Cliff under pressure

Local darts is bracing for its last major tournament of the year.

The annual Mickey Mouse tournament gets going this Sunday at the Corner Pocket bar.

Registration takes place from 12 noon with the competition getting under way at 1pm.

The tournament, which has been around for over a decade, gets its name from the format used. Basically players attempt to land three consecutive darts on the portions of the dartboard with the values of 20-12 and also the Bull’s-eye.

The player finishing all of their numbers first and also having the highest numerical score wins.

Matches are a best of three series that span across both a singles and doubles competition.

Sponsored by Budweiser, this year’s tournament comes on the heels of an exciting Vivian Rankine event a few weeks ago.

Eddie Ballantyne earned all the props by winning that tournament outright and nabbing a doubles trophy.

For Mickey Mouse tournament organizer Arthur Ebanks Ballantyne is one of many expected to do well on Sunday.

‘The top guys to look out for are Richard Campbell, Edsell Haylock, Eddie Ballantyne and Paul Anglin if he puts his mind to it,’ Ebanks said.

‘Michelle Terry and Miriam Rodriguez should be strong competitors for the women.’

All will be looking to dethrone Cliff Weeks, last year’s overall champion. Weeks beat out Caribbean champ Haylock in the singles event final.

Weeks also took the doubles title, teaming up with Filipino star Rodan Asuncion. The duo actually teamed up beforehand at last year’s Caribbean Championship in Trinidad and won second place overall for Cayman.

In spite of Weeks’ dominance last year, Ebanks says the odds are against his bid for repeat glory.

‘Cliff, in my opinion, lucked through last time. This time I don’t think that will happen.

‘The Mickey Mouse tournament sees a lot of camaraderie but at the same time there’s always stiff competition. For a lot of players it’s about being number one and gaining a title before year’s end.’

Ebanks, who doubles as the Cayman Darts Association President, has been to known to play well in the tournament. In 2007 he won the doubles event with Celso Ocampo.

However this time Ebanks will play a more supervisory role.

‘I’m taking a backseat this time and focusing on the tournament’s organization. The king has to step aside at some point to give youngsters like Richard a chance for success.’