Dartoids World

Column #HR433 THE OWL SAYS “WHOOO?”…

Thursday, October 19, 2023
Column HR433 

The cat says “Meow,” the cow says “moo” and the donkey says “Hee Haw.”  Now that dear readers have been brought up to date it’s time to move on…

Excellence is the best word to describe those that play darts under the banner of the PDC.  That includes both gentleman and ladies.  Week in and week out the PDC players provide some eye-catching achievements.  At any PDC event the dart fan, with some rare exceptions, can narrow a projected winner down to 10 or so players.  They shall be called the “usual suspects.”  The theory holds for both gentleman’s and ladies’ events.

At last weekend’s Interwetten German Darts Championship there was a rare departure from the norm that would upset the apple cart and “Chalk Eating Weasels.”  Most who follow darts, including the Old Dart Coach, have want to dismiss such events with a shrug and a yawn as just another nice payday for the “usual suspects.”

That “shrug and yawn” turned into “Whisky Tango Foxtrot” when Ricardo Pietreczko was the winner of the German Championships over the “usual suspects.”

The owl chimed in with “WHOOO?”

Ricardo Pietreczko is a quality German darter who has had a lot of success in his home country.  What success he’s had has been with the WDF – which includes a bronze medal at the 2017 WDF World Cup singles.  He’s ranked #58 in the PDC Order of Merit with £96,000 in the bank (now picking up an additional £30,000).

Pietreczko’s win was not one of those where the draw made the difference.  There are occasions when the “usual suspects” knock each other out leaving a “Who” to gain a win.  This was not the case here.

Pietreczko raised some eyebrows when he demolished Martin Schindler 6-2 with an eye-popping average of 107.08.  Granted Schindler isn’t playing at the level he was a few years ago.  Next up in the quarter finals was “Family Guy” Stephen Bunting.  Bunting would win the average battle (103.74 to 102.23) and check average (57.1% to 40%) but lose the war 6-4.

Bunting jumped out to a 3-nil lead with two 13 darters and a 16.  Bunting got an assist when Pietreczko missed 5 doubles to win two of those legs.  Then Bunting’s lead reached 4-1 when Pietreczko ran 5 with 3 legs of 15 and 2 of 14.  Four of the finishes came from 60+ in 2 darts.  Pietreczko’s win led to a semifinal matchup with Michael van Gerwen.

In the opening leg, against the darts and staring at MvG sitting on 40 Pietreczko took out 104 in 15.  After MvG leveled in 12 he missed allowing Pietreczko a 2-1 advantage.  MvG leveled but an 11-darter by Pietreczko gave him a 3-2 lead which would become 4-2 in 13 darts.  MvG got one back in 13 but then Pietreczko got 2 extending his lead to 6-3.

MvG is never down, and he wasn’t here as he caught 3 in a row to draw level at 6.  The decider by Pietreczko was brilliant, which is an understatement, considering it was a 10-dart masterpiece of T40, T80, T45 and d18.  It’s off quoted that you score for show and finish for dough.  Against MvG, Pietreczko did both (finishing 7 from 9).

The final against Peter Wright was devoid of any semblance of drama as Pietreczko would lead 4-nil, then 5-1 when he closed 116.  Wright showed some life as he narrowed to 5-2 in 13.  Snakebite would gather a couple of legs in a losing cause as he was swamped 8-4.

Could Ricardo Pietreczko move from a “who” to a “usual suspect”?  Time and darts will tell.

The ladies of the PDC held four events over two days.  In the past, these events have been a stage for Beau Greaves to demonstrate she is the best of the best – as she has dominated the series.  Like the gents, the ladies have their “usual suspects” list.  Very seldom does an “outside” crash the party.

Beau Greaves had possibly the worst weekend of her young career as she failed to reach the finals in any of the 4 events.  Twice she lost in the quarter finals (to Vicky Pruim 5-2 and Fallon Sherrock 5-3) and twice in the semis (to Sherrock 5-4 and Lorraine Winstanley 5-3).  The loss to Winstanley had to be most irritating to Greaves as she led 3-1, then faced a total collapse losing 4 in a row while never seeing a double.

Fallon Sherrock had herself some kind of weekend as she took the first three events with relative ease, winning 5-nil over both Vicky Pruim and Aoife McCormack and 5-3 over Rhain O’Sullivan.  Her chances of a four-peat disappeared in the top 32 of the final event with a 4-2 loss to Eleanor Cairns.

Enter the picture, Natalie Gilbert…

Gilbert’s name is little known as she has been flying under the radar – prompting the owl to hoot “Who?”   Natalie Gilbert only took up the game ten years ago after she suffered a stroke.  Gilbert showed a lot of bottle when she defeated Adriana van Wijgerden-Vermaat in the top 64.  Gilbert led 3-nil in the race to 4 when she couldn’t hit a double (missing 10 in 2 legs) to be level at 3.  Allowed 6 doubles in the decider, she used all of them for the 4-3 win.

In the quarter finals against Noa-Lynn van Leuven (still with factory installed equipment) Gilbert built a 4-nil lead in the race to 5, seeing it disappear to 4-3.  van Leuven extended a gift by missing 7 from 50 which Gilbert accepted, erasing 40 with 5.

The semi found Gilbert tied at 4 with Kirsty Hutchinson.  With the darts Gilbert got a 90 finish for a final spot.

In the final Gilbert and Lorraine Winstanley would be level at 2 when Gilbert burst out for a 4-2 lead.  Gilbert missed one at 32 to close things out as Winstanley took out 60.  Nervous as a cat in a room full of rocking chairs, Gilbert soldiered on using 7 to remove 40 for her first big win.

There’s something to be said for that wise old owl.

The ODC was visiting a darting pub when someone yelled, “Does somebody know CPR?”  The ODC yelled back, “I know the entire alphabet”.

Everyone laughed… well, except on person.

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.