Brac games hit the target for Sister Islands throwers

After an enlightening Cayman Brac trip, some locals are looking forward to inter-island darts competition.

Arek Archibold, Hank ‘The Hammer’ Ebanks, Frank Martyr, Earl Smith, Irma Smith, Michelle Terry and Cliff Weeks competed in Cayman Brac last weekend in exhibition matches. The group, sponsored by fellow player Eddie Ballantyne and helped in the Brac by Robert Arch, played primarily at Barracudas Bar (formerly Ed’s Place) and attracted some 18 people. Ebanks said there are plans for regular contests in the Sister Islands.

“This will probably be a monthly thing that we’ll do every two months,” Ebanks said. “It’ll be about all the top players. A couple of other players wanted to go and had to forego it because of other commitments. It was very well organized and on the whole, we had a good time. Irma and Frankie did a good job and some Filipinos in the bar also got involved. Probably the next one will draw a bigger crowd next year. We would come back in January/February and do a tournament.

“Again, this was about introducing darts to those who have never played before. We would like to have teams there eventually that we go back and play against.”

Ebanks and Weeks are coming off strong showings at the 2013 Mickey Mouse Pirates Week darts tournament. Weeks would place third in the singles division, besting 2012 winner Eugene Deguzman. Ebanks teamed up with Randy Cruz to nab the doubles crown, defeating singles champion Mel Tagalog and Fernando ‘Bango’ Aromin. In all, 29 players competed with the Cayman Islands Darts Association donating a portion of registration fees to the Bayanihan for Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) disaster relief fund.

Martyr is the former vice president in the Cayman Islands Darts Association and has participated in events like the Mickey Mouse tournament. In his mind, the Brac trip went a long way towards forming a regular competition that can be on the local calendar.

“Our trip to the Brac was an exhibition one to promote the sport by showcasing our talented players and we achieved that,” Martyr said. “Robert Arch – who played in local tournaments here and is now residing in the Brac – has not lost his form so he is still a top competitor.

“We are hoping to continue our visits to the Brac and will invite the team over here to participate in one of our weekend tournaments in the near future. We thank Barracudas Bar for the wonderful welcome and the beautiful venue they provided for the games.”

The next major happening on the local darts scene will be the start of the 2014 national league on Jan. 15, 2014. The captains meeting takes place at Mango Tree on Monday, Dec. 9, from 7 p.m. According to association president Paul Anglin, the 2013 competition was won by Fidel Murphy’s (captained by Ballantyne) ahead of team Legends (featuring the likes of Martyr, John Nixon and Hiram Wright).

Anglin, who was recently reelected for a third straight term, said the focus going forward is on rejuvenating the sport.

“Our main focus is bringing back the fun in darts,” Anglin said. “You’re only going to have fun when you’re enjoying the game. People will improve their standard of darts when they’re having fun.”