Mile High on Leg 3 of `Round Europe Darts 2011’
Stage 3 - Viva Espania - Benidorm
After a very enjoyable day or two with some great friends in Holland the time came for the next journey to Spain. Arriving in Benidorm on Tues/Wednesday Mile High & Diamond had a couple of days to relax and enjoy the break before getting down to some serious practice in a couple of local venues in order to ensure they were sharp for the Spanish Trophy Pro Tour events.
Spanish Trophy (Day 1)
Mile High started very strongly seeded 19th for the event and determined to make a strong showing. Mr. Lopez was a strong qualifier who has had some very good results, so a 6-1 victory was a good start. Next up fellow Red Dragon player and old friend Dennis `Smiify^ Smith, great respect is always shown between these 2 and to win 6-1 again showed Mark^s strong floor form. However the heat in the venue was stifling and this may have affected many players. In what appeared to be a Red Dragon Board, next was Snakebite himself Peter Wright.
For much of the last 2 years Peter and Mark have shadowed each other through the various ranking tables and events within the PDC. This time it was Mark^s turn to run out 6-4 winner. The general rule applies though that when things go well for one they go well for the other (see day two!). The last 16 arrived and with the heat building it was The Butcher - Nigel Heydon who dealt best with a number of issues and won 6-1 ( Mark^s only leg was the first and featured a 167 finish).
I know that Mark holds the highest respect for Nigel and as they joined the pro ranks at the same time we wish him nothing but the best. Diamond meanwhile was suffering the board of death! His 6-3 defeat of The Hit ensured another step toward his plan. However a board containing Ade Lewis, Gary Anderson, Kim Huybrechts and Jyhan Artut presented too strong an obstacle today!
Spanish Trophy (Day 2)
Mile high started with the defeat 6-1 of a qualifier from the home nation, second round featured a local Derby with friend and sometime practice partner Kirk Shepherd, Kirk is playing well again and never likely to be an easy opponent, a tough 6-4 win ensured another encounter with Snakebite, as hinted at before it seem swings and roundabouts between these two, Peter edged a great encounter with a 6-5 win including 2 maximums in the last leg!
Mile High will have to be content with a last 16 and a last 32 place from his first Spanish Pro Darts adventure. Diamond again arrived on the board of death, he again fought through to round 2 strongly 6-1 over Barrie Bates before a epic encounter with Gary Anderson. Ian was on the wrong end of a 5-6 defeat but again ensured that his positions did not slip and in fact improved slightly despite horror draws.
In conclusion Mile High has performed very well. The weekend was always the potential banana skin of the seasons end, much fun and frivolity was always likely here with many using the weekend as a holiday and possibly even a farewell to PDC level darts. Players being injured, withdrawing due to the heat and even being involved in many incidents and accidents. The arrival of relatives and friends making a weekend of it, and many other distractions, could have had a bad effect on the concentration and performance in this vital weekend. In the main it would appear that they have escaped unscathed and will now enjoy the rest and warm of Benidorm whilst undertaking their preparations for Crawley and 3 events of huge importance to all.
Leg 3) - Carry on in Crawley!
Following a return to the UK the guys will complete practice and preparations for the weekend triple of Grandslam Qualifier and 2 Pro Tour Events. They will be joined by 254 other darters from all over the UK and beyond trying to gain a TV wildcard for The Grand Slam of Darts, we would like to wish all those taking part in an event that gave us the first TV appearance of Mile High!