Dartoids World


Friday, August 16, 2023
Column HR421 

Rob Cross would have to have been angry when he traveled with his mates from the PDC for the World Series in New Zealand and Australia.  He won both the New Zealand and the New South Wales Darts Masters pretty as you’d like.  In New Zealand, Cross was in peril against truck driver Jonny Tata from the land of Vegemite and tossing shrimp on the barbe.  Tata had defeated Peter Wright in round 1.  Wright led 2-1 when Tata drove back 4 in a row hitting the winner with an 84-check after missing 3 in the previous leg.

Tata started strong against Cross, taking the opening leg in 15 darts then leading 3-2.  Cross took three for a 5-3 lead.  Tata would level things at 5 all in 15 and 14 darts.  Cross let the air out of Tata’s hopes for the 6-5 win.  Nathan Aspinall put together an amazing 7 legs to reach the final against Michael Smith.  The Asp was deadly with an average of 110.22, checking 7/11 in a 7-3 win.  He had 1-11, 2-13 and a 15-darter. Smith averaged 107.45.

Cross reached the final with an easy 7-3 win over Gerwyn Pirce.  Ahead 4-3, Cross needed only 13 for 5-3 then checks of T20 and T40 to reach the final against Aspinall.  There is a rule in darts that if you have a higher average and better check rate you should win.  Rules are made to be broken.  Cross did just that as he was outscored and out finished taking a nail biter 8-7.  How could that happen?

Cross’s scoring in spots allowed him to miss finishes while at the same time lowered his average.  Cross won the first leg then missed 5 for the second.  When they were level at 2, Cross missed 2 – giving the leg and the lead to Aspinall 3-2.  With 14 and 13 darts Aspinall’s lead was 5-2.  Cross had a miss but won a leg for 3-5 then repeated, making it 4-5.  In 13 darts Aspinall made it 6-4 only to have Cross grab one back in 14 and then level in 15 with a 64-check after Aspinall missed one.  Cross then missed 5 doubles allowing The Asp to move ahead 7-6, one leg from victory.  In 14 and 15 Cross ended the affair with an 88-check as The Asp never saw a double.  The win was worth £20,000.

As things moved to New South Wales, which is never confused with Old South Wales, the locals celebrated the first round as Damon Heta and Simon Whitlock advanced.  Whitlock had a struggle as he finished only 6 of 22.   Nathan Aspinall saw doubles cost him 3 legs, losing 6-5.  It’s not missed finishes but when they occur.

Damon Heta took out Gerwyn Price 6-3.  In the semis Heta had a doozy against Dimitri Van den Bergh.  With the Belgium throwing first they both held for 4-3.  Heta had the chance to level with a T25 to leave 16.  Three misses gave Van den Bergh the chance to break, which he did for 5-3.  With the chance to take the lead again Van den Bergh busted 48 for 4-5.  Heta leveled at 5 moving head when Van den Bergh couldn’t check from 48 once again.  They would go to a decider as Van den Bergh broke for 6-all.  Heta needed 14 darts to win 7-6 and earn a trip to the finals.

Against Danny Noppert, Rob Cross continued his invasion with a 6-4 win.  Tied at 4, Noppert managed only 40 from 80 as Cross erased 56 for 5-4.  The Cross winning leg saw 4 missed finishes by both players – when Cross then avoided 5 misses to peg his 19th dart for a 6-4 win.  Cross’ semi found him sharing the oche with Peter Wright who got there with a 6-3 win over Michael Smith.

Cross was “En Fuego” destroying Wright 7-0 with an average of 109.59.  Wright would go 5-nil finishing (which a little miss leading as four of those came in one leg).

Damon Heta had been quoted saying “what a thrill it would be” to win his home Masters.  The plan was flawed as Cross jumped out to a 7-nil lead winning 8-1. Cross dominated the trip Down Under.  “Keen observation, Sherlock.”

Another darter that had “one of those weeks” was Stowe Buntz as he took three CDC events in fine fashion.  Twice unlucky was Alex Spellman.  Buntz broke a level at 4 game with 3 in a row for the 7-4 win.  In their second final Buntz led 6-4.  Spellman used a pair of 16-darters, added by a Buntz missed bull, to force a 13th leg.  Buntz tossed his second 14-darter for the 7-6 win.  Buntz’s third win came against Jim Long 7-2.

In 1979, the World Cup II was held at the Sahara Hotel in Las Vegas.  The WDF “powers that be” banned the press from attending.  Why?  It seems the “powers that be” got their collective feathers ruffled.  Reportedly, newspapers and other media had described darters as “illiterate, boozing slobs playing a silly child’s game good only for comic relief on the late news or the back page.”

The WDF’s reasoning?  Apparently, since the World Cup II is a serious sporting event, the press had to be banned to protect the dignity of the event.

The World Cup II was serious as those attending drank the Sahara out of beer.  Two enlightened darters found a baggage cart loaded with several cases of beer at the bottom of the escalator.  The person with the cart could not deliver the beer to the floor up the escalator (as that was another union).  So, the two lads bought four cases of beer, went up the escalator and back to the venue.  Made a little profit.

Ron and Howie weren’t too dumb!

The GOLDEN ERA DART PLAYERS love that Bob Anderson has donated a “new, never used” Limestone Bob Anerson dart shirt for the auction on January 19th.  Thanks Bob.

Riding the coattails of the GOLDEN ERA DART PLAYERS STACY BROMBERG SENIOR OPEN on January 19-20, 2024, the ADO has decided to follow them on those dates.  The GOLDEN ERA DART PLAYERS are always there to help the ADO.

Did you know that prior to 1977 the throw line was called the Hockley?  True fact.  Then in late 1977 or 1978 the BDO changed it to Oche.  Why?  No EYE DEAR.

Darn good thing as Toeing the Oche would have been Toeing the Hockey.  Silly.

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.