winning the next 2 of 4 and getting the 6-4 win.
Michael van Gerwen also found some “WA” – he was on cruise control leading Chris Dobey 5-0. The 6th leg started for MvG T41, T23, 96 and T24 which left 17. During the T24 something went KABOOM. Going for the fat 1 MvG hit 18. A bust. MvG had tweaked something in his shoulder. He would lose 3 legs playing in apparent pain missing 12 doubles abet winning 6-3.
With Price already in the semis, MvG would be matched against Dimitri Van den Bergh for a place in the night’s finals. MvG won the bull but then decided on a “No Mas.”
The dilemma for the PDC is what if MvG is unable to play Smith next week and withdraws? Is 5th place Aspinall called in or does Michael Smith move directly into the finals? Only one match on finals night would cheat the public to say nothing of killing beer sales.
The drama of Aspinall-Clayton and MvG’s withdrawal overshadowed Van den Bergh’s 6-5 win over Price in the final. Van den Bergh’s win was his only of the PL year leaving only Peter Wright without a PL win this season.
This Sunday “The Greatest Spectacle in Sports,” the Indy 500, takes place in Indianapolis. The Championship Darts Circuit jumped the gun last weekend with a five-event program back Home in Indiana.
Jake Womack had an easy 7-2 win over Stowe Buntz in the opener. The most competitive final saw Alex Spellman come back from 4-5 down to capture event #2 snatching 3 in a row to defeat Jason Brandon 7-5. Leonard Gates found Sunday to be his day as he took the third event 7-1 over J. T. Davis.
With Gates’ win he’ll pair with Jules Van Dongen as Team USA at the PDC World Cup June 15-18 in Germany. Canada will be represented by Jeff Smith and Matt Campbell in the new World Cup format.
The field has expanded to 40 teams and matches will be all doubles. Prize money has increased t £450,000. Both countries (USA and Canada) will have to get through a preliminary group of 3 to advance to the second round. Yanks will probably say “Auf Wiedersehen” early.
A pair of PDC Masters qualifiers are also on the agenda. Interestingly, the ADO has a WDF Masters qualifier on June 23 – even though the WDF has no date or sponsor for the event.
Two CDC runner-ups bounced back to win CDC-PDC Masters qualifiers. Jason Brandon rebounded beat Canadian Jake Macmillan 5-1 and J.T. Davis bested Elliot Milk 5-2.
FIRST ANNUAL GOLDEN ERA DARTS PLAYERS SENIOR OPEN! SAVE THE DATE!
With great pride it was announced that the newly formed Golden Era Dart Players will host the first annual Stacy Bromberg Memorial Senior Open on Friday and Saturday, January 19 and 20, 2024 in Las Vegas. It will be seniors – those who paved the way for today’s players, competing against each other.
The event will carry on Stacy’s legacy of raising money for the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Stacy raised thousands of dollars during her way too short life.
Make-A-Wish inspires life-changing wishes for children going through so much. Its founding principle is encapsulated in a vision to grant the wish of every eligible child.
Golden Era Darts Players is honored to include Make-A-Wish and advance Stacy’s legacy. Her darts and charity work surely helped many critically ill children fulfill a dream wish.
So, watch this space. Many exciting details will follow in the weeks ahead.
Being open-minded doesn’t mean one has an empty mind. The ODC is the exception.
Stay thirsty my friends.