Autumnal ferry trips can be magnificent, particularly when the weather is like it was tonight. Almost balmy, with a firey sunset illuminating the Harbour Bridge and the city skyline. It’s relatively early in the week, so the boys had the BotF to themselves.
Charlie and Lambo prepared in their usual way for Wednesday night darts with a steadier. The boys are traditionalists and prefer to keep their longneck of VB under wraps, as the picture indicates. They worked hard on their game faces and will hopefully have an incident-free evening that will not result in a juduciary hearing. Charlie may yet be known as the Les Boyd of the darts world.
After some good natured ribbing of the Carl Williams of the darts world, talk turned to the World Cup. How would Australia fare? Charlie was happy to offer 5 long necks to 1 to Lambo if Australia got through the first round. The author’s view is that this Australian team is better than the last, as long as Bresciano and Kewell are fully fit. Cahill and Schwarzer are on the top of their game and are world class. Two more of that calibre would help. Consensus was: Germany will not win every game. Australia really need to jag a result against Germany (draw or win). The group could finish with all teams on 4 points. There is little doubt that this conversation will continue up until Australia kicks off against Germany in June. Mick’s odds will assist in better informing the conversation.
Fisho’s floundered to a 9-4 defeat against a strong Manly Leagues team in the first round of the darts A league comp.
The venue was the Leagues club where the walls were adorned with memorabilia of sporting legends Tooves, Cliffy, Des, Egor and a few more, which should have provided the necessary inspiration. Unfortunately there was only one team in the game from the start as the Manly Leagues team had a clean sweep in the triples and doubles to record a comfortable win. For Fisho’s plenty of near misses with the inability to peg out costing them dearly in a number of legs. Possibly more focus may have helped, but half time came upon the team very quickly and the match was gone.
Even with the loss of the darts match, it was an enjoyable evening, with hospitable hosts providing food and beers in a convivial atmosphere.
It was good to see Norm, one of the stalwarts of the team back (mentor to more than one) playing after a 4 week sabbatical to Africa. In between legs, Norm regaled us with tales of Lions, Safaris and trips down the Nile.
Shortly after the match, the evening concluded with members of both teams enjoying a few more beers, watching the pugilist Danny Green demolish his opponent in quick time.
Last night it was a Fish home game against the Master Builder’s lads. It’s great to see a team of young blokes, the future of the sport, upholding its finest traditions ie darts is all about having a good time and sinking a few schooners….which is exactly what happened. Fortunately, Fish had the surprise availability of Spook who we thought was out for a few weeks and this helped the Fish continue its undefeated run with yet another 8-5 win. In form early was Marty, pegging one triples and both legs of his doubles helping the Fish to a 5-2 lead at the start of the singles. For the singles, Marty was replaced by a fired-up Matty and wins to Craig and Spook brought home the bacon.
Of note was a PB by the author, a 17 dart 501 peg which featured 3 successive tons and a triple 19, double 19 finish from 95. Now of course, Phil Taylor can do it in 9, but for mere mortals any 501 peg in less than 20 darts is very unusual and pegging out in 30 will win you more than you lose…which is exactly what Simon did in the next 2 legs to claim the game! Doh!
Anyway, next week is a top-of-the-table clash with Rollie’s Time and Tide team. Let’s hope its not the turning of the tide for the Fish. Spook has declared he’ll really be absent this time, but its at home at the Fishos, so you never know. And Norm must be almost back.
If you’ve never put your life in another man’s hands then depending on your partner for a critical peg is possibly the next best thing.
You partner is drawn out of a hat. One A-grader and one B-grader per team.
Generally, an A-grader is someone with an average of 50 or more (per 3 darts) but this might be adjusted on the night to form the teams.
Charlie was paired with Dave and Lambo with Johnny B.
Dave is a non-drinker but Charlie seemed to get on with him anyway. It helps that Dave gets a plethora of 140s and clinical pegs. Imagine how good he could be.
Johhny B sprays them but gets a surprising number of pegs.
The pairs were split in to 2 leagues of 5 pairs. After the league stage, the winner of each league plays the runner up of the other league in a best of 3 legs semi.
Then the semi winners play off in a best of 3 legs final. To cut a long story, after an emotional and thirst-quenching evening, it was Charlie vs Lambo in the grand final.
Also, each player has to score (still known as ‘chalking’) at least one game. Charlie, normally gets out of this job because he’s always at the bar, but there was no escaping last night.
No Excel to add and subtract the scores. Perhaps Charlie, overlearned the value of horizontal lines in a unique and rivetting chalking display.
Anyway, clinical Dave did a beautiful triple 18, double 18 combo to peg out from 90 in the first leg with Lambo’s team still on 200 or so. The 2nd leg turned into a double one-athon before Lambo finally nailed it. The deciding leg had a plethora of tonnes and both te
A central double 2 wrapped it up.
Celebrations and congratulations were demonstrated in the traditional fashion.
On Wednesday night, I had the good fortune to watch two of the BotF crew play in the Lower Northern Beaches Open Men’s Division B Grand Final. Lambo and Charlie were representing the Manly Fishos along with Norm, Bob, Matt and Craig. Their foes on the night were the Dee Why Builders and the neutral venue was the Time & Tide. For those unacquainted with team darts, there 9 games of doubles and games of 6 singles. Doubles first then singles. When I had arrived Lambo and Normie had vanquished their opponents and a clearly pumped Fishos had skipped to a 3 – 0 lead. The Builders came thundering back and despite Lambo registering another win with Norm, the doubles ended at 5 – 4 to the Builders.
There was considerable tension and Charlie, who was in his first darts GF, was really feeling the nerves. To win, you have to hit a double (peg out) that takes your score to zero. It seemed that Charlie would never peg out on the night, and he was employing a time honoured darts technique of calming the nerves with a couple of schooners. Finally after all 4 players had had about 4 cracks each at pegging out – Charlie nailed a double 4. His relief was palpable. Heading into the singles, Fishos needed to win from 6 to win the GF. Charlie’s great fear was that he would be in the last game with it all hanging on the line. Again he sought to calm his nerves in the time-honoured way.
Well, Charlie needn’t have worried. Norm and Lambo each dusted their opponents 2 – 0 in record time. No inhibitions as he gloried in 6 peg outs on the night and an undefeated run. Matt and Craig stepped up to the stripe and then also proceeded to demolish their opposition – Matt being particularly swift in his win. Suddenly it was all over, and the Fishos had won with two games to spare. Charlie was probably the happiest bloke in the room, and celebrated accordingly. First season in – part of a winning GF team. Norm deserves special mention. He’d had chemo earlier in the day, and a particular raucous argument between the kitchen staff and some regulars played havoc with his hearing aids during a critical point in his singles match – but he overcame those adversities to be undefeated. He then starred further by driving the lads home.
Good sportsmanship all round, and commiserations were given to the vanquished Builders in the only appropriate way – Schooners. Tough decision for the boys as they chose between an embroidered polo shirt or a trophy. I am glad to advise that Charlie chose the shirt, Lambo the trophy and they’ll feature in a future photo. Tide & Time were very hospitable and laid on a fine array of deep fried stuff and party pies. Looking forward to future GFs and new venues.
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