Far North way too sharp for Taniwha
The Far North Darts Association rep side mounted a successful defence of the Challenge Shield against a strong Taniwha outfit at the Awanui Hotel on Sunday.
The Whangarei-based Taniwha association brought up two teams of eight to take on their Far North counterparts in the annual provincial challenge.
The top teams from each faction battled for the Challenge Cup (contested by the three Northland associations, Far North, Bay of Islands and Taniwha), while the B teams battled it out for the reanimated Team Challenge Shield (contested between Taniwha and Far North).
Local commentator Laurence Erstich noted the Far North A team proved too sharp on the day with Steve Doak, Brian Steed and Derek Ashley all hitting 180s, while the best finisher was Becca Marinkovich who hit a 67 bullseye finish, along with a 102 and the day’s best finish of 110.
Erstich noted the Taniwha had their chances with six wins in the doubles, while Doug and Michelle also claimed a couple of good wins for the visitors in the singles.
The current holders were clearly not keen on relinquishing the cup and went on to dominate the doubles 10-6 and the singles 6-2 to secure victory by a convincing 16-8 margin.
Erstich noted the Taniwha team brought up both experienced players and those new to the tournament scenario and said it was great seeing new players from both teams competing at a good level and enjoying themselves.
The B teams’ battle for the Team Challenge Shield (to be won by the side whose A and B teams have the most overall points) saw both factions fielding a combination of youth and experience.
Far North standouts included Ian Webb with a 180 and Denny Watling a 104HF, while youngsters BJ Williams and Jamie Hilton-Jones scored and finished well, winning both their games 2-0.
Taniwha standouts included Marie hitting a high-score 152, while the other novice competitors in the visiting team gained immense experience from the occasion.
The Far North Bs eventually dominated the doubles 12-4, and the singles 7-1 to take out a comfortable 19-5 win, and giving the hosts victory in the Team Challenge Shield by a resounding 35-13.
In other news, the FNDA congratulated Jo Steed for making the New Zealand team, which was picked at the end of the nationals in August. The team of two ladies and five men are currently in Seoul, South Korea, playing in the World Darts Darts Federation’s 19th Asia Pacific Cup from Wednesday to Saturday, October 10-13.
Far North team captains Robert Bradley and Steve Doak celebrate after beating their counterparts from Whangarei in the annual Challenge Shield darts tournament at Awanui on Sunday.