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Article: Pub Darts; Krispy Debut for Stilton Country Club

Pub Darts; Krispy Debut for Stilton Country Club

Well they said it would never happen, and probably I should have listen to them – on Monday I made my debut for a local darts team; Stilton Country Club – unfortunately swelling the ranks more than I added to their strength.

But what I lack in talent, I make up in… well probably my ability to add cash to the till with my beer thirst :-)

I’m not sure why I agreed to do it – probably the 8+ pints of bitter and cider I’d drunk during their annual KO event.  More to the point, why on earth did they allow me to join!

My captain and good mate (and darts driver), Lee ‘Danger’ Griffin gave me an easy start, by putting me into one of the two pairs matches (The Peterborough pubs n clubs Monday league starts with two pairs games, then 7 singles).  I felt that I’d rather get it over with quickly, and at least having a partner meant there was someone else there to help get the double!   I didn’t fancy being drawn out last, and having to play with the teams drawn 4-4 – not how I want to start my pub darts experience!

As you can see from the picture to the right, I decided ‘in for a penny, in for £10!’, and, rather than keep my head down and take my beating quietly,  I thought I’d play some mind games.  So I checked with my friends at Winmau and The Darts Performance Centre, and went ‘fully sponsored up’ – wearing their and my own patch on a shirt.  Top that up with my customised aluminium darts case with diamond encrusted ‘Element 6′ darts (engraved with my initials for good measure) – and I was definitely; "All the gear, but no idea” as they say in the golf world.  Still, it might give me an advantage in any game – making my opponents think that I might be good… unfortunately that feeling went away quickly when they saw me actually throw a dart, haha!

The Team sheets

The Team sheets

Still – darts is just as much about having a good time than being any good; just getting out of the house mid-week and having a few beers with good company, and that’s where I excel!

We arrived at the club nice and early – and got one of the brand new Winmau Blade 4 boards they had sent us up on the wall.  As players drifted in, we played winner stays on singles, and then pairs.  I actually got running fairly well, and won back to back singles games,and a couple of pairs… that made my night and I did joke that I should call it time then, while I was on a high!  The board was opened to our opponents to practice about 8.30 as per league rules, and the two teams mixed in good spirits.

My game was drawn as 2nd up, so I got to watch our first pairs team get smashed by two very good Farcet players – Lee told me that some of their best players were doubling up in the doubles due to being two players down.   I started my game with far less nerves than I thought I would – I think the 2 pints of Thatchers cider *oh and a pint of bitter* helped!  The game went by quickly – as my partner Mark and I went down 2-0.  Still I hit a ton in each leg, and started a go at an 80 finish well, hitting t18 first dart, but then I got distracted, and for some mad reason went for d3 thinking I had 6 left.  Muppet!

I was glad to have broken my darts virginity early, so I could then try and single-handedly empty the Thatchers keg, and watch the rest of the team play in the 7 singles matches.  Unfortunately it really wasn’t our night… and the team went down 7-2.  Still.. Farcet won the first division last year, and Stilton were a Div 2 team last year – so a win was always going to be tough.

Big up to our heroes of the night; Rik ‘Tonboy’ Cawood and James ‘Playboy’ Curtis, who both won their games.   Player of the night has to go to Dave Barrett of Farcet, who hit a lovely 16 dart leg; 137, 100, 100, 100.. missed d32 15th dart, only to hit it 16th.

Grub was pretty decent – the venue providing a big dish of fat sausages – and a vat of decent chips.  Better than a limp sarnie any day!  I’m told that some of the away matches have some cracking food – or maybe that was just a ploy to get me along again!  Both teams had a good nose through the Red Dragon brochures I’d brought along – and not ONLY because of the pictures of Erica Wild in  them!

I’d suggest that if you throw darts at home, and enjoy watching the darts on TV – but have never given pub darts a go – GO ON TRY IT! Find yourself a local pub or club with a team, and have a word with the landlord – they should be able to put you in touch with the team captain.  It’s a great way to get out of the house, have a few beers, and make some new friends.   Who knows, in a few years you could be playing on the PDC Pro tour if it turns out you are good enough.  Most if not all players in the PDC started out playing in their local pubs and clubs.  I’m fairly rubbish – but the Stilton team still welcomed me – and I found that I enjoyed the buzz of playing ‘proper darts’.

The team would like to thank Winmau and Red Dragon Darts for the ‘sponsorship’ of four Blade 4 boards – they definitely reduced the bounce-outs – in fact I don’t think there was one all night!

A bit of video from the night, showing players from both teams…

A gallery of images from the night

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