Darts: It’s Blackwood at the double for a double

Benevolent Cup winner Gary Blackwood with runner-up Keith Robinson
Benevolent Cup winner Gary Blackwood with runner-up Keith Robinson

THE Bognor Friday Night Benevolent League Cup knockouts took place at the Newtown Social Club.

There was a smaller turnout of 45 players but a good night was had by all.

Preliminary matches saw some great darts with out-shots of 108 from Matt Shoebridge (Newtown X’), 116 from Graham Clear (Hunston Club) and 128 from Richard Todd (Chi Snooker D), who shot out using the bullseye.

The first quarter-final saw Blackwood beat Ben Marley (Newtown A). Next Mark Sheppard (Hunston Club) defeated Rob Allen (Chi Snooker ‘D’).

The third quarter-final pitched Bradley Marshall (BRSA Ravens) against Lee Franklin (POW Z), who was too strong.

Last but not least, Keith Robinson (Chi Snooker C) had the form to beat Richard Pennells (Jacks Jokers).

In the first semi-final Blackwood beat Sheppard to advance to the final with a 2-0 victory.

The second semi was between Franklin and Robinson. After taking a leg each, the third ended with Robinson needing to hit double top – and he did with his first dart to take the spot in the final.

The final started with Robinson winning nearest the bull, but he could only start the first leg with 41 and 45. He followed that with two tons and an 85, but by then Blackwood had scored 140 and 133 and had a chance at a double.

Robinson had 130 left, he hit the treble 20 and a single 20 but missed the bullseye. Blackwood stepped up for 78 but was an inch away from the double top, giving Robinson the chance to finish the leg, a chance that he couldn’t capitalise on. Blackwood then hit double ten with his first dart.

The second leg saw Blackwood start with a 140 and follow that with scores of 100, 85 and 100. Robinson had hit three straight tons on the trot. Blackwood stepped up for 76, but once again his last dart was an inch below the double top. Robinson was still behind in the leg but another double mistake from Blackwood kept him in the game.

Robinson went up for 124 but could only hit 92 leaving himself double 16, but Blackwood knew he only had this chance left. His first dart hit just inside double ten and the second went in exactly the right place, straight into the double five to take the leg in 17 darts, and land him the Benevolent Cup for the second year on the trot.