The Olympians are about to enter the last chance saloon as they disembark from their charabanc outside the Dockers Club on Friday evening.
Already four points off the pace, the esplanaders know that only a win against the defending champions will suffice in keeping their slim title aspirations alive.
Unluckily for them, the first player called out for the home side this week is Lee Shewan, currently one of the hottest tickets in town. Three visits to the oche later and Lee is turning to shake the hand of Pete Jackson, an eight darts masterclass the best leg of the campaign so far.
A tight win for Danny Ford over Robert Dagger in game two sees the Mount pull level, parity that lasts but the blink of an eye as Mark Shewan sees off the challenge of Rob Saunders to edge the home side back into the lead.
Two players have been sharing top spot in the race for the individual title for some weeks now, and fate decrees that one of them will have to bend the knee as they are drawn to play each other in game four. Having being crowned champion in each of the last two seasons, Adam Blyth is determined to make it a hat trick of titles as he powers past the challenge of Steve Riley to make it 3-1 for the home side at the halfway point.
And although Martin Parry Jones reduces the deficit to a single leg at the start of the second period, before long the home side have secured both points thanks to a brace of wins by Colin Newton and Brett Dawson. A victory in the dying embers of the game reduces the final deficit to 5-3, scant consolation one assumes for the deflated visitors.
Another gripping encounter is unfolding on Kemp Street, as the Workingmens take on the Queens Hotel. At the halfway point, things are neatly juxtaposed after home wins for Rick and Phil Lee are countered in kind by Daniel Christian and man of the match Jeff Wright for the visitors.
Andy Johnstone edges the Beach Road Boys ahead at the start of the second half, an advantage immediately relinquished as Brian Wilson, top banana Brian Wood and last man Simon Callighan all win to secure a 5-3 victory for relieved home skipper Reb Hogg.
Things are equally tight on Poulton Road, where the Fluffy Ducks are taking on Dockers ‘B’. Following an opening shared experience between Graham Hopkinson and Craig Gill, the home side enjoy a purple patch of pyrotechnic precision courtesy of Lee Nield, Andy Gratrix and best of the night Ken Nield.
Three legs in arrears with just four remaining, the visitors hitch up their belts a notch or two and set about repairing the damage in some style. Mitch Blyth starts their revival in game five, this before a ten darter by Chris Blyth Senior and further success for tyro Chris Blyth Junior sees the sides all square with one leg remaining. Sadly for the home side, Haidan Hughes just manages to edge home in the dying embers of the match to complete one of the best comebacks since Lazarus.
Another close encounter of the darting kind is taking place on Upper Lune Street, as the Femme Fatales set about ruffling the feathers of the Collapsible Comrades. Joanna Coultas gets the girls off to the best of starts in the opening leg, this before man of the match Roy Stephenson squares things up at 1-1. A 100, 140 start by Belinda Yusuf ensures that the home side move back in front, albeit only temporarily as Kenny Harrison levels things up neatly at 2-2.
Back in front at the start of the second half through Jade Wright and when Tracey Cunningham finishes her leg in style, things look bleak indeed for the Comrades. There is much puffing out of cheeks and heavenward looks amongst the visiting contingent as Lenny Billington hits double top first dart to leave Tracey as mad as a wet hen. Finally, the boys get their noses in front in the penultimate leg through Gaz Whitehead, but still there is a twist in the tail remaining as dame of game Trish Hughes sees off Stan Billington in fifteen darts of the highest quality.
Yet another tight affair is taking place between the Cricket Club and Highbury ‘B’, the result in doubt until the final leg that sees Mick Owen win his first game of the season in securing both points for the visitors. Tony Kemp is best on the night for the cricketers, with Andy Helsby the pick of the victorious visitors.
The Bowling Club enjoys a comfortable 6-2 victory in deepest Thornton. Mark Wilson is best on the night for the belligerent biased boys, with Dave Grigg omnipotently octogenarian for the peppered peripatetics.
There is nothing very important to report at the top of the table this week, this after both top teams stroll efficiently to home victories over spirited opposition. A 109 finish from Scott Hayton helps Highbury ‘A’ ease past the challenge of the Blasted Heathens, this despite some staunch resistance from Ian Barron and an ultimately fruitless 152 opener from Gavin Billington.
The Cons maintain their two point advantage at the top of the pile, Steve Hadgraft best on the night for the victors, with Kevin Thompson the pick of the debilitated Deaduns