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The FA Cup of Darts produced some shocks,someone late for a very important date and a wasted bottle of red!

The UK Open Night 1

Posted: 02.06.11 in Tournament Analysis Blog category

The FA Cup of Darts produced some shocks,someone late for a very important date and a wasted bottle of red!


We Have Some Fallers at the First!

Fifty four dreams were shattered last night as the “darting minnows” were dumped out of The Speedy Hire UK Open. None of the thirty two qualifiers who entered via the Speedy Hire -15 dart challenge -got through to the “holy grail” of the third round, twenty five going out in the preliminary round or the first, leaving seven who were then beaten in the second round.

The more arduous route of qualifying produced a far better return, over 30% of the Rileys Qualifiers made it through. Ten qualifiers will proudly take their place in the third round, well done to them. Arguably ten qualifiers through is a fantastic return when you set aside the hype surrounding the chances of this happening.

We picked up some feedback from some of the qualifiers who went out last night and their opinions swung from one extreme to another. The Isle of Wight qualifiers are a good example. Darren Hawken walked away with no regrets. He played well, was relaxed (he suggested later too relaxed) but got beaten by William O`Connor. Tony Broughton on the other hand was furious with himself. He didn’t play to anywhere near the standard he knows he can, but why was this? Was it nerves, pressure, anxiety? Possibly!

Back at the hotel one qualifier, let’s call him Matt, was talking of hurling his darts away and starting afresh after his defeat. He did not seem to be thinking straight mind. He had a nice bottle of red to drown his sorrows in only to admit he didn’t actually like red wine. Decision making is not just crucial in sport!

Fifty four qualifiers may have some quiet reflection to do today. Hurling your darts away is not the way forward, those pieces of tungsten didn’t know it was the biggest night of your darting life.  An honest appraisal of what skills were lacking (if any) last night and how you can add them to your armoury would be a lot more beneficial.

Where’s Our Mensur Gone?

We try to remain objective and independent at The Darts Performance Centre but we admit we like Mensur! He’s a character; he plays his darts in his own way and doesn’t give a thought to whether his style is not appreciated by his opponent or the crowd for that matter.  Single mindedness is good in professional sport.

However, last night was not a good night. Mensur was timed out of his game, handing Brandon Walsh a bye without having to throw a dart in anger. Can this be right? The players do of course have a responsibility to be at the right place at the right time. We have discussed several times it is impossible to predict when the match before you is going to finish so this outcome appears harsh.

I was there last night and it was busy! A player would be advised to leave it to a “last minute” dash to get on the oche than mingle for a period of time with the fans until it was their turn. As long as they got there on time! This is perhaps an area for discussion for the next time? This incident was the only sour note from a brilliant night. The tournament has really benefitted from the innovative and enthusiastic partnership between Speedy Hire and the PDC. 

Author: Paul Gillings ( paul@dartsperformancecentre.com )

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