Diary of a Dart Player with Andy Relf

MY first proper PDC tournament of the year took place at Crawley last weekend, and despite missing out on the prize money both days, I’m really positive about the year ahead.

Our table is inhabited with the usual faces of myself, Adrian Gray, Gary Anderson and Justin Pipe… but there is a new face on the table this year as well… PDC new boy Dean Winstanley.

Well, to say that day one didn’t go quite to plan is an understatement.

With 195 people in the draw, obviously there were going to be some preliminary rounds.

I’m used to getting prelims, but the top seeds aren’t.

This year for the UK Open, there is an open draw, potentially setting up some matches with, say for instance, Taylor versus Lewis!

So who did I get? Well, my opponent was Terry Jenkins – otherwise known as “The Bull”.Things started well. I won nearest the bullseye to throw first.

I put in a first leg in 13 darts and was 1-0 up, a good start!

We then had some cracking legs, but at 2-2, Terry pulled out a ton plus finish to surge ahead.

The next leg, another ton plus, and I was staring at a defeat. I lost, but was by no means disappointed – I’d put up a good fight.

As we were all in action at roughly the same time, we all arrived back at our table at roughly the same time… all of us except for Dean going out before the money stage… well, at least I was in good company!

Next day, and I’m drawn against a lad called Liam Kelly. I’d seen him at Q School, but knew nothing about him. We traded legs early in the match, with me checking out a 106 to level at 3-3. Then he kicks into some real form, missing a nine-darter. This put me off my stride a bit – he came back and said something when he missed, which made me laugh, and that threw my concentration.

He went on to win the match from there.

That day’s final was won by Michael Van Gerwen, who hit a nine-darter, and a 170 finish in his final match against Dave Chisnall. Not a bad standard this PDC stuff, is it?

Back to Superleague, and we Nomads are still marching towards the league title, this week with a win over Rileys. I win again, and that unbeaten season is still a possibility.

In the Heathfield League, we won a Seamer Cup match over the team that we share venues with. The highlight being Henry Grant asking me not to mention his score of 5, then following it with a 156 check out!