Sunday, March 13, 2011
On the Oche .....Darts Report
Had a good night at the Darts, although would probably have been even better if I hadn't been at work next morning, and could have had a few pints to fully soak up the atmosphere.
Took us around 1hr 50m to get to the MEN from Derbyshire, which at 'Rush hour' time on the M1 thought wasn't too bad. I've never been to Manchester Centre before and from the brief view i got it looks a very 'happening' place. Anyway we parked up in the 'Arndale' Car Park, then walked into the Arndale Precinct to ask directions. My mate asked a thirty-something mum directions and after pointing us in the general direction she asked who was on at the MEN tonight - when my mate replied 'Were going to see Darts', she gave a sympathetic 'Oh' and looked him up and down as though he was a real saddo :)
I'm not sure if she thought we were going to see the band 'Darts' or actual 'Darts' but presume for her the 'you saddo' look fitted in with either.
Anyway after turning left instead of right the journey took us a little longer than it should have, but we eventually found the box office, strangely located in the middle of the railway station, and I stood in the 'Guest Tickets' line behind around 20 other people. After 15mins I approached the Kiosk window and gave the lady behind the counter my name, after a nervous few minutes of her mumbling "....can't see your name on here" she eventually gave a ".. oh your here" and passed me my envelope, so I thanked her and strode of towards MacDonalds for refreshments before the show started. As I walked I opened the envelope and found 1 ticket, and a wristband - ! I quickly returned to the kiosk and went down to the line next to the guest tickets line to explain that I'd not been given both tickets, thinking she could lean across to the Guest Line Lady who was stood next to her and she could quickly sort us out -Wrong !! She pointed me to the back of the now even longer queue were we had to wait for 20minutes more to rectify the error and get our other ticket and 'Players Lounge Wrist band' - Bloody Jobsworth !!!
Whilst waiting again we saw our only (real) VIP of the evening walk past followed by the sound of around 30 soccer fans who had also spied him, chanting his name across the station foyer. Mr Robbie Savage.
Eventually we got into the watch the event and had a table to ourselves right next to the "tunnel" were the players begin their entrance, flanked by 2 very pretty young models dressed each time in varying skimpy outfits. So not a bad view at all :)
We each had first pick at 2 games a piece with a wager on the outcome of each match - I was bloody useless ending up 0-4 by the end of the evening, and if "James 'The Terminator' Wade" is supposed to be a professional darts player then there's hope for me yet - !! If you want to make a few quid back against him winning anytime you see odds offered.
While we were there I met the chap who actually won the entry tournament, he got the same package as me but he wasn't overly impressed about the VIP description in the adverts, he complained to anyone who would listen, and probably only watched about 2 games before setting off in search of the 888 representative (if there ever was one there !). He was telling us that he used to sell Cocaine, and deal Pirate DVD's in the Canaries Islands and that when he gave a VIP night out over there he used to give his clients the best seats in the club and as much Coke as they wanted - Too be fair if he was expecting that sort of treatment from 888.Com he was always going to be a little disappointed :O
He was a really likable chap, called Gary and (for those of you who are old enough) looked like Neil out of 'The Young Ones', he also bore a remarkable resemblance to another current 'TV Star', and whilst stood leaning on the rails were the players walk on, had his hand shaken vigorously by one of the players - who kept saying to him "Hey its you !!. its YOU !!, its you off the telly" -(This was the aforementioned "James 'The Terminator' Wade", he was still probably thinking about who Gary reminded him off, instead of concentrating on throwing his bleeding darts straight!). Gary looked a little embarrassed by it all, and then explained he quite often gets mistaken for Frank Gallagher from Shameless - as soon as he said it the resemblance was there to see.
So after Gary disappeared into the Manchester evening, in search of the 888.com rep and a fix we watched the remaining Darts matches, with the Phil Taylor v Gary Anderson match the pick of the bunch, both playing really top notch darts, Taylor edging it 8-6 in the best of 14 Match.
The last game was a little one-sided (my man losing again) so we skipped ship about 10mins early, saved ourselves a £5 in Car Parking costs in the process and arriving home just after midnight
If ever you have a chance to attend one of these events then I would highly recommend it, just make sure you have a day off work next morning and you can have a few bevvies while you watch the game.