Eye on the bull’s-eye

MacNevin still on a high af­ter win­ning na­tional crown

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - SPORTS - BY DAVE STEWART dstew­art@the­guardian.pe.ca Twit­ter.com/DveSte­wart

Dar­ren MacNevin of Char­lot­te­town has his eye on the bull’seye again.

MacNevin is aim­ing for more suc­cess at the Potato Open, a na­tion­ally-ranked dart tour­na­ment in Summerside in Septem­ber.

He’s fresh off the big­gest win of his life, cap­tur­ing the na­tional ti­tle in May at the Do­min­ion Dart Cham­pi­onships in Bri­tish Columbia, also known as the Royal Cana­dian Le­gion dart cham­pi­onships. Each province sends a four-man team.

“Un­real,’’ MacNevin said when asked to de­scribe what that vic­tory was like. “It’s the big­gest tour­na­ment I have ever won. I screamed, I jumped around. It was pretty emo­tional for my­self. I had never won any­thing like that in my life.’’

But it didn’t re­ally hit him un­til he called home to tell his wife.

“You start talk­ing and things get emo­tional. It’s a pretty big deal for my­self.’’

Un­til that point, MacNevin’s big­gest achieve­ment was reach­ing the semi­fi­nals at a worl­dranked tour­na­ment in Hal­i­fax one year.

Most dart tour­na­ments are straight for­ward. Throw the dart at the board and ac­cu­mu­late a high score. How­ever, MacNevin was play­ing a dou­ble-in, dou­ble-out game.

That means to start the game, play­ers have to hit those nar­row slits along the outer edge of the board be­fore they can start scor­ing and then it’s the same thing at the end.

MacNevin, who also serves as pres­i­dent of Darts P.E.I., was tied for first at the end of the tour­na­ment with a player from Man­i­toba and won the na­tional ti­tle in a sud­den death play­off.

“There’s all sorts of pres­sure. I just kept plug­ging along. I had no idea where I was in the stand­ings. I just did my thing.’’

The game has changed over the years, de­clin­ing as a fun sport but grow­ing in promi­nence as one those who play it take very se­ri­ously.

“The stigma with darts was al­ways a bar drink­ing sport. Well, it has evolved to much more than that.’’

The world’s best play for mil­lions of dol­lars each year.

“It’s played in ho­tel ball­rooms and there’s more on the line (such as) trips to Europe and the world cham­pi­onships. The cal­iber of the game has risen to be­yond what it was when I started.’’

Un­til May, MacNevin might have been able to fly un­der the radar but that’s changed with his win in B.C.

Now, as MacNevin takes aim at the bulls­eye, there will be a lot more eyes fo­cused on him.

DAVE STEWART/THE GUARDIAN

Fresh off his first-ever na­tional cham­pi­onship win, Dar­ren MacNevin of Char­lot­te­town has his eye on the bull’seye at a na­tion­ally ranked tour­na­ment com­ing to Summerside in Septem­ber.

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