A couple of procedural issues arising from last night's play...
Firstly, there has been a long accepted convention as to how darts referees should sound: darts referees are supposed to sound like Russ Bray - authoritative, masculine, like they got through a pack of unfiltered Navy Cut on their way to school each day. They are not supposed to sound like a cross between Julian Clary and the caller from Mecca Bingo, Clacton on Sea.
Whoever thought the guy that referreed Klaasen v. van der Voort and another match - I forget which - was a good bet ought to bear that simple little rule in mind.
Also, what was going on with the electronic scoreboard on the TV screen? It was taking ages to catch up with the actual scores. Not keeping up with Klaasen v. van der Voort, which was a bit like watching a movie on fast forward, I could understand, but not keeping up with Dennis Priestly? Babbage's Difference Engine could figure out the score in the time it takes Dennis Priestly to throw 3 darts.
Anyhoo, over to the darts...
And a great night of entertainment it was too. Klaasen v. van der Voort was a cracker, Klaasen racing back from 3-1 down to 6-1 winner in fine style. Co Stompe v. Phil Taylor was shaping up to be a classic, until Stompe missed 3 darts to level at 3-3. Taylor pounced on the mistake like a Cheetah onto a stumbling Zebra; Stompe's game went downhill from there under relentless pressure and he went out 6-2.
Andy "Pieman" Smith capitalised on Geordie Aussie Paul Nicholson's missed doubles to take the opening match of the evening 6-3; Spanish newbie Antonio Alcinas (I kept wondering what films he'd been in, but that was Antonio Banderas) threw some great darts to give veteran Mark Walsh a scare, but Walshie pulled through to win 6-3. The crowd's vocal support for local hero Andree Welge looked like it was rattling Terry Jenkins, but Jenkins turned the heckling to his advantage, took it squarely on the chin and slammed in some clinical darts to clinch the game 6-4.
Simon Whitlock overhauled veteran Dennis Priestly in fairly comprehensive style; Priestly rallied at 5-1 one down and clawed his way back to 5-3, before Whitlock took the 9th leg and victory 6-3.
Whatever Barrie Bates was on in the first 5 legs of his match with Mervyn King, I want some. Bates went through King like a Panzer division through France, racing to a 5-0 lead. King, playing for dignity, fought back to 5-3 but Bates was unstoppable and won 6-3.
Great darts, and more to come tonight. Bring it on :o)