ONE HUNDRED AND EIGHTY!!
If only that call went up on a Thursday afternoon at The Coopers.
Each Thursday at 2:30 a dedicated bunch of arrow chuckers gather in the pub for a couple of hours of fun with pointy weapons to be thrown at a cork board from the oche.
The Darts Group are a sociable bunch, who like a chat and a drink – no one was on the hard stuff though – whilst exercising a single arm.
The group is run by Joy Rooke who has a very simple system of splitting the attendees into two teams – you are handed a numbered luggage tag (red or blue) on a necklace, so on the day I attended there were Nos 1 – 6 in red or blue to signify a six man/woman team. I was drafted in as No5 for the Reds as there were an odd number of players.
Having not played darts since I was 18 I was a little apprehensive that my lack of skill would do my team mates down – but I need not have worried, the skills covered a wide range, with only a couple of throws breaking into the 80s through the afternoon – in fact even my poor show of a mere 7 for one flight of three darts wasn’t too embarrassing.
Joy informed me that I had not picked the best week to attend as only 11 were there – apparently a few Darters share their Thursdays between darts and the Cribbage Group who meet just over the road in the Copeland Centre.
The pub is a quiet enough place, with only a couple of groups of people having an afternoon tipple, so our gathering was just about the noisiest bunch in the place – nothing rowdy, just laughter and cheers when someone scored well.
We started with a warm up game where each team had to hit Nos 1 – 10 (in sequence), and this gave each player 2 or three throws each. Once that was won – by the blues I add, and I was in the Reds – Joy announced we were playing a game of 501. I was surprised, until she explained it was the whole team driving down the 501.
Keeping the scores changed hands a few times until someone was found who was adept at mental maths – if you don’t use it daily then simple taking away slips away – I blame computers and calculators 😊.
On our first game, I made a silly assumption. Normally a game is finished by checking out on a double, and we were down in the 50 to 60 range, so I am standing there working out that I would ideally like treble eight followed by double sixteen to finish. “No – no – no” said Brian “We aren’t that good – just a straight single does to finish – we would be here all night if we had to hit doubles”. It was a relief, but it didn’t help the Reds to win – we lost 3 straight games.
There were “trick shots” on display – Linda managed to dislodge her first dart with her second, but the first simply laid quietly on top of the second to retain its score. Then there was David, who after throwing his darts was desperately looking for a dislodged flight on the floor – however being the consummate player he is he had actually thrown his darts minus one flight – it was on the table where he had picked them up from 😊
We finished the afternoon with a quick eliminator round – where lowest scorer drops out.
I can recommend the Darts Group for anyone, no matter how good/bad their darting skills are – Lakeside it certainly isn’t – you will have a fun afternoon, in the warm, in good company.
The 11 spear-chuckers present were Joy, Jan, Tom, Janet, Brian, Phil, Barbara, Pam Sylvia, Linda and David.
See here for a photo Gallery
The Roving Reporter (AJL)