The Pokerstars Isle of Man Darts Festival is ongoing ahead this weekend and the draws have been released, with a host of our players making the trip.
The event will kick off with the Isle of Man Classic on Thursday. The Masters and Open tournament will be played on Friday and Saturday. The finals of those three events will take place on Sunday.
Gary Tipping, Karl Frizzell, Barry Copeland, Neil Duff, Gareth Chambers, Nigel Peden, Allan Brown, Austin Thompson, Jamie Surplus, Marty Mooreland, Ryan Johnston, David Heasley, Alan Kerr, George Mcgivern among others for the men.
In the ladies we have Grace Crane, Denise Cassidy, Julie Leahy, Tammy Jo Grafton and Anna Madigan.
A host of international players have registered including Jim Williams, James Richardson, Ross Montgomery, Chris Landman, Wes Newton, Martin Adams, Ted Hankey, Dave Parletti, Paul Hogan and Richard Veenstra.
While Beau Greaves, Deta Hedman, Lorraine Winstanley, Aileen de Graaf, Anastasia Dobromyslova and Fallon Sherrock are among the female participants.
It’s been over a week now since the NI Darts team managed to get back across the water from Scotland after winning the Celtic Challenge Cup in Glenrothes. What a win from the men’s team with great performances all around. Congratulations lads!
The Celtic Challenge Cup consists of Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales (men’s and ladies) playing each other in best of seven matches (12 matches in total against each country). The best team with most wins and/or legs won is determined the winner over the weekend.
The ladies team played well in places, but just didn’t have their double hitting boots on and faltered at the doubles when they had great chances – plenty to build on ladies. Grace Crane, Helen Dunn and Kayleigh O’Neill were outstanding at times. Beaten by Wales and Scotland but there were flashes of brilliance along the way. Onto the next one ladies.
However the men’s team played to the level we all know they can. Team captain Kyle Mckinstry was runner up in the Individuals on the Friday warm up session. Then on to the teams on Saturday where NI played Scotland First up on Saturday morning. A very tough game for the NI lads but we were well up for it. Josh Rock opened up his account with a 4-2 win on his debut, followed up by Chris Gilliland coming through a last leg decider hitting a 100 checkout after hitting a 180 to pressure Scotland’s throw. Scotland clawed the next three back to go ahead, then up stepped Daniel Mcdonald against Alan Soutar – taking his winning leg in 14 darts in style to draw NI level. For me it was the best game on Saturday. Next up Neil Duff showed his class with a 4-2 win, so now NI were ahead 4-3 overall. The Boss Ross Montgomery took out the next one to level again. Then Mckinstry and Gary Elliott showed their experience to wrap up their games convincingly leaving it to Simon Dunn in the last but Euan Callendar was too strong – so it ended 6-6 on the first day with Scotland managing to scrape a draw against us.
The lads knew they were all playing well and had plenty to go for against the Welsh team on Sunday, knowing that a good result would put the pressure on Scotland in the following match. So onto Sunday and our men’s team raced into a 5-0 lead with Duff, Coulter, Dunn, Lockhart and Gilliland racing through their games. Mike Warburton got Wales on the board for 5-1 with Kyle Mckinstry up next it looked good for NI. Kyle duly won his game 4-1 to make it 6-1 overall. Up next Jim Williams took the next for 6-2 only for Gary Elliott to win his game to win the game for NI 7-2 – but more legs were needed and Dave Finlay won the next for 8-2. Wales won the next two legs to finish up 8-4. A great result and put the pressure on Scotland to score heavy against Wales later.
It was a bridge too far for Scotland and whilst they showed promise early on, it was too much to ask as Wales seemed more upbeat in this game than against NI. Jim Williams had a great game against Ross Montgomery and sealed Scotlands fate.
Congratulations to Northern Ireland! Hearty thanks to the NIDO, Sponsors, Ballymore Inn, Indigo, Smithwicks and Stevie at Davison Coaches. The support from home and further afield has been fantastic and goes to show that NI darts is definitely on the up. We have so many many talented darters amongst us – some of the names not even at this tournament is scary! Now let’s defend this next year and support our ladies and men’s teams throughout the year. Well done everyone – managers Lorraine and Gareth are a credit to the team and the team couldn’t do it without you two. Special mention to the Ladies team who supported the men throughout – a true combined team effort. Congratulations!
The Charlie Gaile and Charlie Wright Pairs kicked off yesterday at The Drummond Hotel in Ballykelly and they had some great players in attendance, including Tony Martin, Jim Williams and PDC Tour Card holder and Euro Tour Winner Jamie Hughes, among others including some great local talent.
Area 2 player and NIDO youth player Sean Kearns (pictured with NIDO chairman Geoff Wylie) lifted the Youth competition at the Charlie Gaile yesterday playing awesome darts again.
He was followed by his Area 2 team mates Neil Duff and Chris Gilliland who won the Charlie Wright Pairs in the afternoon.
Unfortunately for Neil Duff after beating Jim Williams on route to the final in the Singles, he came unstuck against Tipton’s Jamie Hughes, going down 5-4. Unlucky Neil, onto the next one.
Beaten semi finalists were Donegal’s Dean Gallagher beat by Hughes and Chris Gilliland beat by Duff.
A great day out for all involved and again shows the class darts of Northern Ireland at the moment.
Well last Saturday was the NIDO Masters in The Standard Nortel Club Belfast. Great darts again with some new faces in the quarter finals and semi finals. Great to see the standard on the rise in the ladies, youth and mens.
Another superb turn out for this competition, with 131 men, 18 ladies and 14 youth.
Before the darts started there was a presentation to Area 13’s Warren Penney for hitting the first ever nine dart leg at the NI OPEN back in October. Even MVG, Gary Anderson and Raymond van Barneveld couldn’t do it at the NI Open. Well done Warren.
Then it was start of all the competitions with the standard of darts being as good as ever. A hearty well done to the executive and the people setting up the rooms for all the players with the ladies and youth having their own space, it made for a better playing environment.
The last 16 of the men’s comp to the final results were:
Last 16 Gary Elliott 4 Nigel G Cahoon 1 Mark Yates 4 Roy Bailie 0 Paul McDonald 4 Andy Coulter 0 Simon Dunn 3 Stephen Moore 4 Jordan Moore 3 Christopher Gracey 4 Neil Withers 3 Rodney Kane 4 Gary Tipping 0 Josh Rock 4 Marty Moreland 2 Neil Duff 4
Quarter Finals Gary Elliott 5 Mark Yates 2 Paul McDonald 5 Stephen Moore 3 Chris Gracey 5 Rodney Kane 4 Josh Rock 1 Neil Duff 5
Semi Finals Gary Elliott 3 Paul McDonald 5 Chris Gracey 0 Neil Duff 5
Final Paul McDonald 1 Neil Duff 6. Well done to Area 2’s Neil Duff who seems to be hoovering up competitions this last while continuing on from his exploits over Christmas. Unlucky to Area 2D’s Paul McDonald who came up short in the final but the scoreline flattered Duff and should have been closer. Paul must take heart from this result and on another day it might have went his way.
Ladies comp was as competitive as always with a round robin being played to the Last 8.
Quarter Finals Elaine Moran 4 Helen Dunn 2 Valerie Rooney 2 Anna Madigan 4 Grace Crane 4 Kelly Devlin 2 Jackie O’Neill 0 Denise Cassidy 4
Final Anna Madigan 0 Denise Cassidy 5. What more can I say about Denise Cassisy, she is head and shoulders above everyone else locally in Northern Ireland at the minute. Didnt lose a leg from the quarter final stage, yes that’s 13 legs in a row… Talent always rises to the the top.
The youths played a round robin as well and here is the semi and final results
Semi Sean Kearns lost to Travis Baur Johnny Stewart beat Jason Canning
Final Travis Baur lost to Johnny Stewart. Well done to Johnny Stewart winning the NI Youth Masters, a great achievement and just shows him playing on the NIDO mens tour have given him the experience he needs to grind out results. Well done young man.