It must be over a year since I had a holiday, apart from that week in Devon. Nothing flash you understand, just an old manor house.
The staff from Bleasdale Towers followed me down in a charabanc of course, because otherwise it wouldn’t have been a holiday at all. So a simple holiday, the only sort I can afford these days since the introduction of the bedroom tax.
Oh, and there was Ibiza straight after that, but that was just for a week. And the villa was very ordinary. I think the Beckhams stayed there once. So, that’s barely a fortnight away in twelve months, unless you count the week on the boat in Sardinia. But I was on my own then, just roughing it like any normal person, unless you count the twenty five man crew.
I came straight back to boring old Blighty after that. Well, via the South of France actually because the crew had to drop me off somewhere. Monaco was all right I suppose, but after a while I was ready for a change of scenery so nipped down to Venice for a couple of weeks with a friend of mine in his private jet.
And then he flew me back to Blackpool. Fotheringay was waiting to drive my home in the Silver Cloud. The drive home to Nether Wyresdale from the airport seemed to take an age, so I have instructed Ivory Joe to build a runway alongside the golf course at the ancient pile. And that’s it. Nothing now until St Lucia in May. I tell you, this recession is really starting to get me down.
Indeed, I am still daydreaming about the sun kissed beaches of that delightful island on Friday evening, as the wind claws at the windows of the Bowling Club. Then suddenly, I am snapped out of my reverie by the sound of a mobile phone chirruping. As I open my eyes, I see before me home player Gaz Richards, hopping around the oche like an adagio dancer with the ague. His attempts to extricate the offending telephonic device from his trouser pocket, whilst still holding his darts in his hand is a wondrous sight indeed.
A more worrying sight however is the match score upon the chalkboard. Gadzooks! The Collapsible Comrades have been collapsing, whilst I mused upon the white sands of St. Lucia. For having safely reached the halfway point all square at 2-2, this after a brace of wins by the Bridge Brothers, the boys have now fallen behind at 4-2, this after home victories by Mike Jackson, Arthur Armstrong, Terry Beavers and man of the match Alan Jackson.
And although Johnny Johnstone is emphatically accurate in seeing off the challenge of the man on the phone in the penultimate leg, it is to be Chris Donnolly who wins the battle of the skippers in the final game, thus securing a deserved 5-3 victory for the home side.
Also subsiding to a 5-3 defeat on Friday are the Highbury ‘B’ boys, this after Mark Wilson wins the final leg of the match for the Fuzzy Ducks. Michael Shaw is suitably relieved at turning the tables on his former employers for the Strawberry, with Geoff Ward best on the night for the frustrated footballers.
Meanwhile, at the top of the table, Dockers ‘A’ comfortably see off the challenge of the Royal Oak by 6-2, this despite some staunch resistance from visitors man of the match Tony Brogden. And although Adam Blyth hits an impressive 109 outshot in taking centre stage for the victors, the high finish of the match is a spectacular 122 denouement from teammate Mark Smith.
Elsewhere, the Cons continue their winning ways with an excellent victory away to the Cricket Club. An opening throw of 160 by first up Jimmy Pilling would normally see off the challenge of anyone rash enough to follow him at the oche. But on Friday Jimmy is taking on Wes Newton. So does Jimmy record a tremendous ten darts leg against the eighth best player in the world; and so does Wes snatch a share of the spoils with ten magnificent darts of his own. The match goes downhill a little after that.
Highbury ‘A’ get back to winning ways on Friday with an emphatic 7-1 mauling of the femme Fatales. John Shaw is best for the victorious home side, with Sheila Clarke a solitary success story for the Bowling Ladies.
Mitch Blyth is another player to record a ten darts leg on Friday. His man of the match performance for Dockers ‘B’ is the highlight of their 6-2 away win over the Workingmens, this despite some oriental omnipotence upon the oche from Rick Lee.
The Olympians stroll to a surprisingly easy win over visitors the Blasted Heathens along the esplanade this week. Peter Jackson’s 108 finish is the highlight of the home side’s 7-1 victory, with Al Morley the only Taverner to keep his head, whilst all around others are losing theirs.
Our final match this week takes place in the Land that Cabs Forgot, as the Peripatetic Pensioners take on the Beach Road Boys. Still without a win so far this season, the home side quickly find themselves two legs to the good, courtesy of George Housecroft and Jimmy Unsworth. Alas, the vapours soon set in and before long the visitors have pegged them back to 2-2 at the halfway point, this after a brace of wins by Mike Tallentire and skipper Jamie Spore.
Back in front edge the aged ones at the start of the second period via Martin Coleclough, an advantage immediately relinquished as Andy Johnstone levels the match for the visitors at 3-3. But when man of the match Mick Buckingham makes it 4-3 for the Ashley hope springs eternal in every cardigan enshrouded breast. Alas, for the home side they are to be denied at the death. For just as Horatio drove back the Etruscans upon the Sublician Bridge, so does Bobby Walker bestride the oche in securing a point for the Queens Hotel with the final darts of an enthralling encounter.