Not a huge turnout for the last ranking event of the season — the league singles.
In fact, a rather disappointing 36 only turned up.
But all the top players were there, and the standard of darts was of the highest quality.
In the very first round, Stevie Linklater averaged 102, and that continued, with Kevin Gray hitting 107.6 in the quarter-final win over Allan Brown.
The only surprise early on was the defeat of the off-form defending champion Derek Firth, and, by semi-final time, it was the four top-ranked players who faced off, with Kevin Gray beating team-mate Ivan Leslie 3-0, and Stevie Linklater overcoming Brian Moar 3-1.
The final appears, on paper, to be very one-sided, but it was far from that.
Only Kevin’s finishing was the winning format.
The averages were down on last year, with Kevin averaging 76.52, and Stevie 67.43.
It is a pity that the two ‘B’ players who were in with a shout for selection did not enter, so there will be no ‘B’ players in the team to play Shetland on April 26, unless selected by the committee on Wednesday, when three wildcards are picked.
The final points table is headed by Kevin Gray.
The full table is: Kevin Gray (Legion) 58 points; Stevie Linklater (OGC) 52; Robbie Stanger (Commodores) 34; Ivan Leslie (Legion) 31; Michael Bain (Untouchables) 26; Billy Ward (Commodores) 25; Brian Moar (Wanderers) 24; Derek Firth (Legion) 22; Bruce Moar (OGC) 20; Ian Wilkie (Untouchables) 17; Jim Brown (OGC) 13; Alan Gray (Sanday) 12; George Low (Tankerness) 11; Gordon Rendall (OGC) 11; Neil Croy (Legion) 11; Trevor Shearer (Untouchables ‘A’) 10.
A further 31 players have points ranging from nine to three.
In total, 73 players took part in the ranking points, not counting non-registered players who played in the open events.
In the Williamson’s ‘A’ League, the Legion are nearly there, without playing a game, as all their challengers dropped points.
The Legion now only need one more win to retain their title.
The Golf Club could only manage a six-all draw with the Untouchables ‘A’, and the Commodores also had to settle for a share of the points, drawing 6-6 with the Untouchables. That drop off points means they can’t get enough points now to overtake the Legion, and the Golf Club can only equal the score, if they win all their remaining games and the Legion lose theirs!
Good points for both the bottom teams, as Meadowbank drew with RBLM, and it was the same for Quoyburray, as they held the strong Wanderers six-all.
The only win of the week was for Quoyburray ‘B’, 7-5 over Sanday.
In the Williamson’s ‘B’ League, Shapinsay are not far off taking the ‘B’ title, after beating the Shore 10-2.
The main challengers are the Murray Arms, and they had two good wins — 9-3 over the Sands ‘2’ in a postponed game, and 7-5 against the Likely Lads.
The Sands ‘2’ also went down 7-5 in their second game against the Shore ‘2’, but the big surprise was the 7-5 defeat of the Sands by the Bilco Boys, which lifts them off bottom spot.
Tankerness also came a cropper, at the hands of Deerness. The score was 7-5.
The local derby at the Legion went to the young boys of the Nomads, 7-5 over the Arrows.
There were 180s from Alan Gray, Gary Drever, Ian Eunson, Allen Brown, Eddie Craigie, Robbie Stanger, Ian Wilkie, Colin Ross, Martin Peace, Davy Henderson, Brian Moar, Bruce Moar, Roy Foubister, Alan Gray, Dave Noble, Ray Butcher, Brian Stevenson, Michael Montgomery, and two from Leigh Shearer, Craig Taylor, and James Flett. Both Kevin Gray and Stevie Linklater had four each.
High checkouts: 100 from Gary Drever and Billy Ward, who also had a 141 and 154, all in the one game; 104 Craig Moar; 103 Robbie Norquoy; 106 Robbie Stanger and Leigh Shearer; 108 Keith Bain; 109 Derek Firth, who also had a 111; 110 Gordon Rendall; 111 A. Edwardson; 106 Paddy; 114 Michael Montgomery; 116 Michael Moodie; 119 Gary Wilson; 120 Kevin Gray; 134 Keith Bain; 135 Brian Moar; and 139 from Glen Miller. Davy Henderson also had a 177.
The big day is here on Saturday. It’s the Carling J. W. Gray Kirkwall Open, in the Masonic Club. Entries by 1.30 p.m. Please note the time.
Last year was a record entry, with 122 entering. This year could be the same, with players coming from Shetland, Caithness, and all over Orkney.
There is £1,080 up for grabs, with £500 going to the champion.
There’s prizes right down to the quarter-finalists, and there’s a huge raffle. It’s worth turning up just for that!
There’s a break in the league fixtures next week, with three cups being played.
On Monday, it’s the Knight Cup for ‘A’ teams of four to six players. It’s in the Legion Club.
Then, on Tuesday, the ‘B’ boys get their chance to challenge for the Seatter Cup. It’s also for teams of four to six players, and is in the Masonic Club.
Then, on Friday, it’s the Tom Notman Memorial Singles Cup for any player playing, or who has played in the K-DDL. It’s a fine chance for some of the old boys to have a bit of fun.
All three cups are 301 double-start events.
League Singles Final: Kevin Gray beat Stevie Linklater 4-0.
Williamson’s ‘A’ League: Untouchables 6, Commodores 6; Untouchables ‘A’ 6, OGC 6; Quoyburray 6, Wanderers 6; Sanday 5, Quoyburray ‘B’ 7; Meadowbank 6, RBLM 6; no game — Legion.
Williamson’s ‘B’ League: Tankerness 5, Deerness 7; Bilco Boys 7, Sands 5; Likely Lads 5, Murray Arms 7; Shore ‘2’ 7, Sands ‘2’ 5; Legion Arrows 5, Nomads 7; Shapinsay 10, Shore 2; Murray Arms 9, Sands ‘2’ 3.
Saturday, March 9: Carling Kirkwall Open, Masonic, 1.30 p.m.
Monday, March 11: Knight Cup, ‘A’ teams, 4-6, Legion, 7.30 p.m.
Tuesday, March 12: Seatter Cup, ‘B’ teams, 4-6, Masonic, 7.30 p.m.
Friday, March 15: Tom Notman Cup Singles, Legion, 7.30 p.m.
East v West, Stromness Golf Club, Friday, March 29.