27 April 2016
6 years in a row winners!



The Lerwick Legion was the venue for the 2016 inter-county/league fixture between the Shetland Darts Association and KDDL Orkney on Friday night, April 22.

The Orkney side were on a roll, having won the last five annual meetings between the sides, with Shetland equally as determined to stop the Orkney side's recent domination of the tie.

First up on the big stage in front of the bright lights, and following the SDA's 'highly entertaining' choice of walk on music for the Orkney players, were the team reserves. This is a warm up game to give reserves the opportunity to play on the stage, and does not count towards the overall team score.  

David Henderson and Ian Findlay for the KDDL took on Ian Blance and Liam Sutherland. It was a dream start for the Orkney pair as David hit a 180 with his very first throw, the pair then going on to win the fixture 2-1. A great start for the visitors.

For the main fixture, the home captain decides the order of play, with Gareth Pottinger choosing to play the doubles first, followed by the singles, and then fours if required, in the race to 11 points.

Gareth and KDDL Orkney captain Craig Taylor had each worked out their strategy, swapped team sheets, with the line up then fed into the computer, and displayed on the big screen.

First up for Orkney were Brian and Bruce Moar v Neal Redfern and Jim Wood, with the Shetland pair winning the match 2-1.
Brothers Stevie and Ian Linklater were up next and faced Roger and Gordon Irvine, who ran out winners 2-0 against the Orkney duo.
Kevin Gray and Derek Firth were up next and were 2-0 winners against Alan Paterson and George Smith Jnr, much to the delight of the travelling support.
Little did the Orkney side know, but this would be the only doubles they would win on the night.
Ivan Leslie and Michael Moodie fell to Stuart Paul and Gareth McRitchie 2-1, Robbie Stanger partnered by Iain Wilkie, who stepped up into the side due to Leigh Shearer being unable to travel due to illness, were beaten by Phillip Mowat and Marc Henry by the same score. 
Neil Croy and Gary Wilson took on Barry Couper and Raymond Laurenson, with the last Shetland pairing running out 2-0 winners, taking the overall score to 5-1 to the home side.

A double hit instead of missed at crucial times in those doubles matches on the night would have made all the difference to the team from Orkney in closing the score down before the singles began, but panic from the reds....? Not at all.

Neil Croy was first up, as the singles began, but despite hitting a 180 against George Smith Jnr, George took out the game 2-1.
So, 6-1 down in the race to 11 points. Was Shetland going to run away with it? KDDL Orkney had other ideas.....
Up stepped Brian Moar who took out Gordon Irvine 2-0 with the help of a 180 and a 13 dart leg.
Ivan Leslie backed up that win straight away, by taking out Stuart Paul 2-1 in a match with included at 15 dart leg from Ivan. Robbie Stanger then took out Neal Redfern by the same score as the run continued.

Momentum - and noise - was building from the Orkney supporters, including from the Orkney ladies who won their match 11-10 the night before, a great win for the team.

Next on stage was Derek Firth and he took no time in dispatching Roger Irvine 2-0, despite Roger hitting a 180.  
Kevin Gray then did the same to Phillip Mowat, with that result taking the match score to 6-6. 
Shetland must have wondered what had happened to their advantage - it had disappeared.

Steve Linklater was up next, but Alan Paterson proved too strong for him on the night, and won with a 2-1 scoreline, despite Stevie hitting a 180.
Ian Linklater took to the stage and he beat Marc Henry 2-0, nailing a 180, and levelling the match 7-7.

The boys from Orkney were in no mood to give up the cup and then raced ahead, winning the next three singles in a row, all by a 2-1 scoreline. Bruce Moar took out Gareth McRitchie, Michael Moodie beat Barry Couper, with Iain Wilkie taking out Jim Wood. The match now stood at 10-7.

Youngest member of the team Gary Wilson took on Raymond Laurenson with the Shetland player winning 2-0 with the help of a 180, and put the brakes on KDDL Orkney, who were just one point away from victory.

The score was now 10-8, and where the cup would be heading would be decided on the fours. The atmosphere in the now packed venue was electric.
Stevie, Ian, Brian and Bruce stepped up against George, Alan, Phillip and Marc in the fist fours, but would it be the last?

In the 1001 one leg game, the scores quickly came down, and the atmosphere built up.

Orkney got to the double first with Brian Moar making no mistake in taking out double two to clinch victory, making it six wins a row against their northern rivals, and sparking celebrations. Coincidentally it was Brian who hit the winning double in the fixture the year before.

The trophy presentations soon followed, captain Craig Taylor took the opportunity to thank everyone involved in the weekend. 
Once again he said he was proud to be involved with such a great bunch of players, who showed a great team spirit and the determination to keep the winning streak going for six years running.

He also thanked team shirt sponsors The Brig Larder for their support, which was very much appreciated, and congratulated the ladies on their win. 

Youngest member of the team Gary Wilson also thanked everyone involved in making the trip such a success.

The averages were counted up and Derek Firth was presented with the man of the match trophy, with a winning average of 84.92, winning the title for the second year in a row, following his 100.2 record setting average the year before.

The next day, the highly popular men's and ladies anniversary shield competitions took place, again in the Legion. 

At the end of the day's play, it was an all Orkney men's final, with Kevin Gray and Stevie Linklater contesting the match, which saw a 5-1 win for Stevie. Congratulations to him.

The ladies competition was won by Whalsay player Iris Anderson, narrowly beating Orkney's Irene Thomson 3-2 in the final.

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