The sponsorship was secured, the launch night was a massive success but Thursday night last saw the games begin for all those involved in Dundalk and District Darts league.
The mood around the venues was one of great excitement and a hint of tension was also evident as team captains had to make their first team selections of the new season.
The Premier Division saw the Avenue Eagles travel into the centre of town to play McEnteggarts and the men from the Avenue did well to secure their first win of the season. Alan Reenan started the game well for the visitors before Damian Smith leveled the match up.
Francis Smith was unlucky in his game with Pat Nulty not to come out the victor but the home team fought hard to inflict damage on their opponents, but to no avail, as Danny Maguire finished the night off with a great display.
Across the street in the Commercial Club , Commercial 1896 played host to the Stag’s Black and the treble 20 was getting plenty of abuse with Brian Fitzpatrick and Kenneth Rogan both scoring well.
John O’Brien hit the first 180 of the night in his game against Gavin Hillard but Gavin quickly answered with a 140. The result favoured the Commercial on the night but there were some great games by players from both sides.
The other game in the Premier Division, Stags Red and Jackie Murphy’s had to be abandoned due to a medical emergency involving a family member of one of the teams and all involved with Dundalk and District Darts send their best wishes to the family involved.
The First Division was the most tightly contested division last year and it looks to continue in that manner with a lot of teams having had players come and go.
The new team from Oriel Park, Oriel Active, were welcomed to the league by Harry’s Bar who were out to improve on last year’s league standing.
New to the league is Mickey Fee, another player with Glyde League experience, and he showed his ability with a cool 129 checkout to beat former Louth player Gary Stewart.
The Stags Green hosted a new look Courtneys side. The team from the Stags had Alan Quigley making a return to league darts after a 12-year retirement but it was Stephen Shields who stole the show with a 116 checkout. The home advantage seemed to aid the team from Linenhall Street as they ran out worthy winners
The Punters Bar hosted the Avenue Celtic team and both teams were looking to start the season with a win.
Stephen O’Connor put on his Punters jersey to face his old team after his off season transfer. Sean”Jabba Max” Kavanagh was Stephen’s opponent and the darts were of a good standard but it was JabbaMax who came out the winner but the match result of a draw was seen as fair by all.
The Punters Sharks made their way down to the Quay to play Kehoes. This game had plenty of bite in it and after good darts was thrown by both teams this match also ended in honours even.
The Second Division has a new team, Fergusons, Gyles Quay in it and the Commercial Hawks landed in the seaside venue only to have their wings clipped by some great darts from the home team. Tadgh Finnegan had a good game against the Commercial’s new signing, Ronan Brown; both players played well but the result went with the home team.
The Castlebar Knights seem to be getting the mix of experience and youth just right as they have Barry Dillon showing why he is improving with every season but the man of the match was given to former chairman of the league Brian McArdle who was scoring well on the night.
The Stags White hosted the Malthouse Misfits and the stand out game on the night was thrown by Aidan Conroy of the Stags who had a 15 dart game to help push his team’s charge to victory.
The league is well on the way and judging by the standard on display it’s going to be a great year.