Wooden spoonists stir finals night with victory

A very large, happy crowd attended the John Smith’s Friendly Darts League finals and presentations – and they really did put the “friendly” into the league’s title.

From beginning to end it was an evening of laughter and enjoyment, just as these indoor games should be. And the icing on the cake was the biggest unpredictable overturn of form ever seen in a darts league final.

The Seadell Bar had been the “whipping” team of the season and were so outclassed in Division One that they managed to win only one single game all season, winning just 70 legs and losing 194.

But they still completed the season and attended the finals to collect a large wooden spoon. They sportingly entered the Knock-Out Plate competition and didn’t expect to get very far.

But the angels must have been watching over them as they set out on what was to be an incredible journey. Winning through the preliminary rounds, they met the Lady Haven in the semi-finals and in a very close encounter could have gone out 2-0.

However, the Lady H were in a generous mood and missed the double on three attempts in the first leg, allowing the Seadell to catch up and Peter Lacy completed the double finish at the first attempt.

The second leg was a very close affair as both teams reached the “shot out” together, but again the Lady Haven missed their chance and Babs Lacy stepped up to make it a family affair as she cooly scored the winning double and put the Seadell through to the final with a 2-0 win.

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They met their match in every department of darts expertise, mirth and laughter when playing the Camden Tavern in the final, which was truly a sporting friendly match.

It was so friendly that the Camden forgot their “red-hot favourites” tag and were undone by the Seadell team spirit.

The Camden took the first leg and the form book looked a good guide, but the Seadell had a never-say-die attitude as they came back in the second leg and levelled the match as Peter Lacy again showed his cool nerve to hit the winning double.

In the final leg the high spirits grew louder and longer and the Camden took their eye off the ball and paid the penalty.

The Seadell were trailing, but as the Camden took their foot off the pedal the Seadell stepped up a gear and as both teams reached the double out. The fun was so great that no-one could finish – until Micky Box stepped up to the oche to hold his nerve and hit the double seven with his second dart to win this remarkable final.

In the KO Cup final the Lichfield A played very well to beat the Cremorne 2-1 and then the Merlins 2-0, but in the final they met a much superior team as the Albert A completed the league and cup double, winning the final 2-0.

The competitions produced some very exciting and close games as the tons, 140s and even a maximum 180 from Karen Page flew to the board.

The night produced a shock result as Martin Galea and Jack Amey beat the odds-on favourites Jon Wynn and Chris Tuddenham 2-0 in the Male Chosen Pairs final.

In the Junior Cup final, Jack Amey and Brad Burnett produced a match worthy of the senior game as tons and 140 scores from both players produced a close match. But after Jack missed his chance in the first leg Brad took control of the game, winning the final 2-0.

Other results. Female Chosen Pairs: Beth and Diane Harrison 2, Sue Button and Louise Timms 0.

Drawn Mixed Pairs: Gary Harden and Karen Page 2, Jon Wynn and Rosie Matterson 0.

Female Drawn Pairs: Elaine Varney and Christina Welsh 2, Maxine Elderfield and Beth Harrison 0.

Drawn Male Pairs: Alkan and Brad Burnett 2, Martin Galea and Sean Sparrow 0.

Chosen Mixed Pairs: Christina Welsh and Jon Wynn 2, Karen Page and Chris Davey 0.

Ladies’ Singles: Elaine Varney 2, June Shillings 0.

Male Singles: John Wynn 2, Russell Marriott 0.

Thanks went from the committee to the sponsors, John Smith’s Brewery and Merlins, and to the staff of the Merlins Club for their hard work arranging the room layout.