Diary of a Darts Player with Andy Relf

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AT LAST. I’m pretty happy with how my darts are going… I’ve had quite a busy week both on and off the board, but despite having matchsticks under my eyes to keep them open, I’ve played pretty well and had some good successes.

With summer finally arriving at the start of October, last weekend was spent at home, and Sunday was a home alone day, as my wife had gone to the Albert Hall to see a show. I thought I’d watch some bike racing and the Chelsea match then sit in the sunshine for the rest of the day. The first two ideas were good, but sadly sitting in the garden was short-lived as there were swarms of flies that kept me indoors. Whilst watching another game of footy, I received a message telling me there was a competition in Brighton that evening, and so being bored decided I’d give it a go.

There was a round robin competition to get through your group stage to take you into the knockout rounds, having qualified from my group, I went into the knockout and won my first match, then found myself up against the legendary Shayne ‘The Bulldog’ Burgess. It was a close game, but I won the deciding leg, and progressed to the next round against Simon Smith, which I won 3 – 0. That set me up for a semi-final against Steve Penny, and again I won 3 – 0. I’d been playing progressively better as the evening went on, and was now in the final against my PDC travelling buddy – Tony Ayres.

Tony had had some dodgy matches earlier on, but I know what he can be like, and needless to say, the real Tony turned up against me in the final. I didn’t play badly throughout, but Tony hit three 13 dart legs out of four, and therefore took a deserved win. I was sat on a finish each time, but sometimes you just have to say the better player won. All in all a good night’s work and I was happy to take home some good prize money for finishing runner-up.

Tuesday was the Harvey League finals night, but unfortunately my ideal preparation was destroyed by having to be up at stupid o’clock to be in Weymouth for a site meeting first thing in the morning. With eyes that felt like they’d been rubbed with sandpaper and sprinkled with vinegar, I went to the venue that evening barely awake. I had a bit of practice, but not a lot was giving me much confidence!

So to the singles and pairs competitions, I won through my quarter and semi finals against Sam Holloway and Todd Rainsley without dropping a leg, and set up a showdown against my team mate and pairs partner Tony Cox. In the pairs competition we played well, and despite Todd and Neil Downer putting up a great show we win 2 – 1. We were staring defeat in the face though, as at 1 nil up, they were on double 8, when I checked out 127 on the bullseye to level.

In the singles final, Coxy went one ahead, before I got going, to take the win… sorry mate!

On to Wednesday, and Superleague against Lewes. I didn’t play particularly well, but won 3 – 1, a win is a win as they say, but sadly the team lost 5 – 4.

Not a bad week in all.