It is going to be just like having two thoroughbreds nose to nose in the last furlong of the St Leger. There may well be some jockeying on the oche but I don’t see the whips coming out…
What I am on about of course is the star match of this year’s League, scheduled to take place at around 9.45 on Thursday night, Taylor versus Barney. Before giving you my thoughts on its likely outcome, I would like here to thank Unicorn’s John Part for giving me a vivid insight into why pro darts is now such a hot sporting ticket.
Speaking to the maestro at a Unicorn photo shoot recently, I was fascinated by his informed opinion: ‘The fans at the venue and watching TV love sensing the pressure and how players cope. They roar when Manley hits 160 to stop a Taylor charge, or when Barney pegs back three legs for a draw against him. And this is where we are at; constant high pressure brings out supreme performance.
‘I recently played James Wade in Manchester and he hit a nine- darter, then nearly hit another one. I am convinced we will get two nine- darters in the same match soon.’
In the old days the pros used to do trick shots with builder’s nails and fags, now the trick shot of choice is the nine-darter.
So back to Donny later this week…
I reckon Phil will use his first match against Baxter to put the frighteners on Barney. Phil did 8 180s in beating Manley at Newport and I think he could well hit Ronnie with a nine-darter. If he did, imagine the frenzied atmosphere for the big match. Mind, Barney might just start the joust with a nine-darter himself in the early legs. This is not wild Geordie fantasy; it is cold clinical sporting analysis.
Looking ahead, I have had American sports papers on the phone about the coming World Series of Darts in Connecticut in May. I was asked to describe the calling style of Unicorn’s Russ Bray. ‘His voice is like a dustbowl sandstorm running over a dry river bed. He is the man who put the gobby into Gobi Desert.’
They liked that.
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