Pictured at the Craigie Butchers Cup presentation are, from left, sponsor Thorfinn Craigie, winner Kevin Gray, runner-up Ian Linklater, sponsor Eddie Craigie, and highest checkout winner Leigh Shearer. Missing from the picture is furthest progressing B player Allan Brown.
The Tankerness Hall was the venue last Friday night for the Craigie Cup, the fifth of this season's seven Ranking competitions.
Some of the local boys had fitted out the hall with boards, oches and some newly acquired KDDL LED light rings, and it created a marvellous setting for such an important night of the darts.
The computerised draw threw up its customary mix of tasty ties, and with competition for places hotting up, there were plenty of nerves mixed in with some quite sublime dart throwing.
By the quarter-final stages the cream was starting to rise to the top. Ian Linklater put out Wayne Monkman, whilst Leigh Shearer dispatched Ian Findlay.
Allan Brown was last-man-standing in terms of 'B' league players, but he could do nothing to prevent Derek Firth progressing.
Kevin Gray secured the last semi-final slot by overcoming an in-form Kenny Gunn, who will undoubtedly rue the chances he missed.
The semi-finals were a real showpiece for the local game. Ian Linklater and Leigh Shearer had a high quality tussle, with both having chances to sneak the win, but ultimately Ian triumphed 4-3.
The Legion duo of Kevin Gray and Derek Firth had an equally good match, but Kevin was just that bit better on the night, winning 4-1.
With both players in red hot form, the final was expected to be a close encounter. The sizeable crowd, boosted by a boisterous, vocal and well refreshed group of local darts enthusiasts, watched with anticipation and were not to be disappointed.
Ian came out of the blocks quickly, but allowed Kevin a chance to sneak the first leg with a bull finish on 88.
The second leg was a bit scrappy, but ended in style with Kevin taking out 120, followed by the third leg in quick succession.
Ian was throwing as straight as an arrow, scoring a lot of 60s, but just could not find the lipstick and, by the fourth leg, Kevin was in full flow, which only ever has one outcome! With 140s raining in on the board, the fourth leg was over in 13 darts and the decisive fifth leg went in 14 darts, leaving Kevin with a tremendous average of 89.46.
Eddie and Thorfinn Craigie, representing the sponsors, were on hand to present Kevin with the trophy, as well as handing out prizes for the highest finish (Leigh Shearer 149) and furthest 'B' player (Allan Brown).
League President Craig Taylor thanked Craigie's and the Brig Larder for their continued and invaluable support, as well as praising all responsible for the hall, sandwiches, bar, etc for making an extremely enjoyable night of darts entertainment.
180s were scored by: Kevin Sarling, Ryan Wilkie, Andrew Moar, Brian Moar, Trevor Shearer, Leigh Shearer, Ben Johnston, David Henderson, Hamish Baillie, Jason Cook, Steven Low, Robbie Stanger, Stevie Moar, Wayne Monkman, Brett Dickinson, Craig Taylor, Ian Findlay (two), Kevin Gray (two), Colin Barnett (three), Stevie Linklater (three) and Kenny Gunn (four).
Ton-plus checkouts came from: Alan Gray 100, Kevin Peace 100, Mark Shearer 101, Graham Rendall 109, Brian Moar 110, Alan Findlay 110, Brian Murray 111, Kenny Gunn 116, Robbie Stanger 135, Paul Foubister 160, Lee MacPherson (106, 128), Kevin Gray (110, 120, Leigh Shearer (117, 149), Keith Brumpton (111,116) and Erland Ritch (100, 106, 164).
Exiles 5, Sanday 7; Nomads 3, Bilco Boys 9; The Ola 8, Shapinsay 4; Commodores 3, Legion 9; OGC 11, Wanderers 1.
Shandy Bass 7, Vikings 5; Sands 5, Muppets 7; Quoyburray 6, Young Loons 6; Quoyburray 'B' 7, RBL2 5.
Kevin Gray (89.46) 5, Ian Linklater 0 (64.86)
The Ola v Sanday; Commodores v Bilco Boys; OGC v Shapinsay; Wanderers v Legion;
Untouchables v Exiles; Nomads – no game.
Sands v Legion Arrows; Quoyburray v Vikings; Quoyburray 'B' v Muppets; RBL2 v Young Loons; Tankerness v Tigers. Shandy Bass – no game
Friday, January 31
B League Doubles (B Ranking), Masonic, names by 7.30pm
Friday, February 7
Taylor Singles (Ranking), Legion, names by 7.30pm