Next year should see a greater emphasis on national team play in local darts.
Cayman Islands Darts Association Vice President Frank Martyr recently spearheaded a Cayman versus Team Philippines competition. Martyr states the goal is to keep local players sharp.
“The basis of the tournament is getting the players in shape, keeping the national team active and the players involved in darts,” Martyr said. “Over the years, we go to tournaments, say the Caribbean Championships, and the team fades away until the next tournament two years later.
“We have so many good Filipino players here. There were enough for four teams in the local league here. They are good competition and they can play our Cayman team. Playing against them once a month will keep the guys going and motivated.”
Matches take place on the last Saturday of every month at 7pm at the Mango Tree. The next round is expected to occur on 29 December.
Most of the top Filipino players are involved, including 2012 Vivian Rankine Memorial winner Jasper Esguerra and 2012 Mickey Mouse Pirates Week winner Eugene Deguzman. Interestingly, both beat out countrymen in the tournament finals for their honours.
Martyr’s event features all of the members of the Cayman national team that competed at the 2012 Caribbean Cup in Belize. A perennial podium contender, Cayman finished a disappointing seventh behind overall winners Florida and runners-up the Bahamas and Barbados.
Representing Cayman were team manager Cassius Anglin, Eddie Ballantyne as head coach, darts association president Paul Anglin as team captain, Cliff Weeks as vice captain, Hank Ebanks, Nethina Ebanks, Jasper Esguerra, Carol Johnson, Neville Parker, Miriam Rodriguez, Norrin Stewart, Mel Tagalog and Michelle Terry.
Martyr, who used to be involved with local dominoes, states all participants will have added incentive as prizes are on offer.
“At the first one we had this year, 28 players were there. Prizes are available. There is a fee for players of $10 with 50 per cent of the registration fees collected being returned to winners. They can also get cases of beer and be awarded with trophies.
“It’s a long-term thing with short-term objectives. Eventually, we’ll set up statistics to track the top players and have the national players ready for battle.”
News of Martyr’s event comes after the last two darts tournaments of the year as the Vivian Rankine Memorial and the Mickey Mouse competition took place in November.