KDDL league president Craig Taylor presents league doubles winners Kevin Gray and Derek Firth with the cup, also pictured are runners-up Ivan Leslie and Michael Moodie.
The Kirkwall Legion was the venue for the league doubles which took place on Friday night. Always a keenly contested competition, 44 players in 22 pairs entered the draw for the prestigious cup competition which has been running each year since the league was founded back in 1967.
With ranking points up for grabs there were some interesting pairings together, keen to make their mark on the competition and gain valuable points.
Two of those pairings fell early on, with the Moar boys, Brian and Bruce, falling at the first hurdle against the Untouchables pairing of Ian Linklater and Jim Hamilton.
Further down the draw, the strong partnership of Stevie Linklater and Robbie Stanger were stopped from progressing by the on-form Sanday pairing of Ivan Leslie and Michael 'Machine Gun' Moodie.
By semi-finals time the defending champions, Kevin Gray and Derek Firth were aiming to make darting history, the Legion pairing had won the competition five times in a row, could they make six?
They made it into the final with a semi-final win against the Untouchables' Ian and Jim, beating them 3-0 in a match which included 13 and 14 dart legs from the Legion pairing.
The other semi saw Sanday's Ivan and Michael overpowering Brett Dickinson and Gary Wilson 3-0, the Nomads boys enjoying a good run in the cup up to that point.
So the final was set, Kevin and Derek up against Ivan and Michael, and what a final it turned out to be.
There were four 180's scored in the five legs that followed, two by Kevin, and one each from the Sanday boys, numerous other high scores followed the maximums.
Despite a strong challenge from the isles boys the Legion pair were not for giving up their title and ran out 4-1 winners, becoming the first partnership to win the trophy six years running.
Ranking points table with just the league singles to play:
Kevin Gray (Legion) 45, Robbie Stanger (Commodores) 34, Stevie Linklater (OGC) 27, Ian Linklater (Untouchables) 25, Ivan Leslie (Sanday) 23, Gary Wilson (Nomads) 20, Derek Firth (Legion) 18, David Henderson (Quoyburray) 17, Ian Findlay (Untouchables A) 17, Neil Croy (Legion) 15, Michael Moodie (Sanday) 15, Leigh Shearer (Commodores) 14, Brian Moar (Wanderers) 14.
B league ranking points placings so far:
Colin Kirkpatrick (QBB) 23, Eddie Drever( Warriors) 20, Mark Shearer (Muppets) 18, Davy Henderson (Quoyburray) 17, Colin Leslie (Shapinsay) 16, Des Gillespie (QBB) 15, Malcolm Coghill (Masonic) 14, Andrew Moar (Bilco Boys) 13, Derek Manson (Bilco Boys) 13.
This week's games saw a top of the table clash between holders the Legion and last season's runners up the Commodores.
It was a close affair, not short on quality but when the Legion added both second half doubles to their 4-2 half-time lead it looked as if the writing was on the wall.
Up stepped Legion captain Derek Firth who overcame Leigh Shearer to seal the win and put the Legion 5 points clear of both the Commodores and Sanday, whilst also holding a considerable advantage in leg difference over both teams. However, both the Sanday and Commodores teams have potentially easier run-ins than the Legion so it may not be all over quite yet.
Meanwhile, Sanday themselves cruised to a comfortable 8-4 win over a somewhat lacklustre Wanderers in the Masonic, whilst fourth placed Orkney Golf Club cruised to a 10-2 victory over the Arrows, who are now comfortably safe from the threat of relegation.
The Masonic was also the venue for the clash of the Untouchables teams, with Ben Hogan's boys triumphing 9-3 over the Untouchables A in a game notable for containing 10 separate items on the back of the scorecard.
The Nomads in bottom place took on one of the current form teams in the guise of Sands '2' and despite being 4-2 up at half-time, the Nomads were to fail at the end thanks to wins from the in-form duo of Jamie Drever and Ryan Tulloch.
The Nomads were however thrown the slimmest of lifelines over in the Ola where 2nd bottom St.Ola threw away a 4-2 lead over 3rd bottom RBLM to draw 6-6, with Dave Noble overcoming Brian Stevenson at the end to clinch what may be a crucial point for RBLM. That draw means that the Nomads could yet avoid relegation if they beat both St.Ola and RBLM, assuming that neither side pick up any points in their remaining games.
A tasty local derby was served up in the B league between Tankerness and league leaders Quoyburray B. Despite a half-time share of the spoils, Quoyburray B showed why they were title contenders by running out 8-4 winners in the end. However, Tankerness player Eddie Craigie, a founder member of the KDDL, showed he still has what it takes to cut it with the best in the B league, defeating Des Gillespie not once but twice, and clocking up a 120 checkout in the process! Great darts from the widely respected veteran who turns 80 this year.
Elsewhere Shapinsay went on their travels and overwhelmed bottom placed Vikings 11-1. A 12-0 whitewash was recorded for promotion hopefuls the Warriors over the Bilco Boys, although it was a valiant attempt by Derek Manson's men given that they only had three players.
This Saturday sees one of the flagship events of the KDDL calendar take place in the Kirkwall Masonic club. The JW Gray Tennent's Kirkwall Open has proved a popular event over recent years, attracting players from all over Orkney, as well as from Shetland and Caithness. It is hoped that another day of great darts and good fun will be had again. Names are invited to be in by 1.30pm. Donations for the bottle stall and raffle are welcome, and can be taken along on the day.
A week on Friday (11th) also sees the Masonic play host to the final ranking points competition of the year. Places are still up for grabs and it is extremely tight this year with 13 players all within 7 points of each other vying for the last three automatic places in the match against Shetland. Any points gained by B league players will also be added to their separate ranking system to finalise selecting the B team to play in the East v West clash on April 1.
In the event that a points tie prevents a clear top 9 in the main ranking competition, a playoff will take place in the Kirkwall Legion on Sunday, March 13, at 6.00pm between all those that are tied.
The committee will then have a meeting at 8.00pm later that night to finalise selection of the wildcards and reserves for the team to face Shetland the following month.
180s this week were hit by: Dave Noble, Wayne Monkman, Leigh Shearer, Michael Muir Snr, Bruce Moar, Iain Wilkie, Craig Taylor, Ben Hogan, Colin Barnett, Roy Foubister, Jamie Drever, Des Gillespie, Colin Kirkpatrick, Ian Munro, John Thomson, Lee Macpherson, Brett Dickinson, Stevie Linklater, Ivan Leslie (2), Michael Moodie (2) and Kevin Gray (4).
Ton-plus checkouts came from: Brian Moar 100, Michael Moodie 104, Robbie Norquoy 104, Andrew Moar 111, Des Gillespie 112, Craig Taylor 113, Keith Brumpton 114, Trevor Shearer 116, Ian Findlay 117, Brian Stevenson 117, Eddie Craigie 120, Iain Wilkie 123, Bruce Moar 123, Colin Barnett 125, Archie Yule 140, Robbie Stanger 147, James Flett 157 and Derek Firth 108 & 109.
A league: St.Ola 6 v 6 RBLM, Legion 8 v 4 Commodores, Sanday 8 v 4 Wanderers, OGC 10 v 2 Legion Arrows, Untouchables 9 v 3 Untouchables A, Nomads 5 v 7 Sands '2'.
B League: Tankerness 4 v 8 Quoyburray B,Vikings 1 v 11 Shapinsay, Bilco Boys 0 v 12 Warriors, Quoyburray v Masonic - postponed.
Week beginning Monday, March 7.
RBLM v Commodores, St.Ola v Wanderers, Legion v Arrows, Sanday v Untouchables A, OGC v Nomads, Untouchables v Sands '2'.
Vikings v Tankerness, Shapinsay v Quoyburray, Quoyburray B v Masonic, Muppets v Bilco Boys. Warriors - no game
Saturday, March 5 - JW Gray Tennent's Kirkwall Open, Masonic, names by 1.30pm
Friday, March 11 - League Singles, Masonic, names by 7.30pm