The Missus and I attended the evening just to have a few drinks, support the event and give 'er indoors the chance to scream in a live games the stuff she lets fly with when watching the darts on the telly! Neither of us had attended one of these events previously, and weren't aware that the raffle tickets we were happily buying were for a chance to play Eric in a straight 501! I had (very badly) last thrown a dart about 10 years ago! Once it dawned on us what we could "win" we started to fervently hope against our winning! Losing raffles is not normally a problem - as you may have read on previous blogs.
The first seven winning numbers were drawn, and bugger me if one of our numbers wasn't drawn out. SHIT. Now what? Thankfully a work colleague was happy enough to take the slot from me - PHEW!
Over the course of the first batch of games the quality on show from the floor, and, to be frank, the Craft Cockney too was pleasingly variable. So variable in fact that when the next batch of games were drawn out, and we won again, this time I put my own name down to play. The extra lager I had drunk since the first round of games may also have had a smidgen of influence.....
After sitting there, slowing sh*tting myself, my name was called and I made my way over to the oche. Quick handshake and chat with a sporting legend, a couple of practice throws and we were away.
I would love to report that somehow my abject lack of dart ability melted away to reveal a quality arrow-smith, and I pounded in tons galore, taking the leg at a canter. It would also be acceptable to report that Eric thrashed me with high scoring and deadly finishing. In reality, although I managed to get my darts in more-or-less the right areas, we both limped along towards a painfully drawn out climax. I'm not much good, and Eric's best days are well behind him, lost in a haze of non-competition, non-practice and a few pints on the night.
|Do not adjust your internet!|
Just a photograph taken on the world's worst camera phone!
I am the upright black blob in the middle, and Eric
is the (larger) red blob on the left.
He missed a number of goes at doubles to put me out of my, and the rest of the room's misery. Suddenly the MC was announcing I was on a finish. Admittedly a very high finish, but, bloody hell, if I was on a finish against Eric Bloody Bristow! Insane! Needless to say, I didn't make much of a dent in my check out of 156!!! But I must have scared Eric sufficiently for him to sink his double and we shook hands once more. A surreal experience, made all the stranger by the fact the last time I'd played darts, against perennial Poppies Social Club bar-fly Ian (The Ripper) Claypole back in the good old days, he had thrashed me much more convincingly than a man who was the World Number One for well over a decade!
Who's next then? Steve Davis at Spot-On Snooker Club? Steve Ovett down the Leisure Village? Nick Faldo at Pytchley Lodge? Don't worry, no matter which 1970's / 1980's sporting legend I next get in my sights, rest assured, I will definitely manage to spin another blog out of it!