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Article: The Dog at the Mariflex Open and England V Holland in Football

The Dog at the Mariflex Open and England V Holland in Football

I travelled to the Mariflex Open in Rotterdam, Holland with Trina Gulliver. We flew from Bristol very early Friday Morning then got the train from Amsterdam Airport down to Rotterdam. All was going well until Trina got her bag stolen. Nothing of real value in it but her passport, cheque book, perfume which belonged to her late Mum and a Picture of her with Sue, that Sue never liked anyhow. Arrived at the Hotel and Edwin who was dutch made the relevent calls on behalf of Trina to Police.

The annual Football match between the Holland V England darters was to be played on friday afternoon. A coach took us to Mariflex Sponsored Sparta Rotterdam^s Training ground where the match was to be played. Manager for England was a Mr Tony Oshea. As the team headed for the changing room coach Tony came over to chat. He asked if I’d played Football before to which I replied "no", then he replied "well that’s great as our goalie not here, your the only one left of the supporters with trainers on, your kit in the changing room and its the green one with the gloves on top. Well done champ". A tap on the back and he walked away.

So off I went to change. Trina and Martin Adams did the kick off with Martin having a shot from the halfway line. His darts shoes not having the correct tread on for the astro turf almost saw him gracefully loose balance. England won the match 6-2 although reported on Dutch websites as 5-2. During the match I had a collision with Joey Ten Berge about 25yds outside my goal for which I came off best. Joey had last laugh as he put the ball through my legs for one of the Dutch goals.

After the match we made a short walk to Sparta Rotterdam^s ground for some food. Tony Oshea and Martin Adams did a exhibition match in the main stand. They were challenged by football fans before the match between Sparta Rotterdam and Hellmond with 8pm ko. The league is like the Championship in Britain. Tony and Martin went on to be special guests on the pitch and Martin Fitzmaurice went onto the pich to say "Lets Play Football". We watched the game from Ruud^s own VIP box. Ruud is Mr Mariflex, Owner of the company and sponsor of Sparta Rotterdam his local team. Unfortunatly Sparta had not had such a good evening as we did as they being 2nd and Hellmond 5th, crashed to a 3-0 home defeat. Drinks still flowing in the vip box we were bused back to our hotel just after 11pm. What a special day and one that I won’t forget and the tournement had not even started yet.

The Pairs were played on Saturday and I was with Remon Hurrebrink. We got through some tough early matches and found ourselves in last 16 playing Tony Eccles and Dave Prins. We had a good start flying into the 1-0 lead with a 17 dart 701. Next leg not so good but missed doubles and we stole it to go 2-0 up. The 3rd leg I threw 180, 99, 135 and we lost the leg. The next went with the darts and momentum was with Prins and Eccles and they duely forced on with a 15 dart 701. The pairs was won by Martin Adams and Ross Montgomery beating Dennis de Klose and Leon de Geus.

The singles was played on Sunday. I won my group to put me into the last 64. I played fellow England team mate James Wilson in a scrappy game with the winner gaining ranking points. James won the 1st leg. Then I stole the second and third and won the 4th and 5th being 1st to the double to take it 4-1. Always good when you go away and get some points in the bag and especiallty good when you beat a good player like James. My next opponent was Dutchman Jonny Nijs. In the last 32. Similar mate but after the 1st leg I had only one which went over 15 darts and won it 4-2. Last 16 opponent was Stephen Bunting. I won the 1st leg with 13 dart leg and then Stephen kicked in with 11, 12, 13, 15 dart legs to cruise by me 4-1. He hit x6 180s in 5 legs and too my x2. He went on playing like this till the final too. He lost out to Martin Adams 3 sets to 0 but all 3 sets were 3-2, 3-2, 3-2. Great weekends darts with big thanks to Ruud and his team of people for making it possible such a great weekend and dart tournement.

For Trina and I it was not over as on Monday morning we had to be to thetrain station in Rotterdam for 7am. Trina had been to the Police station the day before on Sunday (mothers day) with Dutch help from Edwin, to get documents from them for her to be able to fly home without her stolen passport. Trina luckily had given me the return train tickets to look after on the friday so we were able to catch the train no problem. We arrived at the Easy Jet check in desk to find she was unable to travel. She had documents enable her to get a one travel passport paper to get home from the British Consulate. So she had to re book a later flight for 60 euro^s. I then had to leave her there. I caught my flight home on her insistance, while she had to catch taxi to the Consulate costing 80 euro^s. Then she had to pay119 euro^s for that having waited 2 hours to process it and wait for her 9pm flight. She did get home eventually. One weekend we wont forget.  


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