Drama as Helmsdale player takes top-flight title
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FIFTY-six entrants took part in the Wick and District Darts League’s annual singles competition, held this year in Harper’s in Back Bridge Street.
Up for grabs were the sought-after titles of champion of the respective leagues, which involved three tournaments.
In the ladies’ event 15 entered and two familiar faces made it to the final. Sharon Swanson earned her berth after seeing off the challenges of Jo Taylor (3-1), her sister Carol Sutherland (3-2) and, in the semi, Liz Ronaldson (3-0).
Her opponent was to be fellow Francis Street Club player and team-mate Sandra Nicolson who beat Ann Begg (3-1), Sheona Campbell (3-1) and Claire Thain (3-1).
The final was a tense affair but it ended in another 3-1 win for Nicolson, who hit a rich vein of form with such high scores as 140 x 3,125 x 2, 121, 100 x 7 and a 104 checkout.
In the men’s division one there was no shortage of drama as the night progressed.
Harper’s was well represented with seven players participating in the top half of the draw.
Local favourite Stewart Tait booked his final place with victories over Tam Mulraine (3-1), George Smith (3-2) and, in the semi, Kevin Donald (3-1).
His opponent was Helmsdale-based Harper’s player Nicky Denoon who saw off the challenge of Richard Thain (3-2).
Denoon was then taken all the way by Mark Thain but triumphed 3-2 before beating semi-finalist Frazer Cairney, also of Helmsdale, 3-2.
The final saw Tait not really playing anything like he can and it was Denoon who held his composure to lift the title at the first attempt with a 3-0 win.
Highest scores – Kevin Macgregor, Kevin Donald, Cairney, Tait, Denoon, and George Smith, all 180. Macgregor 119 checkout.
The mens’ second-division title was keenly contested with Norseman “2” player Ian Coghill venturing to the final with fine wins over Ducker Harper (3-0) Graham Crowe (3-1) and, in the semis, Graham Sutherland (3-2).
His opponent was FSC player Andrew Henderson who beat Chris Scott (3-2) and Kenny Plowman (3-2) on his way to the semi-final, notching up 14, 16 and 22-dart legs and two maximums.
In the semi Henderson beat Brown Trout’s Jamie Wares 3-0.
The final ended up with victory for Henderson who notched up a 3-0 win.
Coghill did not deserve to lose by this scoreline but Henderson was without doubt the player of the night.
Highest scores – Henderson 180 x 3; George Mcphee jnr 180. Coghill 136 checkout; Graham Sutherland 118 checkout. Alan Harper 16-dart leg.
The next league tournament is also to be staged in Harper’s. The Christmas Cracker will take place on December ?20