The new season of the Letterkenny and District Darts League gets underway this Wednesday night, October 5th with Martin McCloskey’s Glencar A team set to face a battle to retain their league and cup double which they have now won two years in a row.
The bid to retain their titles look to be all the tougher this year with a very strong field of 10 teams taking to their respective oches come Wednesday night with a large number of multi All-Ireland county title winners amongst the ranks of several teams in the league.
Last years runners-up, Glencar Old Timers again take to the board led by county kingpin Derek Quinn, and they’ll look to go one better this year. They’ll have been buoyed by the announcement of Andy McLaughlin being due to join up with the mens county team in 2017, possibly looking to go out on a high together, this being the last year players be able to play in the same side with rules stating only one current county player can play per team.
At the other side of the town however, there’ll be stiff competition provided by two strong Tir Na Nóg teams, one led by another county stalwart in Gerald Porter, a Lakeside World Championship competitor in 2006. Assisted by the likes of Amer Quiambo and Andrew Barron, they’re sure to be a side to look out for. Also in the Tir Na Nog, via their A team, they’ll be led on the oche by current Ireland international John Flood, looking to better their cup final appearance last year and will also look to build on their third placed league finish.
Wilkins Bar in Churchill, with Victor Wilkin a big fan of the darts himself, joined the ranks last year, finishing a respectable 6th place on their first foray into the league and winning the B side cup competition. This season, they won’t be the newest side in action as Blake’s Bar step up for the first time, the main street premises home to Brian Kelly, Sean McCrudden, Sean O’Kane and Arthur McLoone, who will look to establish themselves amongst the elite of local darts.
The Orchard Inn, led by the Moores of Leitirleague will look to continue their good progress within the league, last year finishing an impressive 7th place despite having the youngest side in the league by some distance, youth throwers Lee and Alistair Moore continuing their development as senior darts players. The Swilly Inn will also be looking to continue their progression, also led by another county player in Mike Naulty Jnr while Mick McConigley Jnr and Snr will provide stiff competition for anyone within the league. Dave McGowan completes their side.
At the back of the Ballyboe Bar in the Glencar Inn, two sides will take to the oche with different faces to those accustomed to their throw in the back room of the Glencar pub. County veteran John Murray returns to the league to throw for the ironically named Ballyboe Rejects, alognside the Buchanan brothers TJ and Shane while Ballyboe manager Martin Gibbons takes to the oche alongside Marion Duddy, Bernard Peoples and Mel Duffy.
The first action takes place Wednesday night, an exciting 18 weeks of league darts awaits and with league cup, 6 a-side cup action and a singles competition to follow, we’re set up for a cracker of a season of darts in Letterkenny.
Week 1 Fixtures: (10pm Start)
Ballyboe Bar vs Blakes Bar
Glencar A vs Ballyboe Rejects
Tir Na Nóg B vs Wilkins Bar
Swilly Inn vs Glencar Old Timers
Orchard Inn vs Tir Na Nóg A