"Mile High" - October 2012
Still recovering from my fall, of nearly four weeks before, I ventured to Dublin for the Pro Tour events. After the disappointment of having to retire from a game in The European Tour vs Jerry Hendrix in September it would be my first professional competition for almost a month. However I was feeling somewhat better and myself and the team were of the view that it was time to get back on the horse. An added bonus was that I love playing in Ireland and have always both enjoyed myself and done well there. In 2010 the Dublin weekend effectively sealed my 1st World Championship appearance. In 2011 Dublin was the scene of a tremendous week for The World Grand Prix. So with spirits high I thought it would be as good a pace as any to begin my re-emergence. Day 1 was not such a great day, Mike Veitch is a good payer and has yet to fire fully on The Tour. However I should have taken more chances in this game and the 4-6 result was a disappointment. The ten legs were enough to get some miles into the arm and day 2 boded well. A tough 1st round against The Owl was not ideal! However I prevailed 6-4. A good game in most way, Richie is struggling a bit for results at the moment, he is also a gentleman and a quality player. However the adrenaline of match play, when you have been out for a while can be draining, so an encounter with a resurgent Scott Rand was not any easy follow up for round 2! Scott ran out a 6-1 winner and fully deserved to. He had turned the corner after a tough 2nd season type spell and is sure to come on strong in the later stages of the season.
So not a total wash out of a weekend , but it was very disappointing to watch other prepare for the Grand Prix and not be a part of it! I shall be giving it my all to reappear in 2013. After more rest and recovery for my arm it was off to Kilarney for the festival of darts. Even better this year with 3 events, I have always enjoyed this venue and events so it seemed even better to get 3 lots of match practise. Reaching the board final on Friday in the Masters was a nice start. Although I lost out to Alex Roy. Three games and some good solid stuff meant improvement was noticeable. The two pro Tour events did not turn out as well! Wes in Rd 1 on Saturday and Webby on Sunday seems a little harsh, hey that the tour though. Both played very well and took advantage of my ring rustiness with ruthless efficiency! With that this years Irish Odyssey was complete, although results were not as good, as I would have liked, the feeling of getting back into the swing is very good and I am growing in confidence again. Would the Dutch Dart Masters bring a change in fortune.
Despite feeling strong and getting better with every day and match it was not to be. Nulland is a venue we are all familiar with, but not for this type of event. Having arranged to stay with some great friends, and remain nice and relaxed until the day of the game, all felt very good. Solid practise was put in, over Thursday and Friday, so hopes were high. However we had not underestimated my opponent. David had been in great form and playing strongly. The match itself was a quality game of darts. Ten legs of dart produced 30 100+ scores and 12+ 140 or mores. Two finishes of 105 & 110 were not enough to deter david who played very well especially under pressure towards the end. Despite the crushing disappointment I have tried hard to stay positive and focused on the rest of 2012. I am feeling 100% better and only time will tell if its enough to end the season on a real "Mile High”.