The darts player stirs his cocoa with a desultory spoon in the wee small hours of Saturday morning.
His pallor is grey, his weary eyes red and swollen as his spoon hand trembles with exhaustion. Like a nodding dog, his head lolls backwards and forwards in time with the Bill Shankly Memorial Clock upon the kitchen wall. And although desperately yearning the welcoming embrace of his Sleepy Time pillow, he determines not to climb the staircase until it is safe to do so.
It is around two in the morning when eventually he succumbs to the siren call of Orpheus and begins to climb the stairs in his Robbie Fowler pyjamas. Upon reaching the landing he stops outside the bedroom door and listens intently for any warning sounds from within. After a minute or two he judges that it is at last safe to enter. Nudging the door open he tiptoes across the linoleum and slides beneath the king sized Bruce Grobbelaar duvet.
A cold shiver pirouettes down his spine as the figure lying beside him turns in his direction. A deathly chuckle fractures the gloom as he opens his eyes to see the captain of the Bowling Club darts team smiling sweetly at him from the other side of the bed.
“We are the Femme Fatales and we win when we want”, laughs his partner Trisha Hughes.“Go to sleep”, groans Chris Blyth as memories of the night pierce his brain as surely do the darts of his bed mate in securing a priceless win for her side at around ten bells on Upper Lune Street.
So it is that the Bowling Ladies record a second win, Tracey Cunningham, dame of the game Joanna Coultas, Sheila Clarke, Caroline Wood and skipper Trish all returning triumphant from the oche in securing a 5-3 win over Dockers ‘B’. For the beleaguered losers there is consolation from the hat-trick of wins recorded by Blyth trio Cliff, Mitch and red-eyed Chris.
This Sunday, the Fleetwood Ladies darts team will be taking on newly crowned World Champion Lisa Ashton at the Bowling Club. All are welcome at the club, for what promises to be a great night in the company of a real ocheological super star.
Another successful Blyth on Friday is Adam, his man of the match performance helping Dockers ‘A’ maintain their assault of the table top with a scratchy 5-3 victory over visitors the Bowling Club Boys, this despite excellent play for the losers by Ian Ivison. The performance of Anthony Hadgraft is also worthy of note for the winners, as he secures both points in seeing off the challenge of Terry Beavers.
Also probably spending a sleepless night on Friday is Highbury ‘A’ skipper Chris Job after the table toppers come unstuck away to a euphoric Cricket Club outfit. From the outset the men on white are all over the 2012 champions, Jimmy Pilling securing an early advantage. And although Robert Job levels things, the home side build a 3-1 lead courtesy of man of the match Tony Kemp and Steve Farrand.
A shared experience between Ian Stewart and merit leader Scott Hayton at the start of the second period does little to help the visitors cause, although Highbury star John Shaw does reduce the deficit to a solitary leg in game six. This proves a temporary reprieve as Phil Schofield secures both points for the cricketers in the penultimate leg.
Elsewhere, the defending champions move smoothly back to the top of the table following an 8-0 mauling of hapless visitors the Queens Hotel. Steve Cowell is the epitome of smooth for the Cons, as he caresses eight perfect tungstens into the board with poise, precision and not a little panache.
The Collapsible Comrades bandwagon is surprisingly derailed as visitors the Blasted Heathens record an excellent 5-3 victory in Annie’s Attic. Chris Garton is top dog for the victorious Rossall Tavern, with Alan Taylor the best winner for the lachrymose losers.
The trials and tribulations of the Peripatetic Pensioners continue unabated in the Land that Cabs Forgot on Friday. Already 4-0 in arrears when Mick Buckingham finally gets the Ashley up and running against the Peking Ducks, it isn’t long before Phil Lee secures both points for the Paul Gair inspired Workingmens.
Highbury ‘B’ continue their mini revival with a narrow 5-3 victory over visitors the Royal Oak. Anthony Rhimes is best on the night for the victors, with Tony Brogden best for the jaded juggernaut.
The Mount reduce the deficit at the top to four points following a comfortable 6-2 win over plucky opponents the Fuzzy Ducks. Dave Coulborn is suitably suave and debonair for the omnipotent Olympians, with Ian Ball as happy with his performance as a George Formby impersonator upon mastering the ukulele chords of “My Granddad’s Flannelette Nightshirt” for the outplayed Strawberry outfit.
The draw for the Team Knockout first round takes place this Wednesday at the Cricket Club. Outstanding league fees should be handed in at the meeting, which begins at 7.30.