The finals of the 2016 Glencolmcille singles league took place last Saturday night in Roarty’s Bar.
With the scene set, the stage ready and players entering through a tunnel of smoke to their walk on music of choice you could easily have been in the “Ally Pally”, and with standing room only the players were feeling the nerves as they practiced away from the main arena in the dedicated practice room.
For the first time in the local area a youth league was running parallel with the main league and it was the finals of this league which was up first on the night. First to enter on the night was Connor McNelis, with AC/DC playing he was ready to face his opponent young Owen Carr, the man which topped the league stage with a cool 44 points from 14 matches. Owen had won the bull in the practice room and held the darts in the first leg with a 56 finish. Connor levelled things up in the second and finished 49. Owen took the third leg in what was to prove a turning point of the match, narrowly missing double 18 for a 138 finish. But he still took the leg after a double 18 finish. What was to be the last leg was a close one with Owen taking it with a double 16 finish and with that taking the match.
This was a great final between two good players; no nerves showing from these lads as we had 5 darts thrown at the doubles and 4 hit!! The youth league proved to be a great success. Aidan McGinley and Ryan McBrearty were also presented with their winning doubles trophies and Martin McGettigan and Connor McNelis received the runners up trophies. All eight players received a commemorative medal for the inaugural year. This league is the platform for young dart players and is expected to grow over the coming years.
The three man team final was next up and we had three first time finalists involved in this one, the first team to take to the stage was of Dermot McGuire, Colin McNelis and Norman Fuller. Their opponents on the night were Anthony Gallagher, Hugh Doherty and Adrian “Juicy Byrne”. Plenty of banter before the serious darts started between both teams as Juicy togged his team out in t-shirts with the phrase “we’re sexy and we throw it” printed on the back!!
With Dermot’s team winning the bull up they lost their advantage and lost the first leg as Hugh took this with a double 4 finish. Dermot McGuire took the next to level all up with a 74 finish, Colin McNelis then took out a 92 finish to put them in the lead, but Anthony Gallagher levelled all up again with a double 10 to take both teams to a decider. The final leg swung in different directions throughout but eventually after Anthony team missed doubles it was Dermot McGuire who took the match with double tops and took his team to victory in the 3 man team event.
The crowd were entertained next with the doubles final and it was the team of Kieran Gallagher and Jamie McNern that had too much firepower for their opponents Kieran Carr and Gerry McNern. Kieran and Jamie raced into a 2-0 lead in this race to 4, with a classy 94 finish from Jamie in the first and Kieran hitting double 5, leg 3 and 4 also went with Jamie and Kieran with finished of double 4 and another 94 checkout from McNern as they went on to take the match 4-0. Just some stats from the match in four legs we had 19 scores of over 100 from both teams and a checkout percentage of 57% from the winning team!!
The eagerly awaited B final between father and son Gerry and Jamie McNern followed next. As the sound of Deep Purple, smoke on the water and ‘Stayin Alive’ from the Bee Gees fired up the crowd it was Gerry who settled quickest and took the first with yet another 94 checkout. Jamie levelled things up with taking out 32. The next 2 legs also went with throw and Gerry narrowly missed x18 for a 138 checkout. With the shoreline delicately poised at 2-2. Jamie hit the turbo button and took the next two legs in 17 and 16 darts. The final leg saw the younger mc Nern hit 3 tons in a row an 81 and 78 to set up a 41 finish which he took out in the following turn. Jamie, or otherwise known as “The beard to be feared,” has certainly worked on his finishing and it proved on Saturday night. Although the scoreline may be slightly one sided by no means was it so, as in the final 3 legs Gerry started each with a 140.. Classy darts from both Players.
With a small interval between the B and A final it was time for the league to pay its respects to a local Legend in that of James Patrick McShane of Biddys Bar, so host for the night JP Byrne had a toast for James Patrick and thanked him for the memories which was followed by a roaring round of applause.
So the main event was upon the capacity crowd and first out and last year’s runner up Dermot McGuire graced the stage and his duelling opponent for the title of Glencolmcille darts champion was Kieran Gallagher from Ardara. It was Dermot that raced into a 2-0 lead with finishes of 10 and 76. Kieran got one back to trail 2-1 with a finish of 8. Dermot won the next 3 in a row with double 4, double 12 and a tops , with a 16 and 17 darter thrown as well. Kieran got 2 legs in a row to follow with a 95 checkout and double 4 to trail 5-3. Kieran also took the 9th leg with a finish of 10 to just trail by one.
The match was delicately poised and Dermot sat on tops with Kieran on a 121 finish and with Kieran missing the bull to level up the match Dermot took out the finish to be crowned champion of the year. Commiserations to Kieran Gallagher on a great match. And credit to both players. Just some stats from the match we had 35 scores of 100 or more no leg was over 26 darts and 6 legs were under 20 darts!
So the curtain comes down on another successful finals night and league, just some stats for the league stages in total there were 87 x 180s hit, 58 x ton plus finishes (highest 164) 2 x 161 and 8 finishes in the 150-160 bracket. 10 finishes of 15 darts or less with the lowest 11 darts from john con. 3 x 14 darters 2 x 13 darts 4 x 12 darts. We look forward to the start of next year’s competition and in the style of the masters John Con handed over the title to Dermot but can Dermot defend the title of will he hand over to one of the players in this fantastic league!!
League chairman Norman Fuller thanked all involved and both Roarty’s and John Eonion’s for their support and prizes for the raffle. Also for Byrnes stores for kind prizes given on the night. Markers and Checkers Michael Curran and JP Byrne and MC for the night David Gillespie all added to the great night. The local girls for the food and everyone involved thanks was given to all by Norman.
Full roll of honour for 2016