Knockout turnout shows darts is thiriving in Bognor

Gary Blackwood and Lee Clark, division-one pairs winners
Gary Blackwood and Lee Clark, division-one pairs winners

THE Bognor Double In Double Out League’s divisional pairs knockouts were staged at Newtown Social Club and enjoyed the best turnout the league has seen in well over a decade.

In the division-two contest, 17 pairs turned up.

The first semi-final saw Lee Hellyer and Dave Bourne (Richmond A) bow out to Pete Blackman and Dave Wingate (Richmond Raiders).

In the second, Nick Hales and James Bartley (Claremont) defeated Ray Weston and Wayne Wadsworth (Wheatsheaf) – despite Wadsworth hitting a 180.

The final’s first leg was very close and both teams ended up on double one. Eventually Wingate hit the double.

The second leg saw Hales make the push with scores of 72, 140 and 100 and then double ten for the leg.

In the deciding leg, Wingate missed double 18 to win it before Hales clinched the title.

With 23 pairs from division one taking to the oche, the big shock was current top player Craig Stoner and his partner Cliff Prior (POW) being knocked out by team-mates Lee Clark and Courtney Wilson in the preliminary round.

Last year’s champions Gary Blackwood and Lee Franklin met POW team-mates Gary Miller and Nathan Warren in the first semi-final.

It was a close game but Blackwood and Franklin took the place in the final.

Two Neptune pairs, Steve Carlson and Lee Chapman and Phil Hayers and Brian Bircham, met in the other semi-final. Hayers and Bircham won through.

Hayers and Bircham lost the lead only once in the first leg until they got to the double. But Blackwood hit single 20 and double 20 to finish the leg.

The second leg was almost never-ending but eventually Hayers got double eight to make it 1-1.

The last leg was the closest of the three with Blackwood needing only one dart to end the game and take the title – the second year on the trot he and Franklin had taken it.

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