Teams ready to start new season

James Clooney of Tuborg handing over the sponsorship cheque for the  Dundalk and District Darts League to Peter Neary (Treasurer) and Brendan O'Rourke (Chairman) at the launch night in the Avenue Inn last Thursday
The Dundalk and District Darts League (DDDL) returns this week as 23 teams approach the oche looking to secure championship glory.

The Dundalk and District Darts League (DDDL) returns this week as 23 teams approach the oche looking to secure championship glory.

Following a successful launch event at the Avenue Inn last Thursday, everyone connected with the league is now itching to get going again for the new campaign.

“The launch night was a great success,” said John O’Brien, PRO of the DDDL. “We had representatives from each team and the fixtures for the league, the cup draw and shield were given out. Everyone is looking forward to it.”

The league begins in earnest this Thursday night as clubs from all over the area gather to do battle and attempt to get their seasons off to the perfect start.

15 venues will have teams vying for glory across three separate divisions this season with the league expected to come to its thrilling climax next June.

There are a total of 23 sides registered to take part for the 2013/14 season. That breaks down into eight teams looking to replicate the darting world’s newest phenomenon Michael van Gerwen who picked up his maiden Premier League title in May this year. The DDDL will have eight teams competing for that same honour in their own Premier League.

Eight sides will also contest for the Division One crown while a total of seven teams have been entered into the Second Division with a number of venues entering two or even three teams across the different divisions, a sign of how popular the sport is in the area and how passionate the players are.

Having continued to grow in popularity year on year, the standard of the league shows no signs of slowing down any time soon and with a number of exciting talents on show this year, O’Brien believes it could be the best yet.

With last year’s Premier League winners McNamee’s having now disbanded, the league is certainly wide open one for anyone to win, something that is reflected in each division. There are also a number of new teams to welcome including Ferguson’s and Jackie Murphy’s, who are an amalgamation of two teams.

Speaking about this, he stated: “All divisions are close, I don’t think there are any favourites. A lot of teams and players can cause upsets and there are a lot of county players represented across the clubs.

“I expect another close year as players have improved greatly and we have new players coming in and lads coming back too. I think people are starting to realise darts is back. Great effort has gone into this so we are looking forward to getting going,” he added.

Last Thursday’s launch night also gave chairman Brendan O’Rourke the opportunity to address those in attendance and he echoed the sentiments that this is a year to look forward to. It was also revealed that the league has agreed an exciting three-year sponsorship deal with Tuborg.

The Danish beer company were impressed with the effort and dedication put in by everyone connected to the DDDL, players and officials, and as such, have entered into sponsorhsip with them for this and the next two seasons.

Fun games and events also took place at the Avenue Inn to round off a great night with O’Brien himself even going on to claim the win and a new Carlsberg jacket after winning a bullseye competition.