Le­in­ster Darts bat­tle set for New­town

Bray People - - SPORT -

THE 2019 Le­in­ster Darts Championship will be hosted by the Parkview ho­tel in New­town­moun­tkennedy over the week­end of Jan­uary 19 and 20.

This will be a his­toric event for darts in Wick­low as it’s the first time for the county to host such a pres­ti­gious event, the sec­ond most im­por­tant in the cal­en­dar af­ter the All Ire­lands.

The week­end kicks off on Satur­day morn­ing at 11am with the Le­in­ster Youths championship. The stars of the fu­ture from the east­ern prov­ince will com­pete for the tro­phy with some of our own home-grown boys match­ing up with the best of them.

Satur­day evening at 6.30 p.m., the Wick­low open sin­gles com­pe­ti­tion will take place. This is an open event and all play­ers are wel­come to com­pete.

Sun­day sees the main event of the week­end with the an­nual ladies and men’s team com­pe­ti­tions tak­ing place from 11 a.m.

Reign­ing Le­in­ster cham­pi­ons Kilkenny and All-Ire­land cham­pi­ons Meath will be the teams to beat but with Wex­ford, Of­faly, Dublin and our own Wick­low com­pet­ing it prom­ises to be a su­per show­down.

Re­flect­ing on Wick­low’s chances, new county man­ager Mick Lott was op­ti­mistic.

‘I am de­lighted to see the county host­ing such a mas­sive event and to be man­ager of a team go­ing in the right di­rec­tion is a mas­sive thrill. We have a fight­ing chance, and, on our day, we know we can beat any side in the com­pe­ti­tion. Hope­fully that day is Jan­uary 20.

‘My as­sis­tant Pat ‘Bomber’ Mur­phy and I have worked ex­tremely hard over the last few months and we have had great suc­cess in the in­vi­ta­tional events through­out the prov­ince.

‘We have a great sup­port net­work be­hind us with John Byrne, Ea­mon Franey, Alan Dig­nam and John White. We are de­lighted with progress so far.

‘The team is full of qual­ity and a great mix of young and old who have taken a real lik­ing to the new av­er­aged based sys­tem we have used to se­lect the panel. We feel this has pro­vided for a stronger team se­lec­tion and a resur­gence in Wick­low darts.

‘We have nom­i­nated Wick­low’s most sto­ried player, Martin ‘The Leg­end’ O’Con­nor from Rath­new as cap­tain. His en­thu­si­asm and drive have mo­ti­vated the team. We are con­fi­dent of a great year and hope­fully the Le­in­ster championship is the start of some­thing spe­cial,’ he added.

‘Wick­low’s sec­ond team, led by Bray man Robbie Hammond, will also be fly­ing the Wick­low flag and with the tal­ent on his team they can do se­ri­ous dam­age in a top-class com­pe­ti­tion.

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