THE DDDL cup final night saw a number of near misses and shock results which had nerves frayed all over the town in what was a great night of darts in all venues.
Stags stampede Commercial
The Premier Division finals night was held in The Malthouse. The four semi finalists on the night were The Commercial Club A who would play The Stags while MacNamees would play the Stags Black.
Game one on the night saw Brian Fitzpatrick for the Commercial playing Tommy Haughey for The Stags. Fitzy was slow to start and lost the first leg but took off like a darting steam train to regain parity. The last leg of the game was nip and tuck before the man from the Commercial hit double ten to give his team a great start.
The second game had Niall Hinchey facing Paddy Kearney with Kearney the favourite. Young Hinchey started well against the darts by following Paddy’s 81 score with a 100. The game continued in this vein with Niall missing double 16 to take the game before Paddy won it to make it 1-1.
The story of missed doubles has been haunting the Commercial Club all through the year and it was never so ever evident as it was in the next game with Alan McMahon having 12 match darts to take the game before Ollie Thompson showed that he can grind out a result to make it 2-1 to The Stags in a game that could easily have seen them losing 3-0.
The Commercials form didn’t improve and Gerard McKeown and Ian Rooney were both on the wrong side of 2-1 results on the night.
The final score was 4-1 to the Stags with the last two games being forfeited in order to save time on the night. The Stags were in the final and the Commercial were left wondering what happened.
Early blitz sees Macs seal final place
The other semi final saw Macnamees storm ahead into a 3-0 lead before Martin Carvill stopped the downhill slide by beating Alan Reenan. Martin is just back from the Scottish Open were he did very well by getting to the last 32 in a very competitive field.
This win sparked a comeback and with Gerry Rice winning his game it showed that Macs weren’t going to have it all their own way.
The next game saw Conor Mackin trying to finish the job for Macs against Conor MacArdle. Mr Mackin has found it hard to hold a regular place over the last few weeks with Macnamees and has been plying his trade in the Glyde League on a Monday night with Soraghans.
This extra nights darts seems to have had a positive effect with Conor holding his nerve to win the game and put Macnamees into the final.
Top two in final showdown
The final saw the top two teams in the League meet once again and it was Baz McDonnell who stopped Conor Mackin’s run of victories and started a good run for the Stags.
Ray Campbell was another man back from the Scottish Open who continued for the Stags in a positive manner with a 2-1 win over Graham Unwin.
Bob Hillard continued his fine form of late to win his game before Michael Donnelly levelled the game by beating Paddy Gibney.
The pressure mounted and, with the game levelled, Tommy Loughman had to face Daniel Dunn in what was always going to be an entertaining game. The Macs man was favourite but Mr Loughman from Camlough was on form and took the game home.
This left John Donnelly facing Paddy Kearney in a must win game for Macs if they wanted to push it to the last game of the night but PK was starting to hit form after his earlier escape in his game against the Commercial.
Paddy won the game 2-0 to take the cup back to the Stags Head. It’s a testament to the way the league has run this year that members of all four teams sat and enjoyed the occasion and celebrated in style.
Classy performances in Courtneys
The venue for the Division One Cup was Courtneys where Harrys Bar played Benny Bradys. The men from Bridge Street bar where in fighting form and they pushed home a 5-2 win. Bradys had good performances from Kevin McKenna and Eamonn Duffy.
Harry’s were in fine form but they were also keeping a good eye on the other semi final which saw the Avenue Inn playing The Stags Green.
Jason McConville’s team were looking to make up for a disappointing end to the league, they had been joint top at one stage and fell away in the latter stages.
This was in complete contrast to the Stags Green who slipped at the start but who were in full flight as the league ended.
The game was slightly more one side than expected as the draw suited the Avenue Inn with Darren Markey beating Paul Callan to start a good run which saw the first four games go with the Avenue and push them into the final.
Dee makes his Mark for the Avenue
The final on the night was always going to be close with both of these teams looking to take the cup home.
The Avenue Started slowly with both Andrew Mundow and Sean ‘Maxi’ Kavanagh losing before Stephen Gorham and the rest of their team started to pull the game back.
The final game of the night was between Darren Markey from the Avenue Inn and Basil McQuillan of Harrys. The darts flowed well for both players but like all games, missed doubles was the deciding factor and it was Markey who took out double 15 after Basil missed doubles to win the game. The lads from the Avenue were ecstatic.
Dunne drives league champs to cup final
Shenanigans of Earl Street was the venue for the Division Two Cup with Johnny Mason facing the Stags White and Courtneys facing Commercial Club B.
Courtneys have been riding high throughout the League and after winning the league and securing promotion to Division One next year. They were looking to do the double of league and cup.
Ciarain Dunne was first man on for Courtneys and he was up against it when playing Davey Boland. The game went to a decider and it was Dunne who came out the victor.
Courtneys have been very dominant in this division all year but the Commercial pushed them all the way in this match with all of the first five games taking a deciding leg.
Aaron Callan won his game for the Commercial but it was the league champions who were into the final.
Browne’s statement of intent
Maurice Browne has captained Johnny Masons team all year and has proved that it’s not just the Premier throwers who can play this game well.
The Masons played Stags White who have a good mix of new players and seasoned throwers. Maurice was after watching his team go 1-0 up when he went in to play Chris McMahon. Maurice was well in control in this game and if ever there was a statement of intent it was a 158 finish. (T20 T20 D19).
This was greeted by rapturous applause by both teams but it didnt stop Paul McCourt from fighting back for the Stags in the next game. Johnny Masons finished strongly with Paudie Macken sealing the victory with a win over Aidan Carr.
Courtneys double up
The stakes were high in the final with Courtneys looking for the double and Masons looking to deny them it.
The score on the night tilted from one side to the other before Courtneys took the advantage and Paddy Shields secured the win and made Courtneys the only team in all three divisions to secure a league and cup double.
With the prelims of the Open Shield next week there will be a lot of effort for giant killing results in what is the FA Cup of Dundalk Darts.
This is the only cross divisional competition and it will see the Premier Division teams hoping to avoid a banana skin and slip out of the competition.