Police enjoy fine wine, food at Awanui
A large contingent of players from outside the area were treated to Far North hospitality at its finest when they took part in the 43rd New Zealand Police National Darts Tournament at Awanui Hotel earlier this month.
A total of 28 players, many accompanied by their partners from as far away Christchurch, Palmerston North, Gisborne, Tauranga, Tokoroa, Napier and Auckland along with Houhora took part in the longrunning three-day championships from March 9-11.
Event spokesperson Shane Godinet said the annual tournament started on the Friday with Far North Mayor John Carter speaking of a long and healthy association with the police over the years before he threw three darts to officially open the event — all darts hit the board somewhat impressively.
The police men’s and women’s teams then played two invitational sides made up of players from the Far North Darts Association competition in a series of friendlies. The Far North women’s team prevailed 12-3 over the policewomen.
Both teams entered into the spirit of the game and a lot of mirth and frivolity was heard coming from their area of play, Shame said.
match proved a more serious affair, with both teams trading dart for dart.
“Scoring was of a high standard and for the newbies in both teams, it was an experience of pressure darts they will not forget.”
The final score was 11-9 to the police men. Standout was Cullen Wild, the youngest player fielded by the FNDA, who narrowly lost his singles game. A win would levelled the score 10-all and forced a team game to decide the outcome. Only two 180s were scored in this match, by Wild and Derek Ashley.
With both hailing from the Far North, this suggested the future of darts in the Far North was in very good hands, Shane said.
Both were presented with police 180 badges afterwards.
The three-day event continued on Saturday and Sunday with the police titles up for grabs in singles, pairs and fours, in both men’s and women’s divisions.
The games proved particularly memorable for the police competitors, thanks largely to the hosting association and venue’s reputation as caterers extraordinaire, as well as the support the event received from the local community
“Sponsorship from a host of Far North businesses and individuals saw the generosity and largesse we know exists in the Far North come to the fore,” Shane said.
“The police were amazed at the range of prizes, including accommodation, bus tours, wine, honey, electrical goods, spicy sauces, tools and outdoor clothing, that they left the area wanting to return,” he said.
SPECIAL FORCES: The New Zealand Police men’s and women’s teams were selected at the conclusion of the annual national championships at Awanui earlier this month.
CASTING VOTE: Mayor John Carter officially opens the 43rd police darts nationals at Awanui earlier this month by throwing three darts.