Diary of a Dart Player with Andy Relf

WELL…we survived Benidorm!

Last week I played my superleague game at Newhaven in a bit of a hurry, won 3-1 against Darren Woolgar and legged it home to get ready for a very early trip to Gatwick.

Now, 2am is not high on my list of favourite times for getting up, and this was going to be a long day.

We landed in Alicante and had to wait on a transfer bus for a couple of other flights to arrive. I used this time to catch up on some sleep.

We arrived at our hotel, which was really nice, checked in and headed upstairs to crash out for a bit. Regular readers will know that I’m fairly prone to accidents occurring…well I wouldn’t let you down, would I?!

Having laid on my bed for a while, I decided it was time we headed down to the bar to meet up with Gary Anderson, who had promised to have a beer waiting when we arrived.

Well, I sat up on the edge of the bed to put my trainers on, when suddenly the opposite end raised up like a power boat at full speed.

I rolled off on to the floor, and noticed that there was a leg missing!

It was nowhere in the room, and after about five minutes, Kris stopped crying with laughter and we headed downstairs.

I managed to explain the bed situation with the help of photos and got that fixed, despite much Spanish laughter!

In the lounge area I heard my name shouted across… I didn’t see where it had come from, but looking around I noticed a guy sat there in a hat.

Great disguise, Gary – even I didn’t spot you!

Anyway, after a chat, Gary, his partner Rachel, Kris and I head off out for some food and then some shopping around ‘glorious’ Benidorm.

Whilst sat in the bar waiting for our food, I’ll admit I was quite surprised at how many people spotted Gary and immediately wanted photos and autograph.

Not wanting to be left out, one guy did come across to me and say “Hi Andy, love your column in Darts World!”

I suppose my disguise was better than Gary’s, as that was the only time anyone spoke to me over the two days!

In the darts I had the misfortune of drawing Dutch star Jelle Klaasen on day one. I had to chalk what felt like the longest match in PDC history – a preliminary between two very average Spanish players.

Not saying it was long winded, but the matches all started at the same time and on the boards either side of me, they were in the middle of the third matches when my game finally finished.

I missed Mark Webster hitting a nine-darter behind my head during the game, but my two players saw it, as they were clapping when I turned around!

Three and a half hours later, Jelle (pictured right) and I started our match.

I missed chances in each of the first three legs and Jelle checked out, so instead of having a 3-0 lead I was three down.

The match finished 6-1 and I was fed up with my finishing.

The same situation arose on day two as missed chances cost me again and the scoreline was repeated, this time against Michael Barnard.

Darts over for me, so stayed around and watched a bit and kept bumping into Tim Healy from the Benidorm TV program, as he was staying in our hotel, and was in watching the darts. James Wade and Mervyn King won the events over the weekend.

We got home on Tuesday, and on Wednesday our superleague match was at home against Hailsham. We took a fantastic 8-1 win, and I got man of the match with a 27.71 average beating Steve White in a good 3-2 game.

It’s Crawley this weekend for my last two PDC Pro Tours of the year, and also the Grand Slam qualifiers. It would be nice to end the year with a little win here or there.