Hank hammers ’em

Darts may seem to be on a hiatus but the sport has quietly bid its time playing through its local season.

With round two of competition nearly complete the balance of power is becoming clear.

As Cayman Islands Darts Association Vice President Philip Parsons states a new contender is leading the way.

‘So far the season is going well. Fidel’s has risen to the top and are well on their way to being the season champions. Eddie Balantyne has been the difference for them.’

Balantyne, known more for his efficiency as a tiler than with darts, has been on a roll. He started out the season with 29 tons and his focus and aim have not dulled since.

Then again Mark O’Keefe has stepped up in a big way. In the early parts of the season O’Keefe notched 36 tons. Over the weeks he has been steadily building on that figure and is well past 40 tons.

From there comes the real surprise of the season. As Parsons says, last year’s champions have fallen off the mark.

‘Corner Pocket Regulars are fighting for second right now. They’re holding their own with Earl Smith.

‘However, last year’s champions Triple Crown took a couple of big losses and have slipped down the standings. They are still in contention this year but could end up anywhere from second to fourth.’

Triple Crown looked strong in the first round of the competition behind Hank ‘The Hammer’ Ebanks. He nailed some 36 tons, won the majority of his games and had the squad near the top of their division.

Now they’re trying their best to fend off PD’S Pirates for third place. By the looks of things that is not going to be an easy task.

The clubs have a budding rivalry. The sides have squared off twice thus far and PD’s has won both times.

They’ve been lead by Arthur Ebanks (who had over 50 tons in the first round), rookie sensation Richard Campbell and 2008 Caribbean champion Edsell Haylock.

Haylock has been a key character in the rivalry. He used to play with Triple Crown last year when the side made their unbeaten run to the title.

His switch to PD’s did not go over well with his team-mates and the feelings on both sides have electrified the games.

The last game of the second round of the 2009 Guiness Dart League is on April 8.

From there the league goes on break for the Easter holidays and resumes its third round of play thereafter.

Ten teams currently play in the league in two sections. In division one is team Triple Crown, Fidel’s, Corner Pocket Regulars, PD’s Pirates and Harrows.

Wednesday’s Excuse, Corner Pocket Shafters, team Centerspot, Corner Pocket Delinquents and Spoilers are the teams that play in division two.

League games are played at 8pm every Wednesday.

The league uses six different venues in Corner Pocket, The Doghouse, Fidel Murphy’s, PD’s Pub, Triple Crown Pub and Centre Spot sports bar.

For more information log on to darters.wordpress.com.

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