Harrogate Londesborough Club was the venue for a frenetic evening of darts this week as the local chucker’s saw an opportunity of summer glory in a quick fire double round evening of qualification, taking 32 of the region’s best darts players down to a final 8 who will shoot it out at Bilton Cricket club in September.
First round games were split over 2 levels in the club, and the Upstairs Downstairs jokes were awash for those who remembered the period drama, and drama what how the evening ensued seeing some of the leagues hot and favourite players taking an early bath.
Tony Green was out of sorts, and Keith Hobson took advantage with 2 solid legs of darts winning in 27 and 28 in the first game of the evening, Darren Whiting of the Greyhound and a new player in the league looked in real form with multiple ton plusses and high scores, his supporting team mates were definitely showing their support which is good to see in what can become all too quiet an evening. , unfortunately for Darren, you Pedro West was oblivious to the partisan crowd, and took the game in 3 good legs 22/21/21. Jason Wood played team mate Gary Marshall, and made quick work of it, in 28 and 21. Lewis Pride continued his solid form this season beating an aging Adi Shaw who really didn’t get out of second gear. Rowdy Yates played a misfiring Barry Nelson and won in 2 straight legs 23/20 with nelson on a finish in both games. Martin Chappell cursed his luck in the draw, as he was drawn against Alex Pride one of the outstanding players of the league but played really good darts winning in 24 and a deciding 21 dart leg, his luck in the draw was to cary on later in the evening. Wellington duo Beth Metcalfe was beaten by teammate Mark Cunningham in 2 legs, (Congratulations Beth / mother to be)
Richard Taylor beat Trevor Close in the final first round downstairs game of the evening in 3 legs including a fine 24 darts game.
Upstairs saw Neil Fullard progress against Dave Metcalfe in 20 and 30 darts, Rick Harper made quick work of Brian Ellison in 21 and 23, Nigel Downing was misfiring as Ian Richardson won in 3 scrappy legs of darts, Dave Ramshaw could not keep pace with an inform Rich Graham who took the evening seriously winning in 20 and 22. Giles Holt drew teammate Wayne Stephenson and beat him in 3 tense legs of darts. Ian Malkin proved to strong for Jonny Hardisty in 21/22 dart games. Mark White took out local favourite Steve Higgins in 3 good legs of darts proving he is well and truly over his dartitus, finishing and hitting the double under pressure is now becoming a trademark of Whites game. Gary Hobson won in 3 legs beating Mark Herron with a best game of 26 darts.
The round of 16
Rick Harper took the best leg of the evening in 16 darts removing Muckles player Giles Holt and secured his place amongst the favourites for finals night. Gary Hobson was too strong for Rich Taylor winning in 20 and 21, Ian Richardson’s luck ran out as he hit a solid Rich Graham but still took a leg in 26, before Graham stormed back in 23 and 25. Mark “China” White showed no signs of cracking as he beat a solid Kieth Hoson in 3 legs finishing the final leg in 23 darts. Lewis Pride made sure there was Pride presence at finals night beating Pedro West in 3 legs in a deciding 25 dart game. Rowdy Yates will be at finals night with a victory over Mark Cunningham including a 21 dart leg, Ian Malkin beat a hard luck in the draw Martin Chappell in really close legs 22 an 17 darts Martin can class himself unlucky as he was sat on a double in both games. Neil Fullard despatched Jason Wood in 24 and 23 dart to finish the evening.
All players will now fight it out for summer league glory.