It is quite some time since Edward Maladroit Fauntleroy-Bleasdale appeared in one of these weekly diatribes.
I am sure that those amongst you, who follow the exploits of my extended aristocratic family on a regular basis, will remember that “Cheddar Eddie” was British Middleweight Cheese Tossing Champion from 2001 to 2007.
Sadly, he was to suffer a dreaded attack of the yips during the qualifying rounds of the Wensleydale Open in 2008. Ever since that fateful day, poor Eddie has been unable to compete at the highest level, his action these days a comical parody of the smooth delivery that had taken him to the very top of the PCTC order of merit. Never again will we see him enter the arena to the strains of “Brie are the Champions!”
I well remember watching Eddie struggling with his throw in the barn at Bleasdale Towers, beads of perspiration dripping from his forehead as he struggled to release a sliver of Lancashire Crumbly. Time and again the frustrated fromage flinger heaved his heavily tattooed arm in the direction of the cracker shaped board on the wall, only to find on each occasion the cheese resolutely locked between his ring encrusted fingers.
“It’s no use Sir,” intones Fotheringay as he places a towel over the heaving shoulders of the broken Eddie. “It’s the worst case of cheeseitis I’ve ever come across. I don’t think anyone can help him now.”
Well I am delighted to tell you that Eddie has been making a good living for himself across the pond in America. Although still unable to throw a lump of cheese with any accuracy, he has instead become something of a celebrity in wrestling circles, fighting under the pseudonym “The Mozzarella Mauler”. Recently, he defeated Native American Big Chief Cheesecake on national television, employing his trademark “Fondue Flop” to marvellous effect.
After the fight Cheesecake invited him home to meet his grandfather, Big Chief Outer Bull, a man renowned for his knowledgeable of all things ocheological. Entering the family tepee, Eddie found himself in the company of an elderly gentleman wearing a full feathered headdress.
“How”, said the Chief.
“How”, replied Eddie.
“Ask me any darts question”, said the Chief.
“Who won the 1983 World Championship?” said Eddie.
“Keith Deller”, said the Chief.
“Wow”, said Eddie.
Later that evening, after a few friendly bouts of arm wrestling with the youngsters of the tribe, Eddie returned to the tepee to say farewell to Big Chief Outer Bull.
“How”, said Eddie.
“Treble twenty, treble eighteen, double twelve against Bristow in the final set”, said the Chief.
It is doubtful that even the Big Chief himself would be able to remember the last occasion that a team went through an entire season without winning a game in the Fleetwood 301 League. That honour, in case you are wondering, fell to the International side playing out of the long demolished ICI club in 1996. Interestingly, one of the players involved all those years ago is still playing today for the Peripatetic Pensioners, as on Friday they make it no wins from seventeen starts so far this winter. Obviously, I won’t mention his name to save him any embarrassment. Mind you he is a cracking good League Treasurer.
On Friday the aged ones put up some spirited resistance away to 2012 champions Highbury ‘A’, Geoff Moyle booking his place in the big slipper at the retirement home with a performance of effortless artistry. For the victorious footballers it is once again the eponymous Scott Hayton who has the Highbury Honeys cooing contentedly into their barley wines.
That win proves to be extremely significant for the Highbury side on a night of much excitement across the port in Preston Street. Table toppers the Cons take any early lead away to the Blyth Spirits, courtesy of the prodigal Alan Ashton, an advantage that immediately evaporates as Mike Pinder and Mitch Blyth both win to edge the home side ahead at 2-1. And although the ebullient Dave Smith levels things for the Lotharios in game four, this setback only seems to spur the home side on to even greater efforts.
Before long both Chris Blyth and man of the match Elliot Lowe have chalked up an impressive brace of wins to leave the defending champions teetering on the brink at 4-2 in arrears. Alas, for the Dockers ‘B’ boys, Jordan Brooks and last man Wes Newton prove too much of a handful for the plucky opponents as the Cons gratefully settle for a share of the spoils at the end of a riveting encounter.
Elsewhere, the Collapsible Comrades are also struggling to remember when a visit to arch rivals Deaduns proved to be such a comfortable stroll in the park. Personally, I feel that the removal of the curtains alongside the oche is key to the success of the visitors. No longer in danger of becoming entangled in the damask, Lenny Billington leads the way to a comprehensive 6-2 victory, this despite a brave rearguard action from Billy White.
The Dave Coulborn inspired Olympians also chalk up a comfortable 6-2 win on the road this week, as they wander along the promenade to take on the Biased Boys. Mike Jackson is best for the Bowling Club this week as the Mount continue to their dogged pursuit of the top trio in the table.
The Blasted Heathens subside to a surprisingly subdued home defeat at the hands of Highbury ‘B’ on Friday, an inability to locate their finishing doubles leaving skipper Pete Hornby muttering darkly like an ousted despot. Erik Dahl provides a little light relief for the tortured Taverners, whilst for the cheery victors it is Darryl Butler who looks like a cat upon receipt of a surfeit of cream.
Dockers ‘A’ maintain second spot in the table with a rudimentary 6-2 away win over the Fuzzy Ducks. Adam Blyth is pyrotechnically precise in recording a nine darts masterclass for the victors, with Andy Gratrix well pleased with his efforts for the Strawberry.
The Femme Fatales look to be heading for another defeat away to the Queens Hotel on Friday, Mike Tallentire best for the Beach Road Boys as they stand on the verge of victory, this despite a first Gal of the Game award for Joanna Coultas. But then along come Tasha Eaves and Tracey Cunningham to snatch a point in the dying embers of the match; leaving home skipper Jamie Spore looking like Prometheus upon seeing his lunch purloined by a passing vulture.
In our final match this week, the Workingmens slip to a somewhat surprising 5-3 home defeat at the hands of the steadily improving Cricket Club. Darren Rathbone continues to sparkle for the victorious cricketers, with Rick Lee best for the out of sorts Orientals.
Finally this week, players are reminded that the deadline for registration in this Friday’s Individual Knockout at the Cons is 8.15 prompt.