Dartoids World

Column #HR435 Turn back time?

Wednesday, November 1, 2023
Column HR435 
Turn back time?

But first: The Old Dart Coach has been dining on crow (with fava beans and a nice Chianti) after making a false statement in last week’s column.  Looking back on the Ghost tournament (erroneously called The Ghost on the Coast …slipped that one by), the ODC wrote, “It’s not ADO-sponsored which means no seeding in singles events.  That’s a treat for league players.”

He got his comeuppance, deservedly so, from ADO President Jim Widmayer.  Mr. Widmayer pointed out, “The ADO does not seed their singles events.  The WDF ranked singles is a seeded event”.  As Alexander Pope (1688 to 1744) noted, “To err is human, to forgive divine.”

Many at the Ghost were haunted by Sandy Hudson.  She won the Mixed Trips and Ladies doubles cricket along with a semi finish in Ladies Doubles 501 and the Saturday night costume contest.  BOO.  


Both James Wade and Peter Wright must have heard Cher singing, “If I could turn back time” as they warmed up for the finals of the 2023 PDC European Championships.  The two spoke with their darts saying, “There’s still some life in us”.  It was not a classic final although these two meeting in the final might just be recorded as one of the wonders of the 2023 darting world.

Both started by upsetting players in round 1.  Gabriel “The German Giant” Clemens led 4-1 in the race to 6 as it appeared Wright would once again be sent to the sidelines.  Wright got even at 4 (including a T16 out) only to fall back to 4-5.  He got one back after missing the T70 finish on the dead bull converting 25 next turn to level at 5.  He changed darts.  Snakebite threw an 11-darter to take the win.  “MVG’s darts work alright.  He normally wins last legs, so I thought – get MVG’s darts out”.  

Wade, fighting eye trouble, beat Dirk van Duijvenbode 6-3 as the Dutchman was bothered by a sore shoulder possibly injured during his “pump walk-on”.

Peter Wright’s reward for winning was to face world #1 Michael Smith in round 2.  Wright took the first leg with a T17 close after Smith missed 3 for 24.  Smith then fell off the boil sending the world #1 into a deep funk.  Wright led 8-nil en route to a 10-4 win.

James Wade advanced with a 10-1 win over a hapless Jose de Sousa who is now not so “Special”.

Next, Wright would face Chris Dobey who has had his moments.  But not this time as he fell behind 2-7.  Wrights 7-leg jog came with 3-15 darters, 2-12s, 1-13 and an 11 darter including a finish of T61.  The “gollywobbles” hit Wright when Dobey leveled at 7, then led 8-7.  Wright leveled at 8 when Doby missed a double bull for a 9th leg.  The misfire allowed Wright to steal the 9th leg.  Wright captured the 20th leg after missing 6 doubles, finally getting the leg and the win.

James Wade would join Wright in the semifinals with a win over Luke “Always a Bridesmaid” Humphries.  Wade led 3-2 when he used 12 darts and finished T124 on the bull for 4-2.  Humphries closed the gap to 4-3 with a 15-darter and T58 finish.  Wade took advantage of a missed 40 to go up 5-3 when Humphries used 15 for 5-4.  Wade “The Machine” then did as the Wadie of old with a run extending his lead to 9-5 a leg from the semis.  Old “Cool Hand” got one back as Wade answered with a T04 using 20, T20 and D12.  Thank you.

Wright would take the opening leg against Danny Noppert, then trail 2-4 when a pair of 12-darters (finishes of T and T36) leveled the match at 4.  Noppert answered quickly in 12 and 16 producing a 6-4 advantage which morphed into 6-5 as Wright responded.  Noppert used 30 darts to widen the gap back to 8-5 when Wright took off with a run of 3 to tie at 8.  With 3 consecutive legs Wright was in the final 11-8.

James Wade would face Gian van Veen who along with Ricardo Pietreczko are filed under “youth must be served”.   Both young players, van Veen and Ricardo Pietreczko announced their presence as “stars” on the horizon.  Both players played MvG.

Ricardo Pietreczko followed up a recent win only to fall victim to MvG – he got buried when MvG averaged 104.12 wining 10-7.  The young Dutchman Gian van Veen stormed past Daryl Gurney 10-6 after breaking a 5-all tie to give Gurney a spanking 10-6.  The bespectacled Dutchman was facing MvG for the first time.  The Dutch seem to toss out dart players the way Mother Hubard did children.  Gian van Veen would build leads of 5-1, 7-3 and 9-6 winning 10-6.  “First time I played him.  I’m 1-0 but that I’m sure will change.”

Against Wade, van Veen would lead 5-1 after losing the opening leg getting the 6th leg with a 10-darter.  It appeared that “Father Time” had Wade by the “what-ever”.  Not so.  Wade took 5 of the next 6 causing a “do-over” going for first to 11.  In those legs Wade had three 12-darters and van Veen 1.  van Veen moved ahead at 8-6 as a bemused Wade missed 2 from 40 to level.  van Veen got to 9-7 (two legs from the final) when Wade came back using his two favorite outs, d20 and d10.  In 15 and 18 darts Wade made the finals while denying van Veen a double.

In the final Pater Wright simply outplayed James Wade.  They were tied at 1 when the week’s play caught up to Wade.  Wright would lead 6-3 and 9-5 on the way to the win at 11-6.   Wade would say, “I’m usually mad but not now as he simply outplayed me.”  Wright commented “Those last two matches I was just tossing darts.”  Seems to have worked.

The ODC rarely goes out on Halloween as in his everyday attire he’s often asked, “Nice costume.  What are you?”

Of course, he always answers: “Me” – which leaves the questioner with a confused look thinking and “WTF?”

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.