Darts in Cardiff
My dad always talked about wanting to go to the darts in the 80's in the smoke filled room of Jolly's in Stoke but I am not sure what he would have made of today's darts. I think he would be delighted with the way the game has connected with a huge audience.
I was privileged to join the Unicorn team last night as the Premier League Week 2 was played at the Motorpoint Arena. The players are trying to get themselves back in the groove following the World Championships and some are taking longer than others.
First up was "Bully Boy" Smith from the Unicorn stable and Daryl Gurney. In what proved a cracking to and fro match Bully Boy just got the edge and with that my accumulator for the night had gone. Both players had impressive ton plus averages.
Next up was the Aussie "Wizard" Whitlock and "Champion of the World" Rob Cross. In the walk on area it is like viewing horses in the paddock working out whose relaxed and whose focused. Studying both, Whitlock laughing and smiling looked like he had just rolled out of the Walkabout while Cross stern faced was determined to turn around last weeks defeat to MVG. My money was on Cross. After Whitlock had beaten him 7-1 I realise that my paddock observations were not always going to be correct. The fact that no averages were ever seen on the screen speaks volumes about the quality of the game, however, the man from down under was top of the league with 2 from 2.
Number 1 v Number 2 in the world MVG v Peter Wright was match of the night. Paddock observations again favoured MVG's focus against Snakebites frivolity. Wright though shook of his dismal finish to last weeks encounter and to the surprise of the Buzz Lightyears, Bananas and Wally's in the audience got the better of the worlds number one.
Gerwyn Price the local lad then took on Gary Anderson. Both looked relaxed, Anderson so much that he took exception to the Unicorn's rep Dave Cannon's attempt at growing a beard. The Wizard he is not when it comes to hair. After a promising start from Price, Anderson showed his class to overcome to provide the Unicorn stable with a double and the next round was taken.
Finally Van Barneveld whose steely eyes ignored all in the Walkon area. Suljovic was relaxed and laughing and won the favouritism of those on the Walk on Barriers. Barny pulled through in a close encounter.
A great night, good humour and cracking atmosphere. Darts in the 21st century, bring it on.