Tense and thrilling are two words that can used to describe the events in selected venues throughout the town as the final games in the Dundalk and District Darts League saw all divisions facing a night of nerves.
The Premier Division saw Macnamees hosting the Commercial Club A with Macs needing a win to claim the title of Premier League champions.
Graham Unwin’s win in Macnamees was followed by Daniel Dunn and Johnny Donnelly before Bob Hillard gave Macs the title and a great win on the night. This result gave Daniel Dunn his fourth consecutive league title but interestingly enough they were all with different teams.
As all this was going on the Fairways Hotel hosted Stag’s Gold who were pushing hard to ensure fourth position had their names on it. They were up against the Falcons who were looking to finish the league with a win but the Stag’s clipped their wings and succeeded in securing the draw.
The Stag’s Black travelled to Blackrock to play a Harrisons team who were determined to end the year with a win. The determination paid off with great darts being played by both teams but the local team sailed home on a sea breeze with a convincing 4-2 win. This lifted them off bottom spot in the league and secured them Premier League darts next year.
The First Division was probably the closest division that has been seen in the Dundalk League since its re-introduction over the last four years.
This division sat with any of four teams mathematically possible to win the Division. O’Connells from the Quay were in poll position and they were closely followed by Stag’s Green, The Avenue Inn and Gormleys A.
The darts on the night favoured O’Connell’s and they claimed the prize of First Division champions and the promotion to the Premier Division next year. The standard of darts throughout this league has shown that none of these teams will have any fears about playing Premier League teams in the upcoming open shield.
The Second Division developed into a two horse race as the last game approached with Courtneys and The Castle Bar playing off a top of the table decider.
It was nip and tuck all the way but Anthony McEnteggart’s men held on for a 4-2 win on the night and the title of division champions.
All three divisions of the league have proved highly entertaining and well done to all who partook in the competition and best of luck in the remainder of the cup competitions.
Upsets aplenty in Divisional Cups
With the leagues decided and the victory parties over the business of the 1st Round of the divisional cups got underway.
The Premier Division Cup saw some interesting draws with The Fairways Falcons hosting The Stag’s, as usual this was a close game but this time the Fairways came out second best.
In the Northend Bar, home advantage didn’t help the Martlets team who hosted the Commercial Club who had John O’Brien finishing well on 137 to take his game against Paul Connolly.
The Stag’s Head hosted the Black and the Gold team with Gerry Rice’s throwers performing well on the night to show they mean to make up for erratic home form by doing well in the cup.
The final match of the night saw MacNammess follow up on the previous weeks win by beating Harrisons 5-2 in a result that doesn’t show the closeness of the game.
The Division One Cup saw some surprise with results not going as the general populous would have expected.
The biggest shock of the night was Benny Brady’s beating The Punters (formerly Gormleys A). Brady’s, who finished bottom of Division One, showed they still have a winning frame of mind by beating the Punters who were running the league leaders close as the league finished.
Stag’s Green were ran close by The Square Bar in a match that went down to the very last game. The Stag’s Green team have been on a rich run of form lately and have high ambitions on taking some silverware back to the Linenhall Street venue this year.
The Avenue Inn were pipped to the league title by O’Connells and they were determined to prevent the Quayside men from doing a double of league and cup. The Avenue, with Andrew ‘The Monster’ Mundow back in their team were out to cause a scare and that they did with a 4-2 win. Harry’s Bar completed the semi final line up with good win over an improving Windmill team.
In Division Two the repeat top of the table clash of Courtneys and Castle bar once more showed that Courtneys had learned a lot from the previous week and their team selection was perfect and they took a deserved 6-1 win to set up a game against the Commercial Club B team.
The cup competitions are heating up and with the finals being in neutral venues a great night of darts is expected.
The Premier League semi-finals and finals will be held in the Malthouse. The First Division semi-finals and finals will be held in Courtneys Bar and the Second Division semi-finals and finals will be held in The Square Bar (Shenanigans of Earl Street).. All supporters are welcome and best of luck to all teams. It is hoped that all teams will be in their respective venue by 8pm with games to start at 9pm.