Rookie hurlers

Generally not much is expected of
people who represent their country in sports for the first time. However for
the new faces on Cayman’s national darts team the goals are lofty.

Arek Archibold and Tiffany Laurie
will take the national stage for the first time in two weeks. The pair will be
part of the Cayman squad competing in the 2010 Caribbean Championships in
Abaco, Bahamas 20-31 August. Archibold, 12, is Cayman’s lone junior player
while Laurie is one of five female players.

Both are under the guidance of
established faces in local darts. Cayman Islands Darts Association President
Arthur Ebanks will serve as team manager, Anthony Archibold is head coach and
the assistant coaches are Cassius Anglin and Hank Ebanks.

Young Arek Archibold comes from a
strong darts background as he developed an interest in the sport from
step-father Earl Smith (who is also on the national team) and Irma Smith (who
is a reserve for the women). In the national team qualifiers Archibold did have
his struggles as he won the fewest matches in the singles event (three).
However as Arthur Ebanks states Archibold is hands-down Cayman’s top junior
player.

“Arek plays with no fear,” Ebanks
said. “Anyone he goes against he feels he can beat, especially on the senior
level. He has already beaten some players and the ones he hasn’t beat have to
respect him. He gives them competition and I feel he will be a force to reckon
with in the future.”

Unlike Archibold, who has had a
year under his belt, Laurie has only been playing a few months. However she
impressed in the local league and in the national team qualifiers she won the
third most ladies singles matches (seven), was part of the second-best mixed
triples team (she won four games alongside Eddie Ballantyne and Edsell Haylock)
and the top-ranked mixed doubles side (six wins) alongside Haylock. Ebanks
states her form is turning heads.

“Tiffany just started playing a
couple of months ago. She was part of last year’s local league. For someone
with no experience who just got into the sport she has proven without a doubt
that she can go on to big things. If she keeps playing she can be one of the
top contenders in the Caribbean as far as I’m concerned.

“She’s been throwing fabulously and
achieving results people who have been playing for six years would achieve.
She’s hitting ton 40s, finishing in one or two darts and scoring very good.
Unlike a lot of the women players she is not caught up on the double pointers.
She’s really showing a high calibre.”

A big reason why Laurie has done so
well is her camaraderie with reigning Caribbean singles champion Edsell
Haylock. The West Bayer has played a big role in educating Laurie about the
sport. Ebanks states that his efforts have paid off.

“Tiffany has shown that she can be
a great partner and she understands the doubles game. Edsell has monitored her
and taken her under his wing. Outside of training Edsell has played with her as
a doubles partner and their record has improved. They gel well and that combination
is really working. I expect that partnership to do well in the Bahamas.”

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