Last week saw the Shetland Darts Association Intercounty Darts team travel to Kirkwall on Wednesday nights Northlink ferry to play the annual intercounty match against Orkney (KDDL) along with a team From Lerwick Ladies Darts Club who were also travelling to face their Kirkwall opponents in their annual Intertown match.
Thursday night saw the Lerwick Ladies take on the Kirkwall Ladies in front of a large crowd in the public bar of the Kirkwall Legion. The order of play on the night saw the match begin with the 6 doubles matches followed by 12 singles and 3 four a side games.
The ladies started with a warm up match where the reserves from both reserves played a game of doubles which was won by Lerwick.
After some close games in the doubles Kirkwall Ladies took a 3-1 lead before the Lerwick Ladies won the remaining 2 doubles games to level the match at 3 legs all going into the Singles.
Lerwick Ladies started the Singles strongly taking the 3 games before Kirkwall fought back again to level the match at 6-6, the following legs were very close with a Lerwick edging into an 8-7 Lead. Before going on to win the next 3 closely thought games to reach the 11-point mark and retain the Intertown Trophy they won last year.
The remaining Singles game were played out along with the 4 a sides games to make the final result Kirkwall Ladies 9 Lerwick Ladies 12.
The following night saw the Intercounty Men take to the oche in the main hall of the Kirkwall Legion in what would be a new and much larger venue for both teams to compete in.
A large crowd with plenty of supporters on both sides filled the main hall added by lights and walk on music set the atmosphere for both sets of players. Another new feature for this year was that the match was being streamed live for those who were unable to attend the fixture.
Following the swapping of team sheets earlier in the day by team captains Craig Taylor and Clive Burgess the format for the nights play was set as 12 singles, best of 3 legs, 6 doubles best of 3 legs followed by 3 Four asides consisting of 1 leg of 1001.
As a warm up to the nights match the reserves on both sides played ag game of doubles which saw Brett Dickinson and Kevin Peace emerge as 2-1 winners over Peter Peterson and William Gray.
The first Singles game of this year’s Intercounty saw Liam Sutherland put Shetland into a 1-0 lead with a 2-1 victory over Paul Foubister. Neal Redfern put Shetland 2-0 up coming from behind I his game against Wayne Monkman to emerge a 2-1 winner.
The 3rd match of the night saw Orkneys Ivan Leslie beat Stuart Paul 2-1 before Stevie Linklater levelled the match at 2 all, with a 2-0 victory over Arnold Brown. Arnold did hit the first 180 of the night in this game.
Orkney took the lead on the night in the next game on the night when Robbie Stanger bt Craig Smith 2-1 . The 6th game of the singles line up saw James Hall lose out 2-0 to Ian Linklater whilst the following to games saw further victories for the Orkney side with Kevin Gray and Derek Firth beating Roger Irvine and Gareth MacRitchie, Kevin Gray hitting a 180 in his game against Roger.
The 9th game saw Ryan Tulloch come from 1 leg behind to beat John Robert Scott 2-1, Shetland Captain Clive burgess lost out in the following the game against Alan Gray, with the Orkney player hitting a 180 in this game.
Shetland’s Philip Mowat pulled a game back for the away side in the next game coming back from one nil down to beat Leigh Shearer to make the score Orkney 8 Shetland 3.
The final singles game was between Colin Tulloch and Brian Moar with the later emerging a 2-1 to put Orkney 9-3 in the lead on the completion of all the Singles matches.
After a 15-minute break the match resumed with the doubles games and first up were Shetlands Stuart Paul and John Robert Scott who played Robbie Stanger and Stevie Linklater with the Orkney pairing emerging 2-0 winners to put Orkney 10-3 up.
The second Doubles saw Roger Irvine and Arnold Brown play Kevin Gray and Derek Firth and with the game level at 1-1 it was Kevin Gray who stepped up and checked out on double 8 to win this game and along with it secure a 11-3 victory for the Orkney team.
The trophy presentations then took place KDDL president and team captain Craig Taylor thanked all involved for making the event such a success.
The player with the highest average on the night was Orkneys Kevin Gray who finished with a 3-dart average of 84.95 and was presented with the man of the match trophy by Shetland Captain Clive Burgess who then after presented Orkneys Captain Craig Taylor with the Intercounty Trophy.
Shetland Darts Association president Alasdair Harmsworth then addressed the crowd to thank the Orcadians for their hospitality, and all involved in organising the event. Shetland Darts association would also like to thank Northlink Ferries for sponsoring the Shetland Team with their travel arrangements and also thank The Orkney Hotel and "The Shore" for providing accommodation to players.
Saturday saw the Anniversary Shield take place in the Masonic Hall in Kirkwall with 80 players entering both the men’s and ladies’ competitions After some very close games in the early rounds of the men’s competition the quarter finals saw Brian Moar beat Neil Croy, Ian Linklater beat Robbie Stanger, Shetlands Peter Peterson lost out to Stevie Linklater and Roger Irvine beat Kevin Gray. The semi finals were played over the best of 7 legs and saw Ian Linklater beat Brian Moar 4-1 and Stevie Linklater bt Shetland’s Roger Irvine by the same scoreline. In the best of 9 leg it was Ian Linklater who emerged a 5-3 winner over Stevie Linklater.
The Ladies Final saw Orkneys Katie Croy bt Iris Anderson in a close final by 4 legs to 3.
A Live steam of the 2019 game can be found online: https://www.facebook.com/Orkneyshetlandintercountydarts/