What a great weekend of darts, with the annual visit of the Shetland ladies and gents teams.
On the first night, the ladies were unlucky to lose 11-10.
It was on then to the big night, with the gents toeing the oche in the Masonic for the annual Inter-League/County game, with the Orkney boys going for a hat-trick of wins.
The last time that happened was in the early 1980s, and in that team was one of the present day players, Billy Ward.
The Orkney captain, Craig Taylor, decided to play the singles first, and what a start, with Kirkwall’s Michael Bain taking on the Shetland’s singles champion Neil Redfern, and Michael just blew him off the board to win 2-0.
The defeat of their star player seemed to dent the hopes of the Shetland team, and the Orkney boys took full advantage by winning the next two before Shetland got on the score sheet, with Derek Firth a bit unlucky to lose 2-1.
Another three wins for Orkney put them in a very commanding lead, at 6-1, before Shetland got their second game, with Ian Wilkie unable to find the finishing double.
But that was the last reverse Orkney had to endure, and by winning the last four singles, found themselves 10-2 up — just one away from victory, and hopes were high for a record-equalling 11-2 victory.
But the Shetland boys had other ideas and started an amazing fight back by taking the first four doubles.
The Kirkwall boys could not find the winning double until the fifth game, and the pairing of the Legion’s Ivan Leslie and new cap Neil Croy came from 1-0 down to win 2-1 and send the crowd into wild celebration as the K-DDL team won 11-6, and secured a hat-trick of wins.
Man of the match was Kevin Gray of Kirkwall, with a 74-44 average.
The next day, it was on to the Anniversary Singles, and some very fragile-looking players turned up to the Legion for the 1.30 p.m. start.
A total of 31 ladies and 41 gents braved another day, but even so, some very good games were played, and now more so than both semi-finals, which featured Orkney v Shetland in both.
After some great finishing, it was both the Orkney boys who came good, with Michael Bain beating Whalsay’s top player Roger Irvine 3-2, and Stevie Linklater getting the better of Angus Galbraith 3-1.
The final lacked the excitement of the semis, but some great finishing from Michael, including a 100 and 107, saw him home 4-1.
Other high finishes: 117 Stevie Linklater; 119 Scott Whittle; and 158 from Barry Couper. Michael also had a 114 in the team game.
There were 180s in both events from Kevin Gray, Barry Couper, Billy Ward, Andrew Swannie, Neil Drever, Andrew Burgess and Alan Gray. There might have been more, but that’s all that was reported.
Before the big game on Friday, three of the league’s long-standing players were honoured, with the trio receiving certificates appointing them honorary presidents of the K-DDL. They were Jim Scollie, Jimmy Miller and Eddie Craigie. All three have been involved with the K-DDL since 1967.
Next on the agenda is the charity doubles on Friday, night, in the Masonic at 7.30 p.m. It is for ladies and gents pairings and is an open event, so any player or non-player can take part.
The visiting Mintlaw team will be present. Then, the following Friday, it’s the Tattie Bogle Shield, and the famous raffle!
K-DDL (Orkney) v Shetland: 11-6.
Anniversary Shield Final
Michael Bain beat Stevie Linklater 4-1.
Friday, May 3: Charity Doubles, male and female, Masonic, 7.30 p.m.
Friday, May 10: Tattie Bogle Shield, Legion, 7.30 p.m.