The Orkney Championship Play-offs ended the playing side of the 2016/17 season. It’s the champions of the KDDL and the West Mainland.
It is played on the home ground of the league champions which this year was the Legion, in fact, the Legion were defending champions and has been for seven years but for some reason they didn’t start well and at half-time found themselves 4-2 down.
The other trophies are played for during the break and this year there was a new cup for mixed doubles and the Kirkwall winner Kevin and Shona Gray had no problems in winning 3 nil against Frances Ballantyne and Lynn Findlay. Shona was in great form finishing two of the three legs.
The doubles was a big disappointment for the Kirkwall pair of Ivan Leslie and Michael Moodie as they never got into the game and went down 3-1.
Last up was the singles between two of the counties best players, Robbie Stanger for Kirkwall and Erlend Ritch for the West.
Erlend was the only player in Orkney to hit a nine dart 501 and for Robbie it was 22 years since he last won the cup and the game certainly lived up to its billing as both players hit top form with the game swinging one way then the next.
Robbie won the first leg, Erlend the second, and the third went to Robbie with a 86 finish on the bull but Erlend wasn’t finished as he made it 2-2 so all on one leg, and Erlend stormed into the lead and was on a two dart finish with Robbie on 130, but that was within a finish and Robbie took it out with another bull finish to become 2017 Orkney singles champion.
It was Robbie’s third win; his first was away back in 1989 when he was playing in the West Mainland.
So, it was back to the team game and the Legion set out to overcome the 4-2 score for the Merkister.
A far better show from the Legion saw them overhaul the Merkister and so in to the lead at 6-5 but the west has Paul Foubister on the last leg and he made it 6-6.
It was on to the dreaded “Gallon” sudden death, one-leg.
The Merkister shot into an early lead but both teams got to within finishing range about the same time.
A miss for the Merkister allowed the Legion a shot but missed and up Jock Coghill and wham, the shield belonged to the Merkister. Well done Mal and his boys.
Just for the record, the Legion have won the shield 12 times in the last 15 seasons, a record one I think will not be broken.
180’s from Neil Croy, Robbie Brass and two from Paul Foubister and Kevin Gray.
High checkouts of a 108 from Derek Firth and a 130 from Robbie Stanger.
This Friday it’s the Tattie Bogle shield in the Legion. Its mixed doubles names out of hat. Then on the 20th May it is the trophy presentation night in the Masonic at 7.30pm and don’t forgot the exhibition on the 3rd June. Tickets, which are selling out fast, for the exhibition, will be on sale at the Tattie Bogle darts and at the Darts Do.
Orkney Championship Play-offs
Team: Kirkwall Legion 6, Merkister 7
Mixed Doubles: Kevin Gray and Shona Gray 3, Frances Ballantyne and Lynn Findlay 0
Doubles: Ivan Leslie and Michael Moodie 1, Paul Foubister and John Munson 3
Singles: Robbie Stanger 3, Erlend Ritch 2.
Tattie Bogle Shield. Mixed doubles (names out of a hat) this Friday, May 12, 7.30pm Legion.
Men and Ladies trophy presentation and mixed doubles darts. Saturday, May 20th, 7.30pm Masonic.
Terry Jenkins, Alan Norris & John Gwynne KDDL 50th anniversary exibition. Saturday June 3rd in the Kirkwall Legion 7pm. Limited number of tickets still on sale.