Finals night packed out

The Summer Darts League finals took place at a packed Merlins Club where there was a feast of good matches.Wade Marnell and John Wynn, in the Betty Middleditch Charity Competitions in aid of the Northgate Hospital, set a cracking pace with a three-leg thriller.

The Summer Darts League finals took place at a packed Merlins Club where there was a feast of good matches.

Wade Marnell and John Wynn, in the Betty Middleditch Charity Competitions in aid of the Northgate Hospital, set a cracking pace with a three-leg thriller. Both players' scores were identical until Wade hit 140 and 87, to leave 48 and then finished the leg first time with 16 and x16 with Jon

on 128.

The second leg was even better as Jon came back with 80, 100, 100 and 135, and Wade 81, 140 and 100. Wade needed 50 after just 18 darts, but Jon, needing only 16, kept his cool to finish in 17 darts with x8 and level the match.

There was no let-up in the final leg as the high scores rained in and after 15 darts Jon needed 130 but Wade needing 98 scored 50, 16, and just missed x16 to leave x8.

Jon replied with 20 and 20 to leave the bull but hit the outer ring 25 to narrowly miss and there was no second chance as Wade finished the match with x2 with his 24 dart.

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The Ladies' Charity Final saw Diane Hak prove to be to strong in the final stages for Karen Page, but Karen will rue the missed opportunity to level the match. Diane took the first leg when a ton and 132 left her 50, Karen scored 92 to leave 36 but Diane finished with three darts 18, 16 and x8 to lead 1-0.

The second leg both girls matched each other and at the final stage Diane had 32 to finish the match but missed to leave 16. Karen, needing 48, hit 16 but missed the shot out with the next two darts and that was a wake-up call for Diane as she won the match with x8.

The Junior Singles Final was a warning to the senior members as Luke Watson and Ian Smith went head to head in a thriller and it was Ian who triumphed through his nerve.

Both players scored 80s, 90s and 60s and with Luke on 36 to Ian 40 it was Luke who had the first chance in leg one but unfortunately his second dart hit the wrong double and Ian took full advantage to hit x20 with his first dart.

The second leg saw Luke start with 100, 60, 55 and 55 and Ian reply with 85, 81, 80 and 60, and after just 24 darts Ian needed 56 to Luke 62 but the finishing did let both players down as both of them missed four chances each at the finish before Ian hit x2 to win 2-0.

In the Men's Pairs Gerald Norman was on fire as he hit six tons, a 140 and a 122 finish in three pulsating legs of darts and with partner “Spud” Beagre weighing in with 81, 81 and 77 in the first leg they were poised on x9.

Opponents Tony Hoare and David Smith stuck to their task and needed 84 as Spud missed x18 and David punished them with treble 16 and x18 for a superb 84 shot out.

Gerald fully controlled the fight back as he hit three consecutive tons in the next leg but with consistent scoring Tony and David needed just 77 as Gerald stepped up needing 122. He hit 18 and treble 18 and the bull to brilliantly level the match 1-1.

In the final leg Gerald hit 100 and 140 but this was well matched by Tony scoring 100, 100 and 137 and with Spud and David supporting their partners the match was evenly poised.

Gerald needing 124 hit treble 20, 16 and 16 to leave x16 but Tony stepped up and despatched the 40 needed with 20 and x10 to win a great match 2-1.

In the Men's Singles Paul Stafford was a first timer against seasoned player Jim Thompson and it could have been a fairytale ending.

Both men set a good pace with a ton and consistent scores of 60 and over and at the end Jim needed 46 to Paul's 60 as he stepped up for the kill but scoring six he missed the x20 and up stepped Paul for a steal and hit x20, 10 and 15 to lead 1-0.

Paul started the second leg with 125, but Jim fought back with 100, 76, 83, 83 and 79, to leave 80. And with Paul on 95, Jim stepped to level the match with two darts.

Experience counted in the final leg as Jim hit 100, 98 and 100, and Paul replied with 70, 100 and 60. Jim hit 60 and 82 to leave x8 as Paul scored 60 and 50 to leave 154 and that's were the fairy tale ended as Jim finished with one dart at x8.

In the Ladies' Singles, Jim's wife Liz came up against a rampant Jan Butters and although Liz only had 36 left when Jan finished the first leg on x4 it never was close.

A killer throw of a maximum 180 in the second leg took the fight out of Liz and although she rallied a little she still needed 272 when Jan shot out x10 to take the title.

In the Mixed Pairs, Paul Perkins and Val Graver beat Paul Stafford and Sally Smith 2-1 in a very close match. Paul Stafford hit a 140 and finished with x12 to win the first leg but Paul Perkins hit 140 and Sally Smith finished on 54, 14 and x20 to level 1-1.

In the final leg both teams needed 20 but Paul Stafford missed and Paul Perkins stepped up to hit x10 for the match.

James Humphries, Max Elderfield and June Smith were left to rue several chances in the Mixed Triples as Bob Smith, John Graver and Rose C-Mattison ran out winners


The Graham Priestley Mixed Pairs was a similar story as Lee Myton and Claire Haney won the cup for the second time, beating John Jacobs and Dawn Smith 2-0.

Thanks went to Paul Nash and the staff at Merlins for their hospitality and to the John Smiths Brewery for their sponsorship of the competitions.