Eddie carried Cayman’s World Cup efforts

It is easy to let a big stage be unnerving.

With the world cup being one of the biggest settings in all of sports, it is understandable that Cayman’s results were impacted a lot by nerve.

Cayman competed in the 2009 World Cup of Darts in Charlotte, North Carolina last week.

Six local players represented Cayman in the form of team captain Eddie Balantyne, Hank Ebanks, Richard Campbell, Michelle Terry, Linda Locke and Adrian Mannouch.

Cayman finished 23rd in the men’s section and 28th in the women’s section.

The men’s team came third in its group, behind Malaysia and Italy and ahead of Turks and Caicos.

The women’s team ended up last in its group behind Russia, Japan and Germany.

Cayman had a presence at the competition for the first time in its history and faced off with some 35 countries.

The World Darts Federation (the sport’s governing body) invited Cayman, an official affiliate, to participate this year.

Cayman took part in some four events in the form of the men’s and women’s pairs and the men’s and women’s singles.

The most positive results came from the men with Cayman notching a pair of victories.

Richard Campbell and Eddie Balantyne made it to the round of 64 in the single’s event.

Campbell beat a Turks and Caicos player 4-1 in the first round before losing to Luca Catallo of Italy 4-0.

Balantyne beat a player from Bermuda 4-2 in the opening round before losing to Kevin Munch of Germany 4-0.

The results were not so great for Hank Ebanks and Adrian Mannouch as they lost in the opening rounds to players from Finland and Russia respectively.

On the women’s side Linda Locke and Michelle Terry lost 4-0 in the opening round to a Scottish and English player respectively.

Over in the pairs section the duo of Ebanks and Balatyne made it to the round of 32 after beating a duo from Iceland 4-0.

From there the Cayman pair would lose to a Netherlands duo 4-0.

Meanwhile Cayman’s Mannouch and Campbell would fall short against two Finnish players 4-2 in the opening round.

The women’s side of the doubles would be done in a round robin format. Unfortunately Locke and Terry lost their games against pairings from Japan, Germany and Russia.

In spite of the results the Cayman team was a gathering of some of the bigger names in local darts.

Balantyne, a native of Scotland, has been on the scene for 14 years and is one of the most technical (and underrated) players on-island.

Ebanks is arguably Cayman’s most established name in the sport having played for 21 years and amassing over 125 trophies in various competitions.

Campbell is one of Cayman’s bright young sporting talents with a background in volleyball, flag football and softball.

He has become darts’ best emerging talent, winning the Vivian Rankine memorial trophy.

Terry has been arguably Cayman’s best female player for over a decade.

Locke, a native of England, was the 1999 US amateur doubles champion and the 2002 US ladies amateur champion.

Mannouch, another Brit, has the experience of playing in the semi-pro and county leagues in England.