UKDA Get Busy Pt II : A winning start

By Alan Towe 31/05/2021

The UKDA team certainly seems to have gained the support of many involved in County darts. With both the charity functions and administrative progress impressing. The words of Mike Norton (Chairman of West of England) seem to summerise the winning impression created so far:

“I had the pleasure of playing, chatting, laughing, and generally meeting some of the best players across the UK…..Can we all remember the last 18 months, when we as a county like most counties were in limbo, and wasn’t quite sure what direction we were going, with voting, discussion, debates, etc, etc we voted a new committee, we voted to join the UKDA, in general, we like everyone else put our trust in what then, was just another organisation trying to take over the very fast dwindling BDO.”

“After 12 months of no darts, no fixtures, and a global pandemic, we, at last, might get a chance later in the year to get back to some kind of normality. My reason for this post is to assure our members in what we voted for. I have communicated with the chairman Johnny Stefano pretty much on a monthly basis, asked a million questions, and got the answers, yesterday I played a few practice games with the CEO Colin Savage and had a great chat about lots of things. My overall opinion on how we voted last year has been totally justified, the UKDA and there management have gone above and beyond what we expected, they are very open about everything they do, willing to discuss anything about any subject, I think personally we have made a great decision to join the UKDA. I’m sure everyone is itching to get back to super league and county darts I just wanted to assure you we are in very good hands, and we have a lot to look forward to.”

Following the success of their initial ‘Team Challenge’, and the resultant draw, the UKDA tried again. The second of the charity matches brought together representative teams named for Claire Stamper (Team Stamper) and Paul Marsh (Team Swampy). Team Stamper stormed into a commanding 7-0 lead all begun with a 2-0 win for Kai Tiffen over Harry Rawson-Lee. Then came three 5-2 wins as Graham Usher beat Sam Cankett, Chris Hurds won against Dave Ladley and Will Harwood accounted for Wayne Gleed. Liam Kelly (31.43) was a 5-3 winner against Kev Naughton before Lauren Stokoe beat Tricia Wright 4-3. Rounding off the 7-0 advantage was Richard Selby who accounted for Nathan Care with a 5-1 margin. Graham Usher turned out to be the man of the match with a tremendous 32.51 average against Sam Cankett, winning in 15,11,14,18 and 16 darts.

Amy Evans earned Team Swampy their first stripe as she chalked up a straight 4-0 win over Eleanor Cairns only to see a 5-1 win for Darts World’s Colin Osborne (31.22) against John O’Shea restore the seven games advantage for Team Stamper.

From 7-1 down it was then one-way traffic for Team Swampy as Louise Pearson won 4-3 against Tracey Davies, Steve Maish beat Lee Cocks 5-4, Brad Phillips had a 5-3 win over Jack Male, and rounding off the proceedings Rob Rickwood defeated Barry Davies 5-0 to take the final score to 8-5 in favour of Team Stamper, a much closer result than what was expected after the opening seven games.

The match raised another £423, which will go to the UKDA charity partners, Mind and the Ben Cohen Stand-Up Foundation

-----ENDS-----

Original article appears in Darts World magazine Issue 574
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With thanks to Rebecca Hoyland for her assistance with the preparation of County Lines/UKDA.

Alan Towe is supported by Red Dragon Darts

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