Saturday, August 15, 2015

Dart Rivalries - Day v Radford IV

Thursday Night was Club Night Singles as usual, but tonight was the Best of Times and the Worst of Times. Both myself and 'Dangerous' David Day both qualified from our group play for the knockout rounds. Would we be drawn together for Dangerous v Rocky IV..? You bet, we were ! Results so far this year favoured Dave 2-1. My chance to square things up. This was the 'Best of Times'. Actually this was to be the last of our now legendary clashes because on Wednesday Dave is off to live in the UK for the foreseeable future. This is the game that stirs me up more than any other. No more Dangerous v Rocky. This was 'The Worst of Times'.

And Dave so wanted to leave with a 3-1 game score line for 2015, and I so wanted to make it 2-2 otherwise I could bearing the mental scars of defeat for weeks to come. No doubt this was going to be a fight, a battle, a war... a "Game of Throws" ! Prince David of Westeros (oops, spelling mistake there, should read West City, never mind) doing battle with Rocky, Lord of the North (may as well go with the theme). As we met at the oche Prince David had the air of a 'King in Waiting', he asked me if anybody else had told me that he was in top form. "So what" I said defiantly, "I was in better form !" I said "This is D-Day for you in more ways than one". I glanced over at the King of Westeros, Mike Day, Dave's father. He was willing Dave on - I could feel it across the room.  "Game of Throws" on !

The first leg was unspectacular, a thrust here, a parry there (no not Warren, he wasn't at the club he's from the freezing Southern Kingdoms). The scoring was low but I nailed it. I was confident. The leg was easy. 1-0 and I was set and ready for 2-0. Not only was this going to be Dave's last night at Westeros for some time it was going to be his last game tonight !
Leg two - Dave was a different man. He had me on the ropes. What was the difference between the first and second legs? I looked over at the table. It was the witch's brew he was drinking (oops carried away again, I mean Lion Red). It was relaxing him whilst at the same time giving him extra powers. He was sauntering as he threw and as he made his way to the board and back. I shouted at Dave "come on get off the oche !". Dave was unmoved. I gave him a bit of shoulder as he came off the oche. I called out to the scorer "Hey Ref did you see that?" trying to put the blame on Dave. Dave was unmoved. I tried payback by slowly getting my darts out of the board. Dave was unmoved. Before I knew it, it was 1-1 ! Damn ! ...although fitting that the last game between us should go to a deciding leg.

The third leg started. The peasants were on his side though. There were shouts of "Come on Dave". The clans of the 7 kingdoms were banding together. The Holts and the Heaveys were right behind Prince Dave. I had to focus. But despite the support of the now captivated crowd Dave was faltering. I surged ahead. I was down to a double. Dave was well back. Double 16, I missed and hit a single 8. Next turn Double 12 missed. Next turn Double 6 missed !!! I couldn't focus but Dave wasn't taking his chances. He was hitting 22s, 26s. He hadn't realised that you can only drink so much of the witches brew to improve your game. But there were more bottles on the table. He must have got a loan from the 'Iron Bank' (his Dad's wallet). If you drink too much its like a poison. It debilitates you. That's why Dave was hitting 22s and 26s. He could now see three dartboards. He was covering his options by aiming at all the number 20 segments he could see, except some of them were actually the 5 and the 1 ! I still had my chance to win this with a double 3.

I had to be focused. But I had to be humble. The Holt and Heavey clans were still rooting for him. First dart outside the double 3. Second dart... hit it !!! Remember be humble, dignified in victory, this was Dave's farewell. Be kind to Dave. To hell with it ! I bellowed - "THERE IT IS... BOOM!!!" a couple of big double fist pumps. I turned to Dave. 2-2 in game score for 2015. As usual Dave was his smiley self. We hugged (just a mate hug okay...). This was why we play darts. The rivalry. The friendship. The combat.

Dave, I will miss our clashes and even though you have been banished to foreign shores having failed to live up to the hopes of your followers to carry on the mantle of King of Westeros, I wish you all the best in your future endeavours. I just don't hold any hope for you in getting into the exclusive order of the Knights of the PDC. We will meet again though, I'm sure. May it be epic once again !

For the record The King Mike Day won the final, beating the ruler of the Holts, Stevie 'Chawiwi' (although his missus may disagree with who really is the ruler of the Holts). So the status quo remains in the lands of Westeros.

As for me, I think I need to spend more time on the practise board and less time watching 'Game of Thrones' on TV :)

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