The second running of the Embleton and District Darts League Pairs Knockout was held last Friday at Shilbottle Club with 22 pairs turning up to what was to be a highly competitive night of darts.
The preliminary was drawn and some of the league’s big hitters were drawn against each other with the standout tie of the round seeing a Horseshoes derby.
The Shoes B pairing of S Ginger and I Smith battled through to the first round proper against the Shoes A’s S Turner and K Filer.
There were more tough ties in the first round with some of the pre-tournament favourites paired against each other.
Last year’s winners R Collins and P Gray of the Horseshoes A fell at the first hurdle to G Davison and G Scott of the Blink B. I Donkin and M Gray of the Shoes A lost out to the Cottage’s pairing of C Poole and D Ayre. The Shoes B pairing of of S Ginger and I Smith also had a close encounter of the second kind and came through a hard-fought affair against M Davison and S Rowntree of Alnmouth Club.
The quarter-finals saw the Shoes B pairings of A Woodcock and D Hope along with S Ginger and I Smith progress to the semi-finals joining the Cottage pairings of C Poole and D Ayre and the pre-tournament favourites G Shell and K Williams.
The draw gave two Shoes B versus Cottage games which were of the highest quality. The outcome was to be another Shoes B versus Cottage tie in the final with arguably the two players of the tournament progressing. I Smith of the Shoes B and the Cottage’s G Shell were, along with their respective partners S Ginger and K Williams, producing some superb darts.
The final was to be best of seven legs and it was fitting that it went down to the final leg with one of last season’s losing finalists S Ginger going one step better courtesy of a great pressure double to deservedly give him and I Smith victory.
The standard of darts was there for all to see and the format of the competition and the set-up at the venue had a big part to play in that. There were 180s on the night for G Scott of the Blink B, M Davison of Alnmouth Club and two in one round for G Shell of the Cottage.
The committee would like to thank the following: Kev Fletcher of the Alnwick Darts League for the use of their boards; Shilbottle Club for providing a superb venue and a perfect set-up for a tournament of this size; Paul Gray Town & Country Stoves; J Gray Engineering; Smith Accountants; Motorcare; GM Autos; The Cottage Inn; The Black Swan; Seahouses Club; The Horseshoes Inn; A Walton; SMJ Tyres; Ivor Jones Builder; Alnmouth Club and finally the league secretary, Craig Thompson, for running the tournament on the night.