Andy Relf’s Diary of a Darts Player

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Last Friday was the Rob Cannings Memorial Cup, this year held at Rob’s local – The New Inn, Hadlow Down.

As usual a great turnout of family and friends, as well as members of the Heathfield League were in attendance. The evening was organised by our very own Captain Sheebo, who did a superb job, and that coupled with the help of landlord Graham, made for a great evening.

So to the darts. My own game has been suffering with a shoulder problem for most of this year, and I was struggling so much earlier in the day, that I contemplated not playing at all on the night. Something had taken the problem to the next level in my last superleague match a week earlier, when something seemed to give out whilst I was throwing.

I resorted to some drugs to ease the pain, and decided to give it a go. Luckily it was only one leg in the early rounds, and I made it through to the quarter finals with no problems. In the quarters I played my team-mate Mark Dann. For the first and only time of the night, I felt comfortable, having a shot at double 16 for an 11-darter. I missed but took it out next throw. The next leg was not quite so good, but I got the job done.

My semi final was against a guy called Mark, I believe. I hadn’t seen him before, but watching him play, I

could see he was no novice. Despite now being in a bit of pain, I took another 2-0 win, setting me up against Sam Cole in the final.

I was now really struggling and rode my luck. Sam kicked off with two 140s and I was nowhere. I kept trying, and took out the double, the same in the second leg, Sam missed a shot at a double, and although I was struggling to reach the board, I just about hit the double to take the win.

It was my fifth time of winning the trophy. Sadly it now looks like that will be the last dart I throw for quite some time. My shoulder is now dislocating almost daily, and having consulted both my chiropractor and osteopath, I see a specialist next week, then have an MRI scan.

I appear to have separated my AC joint, and may have a labral tear in the socket. This has the potential of a six month lay-off from the game. I’ve played darts almost daily for the last 20 years, so it’s a bit hard to come to terms with, but I can’t change things, so must now concentrate on making sure I recover fully in time for PDC Qualifying School in January 2014.