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Article: Granite City Open Report

Granite City Open Report

Granite City Open this weekend was a 1st for me. Id never been to this tournament or had i ever travelled that far up the British Isles before. So to Aberdeen i headed. There was a little diversion on the way with a stay at George Hall. I was travelling with Red Dragon team mate Richie George, so we had decided to meet there on Thurs and have a practice and stay over and fly up to Scotland on Friday morning. Bobby had been a busy boy. He was decorating one of the rooms and had cut the grass all around the place by the time i had arrived at around mid day. A practice and a lovely evening roast dinner with all family, Richie^s brother Robert was there too. He and his family had missed their flight to go on holiday. A guided tour of the lakes after dinner a bit more practice and early bed as we were to be up for 2:30am on friday to catch flight.

Derek Weston was at Aberdeen Airport to give us a lift to our hotel along with Deta Hedman and her fella Paul. We were taken to see the new venue for the Granite city Open for 2013. With the addition of ranking points for the 1st time this year the event has out sadly outgrown its current venue. The venue for next year will be superb is all i will say. Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Centre has two hotels next door to the venue and close to the Airport so can only see the event and entries getting bigger. Do a search on the venue and have a look for yourself. Well done to Derek and his team of people for securing such a classy venue. It was on to the Hotel and an afternoon Knapp. Then out for evening meal and back to bed by 9pm after what was a long day. 

Next morning it was up for breakfast and prepare for the days play. A new one to me at this tournament was even though you had entered you still registered between 10 and 11am for toe to the Oche at 12 noon. If you were not registered by 11am you were left out of the draw. The draw was then done. This meant nobody had a no show 1st match who had not even been in the venue or area that weekend who had entered weeks before.

1st match i played was Alan Kerr who was left hander who was known to me. Alan did not play the game id seen him have in the past but id finished very well having 4 darts at 4 doubles to win 4-0. My second round match i was pushed a lot harder and won 4-2. It was Darryl Guerney next in the group semi final. A shortened re match of our 2010 Lakeside game. I knew it would be tight when it took couple of the attempts to decide the bull up. I hit bull to win it. I held 1st leg after Darryl missed 3 at a double to steal. I missed 2 at double to steal in the 4th. At 3-3 and 140 ,60,140 i felt i had it in the bag but a big 180 Lefty Darryl sat on 92 after 12. I was looking at 84 and missed bull leaving 47. Darryl threw for hit treble 20 and missed 2 darts at 32. I hit 7 and missed tops on the wire and on return Darryl hit 8 with his last darts. Good match but no points for me this time around. On Scottish fella watching bought us a beer and thanked us for our entertainment which was a nice gesture. Richie George won his group but had lost in last 32 to Stephen Bunting who was eventual winner.

The next morning (Sunday) we packed as we had to be out of the room by 11am. I checked out and thought Richie had registered us and he thought id done it so were very lucky we had about 4 secs to spare. Id been practicing on board 20 and when they asked to clears the board i was last in the que. I was then last in the room throwing so was volunteered to mark over the speaker by organiser. My Scottish darting counterparts enjoyed this and i duely chalked. I was then asked by various players if id chalk for them when they lost. Richie and i had a good run in the pairs loosing in the last 8 to Ross Montgomery and James Wilson. Not bad at our 1st attempt.

We headed to the Airport to catch our flight home. While going through security i said to Richie " that lady in front looks like Thandie Newton from Mission Impossible 2" (to name but 1 of her movies.) He replied "No its not. What would she be doing here". She then got asked for her autograph by a policeman and a photo with him. So we agreed it was but i did not have the minerals to go ask to have a photo with her.But i will say she seemed lovely, really interested in people who approached her and gave them her time. She sat in departures not too far from us but was not on our flight. Ours was delayed and i have to say it has been my worst year for delays since iv been on the curcuit. Iv had maybe 2 return flights this year depart on time. We arrived back at Gorge Hall for 1:30am. Woke around 10am with just enough time to pinch myself to where i was staying again. Richie took me for breakie and left for Dorset to arrive home in the pouring rain.

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