Nice to have a local weekend of darts – Diary of a Darts Player with Andy Relf

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WITH two PDC Players Championships at Crawley last week, it was nice to have a local weekend of darts.

The competitions were important, but I was a little bit stressed going into Saturday’s tournament, as I had been involved in arranging a charity darts night that evening, and wanted it to be a success.

At Crawley, I had a good practice as usual, and then found that I would be playing Terry Jenkins, the world No.7, in the first round.

This match got underway, and I was under no illusion that this would be anything but a hard match

I started well, leaving myself 60 after 12 darts... then Terry checks out 116. Next leg, I’ve 52 remaining and he checks out... you’ve guessed it – 116.

He played awesomely throughout the whole match, and I only got a shot at one double in the game; I took out 106, but the match was lost 6-1.

It being a local comp, many people came up to me afterwards telling me not to be disheartened, I’d just caught him in great form. This was proven later, as he made the final, losing it to Gary Anderson, at least someone on our table had a good day!

As we’d finished, I headed home to get ready for the charity night to raise some money for the Children with Cancer Fund. It was organised by a friend of mine – Richard Neale and his wife Helen, in memory of their daughter Josie who sadly died last year aged 13.

I’d had a chat with Justin Pipe and Adi Gray, who had offered to come down for the evening to have some fun, and also with a certain Gary Anderson – fresh from his PDC Premier League win at Wembley Arena on Thursday.

Despite suffering a heavy cold, Gary came down to Uckfield for an impromptu appearance, and delighted everyone when he offered to play some members of the audience.

This wasn’t an exhibition match, but Gary went all out to give everyone a fantastic evening despite the man flu; it was very much appreciated by a packed Uckfield Club.

There was a huge raffle, and Gary auctioned off his playing shirt also... buying it himself and then putting it back into the auction – I cannot thank him enough for making the night so special for Richard and Helen, the event raised £1,443.50, which is a superb achievement. I’d like to take the opportunity to thank all those that helped make the night a success, Gary, Adrian and Justin, Barry Newton for taking the photos, Bobby Lee for the calling (until he lost his voice) and Stefan Pope for scoring the games all night. A special mention to the Uckfield league boys and girls for their support as well.

Very tired, I head off to Crawley again on Sunday. Gary offers his cold to everyone... he’s really suffering! Today I get Tony Eccles and, again, he is on fire. I take the first leg, checking out a 120, but he powers on to a strong lead. I lost 6-2, but Tony complimented me on my performance, saying he knew he’d have to play well, as I’d beaten him the last time we met. Paul Nicholson won the event, beating Terry Jenkins in his second final in two days.

Back home, our Kings Head side beat the White Hart in the Harvey League, and I finally got my act together in the Superleague, hitting a 30.06 average and taking the man of the match in an 8-1 win for Brighton over Rye.