Tuesday, November 6, 2012

The Big Game

This Sunday at about midday the West City Darts Association North Island Challenge Shield team will gather at the club rooms in Glen Road, Ranui for the trip down the Southern motorway to play Counties Manukau. The club Captains Mike Day and Steve Holt will conduct a role call to make sure everyone is there and maybe a few frantic phone calls to locate any stragglers. There are 16 players in the team plus reserves and sometimes players are still recovering from there Saturday nights and lingering in their beds or someone else's if they got lucky. Once everyone is accounted for there will be a few drinks issued to the players not driving to sustain them on their journey and maybe a few practice darts thrown. Then a convoy of cars containing players and supporters will head to the Bellbird Tavern, Manuwera for a 2 pm start.

The team will have been selected after the Club Captains have studied the results of every game played at West City every club night for the last 11 months. There will be charts and schedules showing how many games each player had played, how many they have won or lost and how big a winning percentage they have had. Each player will have been given a player rating. Using this information and their cunning dart playing minds the Club Captains will have selected the team and chosen the pairings and their positions in the top 8 or bottom 8 as best meets the needs of the team.

In 2009 the score was 27 to 17 to Counties. In 2010 it was 27 to 21 to Counties. In 2011 it was a 25 all draw. The winning team has to score 26 to win. If it is a draw the holders keep it.

Once the team arrives at the venue there will be more drinks and some more practice. Then just prior to starting the West City Captains will gather the team in the courtyard of the Bellbird and issue the last instructions which usually go along the lines of " Make Sure You Win ".

Counties will be doing something similar. Then their will be a few welcoming speeches and the games will start. The result I will not predict. But I will predict it will be fun, a great occasion, there will be sportsmanship on both sides, many cries of " Come on the West " and " Go Counties ". At the end on it one team will feel disappointed and the other will feel elated. There will be more speeches and then a feed put on and it will all be over for another year until the plotting, scheming and preparation commences again.

It is heresy to say this but it does not matter in my mind who wins or who looses. For me it will be a day of great enjoyment, fun, of doing my best, supporting my team mates and respecting Counties.

I do say " Bring it On".

The photo shows the 2011 teams.


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