Marathon practice session with Captain ‘one-leg’ Sheebo! – Diary of a Dart Player with Andy Relf

It seems an age since I last wrote a diary, but that small matter of Christmas put paid to me playing much in the last month.

Luckily enough there has been plenty of darts to watch on the TV, with the PDC World Championships over Christmas and New Year, now followed up with the Lakeside Championships. I made a couple of visits to Alexandra Palace to cheer on Justin Pipe, and that also made my wife Kris the TV star as she was shown getting a kiss from Pipey as he did his walk on!

The standard of play at the Palace was superb, and was capped off with Michael Van Gerwen coming to within 5mm of hitting back to back nine dart legs... a simply unbelievable performance. MVG as he now seems to be known, couldn’t quite go all the way, being thwarted in the final by a certain Mr Taylor who claimed his 16th world title.

I had one marathon practice session over the Christmas break, where Captain Sheebo suggested that we meet up, and play the same format as the worlds, best of seven sets, five legs per set. I was on superb form, and managed to take the first match four sets to nil without Sheebo getting a dart at a finish.

The second match was again four-nil, but he did win a leg in that match. He then insisted on a best of 11, which I won six-nil. I clocked up 10 x 180s and a 170 finish. I’ve now renamed Captain Sheebo as Long John Silver... he only got one leg!

It was a great afternoon, and to be fair, he was on a finish in plenty of legs, it was just that my finishing was good enough that he never got a chance to check out. He never gave up, and I’d like to thank him here, I really do appreciate a good practice session, as there is nothing like match practice to re-create the actual match pressures.

Our Wheel team were back in action last week taking a 9-3 win over the Brewers. My leg was a 15-darter, and I managed a 180 for good measure too.

Next week I head off to Wigan for the PDC Tour Card Qualifying School, so I need to take my current form into that event in the hope that I can go one place higher than last year and gain a full Tour Card in the PDC, that will allow me to play in all of the tournaments. It will be a tough four days, but I’m feeling pretty confident at the moment.

Happy New Year to you all.