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03rd Jan 2017

This clip of the most excruciating three darts ever thrown is a timely reminder of brilliance of PDC


Mikey Stafford

In Anthony Fleet’s defence, he was up against Martin ‘Wolfie’ Adams. A legend of Lakeside.

After the display of darts put on by Michael Van Gerwen in the PDC World Championship final on Monday night, everyone knows the next fix of darts was just around the corner.

That corner leads to the Lakeside however, and the BDO World Championships. A little slice of 1980s England on the BBC and a means of confirmation, if any were needed, that the men performing on the stage at the Alexandria Palace are really good at darts.

If you are really good at darts you compete in the PDC for the chance to win the £350,000 first prize. Otherwise you have Christmas off before heading to Surrey for a shot at £100,000.

While the PDC is a lucrative spinoff for the cream of darting talent, the BDO remains the governing body for darts in the UK and plays an important role. However, the annual comparison to the Sky Sports phenomenon that is the ‘Ally Pally’ does the traditional tournament no favours.

Like the FA Cup, the BDO offers opportunities to qualifiers, pub players and talented amateurs. People who are way, way better at darts than you or I will ever be, but are still playing a different game to Van Gerwen or Gary Anderson.

Which brings us to Anthony Fleet and his 2010 first round clash with Wolfie.

He had strived for 20 years to reach the world championships but, when he did, unfortunately the Australian was not ready for the bright lights of Lakeside

Wolfie took just 28 minutes to beat Fleet, who threw 26, 41, 60, 60, 5, 41, 22, 80 and 11 in his first leg (you also have to question how Wolfie allowed him that many trips to the Oche).

The ‘5’ stands out there among the lotto numbers and it was the result of three of the most excruciating darts you will ever see thrown.

On 314 after 12 darts and leading Wolfie by four, Fleet steps up to the oche and hits one below the treble, then he hits one above the treble and then he drops his third dart.

The microphone at the board is too loud, emphasising each poor arrow, but at least the ironic cheer of the crowd lets you know they are at least paying attention.

He regains his composure to skewer the treble. The treble ‘1’. Then the score caller booms out ‘5’, with a little too much enthusiasm for our liking.

Also, what the hell are the BDO doing with a dart counter on the scoreboard? That makes no sense.

Wolfie did go on to claim the title that year, so Fleet could at least say he lost to the best.

Anyway, the Lakeside fun starts on January 7th.