What a weekend it has been for those British sporting icons, Brett Dawson, Tyson Fury, Lewis Hamilton and Andy Murray.
Let us get to the boxing, car racing and tennis later.
For it is the Dockers ‘A’ darter upon whom we must first concentrate.
We find ourselves in Annie’s Attic at around nine bells on Friday evening.
The Comrades and Dockers ‘A’ are level at 1-1.
How fortunate I am to be given the honour of marking his game.
What a wonderful view I have as he strides resolutely to the oche.
Some minutes later I find myself counting the pieces of chalk on the shelf below the board.
Then I notice a cobweb in a corner of the room.
I think I may have nodded off for a minute of two.
In my dream Kylie and I are singing a duet.
Suddenly, I am jolted from my reverie!
I open my eyes to see Brett pulling his winning dart from the board.
My weekend is ruined.
For, try as I might, I just can’t get enthused by the efforts of Tyson, Lewis and Andy, not after having been so close to the action on the night that Brett won his game in 34 darts.
Meanwhile, across town on the esplanade, the Olympians gather ahead of their clash with visitors the Queens Hotel. Having inflicted a first defeat of the campaign on Dockers ‘A’ last time out, the home side are keen to secure another victory against the Beach Road Boys.
But things get off to a bad start for the hosts; this after a delighted Danny Christian gets the visitors off to a winning start. And although Steve Riley immediately levels things at 1-1, before long the Queens are back in front, courtesy of Jamie Spore. A spectacular shared experience between the night’s top performers Rob Saunders and Ian Rees maintains the visitors narrow advantage at the halfway point.
Things are neatly juxtaposed at the start of the second period, this after Cavan Thake’s win for the hosts in game five. But back in front go the visitors in game six, Jack Wilson edging home in breathtaking style. Still the home side gird their loins to good intent, Jimmy Reilly levelling this once again with but one game remaining.
The BRB’s are not to be denied however. In a nail biting conclusion, it is to be Mike Tallentire who returns triumphant to the arms of a joyous Queens contingent, his wafer thin victory over Dave Coulborn taking last season’s bottom side to an invigorating fifth spot in the table.
Another close encounter of the darting kind is taking place in the Land that Cabs Forgot, as this year’s bottom two go at with a vim and a vigour.
First half wins for top dog Dave Grigg and Martin Coleclough for the Ashley are cancelled out by those of Femme Fatales star Carol Evans and Michelle White. However, a trio of tungsten triumphs by Harold Davies, James Unsworth and Mick Buckingham secure both points for the aged ones at the start of the second period, this before Trish Hughes records a late consolation for the disconsolate dames.
Deaduns get off to a winning start on Friday through Dave Spencer, this before Paul Gair levels things neatly for visitors the Workingmens. A brace of man of the match performances leaves the match all level at the halfway stage, Daniel Atkin first for the home side before Steve Gray secures his fifth award of the season for the visitors.
Back ahead go the home side in game five through Paul Wood, this before Brian Wood levels things at 3-3 in the anti penultimate leg. Still, the home side scent victory when once again they edge ahead through the born again Eddie Atkin. And yet, even at this late stage the home side are to be denied the victory as Reb Hogg squeaks home by the narrowest of margins to secure a share of the spoils for the visitors with the final darts of an enthralling encounter.
Another tremendous tungsten tussle is taking place between Highbury ‘B’ and the Blasted Heathens. And opening win for skipper Andy Helsby proves to be a false dawn for the hosts, as Mark Mizon, Peter Hornby and Erik Dahl all win to give the visitors a 3-1 lead at the interval.
A brace of wins for man of the match Michael Shaw and Granddad John levels things up at the start of the second half, this before top Taverner Gaz Whitehead secures at least a point for the visitors at 4-3. And a point is what they have to settle for when Mick Gordon makes it 4-4 in the dying embers of the match.
The Biased Boys record a satisfying win on Upper Lune Street this week, Mark Wilson continuing his tremendous run of wins with victory over the ever dangerous Andy Gratrix. Having eased ahead at this point by 3-2, the home side soon wrap up both points following further successes for Steve and Phil Stanhope.
Things are much more boring in our remaining three games, as teams from the upper echelons of port society despatch opponents from the lower reaches as would vegetarians remove a family of caterpillars from their Salad Niçoise.
Chris Blyth Senior is a solitary success story for the Blyth Spirits on Friday as the John Shaw inspired Highbury ‘A’ run amok on Preston Street.
Even more emphatic is the performance of the Lowther Lotharios in seeing off the Cricket Club. A solitary shared experience for Tony Kemp is all that stops the flannelled fools from suffering a calamitous whitewash at the hands of the defending champions, for whom Steve Hadgraft is emphatically best on the night.
And so we end this week back where we started, in Annie’s Attic.
Having taken an early lead through skipper Neil Buston, the Collapsible Comrades spontaneously combust after Brett’s prolonged sojourn upon the oche. From 1-0 up the home side conspire to lose every other game against their Lee Shewan inspired opponents.
Sinking remorselessly below the surface like the Titanic, the impersonation of Kate Winslet upon the prow of the ill-fated liner by balladeer Brett is a fitting footnote to the night’s proceedings.
Thanks for reading.