W O W !   I can’t think of a better way to start, and end, this report, than with those three letters.  Last week I apologized for having to postpone Week 10 Highlights.  If you scroll down, you’ll begin to realize why.  Most everyone in the League really brought some of their best abilities in this final week of regular-season play.  So for those of you who enjoy these reports, get comfy ‘cause your in for a treat!

            The first challenge was to decide “where to start”?  Five of the 9 matches we played in Week 10 had some type of Highlight/Honorable Mention play.  And once again, they spanned all 3 divisions.   Overall there are 7 Highlights and a “Ton” of Honorable Mentions.  If you just want to get to the bottom line, the Highlights for Week 10, and the Season, are summarized at the end.  But you will be cheating yourself out of some spectacular “battles”, the kind that really make this sport so damn fun!

            So, being a dart player, I closed my eyes and threw a dart at the board to decide where to start this report.  It hit a 6 which vaguely resembles a C (8 a B, 4 an A), so C division starts us on our journey.  We begin with Game 4, a cricket singles match between Tiffany Walker and Manny Vazquez.  While they both threw a number of 5 and 6-mark rounds in this game, Leg 1 of Game 4 was the most notable.

            Tiffany Walker starts off our “fireworks display” by showing just what she is capable of.  As I’ve said before, the odd 5-mark here and there, may be just a bit of luck.  But when you string 6-marks together as Tiffany did, that’s when it becomes skill.  She threw back-to-back 6-marks (the first one a 7-mark counting as 6) and 2 turns later a 5-mark, then another 6-mark, all in the same Leg!  But it was the condition under which these occurred that really speaks to her ability under pressure.  Here’s how it played out:

            Tiffany won the cork, but only opened with S20.  That’s when the “fireworks” began!  Manny seized the opportunity by throwing T20, S20.  But Tiffany did not get rattled… She answered his 4-mark with a 7-mark! that counted as a 6 (T20 to close, T18, S19).  When Manny was unable to close 19s, Tiffany “bombed” him again with ANOTHER (back-to-back) 6-mark (T19, T16).  So you’re thinking: “Wait a minute, this is C division.  We don’t throw back-to-back 6-marks in C division.  This highlight must be over.”  WROOONG!  (I’m just catching my breath before the next “salvo”.)

            Manny “looks down the tracks” and sees the light at the end of the tunnel, only to realize that it’s actually the headlamp on the “9 PM freighter” about to flatten him.  So what does he do?  He whips out a 5-mark of his own (S19, T17, S17), scoring 17 more points, now 37-19.  Tiffany only responds with a S17, so Manny seemingly “puts another nail in the coffin” with his own back-to-back “hammer”, throwing ANOTHER 5-mark (T18 to close, S16, S17 for more points), now 54-19.

            “Wonder Woman Walker” hadn’t come that far just to “lie down”, so she reminds Manny who he’s up against by throwing a 5-mark (T16, S16x2) to take the point lead for the first time, now 99-54.  That makes two-6 marks and a-5 mark in only 4 turns!  WOW!

            The pace slowed over the next 5 rounds as Manny “wrestled” the point lead away from her.  (Men… huh.  Always getting physical.)  But wait just a minute, Tiffanys’ new moniker, abbreviated, is “WWW”, as in wrestling.  So she decided to get “physical” herself, and “man-handled” Manny with ANOTHER 6-mark (that’s 3 in one leg!, T16, S16 to regain the point lead, and a D15 for good measure), now 259-223.

            Tiffany held on to the point lead this time, and won the leg.  GREAT DARTS!  But Manny deserves some credit too…He went on to win the set, throwing a couple more 5-marks along the way!  “Kudos” to both of you for putting on our “opening display” of great darts!  Now on to B division for more fun!

            “Calamitous Intent” (CI) 7, vs “Dart Junkies” (DJ) 2.  While the final 7-2 score indicates a “blow out”, there were actually some very hard-fought and impressive scoring matches along the way!  Starting with Game 1, the DJs led the entire leg, aided by a 2nd round 140 from Spero Chumas.  But it wasn’t enough to off-set their struggle to finish, allowing CI to catch up and steal the leg.

            Freshly fired up, CIs’ Nectali Rivera opened the Cricket leg with a NINE-MARK! (T20, T19, T17), but it was the DJs who scored first and held the point lead for the first half, with Speros’ back-to-back 5-marks.  However, Nectali answered with a-5 mark of his own, taking the point lead for CI.

            Two turns later, Spero hit a 3B to close them, Will Brunson added another Bull for points (now 152-217) immediately followed by a Spero 5B! (That’s back-to-back 3B, 5B!  Impressive!) to pull ahead, 277-217.  The only problem was that the 20’s were still open… and we all know how that goes… Two turns later, Nectali threw T20, SB… Game over!

            The rest of the match went rather quietly, although, both Nectali and Spero each added another 7 mark to their respective scores in their Cricket Singles set.  And Spero chalked up another 7 mark in the Cricket Doubles.  Good shooting guys!

            Moving on to A division and the match between “Robins’ Archers” (RA) and “We Tip Well” (WTW).  The “fireworks” in this match began right away in Set 1, Chicago.  Bill Lynch and Milan Sabata JUST missed an epic finish to their Leg One 501, nearly taking out 270 points in 6 darts, with a Milan 140 to leave 130 for Bill, who “scared it to death” with T20, T18, then WIRED the D8 finish!  In the immortal words of Maxwell Smart, Agent 86 (for those of you old enough to remember the TV show “Get Smart”), he “missed it by that much” (showing his two fingers pinched together).

            The Archers did win that leg and the next as well to take the first Set.  But Mike Reyes and Dann Gillen of WTW, had intentions of their own.  They took the 501 Leg and battled against Bill and Milan in Cricket.  Dann needing 3 Bulls to win, stepped to the line and threw DB, DB, ___?, game over… So we will never know if his 3rd dart would have found the DB as well.  A gut-wrenching case of unrealized potential.

            Dann won a hard-fought match vs Bill in Set 3, 501 Singles.  With WTW now leading the match 2-1, the Archers’ “Captain Curtis” Pierpont stepped in to “right the ship”.  Mike “had” leg 1, won leg 2 in his 1-2 battle against the “Captain”, but it was Curtis who prevailed in both the 501, and the Ckt Singles vs Derrick Zonca, bringing the match score to 3-2 Archers. So far, a true, back-and-forth, nail-biter match.

            As a former team Captain himself, Milan (pronounced Mee-Lon) knew the underlying importance of maintaining 3rd place for the season.  He stayed tough against Danns’ onslaught of triples in their Cricket Singles match, and won to take RA to 4-2.  Then Bill and Milan took set 7 to clinch the match and secure the Archers 3rd place finish.

            “Smooke and Mirrors” were also vying for a Top-4 finish, in a tight race with “A.S.S.” who were only one Set Win “behind” (insert pun) them, so a loss could put them in peril of losing out on making the Playoffs.  There was only one, rather large hurdle standing in their way to locking up a playoff spot… Their namesake, Matt Smooke (said with an ominous sounding “Da, da, daaahhh” in the backround).  And let’s not forget Matts’ team mate, Don Boon, who’s “no slouch” either.

            So the match overall goes pretty much as one would expect (spoiler alert:  Matt and Don win), but it’s what happened along the way that earned both teams a place in this report.  First darts of the match, Matt opens up with back-to-back 140s.  Mark Adams and Angie Rourke answer right back with (back-to-back) “Tons”, one each in their first turn.  But Matt and Don took Leg 1 with a healthy 75 average.  They also threw b2b (back 2 back) 5-marks in the Cricket leg, on their way to taking the first set.

            In the 2nd set, Mark A. and Ken Garito tried to fight off M & D with a 7 & 5-mark respectively, but it wasn’t enough.  Down 2-0, things get REALLY interesting in Set 3 when Don tangled with Mark in 501 Singles.  Mark came out “swinging” with a 121 & a Ton to win the first leg.  Hmmmm… I smell a good match cooking!  Trying to lock up the 3rd set, Mark (who lost the cork) began his 2nd leg with T, T40, T and, wait for it… LOST!  WHAT?  I know, right?  “Chef Boon” was in the kitchen that leg.

            Don “cooked up” the 2nd leg win by winning the cork (always important at this level), and tossing a steady 60, T, T, 81, and… sorry to do this to you again, but wait for it… A 160 OUT!!!  WOW!  See what I meant when I said you’d “cheat yourself out of reading about some really great darts”?

            They both shot an amazing 100 average!, but Dons’ 15 darter stole it.  It’s hard for us regular SCDA folks to keep up scoring at this pace.  We’re not Pro’s after all.  So naturally things went back to a “simmer” in the 3rd leg, but Mark found another 140 in his bag of high scores, and Don scraped up a Ton.  They both had a couple shots at the Out, but it was Mark who found the Out first, taking the only set win for his team.

            BUT WAIT!  THERE’S MORE!  I know, I know… I tend to drone on.  But can you imagine the roar of the crowd if we were watching this live?…  So I will continue.  Yes, the rest of the match was comparatively uneventful, of course.  How many 160 Outs did you expect?  So I will just mention the high points.  In Set 4, Angie had the “pleasure”? of playing against Matt.  She did in fact have several turns at an Out but couldn’t quite get it.  Her average jumped significantly higher in the 2nd leg, to a 56 (not bad), but it wasn’t enough.

            In the 5th set, Mark won the cork (vs Matt) and started by closing 20s.   Then Matt did what Matt does, and followed with a 7-mark (T20, T19, S19), and followed that with a 5-mark, dashing any comeback hopes with a Set 5 win.  Don dominated Set 6 and M & D took the rest, 8-1.  Along the way, Matt threw a 140 in each of the 501 dbls legs, M & D each with a 7-mark in the Cricket dbls, and each with a 7-mark in Game 9 Cricket.  Great darts all of you!

            Now, as I had mentioned earlier, “Smooke and Mirrors” were only one win ahead of “A.S.S.”, and now S&M had lost their match.  So now “A.S.S.” can tie with a win vs “MacKrakens”.  (S&M, ASS, …Krack…, there’s a joke here somewhere.  But I digress.)  Obviously their matches were occurring simultaneously, but the S&M loss emphasizes the importance of an A.S.S. win, if they are to have any hope of making the playoffs.  And so the “stage is set” for THEE “BATTLE OF THE NIGHT”.

            Round 1 of this “slug-fest” begins with Justin Scovel “poking the bear” with a Ton.  Jake Carlisi answers it with a Ton, and 2 turns later, Arnold Soliven hits a 140 to leave Jake 40.  Meanwhile, “Team Justin” (Justin Scovel and Justin Herman of “A.S.S.”) are right on their, well, “ass”, with 17 remaining after a Scovel 165! (T20, T20, T15, trying for T10 to leave 32, but hey, GREAT DARTS under pressure!).  No matter as Jake follows with the 40 finish.  On to Leg 2.

            Arnold wins the cork but only hits S20.  Determined to get this leg, Scovel “punishes” the soft start with a 6-mark (T20, T20).  Jake responds with T19, S19, Herman hits 2×20, Arnold 3×19 (score is now 76-100).  Scovel “pounds out” ANOTHER 6-mark (T19, T18) to close out with a 24 pt. lead.  Jake answers with a 5-mark (T17, S17x2) now 110-100.  Herman tosses 3×20 to regain the point lead, 160-110.  Then a quiet battle of 1,2 & 3 marks, with “A.S.S.” winning the leg to tie Set 1 at 1-1.

            In the 301, Scovel wins the cork, but both teams are slow to start.  Scovel opens in his 2nd turn with a 93 ON.  Arnold answers with a 57 ON, and “were off to the races”.  Herman throws a 70, Arnold hits a 96 to leave Jake 48.  “Team Justin” faltered a bit and Jake finishes the 48 to take Set 1.

            Set 2 features David Luther and Edgar Manuel for “MacK’s” vs “Team Justin”.  Fired up after their close loss in Set 1, Herman wins the cork and opens with an 81.  The teams stay fairly even until the 4th round when Scovel hits a ONE HUNDRED AND EIGHTY!  He follows that with a 94 and finishes the first leg a few turns later.

            The “Triple (sounds like pimple) popping” continues in Leg 2 with Luther opening with a T20.  Herman follows with 3×19, Edgar 2×20, then Scovel takes charge with a timely 7-mark, scoring 4-19s and closing 20 (T20), score = 76-40.  “Mack’s” throws a couple soft turns which are pounced on by Herman (T18, S17) and a Scovel 5-mark (17×2, T16).  Luther, sensing doom, pushes back with a nice 6-mark (T15x2), taking the score lead 85-76.  Herman responds with T19 for pts. and S15, score 133-85.  Edgar stays solid with 3xS15 to get close at 130-133, but it’s not enough.  Scovel closes 15s, Luther gets a Bull, and “Team Justin” gets Game 2, match tied 1-1.

            Set 3 Scovel vs Arnold:  Scovel opens with 98, but falters the next 2 turns.  Meanwhile, Arnold takes a 60 pt. lead with a Ton, but “trips” (and not in a good way) and Scovel evens up the score with an 83, 270-271.  Arnold “re-focuses” and throws a “ONE HUNDRED AND EIGHTY”.  Scovel was unable to respond until a few turns later with a 132 to leave 32, but Arnold was already there, and finished Leg 1.

            The “brawl” continues, however, a bit more subdued.  Arnold opens with 84, Scovel answers with a Ton, Arnold 119, then a lull, with Arnold finishing.  Match 2-1.

            Set 4 Jake vs Herman:  Jake threw a 99 in his last turn of Leg 1, but it was too little, too late, as Herman seemed determined (“Determined Herman”, has a ring to it) to take Set 4.  He opened with a Ton, and two turns later hit a 121, leading all the way to a 52 out and a 62.6 average in Leg 1.  In the 2nd leg, both averaged 58, and Jake tossed a Ton and a T40, but Herman stayed steady, getting to the out first, and taking Set 4 to tie the Match at 2-2.  On to Set 5, or as I like to call it, “The Arnold Show”.

            Arnold was definitely “the star of the show” in Set 5 vs Scovel.  Let’s just say “Arnold did what Arnold does”:  Threw a healthy dose of 5, 6 and 7-marks.  He opened Cricket singles with a 6-mark, stayed steady, added a 5-mark, lead the whole way and finished with a 6-mark (T15 to close, SB, DB!), GAME OVER!

            Leg 2 was much closer.  Arnold opened with 3×20, Scovel T19, Arnold T20, S20, Scovel 3×19, then Arnold bags a 7mark (T19, T18, S17), followed by a -0-! (insert crickets chirping), proving he is only human.  Scovel closes the point gap to 74-80, but Arnold “wakes up” with a 5-mark (S17, T17 but can only use 2-17s to close, and T16), Scovel responds with a 5-mark on 15s, taking the score lead for the first time, at 119-80.

            There’s some back and forth until “Arnold does what Arnold does”, a 7-mark on the 20s.  Scovel replied with T15, S15, and Scovel does regain the point lead at 254-238, but it’s not enough.  Arnold retakes the point lead with a S20, S15 to close, then throws 3xSB to take Set 5.  Match now at 3-2.  Summarizing those 2 legs, Arnold threw 2x5M (one a7 counting as5), 2x6M, 2x7M, and 2x3B, with averages of 3.3 & 3.4.  WOW!

            Set 6, Edgar vs Herman was not as impressive, but Edgar did throw a 5-mark and a 7-mark on 18s, before winning Leg 1.  The loss woke up Herman who threw a 5-mark in 3 out of 4 turns!  Edgar never recovered, Set tied at 1-1.  Herman took Set 6, finishing Leg 3 with a strong 6-mark (T15, DB, SB), to tie the match once again, at 3-3.

            In Set 7, Arnold & Jake vs “Team Justin”, both Jake & Scovel each tossed a Ton, but Arnolds’ 99 OUT! stole the show, and the leg.  Same result in the 2nd leg, with Arnold opening with a Ton, and Jake adding a 123 a little later, followed by a 24 finish his next turn.  Match now at 4-3.

            Set 8, Arnold & David vs “Team Justin”.  It’s “do or die” time for “TJ” if they hope to have a shot at getting into the Playoffs.  They MUST win this Cricket set, or sit out the next 2 weeks… No pressure!  So Scovel opens with 4-20s and the “slug-fest” begins.  Some back and forth, then a David 5-mark followed by an Arnold 6-mark holds their point lead until Round 11.  That’s when Scovel hits a 5-mark to retake the point lead at 397-395.  “TJ” wins the leg a few turns later at 417-411.

            Arnold starts Leg 2 with 4-20s, and follows with a 5-mark to hold their point lead to the end, despite a Scovel 5-mark along the way.  Scovel does manage to regain a small point lead (104-100) but it’s not enough and the Set is tied 1-1.  Leg 3 is a “5-mark-fest” with a Scovel back-to-back 5-mark followed shortly by a Herman 5-mark = a 2.3 ave.  But, unfortunately for them, Arnold also threw back-to-back 5-marks with a 2.5 ave., winning Set 8 and dashing any chance for “A.S.S.” to make the Playoffs.

            Set 9 was comparatively uneventful, with “MacKrakens” wrapping up the Match 6-3.  You COULD say they “kicked A.S.S.”, but that would be wrong, because the Justin boys put up a valiant fight.  In summary, besides the dozens of 5, 6 & 7-marks, Scovel threw a 165 and a 180, and Arnold got in a 180 as well.  “Hats off” to both teams for putting on the “Battle of the Night”.  “WOW”!

            For those of you who just want the bottom line, here are the Week 10 Highlights:  In Cricket, Spero Chumas 5B, Nectali Rivera 9M;  In ’01, Tim Bright 174, Arnold Soliven 180, Justin Scovel 165 & 180, and Don Boon 160 OUT!  This ties Week 6 at 7.

            And for you “stat-junkies”, the season totals: 12-180s (Matt Smooke 6), 3-174s, 13-9Ms, 5B, 165, and a 160 OUT!  A pretty impressive collection of top scores.

            The 2 weeks of Playoffs will be combined into the final Highlight Report for the Season, which will also include the Final Standings result.  And one last reminder:

             GET  YOUR  FALL  TEAM  APPLICATIONS  IN   T O D A Y !!!!!!!!!! 

The deadline, as I have been saying for over a month now, is THIS  SATURDAY, 8/31.

            I’ll look forward to seeing ALL of you next season, for more GREAT DARTS!  Until then, shoot well and have fun!

Curtis Pierpont

President, SCDA