23 September 2019Derek Firth takes Jimmy Miller Cup
Pictured is Jimmy's son Eoin with runner up Kevin Gray, while Jimmy's grandsons Stevie and George Low present Derek Firth with the cup.
The cups are now well underway and it is safe to say a number of players have found their feet already, with 25 180s being hit between two nights of competition.
The Spiers cup for 'A' and 'B' teams took place in the Legion last Monday. The format made for a long night, but coupled with many close matches, it saw the trophy being presented shortly before midnight. Receiving the trophy were Sanday who triumphed over 'B' side Tigers 4-1 in the final.
Friday night saw the same venue play host to the eagerly awaited Jimmy Miller Open Singles. 39 player entered, including several of Jimmy's family, and the competition was a real advert for the game of darts. Drams, laughter and some high quality darts made for a great nights entertainment.
Some big names fell early on, but by semi-final time it was Kevin Sarling against Derek Firth, and a father-son tussle between Kevin and Nicol Gray.
Kevin had darts to see off Derek, but there was a determination in the Legion man's face that saw him win through to a cup he was desperate to win. Nicol's route to the semi had proved he is likely to be a force to be reckoned with this season, but his dad was just too good on the night, winning out 3-0.
If Jimmy could have hand-picked the finalists, he would undoubtedly have picked his Legion teammates, and he certainly would not have been disappointed by the game they produced; a match which will live long in the memory of those who watched it.
Kevin started all guns blazing, and raced into a three nil lead, with Derek struggling to find his range.
Kevin missed a few darts to complete the rout, before Derek finally landed a double and exclaimed his relief at finally getting a leg. This seemed to relax him, and that leg was followed by a 13 dart leg to make it 3-2. The sixth was a close affair but Derek managed to tie the game. It was now anyone's cup.
The final leg will undoubtedly go down in KDDL folklore. With the advantage of throwing first, Kevin raced ahead and, when he landed a 174 score to leave double 16, it looked all over.
Realising the uphill task he faced on a score of 234, Derek was heard saying “weel, I need a wan eighty”, and he hit it! Kevin sportingly acknowledged the feat with a fist bump, before taking aim. All three of his darts were tight on the wire, but on the wrong side as far as he was concerned.
Derek stepped up and hit single 14, then stood back, took in a big puff of air and blew it out. By this point Kevin was laying his darts on the table, conceding to the inevitable outcome. Derek's dart landed plumb in the centre of double tops to claim the cup in memory of his teammate of 38 years.
After an emotional speech by KDDL president Craig Taylor, Steven Low presented the cup to Derek on behalf of the Miller family. Derek then spoke fondly of the the years of playing alongside Jimmy and how much of a miss he is.
180s were scored by: Aaron Mitchell, Ian Munro, Trevor Shearer, Andrew Moar, Wayne Small, Ryan Tulloch, Scott Wilson, Ivan Leslie, Kenny Gunn, Kevin Sarling, Gary Wilson, Leigh Shearer, Brett Dickinson, Derrick Firth (two), Paul Foubister (two), Alan Findlay (two), Kevin Gray (two) and Derek Firth (four). Kevin Gray also had a 174.
Ton-plus checkouts came from: Derek Firth 100, Stevie Moar 114, Brett Dickinson 114, Iain Findlay 115, Kenny Gunn 160 and Kevin Gray 100 & 121
Spiers Cup: Sanday 4, Tigers 1
Jimmy Miller Open Memorial Singles: Derek Firth 4, Kevin Gray 3
Friday, September 27, Cricket Singles and Doubles, Legion, 7.30pm
Monday, September 30, 301 Challenge Cup (A), Legion, 7.30pm
Tuesday, October 1, 301 Double Start Cup (B), Masonic, 7.30pm
Friday, October 4, Royal Cup (A & B), Masonic, 7.30pm
Leagues Commence on October 7