It is a dark and windy night at the North Pole. Snowflakes pirouette around the doorway of Santa’s workshop, before dancing on the breeze to the barn where Rudolph and the other reindeers enjoy a well-earned rest.
Inside the workshop, Santa and Chief Elf Bernard read through todays sackful of children’s letters. Theirs is a tough job, for under elf and safety rules, only one request a day can be refused.
As they work their way to the bottom of the sack, finally Santa leaps to his feet waving a pink slip of paper. “Got it!” he chortles. “Katie wants a million pounds Bernard. Let’s call it a night.”
Whilst Santa pours out a couple of eggnogs, the chief elf sifts through the last few scribbled notes in the sack. A dark shadow falls across his elfin brow.
“Got a bit of a problem here Boss”, he groans as he passes a grubby sheet of paper to Santa.
“Dear Santa, I have been a very good boy this year and hope you can help me. Please, please, please could you arrange for the Cricket Club to win a darts match for Christmas? Thanks Matty.”
The portly red robed gentleman sits down with a bump.
“Well that’s not going to happen is it?” he says to Bernard, before draining the last of his eggnog. “Best see if we have enough in the petty cash tin to sort Katie out.”
Meanwhile, back in the real world, let us begin this week’s odyssey by watching events unfold in the key tussle between table toppers Highbury ‘A’ and defending champions Dockers ‘A’. Having suffered their first defeat of the season just seven days previously, the home side are desperate to get back to winning ways against the faltering flechette flingers from Preston Street.
But from the outset, there is a degree of gird loining amongst the ranks of the visitors not seen since the halcyon days of spring. First half wins for man of the match Mark Shewan and brother Lee leave the match beautifully poised at half time, this after Scott Hayton and Robert Job have replied in kind for the hosts.
Into the second period and a 177 by Adam Blyth helps him edge the Dockers ahead at 3-2, this before a shared experience between Johnny Johnstone and Robert Dagger moves the visitors to within touching distance of both points. So it is that Tommy Duggan secures the victory for the Dockers in the penultimate leg, this before a splendid cameo from home skipper Chris Job reduces the losing margin to a solitary leg at the death.
Thus do the Highbury slip down to third spot in the table, this after the Cons leapfrog them into second spot following their 6-2 victory away to the Femme Fatales. Steve Hadgraft is best this week for the Lowther Lotharios, whilst for the deflated dames it is Joanna Coultas who has the crowd on its feet, this after beating averages leader Alan Ashton with something to spare.
Now sitting proudly at the top of the pile this week are the Olympians, this after another worryingly wafer thin victory. Robust hosts the Queens set about their illustrious opponents with a relish on Friday, a trio of laudable performances by Jack Wilson, man of the match Ian Rees and Mike Tallentire resulting in a 3-0 advantage for the Beach Road Boys.
Alas, that is the end of the good news for the home side, as Andy Parry Jones, top banana Peter Jackson, Danny Ford, Cavan Thake and last man Steve Riley all win to secure both points when earlier all had seemed lost.
Meanwhile, the Collapsible Comrades maintain their pursuit of the leading pack with a comfortable 6-2 victory away at the Royal Oak. Lenny Billington is best on the night for the avaricious attic dwellers, with Daniel Atkin efficiently effective for the jiggered juggernauts.
Another 6-2 scoreline is unfolding in deepest Thornton on Friday, as the Chinese Telephone Directory ease past the Peripatetic Pensioners with plenty in reserve. Skipper Reb Hogg is pyrotechnically precise for the Wonderful Workingmens, with Joe Lavery least myopic of the obfuscated octogenarians.
A ding dong encounter between the Dockers and Highbury ‘B’ teams ends all square on Preston Street, this after early wins for Haidan Hughes and top tyro Chris Blyth Junior are cancelled out in an exciting opening period by the imperious Steve Hayton and Darryl Butler.
Steve Dagger edges the home side ahead at 3-2 at the start of the second half, only for Gary Swanton to level things again in game six. Back ahead go the Dockers, courtesy of Gareth Bidder, this before John Shaw rescues a point for the footballers with the final dart of the match.
A remarkable performance of tungsten tossing is taking place upon the blasted heath this week, as the Taverners take on the sixth in the table Biased Boys. A ten darts masterclass by Erik Dahl is the highlight of this remarkable renaissance in Rossall, whilst for the beleaguered bowlers only a solitary win for Terry Beavers sees them avoid the dreaded whitewash.
Finally this week let us travel down Poulton Road, to see the Strawberry take on bottom side, Fleetwood Cricket Club. Ian Kempson is best on the night for the home side as he gets them off to the best of possible starts; this before first wins of the season for James Kilburn and Darrell Moore ensure that the cricketers are still in the hunt when last man Jimmy Pilling steps to the oche.
Thus does the talismanic Jimmy secure both points for the Cricket Club, this after thirteen previous fruitless attempts.
Thus does Cricket Club skipper Matty Kilburn whisper under his breath “Thank you Santa.”
Thanks for reading.