Surbiton Pub Review 2011
| 30th December 2011
A Happy New Year to all (the few) readers.
You’re having a quiet swim in the Hampton open air pool
and a strange man bobs up and invites you out that evening for a
festival of darts. Fran
was off to a solid start in her first game with Dave
unthreatening back on 214 – four darts later it’s all over (180!,
shredded, Fran left an hour later without troubling the
scoreboard. K2 then
decided it was time to find some form in preparation for the
2012 Olympic (rejects) year by winning seven games on the spin
and taking the evening’s championship easily.
Another one of those evenings when time seemed to slow
down but, with some effort, we lasted the pace until the
official midnight finish time. (KS) K2-12, D-6, N-5, K1-4, F-0
|| 23rd December 2011
There was a
large crowd of juniors (that’s under-25s) in the public bar
that added to the lively pre-Xmas atmosphere.
K2 almost made a remarkable 3-dart 122 (T18, T12... and
then the juniors invaded the pitch for five minutes of hugging,
backslapping and general greetings, and 5 minutes later when the
pitch was cleared.. a narrow miss of D16).
The standard picked up and I managed two 3-darters
including 75 (9,16, bull!) and K2 also chipped in with two,
including a 97 (can’t remember!).
With some cramp setting in along with dizziness and
general fatigue, we were glad to see Noel and eventually AN
Other, to allow some chalking and talking (to oneself).
(KS) K1-17, K2-8, N-3
|| 16th December 2011
wonders if we have ever played darts before – this was a quite
awful performance all round with some very long games and
nothing much of interest. Even
time seemed to go slower than normal.
It’s been a long year, and with dark cold days upon us
perhaps the players need some yuletide festivities to revive
their spirits. It
was a temptation to pack up early and go home, but at least we
found the stamina to last until closing time.(KS) B-8, K1-8,
K2-5, D-5, S-5
ESB, Pride, Chiswick
| 9th December 2011
A game of three halves: the first half comprised an hour of
quick-fire singles with some very rapid finishing from Brian and
Dave, who chipped in with a 3-dart 88 bull finish (18,20,Bull).
The second half started when the climbers, on their
annual Xmas ‘do’, vacated Monty’s base camp to establish
an advanced base camp in the corner of the Wych Elm.
Noel and I then established a four-game winning streak,
all games finishing with the first pop at a double, including my
3-dart 89 bull finish (19,20,bull).
The run was ended when K2 retired suddenly to participate
in some climbing banter. The
third half is rather a blur, but the highlight was 3 treble 18s
from Dave just prior to a sudden disappearance during the game
to give Sue ‘a crossbar’ back from the Canbury.
An excellent evening ending at a respectable time of
12.20 am. (KS) Singles: B-8, D-4, K1-4 Doubles: N-7, K1-6, D-5,
Black Sheep, Mixed, Guinness
| 2nd December 2011
Cold and wet outside; hot and sweaty inside – the Waggon
revamp has attracted a surprisingly large number of new punters.
Initially we thought the board was blocked, but happily
found it was the exiled Kellys Arms darts and table football
team saving the space for us.
Only Shepherds were finishing; to begin with Brian was on
top form, but this evaporated with the arrival of Sheila, who
proceeded to win the next seven games with your reporter, in
spite of (or because of) abuse about industrial inaction and a
complete lack of interest in the arrers.
Unfortunately K2’s dartitis returned and some of the
beers were less than appetising.
Waggon – could do better. (KS) K1-12, B-8, S-7, K2-6,
ESB, Pride, Chiswick
| 25th November 2011
A top evening of doubles. K2’s
form finally returned after a stunning 3-darter 114
won 10 games despite only one finish all evening!
Noel nailed a bull. We
were joined by a reasonable crowd; Malcolm, Holly, Fran (very
late!) and the recently formed Sainsbury’s climbing
team....and at 12.20am, Dave stepped up for the winning shot to
claim a hat-trick of doubles championships.
Darts – a game of confidence. (KS) D-12, K1-11, B-10,
| 18th November 2011
K2 has been gunning for the chalkers for months, keeping them
alert, ducking and diving. He
finally nailed a chalker – yours truly.
A superficial but visible flesh wound was inflicted on my
throwing hand by a wild bounce-out; this was compounded by the
nature of the guilty equipment – my generously loaned heavy
ordnance. Brian, on
top form, won the first seven singles games despite some heavy
scoring by the opponents, but then lost focus to allow a minor
doubles started when K2 and Sheila arrived late, allowing Dave
to continue his Willoughby form with another victory.
I thought I was playing quite well, but the scoreboard
doesn’t lie! There
was only one appropriate end to the evening – the first double
checkout by the chalker’s nemesis – K2 duly delivered just
after midnight. (KS) Singles: B-8, K1-3, D-3 Doubles: D-9, B-6,
K2-6, K1-2, S-1
Twickenham Autumn Blaze, Fullers Celebration (8.5%!?)
|| 11th November 2011
evening of doubles – poor concentration at the start with
football and rugby distractions, but later the game really
picked up with at least three decent attempts at 180 and a
couple of high 3-darters. It
ended as all top competitions should with Dave nailing double 3
to take the evening’s shoot-out just after midnight.
Loud and prolonged celebration aided by Celebration (too
syrupy) in a glass. The
pub was just coming to life as we left! (KS) D-12, B-11, K1-10,
Tribute , Copper Bottom
|| 4th November 2011
Assuming you are
actually able to release the dart, what is the worst affliction
for a top pro dart player? The
poxy things not sticking in the board!
K2’s dartitis now becoming critical – a strange
trajectory plus a woolly board and bluntish darts led to on
average only two darts scoring and occasional carnage – the
lowlight being a score of zero, when the final arrer dislodged a
previous dart tentatively clinging in the T20.
Some pretty unpleasant background music, but overall a
solid evening of doubles with a couple of decent beers to quaff.
(KS) K1-10, B-10, D-8, K2-6
|| 28th October 2011
with a chalker chalking, and talker and stalker in the dugout
able to engage in conversation with the crowd (Cathy, Holly and
Malcolm) – an excellent set-up.
The main problem is that when you are knocked off, you
can spend a fair time warming the bench and lose form; Brian won
the first four games and then failed to trouble the scorer for
over an hour. Nothing
special to report again, excepting Dave’s classic 3-darter 107
dartitis not improving and Dave and I failed to engineer a
shoot-out for the championship, a dishonourable draw being
declared at 12.10 am. (KS) D-10, K1-10, B-7, K2-0
|| 21st October 2011
curry – probably not such a bad idea as the players were
fatigued right from the start of the evening.
Brian’s unbeatable form has gone the way of all darts
form – the cause this time was a change of shoes.
Some Motown didn’t help the levels of concentration –
unsporting (but funny) singing and dancing on the oche.
The darts were rather mediocre with nothing special to
report. As usual,
the Prince generated some confusion; dartitis, beer banditry and
dodgy chalking – K2 even finished the evening by attempting to
construct a double-decker skid lid (it’s twice as safe!). Sad
to report that the restricted room in the Prince brought on a
repeat of my ‘oche groin’/‘chalker’s cramp’ – sounds
funny but pretty painful! (KS) K1-9, D-7, K2-7, B-4, S-3
|| 14th October 2011
Waggon with an impressive increase in the number of punters; by
popular request they had even installed a ‘viewing window’
so the punters are now able to watch the exciting darts that
previously they were only able to hear.
A glut of T20s to start the evening and an impressive 104
3-darter (20,T18,D15) from Brian – then Sheila turned up, even
affecting the darts before she arrived with some kind of phone
Sheila produced a 100% record, winning all five of her games,
and completed the evening by discarding Brian’s unfinished
beer – excellent stuff! (KS) K1-11, B-5, K2-5, S-5, D-4
|| 7th October 2011
It’s funny – when the pub used to shut at 11 everybody was
upset and sometimes we were so desperate to carry on hydrating
we transferred to Gunga Din’s; now the pub stays open till 12,
most punters clear out at 11 and the knackered Team members are
desperate for the last bell to send them home to bed.
K2, finding better form with his reserve arrows, was
particularly tired, featuring in the first 18 games and
remaining chalk-free for over 2 hours.
He found the strategy for beating Brian – establish an
early lead and then play with Brian for the rest of the evening.
An excellent evening
of reasonable darts, with a guest climbers’ appearance. (KS) K2-14, B-10, K1-8, D-4, N-2
||30th September 2011
A return to the
Prince on the hottest 30th September ever and some
pretty hot darts with Dave just failing to inflict a rare defeat
on Brian. Given the
normal confusion around the oche and the occasional wild darts
it is quite surprising that nobody has yet been pierced by a
flying arrow, but we conjured up a really good attempt this
evening. As with
many accidents, it followed a series of improbable events;
firstly Brian gave up on the chalking (why?) leaving Dave and
yours truly to chalk our own game – then Dave unusually
decided to chalk his score before extracting his darts, and
finally very unusually I had the blinkers on and was fully focused
on double 1 – a near miss ensued, but unperturbed I nailed the
finish next dart! In
addition to playing very poor darts, I was woken in the night
with an unpleasant pain; initially the doctor misdiagnosed this
as that common dartsman’s affliction of ‘oche groin’, but,
after discussion with the patient, came up with a more plausible
malady – ‘chalker’s cramp’! (KS) B-14, D-11, K1-7
Seafarers, Red Wine, Diet Coke, Sparkling Water
||23rd September 2011
The Spring was crowded and the Waggon was shut (it didn’t stop
Dave from attempting to tether up outside) so it’s back to the
Prince. Sheila was
on time but obviously plays better when she’s late.
Brian is playing the best darts but worryingly also
encouraging his partners to play well – another win.
The best action was a 3-dart 68 from Dave; the call for
‘18,bull’ was met with some unkind cries of derision, but
Dave netted anyway with 1,17,Bull!
A good evening but rather empty and quiet in the Prince.
Will the refurbished Waggon still sport a dartboard!?
(KS) B-11, D-9, K1-5, F-3, S-2
Oxfordshire Ales Triple B, Haka
||16th September 2011
‘shafted’ and they played the music as well.
Brian is currently too hot at the finishing (averaging
about two darts per double) and the rest of the Team are
suffering, often not even getting a shot at a finish.
We know Brian is highly susceptible to a loss of
concentration, but there was nobody in the pub to provide the
necessary distraction, not even ‘Tyson’.
Good dart board, pool table, cricket on the box, good
(mainly) music and very tasty Haka beer at £2.50 per pint –
so where are the punters!? (KS) B-18, K1-11, D-9, K2-8
Bombardier, Summer Ale, Ordinary ‘beer’
||9th September 2011
Another week –
another drubbing; Brian’s current form is too good – I
reckon he only lost 5 games in three hours.
In the singles, he had another 180 and two three-darters,
including a 102 (T20,10, D16).
Sheila turned up for the doubles, but was too tired
really to put Brian off. I
managed a three-darter, but K2 chipped in with a three-dart 105
(20, T15, D20 I think), unfortunately when he was playing with
Brian, and Sheila slotted a couple of finishes, again partnering
Brian! Good beer and
an excellent 3-hour session.
(KS) Singles B-9, K1-3, K2-1; doubles B-9, K2-6, K1-5,
||2nd September 2011
The new league
starts on the final hot, sweaty evening of the summer.
Brian was looking good to repeat his normal drubbing of
the two Ks, with K1 focusing entirely on chalking and K2,
despite a couple of early successes, struggling to find
could Brian maintain concentration?
An early indication of problems was a classic 2 dart
finish of 11 (5, D2!) – then Noel clocked in, followed closely
by Hilary and Tensing with plenty of chat.
Noel suffered a minor dart injury when the board fell off
the wall on to his shoulder and Brian was then adversely
affected by the prospect of an early Saturday morning trip to
Tottenham for a battering at the hands of a glut of masseurs.
Consequently, aided by Pride hydration, K1 made a
surprise comeback. K2
still suffering chronic dartitis – remember to blame the
tools; from the Arsene Wenger coaching manual, “When good
results are achieved, it’s down to the skill of the players,
when things are going badly, it’s down to the poor
it’s time for some new spears? (KS)
B-11, K1-11, K2-2, N-3
Seafarer, wine, diet coke, Cobruuggghh
||26th August 2011
180s are getting
as common as fish – Brian netted the third one in about five
weeks with his second throw of the night.
Some solid arrers were thrown all evening, including a
respectable effort from ‘er indoors, who won four games on the
spin (with assistance) and chipped in with a D2 finish.
Fran is a reasonable player and a sound chalker but fails
to sound off in the role of talker – lessons from Sheila
possibly? Sheila did
not replicate her recent good form – distracting the
opposition is fair game, but you have to know who your partner
is! K2 proved that
the D11 bull shot was no fluke, this time firing wide of the
D11. I have little
recall of Brian’s birthday curry except it was a rush, the
food was good and I had a disgusting beer – paying, leaving
the curry house, cycling home, going to bed – memory all
wiped. Either the
Seafarer was extra strong or it’s time to see the quack! (KS)
B-7, K1-5, K2-5, D-4, F-4, S-1
||19th August 2011
As a rite of
passage from A Levels to university, the importance of arrers
competence cannot be neglected; hence, Sam was offered a family
elders (Father Keith and Uncle Dave) darts masterclass down the
local. Uncle Dave
was on top form, including an excellent 180 and Sam did well to
beat him in two games, the first one being the 180 game where
Sam came up with the classic finish – darts one and two on the
floor and the final dart bang in the middle of the double.
180 has to be the evening’s highlight but it is run close
by K2’s attempt at a bull finish....hitting the double 11!
When Noel turned up, we had five contenders; two players,
a chalker, a talker and a stalker.
Appropriately Sam won the last game at 12.30 and can
progress to the next stage of life with confidence in his
abilities to throw a dart and to subtract.
A top evening
(KS) D-11, K2-7, K1-4
||12th August 2011
Seafarer, wine, Fostughs
||5th August 2011
‘Ruby or not
ruby, that is the question’, and the answer is ‘a packet of
Scampi Fries’ – you cannot get porky on that diet.
The music-free (bad news) Prince was up to its normal
tricks. No problem
with the lighting with two searchlights borrowed from Colditz
and an added feature that they go off with lack of action on the
oche; I am in favour of this – darts is a snappy pub game, not
a version of chess! The
lights may have contributed to the general overheating with most
players sweating up in the paddock, but K2 suffered particularly
badly with a male-menopausal hot sweat.
You always get a good laugh down the Prince, but it also
encourages a form of mild dementia with walk-ons, walk-offs,
poor chalking, beer banditry and out-of-body experiences.
As for the arrers, Dave kicked off the first game with a
fish and then we threw 100 darts at the double 1 before K2 ended
the misery; after that there were wild darts, loads of complete
misses (including a failure to hit the board to bust), some
brief purple patches and a classic chalker’s comment from Dave
‘The games always seem to improve when I’m chalkaggghhh..’,
as K2’s chalker’s dart forced him to take cover behind the
dartboard door. Fortified
by a dinner of Scampi Fries, Sheila stepped up to finish the
last game early on Saturday morning. (KS) K1-9, K2-7, B-7, S-6,
ussex Pride at £2.50 per pint
||29th July 2011
A very welcome
delay to the start of the arrows as Kathy put in a good talking
appearance as substitute for her brother.
After that it was a productive evening if one’s name
wasn’t Keith. K2
checked in the first game with a rapid D19 finish and K1
collected the second game with a snappy D8; then Brian
effectively claimed the evening with eight consecutive games,
despite numerous chances for the Ks to break the sequence – as
Bob Marley sang ‘No doubles, no dough’!
There was a brief glimmer of hope as Brian tired and lost
enthusiasm, but he recovered to finish off with a hat-trick and
the 20th game at 12.10 am.
Good cheap beer, but few punters to enjoy it.
(KS) B-12, K1-5, K2-3
||20th July 2011
excellent, and protracted, evening of darts and some pretty
solid drinking of tip-top London Pride.
Everybody showed some form and yours truly had a brief
purple patch that was deemed unfair as the darts were going
straight – the purple patch culminated in a 180, although I
did not actually win that game.
Sherpa Tensing and mates glissaded in to provide some
extra crowd noise (they could hear us celebrating as they pulled
up in their car). Noel
joined in the match, the talker was talking loud, the chalker
was also talking, the players became dizzy and the board became
blurred. Noel was
coming through fast on the rails, as the early players became
overtired and emotional, but Dave just held on for a
well-merited win at 12.20. A
good session! (KS)
Titanic Longitude, Hop Head, Bombardier,
|15th July 2011
Rules for a
two-man singles challenge: games are 301 straight in, double
finish. A match
comprises the best of 25 games; these are divided into five
five-game rubbers separated by 10-minute time-outs for comfort
breaks, organisation of rehydration and some general chit-chat.
It works well – the match stretched into Saturday, the
hydration properties of a good selection of beer were tested and
the arrers were competitive and reasonably good at times –
Dave had a 13-darter and I managed a 3-dart 100 finish
only takes two to tango! (KS) K1-13, D-9
Seafarer, expensive wine
||8th July 2011
competitive singles competition with Brian, especially, showing
excellent form...and then Sheila turned up (late!) and it was
all change. Concentration
levels dropped, beer banditry was rife, Brian’s form went down
the pan as he lost the final seven games, and Sheila, taking
advantage of a tiring field, coming through on the rails in the
final furlong, won the last 5 games (with some partner
assistance) and took the evening’s doubles championship.
Sheila ‘The Late Power’ Hunt!
Good stuff. (KS) Singles: B-6, K1-4, D-2 Doubles: S-7,
K1-6, D-5, B-2
||1st July 2011
Dave had just returned from Wimbledon and
seemed out of grunt and over-pumped in the fist department; he
very soon managed a hat-trick (or is that a bowl-full?) of fish
– a reasonably sedate evening ensued with much chatter and
some slow arrers. Concentration
levels dropped even lower during a discussion of ‘Pippasarse’,
but Brian recovered to record our top 3-darter of 135 (T20, T17,
D12) although the proper finish is, of course, (T20, 25, bull).
Good beer, good atmosphere, but perhaps a little quiet.
(KS) K-11, D-9, B-7, K2-7
Seafarer (free and paid-for), expensive wine
||24th June 2011
As it was ‘er
indoors’ birthday, I organised something really special for
her – a game of arrers down the Prince!
Unusually we had six players and so a previously
successful method was reintroduced; rotating doubles with 4
players, 1 chalker and 1 talker.
It’s Wimbledon fortnight (Murray on the box) and there
was some crossover into the darts – words of support and
encouragement (Go on, my son!) stuck to the darts bag and some
mild fist clenching. However,
the best was saved to last – in the last few games, there was
a crescendo of grunting, squealing and fist-pumping that was so
funny that all (players, talker and chalker) were reduced to
eye-watering hysterics – it was so funny, it kept me
awake...and ‘the Wife’ thoroughly enjoyed her special night
out! All’s well
with the world. (KS) K2-8, B-8, D-5, K1-4, S-4, F-3
Chiswick, Pride, ESB
||17th June 2011
A solid evening
of darts; little chit-chat, no interruptions, just a
concentrated 3-hour arrers session.
K2 showed good form in the warm-up, but crumpled in the
white heat of competition, and Dave finally nailed that elusive
finish at 10 pm and then went on to finish more.
Due to excellent partner selection and encouragement, K2
led the evening with 9 games all finished by his partners, but
then, as the confidence returned
and the beer kicked in, netted a swift hat-trick.
As it should be, it all went down to the last game at
midnight with Brian pipping K2 for the evening’s championship.
Absolutely knackered – must have a sit down next week!
(KS) B-13, K2-12, K1-10, D-7
Seafarer (free and paid-for), Expensive Wine
||10th June 2011
Welcome to Dementia Darts brought to you by the AAA*.
‘Who am I playing with?’, ‘Whose turn is it?’,
‘Where’s my beer?’, ‘Is it double 18?’, ‘Bratwurst
or pork?’, ‘Who’s
coming on?’, ‘Whose chalk?’, ‘Has that game finished?’
– ‘yes, you got a double 3, remember’ – ‘did I?’.
A big crowd in the Prince, and ludicrously low levels of
scattergun darts continued and a Jonathon Trott-style angry dart
through the windowpane would not have been unexpected.
Dave got the whole evening organised and was rewarded
with zero finishes, but about 30 wire-bending near misses.
Sheila turned up late again (some comments were passed!)
and stormed to a sensational second place whilst simultaneously
organising a barbecue. Buckets
of free Seafarer courtesy of scratchcards. (*AAA - Alzheimers
(KS) K1-13, S-7, D-6, B-5, K2-3
||3rd June 2011
certainties – death, taxes and the transient nature of darts
form. For reasons
unknown your reporter has been showing some recent arrers form,
especially in the finishing department, peaking in a 3-dart 110
(20,T18,D18) – enjoy it, because the form never lasts for
walk-ons, bizarre dartitis symptoms, much chit-chat, tasty beer
and a solid 3-hour session on a warm summer evening – good
times. ‘Paint your
Waggon’! (KS) K1-14, B-11, K2-11, D-6
Dark Star Hophead, Twickenham Spring Ale
||27th May 2011
challenge and a determination to complete 30 games.
No crowd again, but the darts were of a reasonable
standard, particularly when K2 kicked into action after 2 hours
and 3 pints. Dave
was getting negative and struggling to finish, but still managed
an excellent 3-darter 98 (20,T18,D14).
Just before midnight, there are few better ways to finish
the 30th game than K2’s spectacular 85
tasty beer although we only managed 4 pints in 3 hours. (KS)
K1-14, K2-12, D-4
Kingfisher, Cobra, Chiswick, Pride, ESB
||21st May 2011
Dance’ – the dinner was normally pretty good but there was
never much dancing; however, with ‘Dinner and Darts’ one
gets a good dinner and then some top darts.
An excellent turnout for the dinner and a number of guest
appearances in the darts. When
Brian and John were paired at the start, the crowd was expecting
the worst, but Dave in particular raised his game (and his
voice!) and Sally, Evan and Fran featured on the scoreboard; in
fact, I thought the A-list pairing were fairly fortunate to
share in an unprecedented 5-way tie for the evening’s trophy.
Another excellent evening celebrating the three
birthdays. (KS) D-4, S-4, E-2, K1-4, F-2, J-4, B-4, N-0
Seafarer, various coloured wet and dry wines
||13th May 2011
continues to deliver – the same music that Dave loves and a
really good crowd which promises that the pub has a future.
The darts were of a higher quality with Sheila (late
again!) still showing tip-top form.
Good darts, wild darts, poor chalking, disputes over
rules – all the ingredients of a top evening.
I cannot decide whether Sue’s support encouraged Dave
or just made him nervous? – probably neither!
Oh... and the Seafarer is a tasty brew. (KS) B-10, K1-8,
D-6, S-5, K2-3
||6th May 2011
The start of a
new league and the promise of better things; it kicked off with
a 3-dart score of 2! Form
did improve later, but seriously guys, how can one expect to
play reasonable darts when simultaneously discussing weddings
and then, for some reason, funerals?
As before, Brian stormed ahead and K2 threw some wayward
darts to worry the chalker, but there was a twist in the
tail.....Noel pitched up, teamed up with Dave, and completed the
evening with a hat-trick to give Dave a share of the evening’s
|New Prince, Surbiton;
Bar de Vincennes, Clecy, Normandy
Seafarer, Red Wine?;
Leffe, Coffee, Whiskey
|29th April 2011
double-header to complete the darts league.
While Brian was narrowly defeating Sheila in the home
leg, the away leg featured an automatic scoring dartboard that
fortunately had broken, allowing free use with traditional pen
and paper. Dave,
still exuberant after a shock win over the French at ‘Babyfoot’,
teamed up with John for a hat-trick of wins, including two
3-dart finishes. Some
of the crowd were drunk, illegal smoking was rife and the bar
was threatening to close at any time, but the adverse conditions
were overcome in a sparkling display of British dartsmanship.
UK: B-5, S-4
France: D-3, JR-3,
K1-0, K2-0, F-0
||22nd April 2011
Sequence in arrows; K2 kicked off with 3 games, K1 followed up
with 5 games, and then Dave, improbably, clocked 8 consecutive
games. K2 then made
a start (1 game) at 13, but it was really too much to ask!
An evening of top darts down the Waggon, with some tasty
Tribute slowly imbibed. In
a small triumph for the secular society the pub now stays open
to a reasonable hour on Good Friday. (KS) D-11, K1-10, K2-4
Kingfisher, Chiswick, Pride, ESB
||15th April 2011
Darts’. The call
for an early dinner was overwhelming and hence the inaugural
‘Dinner and Darts’ event.
It attracted a really good turnout from the punters now
unable/unwilling to partake of the traditional late curry.
The general opinion was that the Deea food was very good.
Mike and Evan demonstrated that all our so-called darts
practice was a waste of time; they won their first game with
precise arrows – fortunately they had to depart early and
spared us further embarrassment.
Somewhat bloated (forget the Nan next time), we lasted
the pace until midnight to see in my birthday (old git!) and
Dave’s wedding anniversary.
‘Dinner and Darts’ – a resounding success! (KS)
Ordinary, Tribute, Elm! (Gem actually), Red Wine
||8th April 2011
An evening where
the ORAA (Olympic Rejects Arrers Association) was trying to
boost its Respect Campaign.
Excessive swearing on the oche, particularly in the
presence of cameras, could lead to a 2 match ban and the players
were asked to show more respect to the chalker and not hassle
him/her about poor maths, general disorganisation and even a
refusal to chalk. The
normal raucous evening down the Waggon, with non-stop rabbit all
evening. The amount
of cursing suggests that the Respect Campaign has not yet been
entirely effective. (KS) Part 1: B-6, K1-4, K2-4, D-2 Part2:
B-5, D-4, K1-4, S-3, K2-2
||1st April 2011
ratio in the public bar is most impressive – no lack of choice
if one wishes to take the weight off one’s feet.
The beer is also tasty, but without John’s
encouragement, we struggled to get them down at a decent speed.
Absolutely no excuse, but we failed to challenge Brian
yet again who, after a slow start, won comfortably.
Dave was suffering from hosting Chinese for two weeks;
this affected his darts (which were dreadful until a late burst)
and also his mental arithmetic and scoring ability.
Decent beer, good music, interesting decor, no
interference on the oche, but still a rather tired evening. (KS)
B-13, B-9, D-4
||25th March 2011
and strange live music down the Prince led to a quick recce and
transfer to the Hatter (that’s the Vic, Sheila!); not really
geared up for top class arrers, with no chalkboard (electronic
or traditional) and a cluttered oche.
However, we made do, coping admirably with the revolving
board, taking the opportunity to chip away at the new plaster
and paint. After
losing a dart down the radiator and knocking the board off the
wall, the Prince was re-recced and we transferred back, away
from the one-man rave in the Hatter back to the strange Prince
music. Sheila showed
fantastic form, finishing her first four consecutive games, even
coping with the half-time walk from Hatter to Prince.
That cannot be luck – it’s skill and practice!
Dave particularly enjoyed the music – ‘Sweet
Caroline’ and ‘New York, New York’ are his favourites on
the oche. The pub
was so much fun, we only just secured a late birthday curry in
the Agra. An
eccentric but thoroughly enjoyable evening, with a special
welcome for John’s first trip from Petworth – the lack of
darts for the previous nine months, of course, made no
difference! (KS) K2-6, S-4, K1-3, D-3, B-1
Seafarer, Red Wine
||18th March 2011
quick reconnaissance visits to the Spring (crowded) and the
Waggon (blocked), we had to settle on the Prince for the top
darts competitions. With
Dave returning from a West Indies training camp, there was a
marked improvement in play and I particularly enjoyed a 113
finish (20,T19,D18). The
background rabbit had changed from all things fish to all things
air freight – bring back the fish!
Sheila, now a regular dartsperson, joined us for some
exciting doubles. Can
one feel guilt over a winning dart?
Dave looked slightly sheepish when his final winning
double gave Brian yet another evening’s championship and
deprived Sheila of a potential famous well-merited win. (KS)
Singles: B-6, K1-4, D-3
Doubles: B-6, S-5, D-4, K1-3
Twickenham Grandstand, Odyssey
||11th March 2011
An exciting game
of rugger, with a last minute Newcastle Falcons’ try,
witnessed by a pub audience of three (B,K1,K2).
Absolutely no trouble getting on the board, good beer, no
distractions – so we really are running out of excuses for
poor play. The two
Ks were unable to muster a decent challenge to Brian and the
last game of the evening was the worst (K1 vs. K2!), so even the
beer isn’t helping. A
Phil ‘The Power’ Taylor masterclass on the big screen
briefly offered some hope, but to no avail.
New equipment, more practice? ... who knows! (KS) B-12,
Bombardier, Ordinary, Tribute, Red
||4th March 2011
A game of arrers
down the Spring? Not
a chance, with a large mob of punters kettled under the
surprisingly the pre-planned transfer to the Waggon was a great
scoring 1 with my first 3 darts two weeks ago, I introduced the
heavier dart and, with a touch more concentration, kicked off
with ...180! The
highlight was, without doubt, the return of Sheila to
professional Friday night darts.
After hours of training on the home board (like Brian),
she threw precise darts, producing high scores and a couple of
crucial finishes. She
also added some impetus to the conversation, leaving your
reporter unable to put a sentence together by the end of the
evening – the Waggon rolls again! (KS)
Singles: B-3, K1-1.K2-1
Doubles: K1-6, S-5, K2-5, B-4
Pride, Chiswick, ESB, Kingfisher
||25th February 2011
The success of a birthday curry is judged
by the number of ‘guests’ attracted to the event.
We had 10 persons for the pub, 8 for the Richmond Road
Ruby and 4 for the darts cameo.
A talk before the chalk often enhances the darts quality
and this evening was no exception.
K2 gave up the ‘chalker’s dart’, your reporter, in
desperation, brought out the heavy ordnance, and the play was
rapid and exciting with the treble 20 taking a severe peppering.
The beer was good, the 6 non-darters fitted around a
table, the curry was tasty and your scribe was able to walk
home. Let the good
times roll! (KS) B-6, K1-5, D-4, K2-3
Old Hooky, Front Row
||18th February 2011
The managers had been calling for a midwinter break for years
and their wishes had finally been granted.
So it was with great anticipation that the refreshed
players stepped up to the oche at the Prince.
Your reporter, fortified by an injection of
performance-enhancing drugs, three darts in hand, focussed on
the board, and scored.....1!!
So much for the break, the players were even more jaded
than normal. The
beer was fine, the pub quiet, but a vital spark was missing.
So, where do you go when your contract is paid off and
you are released by the Rejects?
The Sunday League, I guess? (KS) B-11, D-9, K2-8, K1-7
Grandstand, Chiswick, Pride
||11th February 2011
after the previous week. A
guaranteed game of arrers down the Willie/Wych...except tonight.
A surprise beer festival down the Willie featuring an
unwelcome return of Bossog and a crowd of players down the Wych.
The substitute dominoes is really a test of who can make
the most noise laying their tile.
Just as we were giving up, the board cleared at 11.40
allowing a cameo performance until 12.30 with Noel on top form,
Dave finishing well and K2 wishing he had gone home. (KS)
Doubles N-6, D-4, K1-3, K2-1
Bombardier, Ordinary, Tribute to Aluminium
||4th February 2011
‘rugger buggers’ down the Spring, so an early transfer to
the Wagon, where a glut of screens and TVs have sprung up and
there is another crowd of ‘rugger buggers’.
Good news is that the dartboard is now accessible, as
long as the blocking table is unoccupied.
Limited beer at the Wagon, including a metallic Tribute,
that Dave thought was OK, but then didn’t finish.
It was good to talk, but it’s better to chalk!
(KS) Doubles K1-0, K2-0, D-0, B-0
Pride, Chiswick, ESB
||28th January 2011
A couple of scores of 1, a few 2s, a tank-full of fish, some wild darts, a cracking bull finish (Brian), a 97 2-darter (Noel) and possibly the worst consistently poor standard of play from yours truly since he were a lad – just the one finish in nearly 3 hours – still searching for a reasonable excuse. Dave rose off his sick bed to claim a deserved win. A reasonably raucous atmosphere down the Wych, to which we contributed some hearty shouting and swearing – good times!
(KS) D-11,B-10, K2-9, N-7, K1-3
||21st January 2011
The Prince needs some music; a loud
background conversation relating to food became very off-putting
when it focused on different species of fish.
To add to the nosebag themed evening, we also had to
sample a beer (name forgotten) with a quite distinct aftertaste
of cheese – you certainly wouldn’t want more than one pint
– no problem, as the Seafarer is excellent.
The singles league got underway, and your reporter is
rather embarrassed to have won courtesy of a late burst of
beer-enhanced quick-fire finishing – however, this cannot
cover up the poor form exhibited over the preceding two hours. (KS)
K1-10, D-8, B-8
||14th January 2011
A flat, tired evening with some totally
uninspired darts – just one three-darter in two weeks!
Doubles is definitely better with 5 players (NB John!)
– more incentive to play well and avoid the chalk.
Maybe it’s just the January blues?
However, the traditional solution to poor play is to
blame the equipment and pop down the shops to buy some new
arrows – I may well do just that! (KS) B-10, D-9, K1-8, K2-7
||7th January 2011
A cracking start to the 2011 season with Dave clinching the
first win of the new year with the final deciding game.
The darts were pretty reasonable, but unusually there is
nothing special to report. The
normal good raucous atmosphere down the Spring that is so far
successfully bucking the trend for empty pubs. (KS) D-10, B-9,