Western Isles Darts Festival

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The final arrows have been pulled from the boards after another hugely successful Western Isles Darts Festival.

Over a competition packed week in Stornoway, silverware was won, doubles and trebles were landed with unerring accuracy, the form book went out the window as players produced stunning check-outs and memories were made by all.

The action began on Darts Week on the Monday where Stornoway won the Area cup after edging Lochs A in the final 4 - 2. The beaten semi finalists were Newvalley and close neighbour Newmarket.

The semi’s and final produced 15 x 100, 18 x 100 +, 9 x 140. Top throws on the day were produced by Mark ‘Dog’ Macdonald and Alan Morrison who each landed 180’s while Alex ‘Momby’ Morrison had the highest finish with 74.

Twenty hardy souls braved the elements of the Early Bird Singles. The early rounds produced no upsets as the fancied players of Murdo Alex Macleod, Ryan Maclean, Murdo Macleod, Alex Momby Morrison, Mark Macdonald, Innes Maclean, Jim O’ Donnell and Andy Dowie all made the quarter finals.

Ryan went down to Momby in one of the semi’s while Innes edged Jim O’Donnell in the other.

In the final ‘Momby’ took the prize as he beat Innes 4-2 in the final.

The darts action continued at a frenetic furious pace on Tuesday as the four man team comp attracted six teams, To make life easier than writing down all the team members, a name has been allocated. The Big Dogs A lost to The Dowies, The Big Dogs B lost to the Dynamites in the Q/F.

The first semi final was won by the Mombles 5 - 1 against the Dowies the other semi went to the Dynamites who beat the Blondies 5 - 2, The final saw the Dynamites fly into a 2 - 0 lead but failed to capitalise as the Mombles won 5 – 3.

Some stand out stats from the semi final and final showdown worthy of special note are: Marina Dowie had a 61 finish on the bull; Innes Maclean hit a 144 finish; Ross Maclean hit a D9 - D7 for 32.

The under-25 competition, sponsored by DJ Gordie Mopp, was won by Innes Macleod who beat Jonathon Macdonald (QF), Ryan Maclean (SF) and Murdo Macleod 4-0 in the final to take the trophy.

Wednesday saw the spotlight shift to The Western Isles Masters and what a spectacular night at the oche it proved to be as the six top players and six qualifiers from competitions throughout the darts season faced off against each other,

In the first round Innes Maclean beat Ryan Maclean; Alan Morrison saw off Andrew Macdonald; David Macmillan edged Mark Macdonald and Calum Ruddy took the win over Murdo Macleod.

The quarter-finals saw Alex Morrison beat Innes Maclean; Alan Morrison sent Finlay Maciver out; David Macmillan took the win over Murdo Alex Macleod while Andy Dowie took a comfortable win over Calum Ruddy.

The final four saw Alex Morrison pick up a narrow 4-3 win over Alan Morrison before Dowie took a simialarly hard fought 4-3 win over Macmillan in the other semi.

In the final Dowie and Alex Morrison squared off with the former winning 4-1 with Andy boasting a pair of 105 and a 106 finish on his scorecard.

On Thursday the competition opened up to players from the other side of the Minch as mainland players piled in with their arrows in their top pockets.

The first competition was a free to enter Blind Draw Doubles to ease everyone into the busy weekends play. This was won by Sandy Morrison and Iain Leitch who beat Finlay Maciver and Jim O Donnell in the final.

The under 40’s final was between Innes ‘140’ Maclean and Derek ‘The Wall’ Maclean with the former taking the spoils with a 4-2 win.

The over 40’s saw Stornoway exile Sandy Mo Morrison take on George Main of Inverness in the final. This was a very close game but Sandy edged it 4 – 3.

The final comeptiton of the night was a brand new one with The Sea Angling Classic. This final was played by a pair of local players in Innes ‘140’ Maclean and Alex ‘Momby’ Morrison who had both played well throughout the competition.

Momby was the better player in the final and took the trophy with a hard fought 5 – 3 win with Momby also taking the deciding leg with a brilliant 170 checkout.

Frantic Friday was a busy day with a hat-trick of competitions open for players who competed in blind draw doubles, open doubles and three man team.

The latter saw the silverware stay on home soil as islanders Murdo Alex Macleod, Murdo ‘Griddy’ Macleod and David Macmillan beat Barry Maclean, Iain Leitch and Craig Maclean 4-2.

The magical mystery of the blind draw doubles saw Sandy Morrison storm through to yet another final with his partner Innes to play Finlay Maciver and George Main. The final proved to be a stroll for Innes and Sandy who won 3-0.

The open doubles saw the usual tag-team of ‘Momby’ and Finlay Maciver cross arrows with Edinburgh pair Ralph Hurst and Stevie Gerrard. The visiting duo had no answer to the home team with Momby and Finlay cruising to a 5-1 victory.

Sensational Saturday was the final day of darts action and 13 teams lined up at the oche for the mixed doubles event.

After the dust settled on a busy opening period of darts it left George and Courtney against Alex and Amanda Morrison in the first semi-final with Andy and Marina Dowie and Gordy Redmon and Lesley Dawson in the other.

The final pitted the Dowies against George and Courtney with the latter taking the prize following a 3-1 win.

The ladies singles also had 13 names in the hat with players from the islands joined by others from Edinburgh and Invernesshire.

Courtney McBain (Inv) beat Trish (Edin) 4 - 1 in first semi with Mandy Anderson (Inv) beating Lesley Dawson (Inv) 4 - 0 in the second. Mandy won the final 4 - 1 

Sensational Saturday also hosted the open singles and Losers event.

All players losing in the first round of the open were entered into the losers competition which meant that after more than 70 players had been at the oche for the singles it left 30 taking part here.

Alex Fraser (Inv) met Charlie Burns (Edin) while last years winner of this competition Charlie won to meet Gordy Redmond (Inv) who advanced after seeing off Tommy (Alness) 3 - 2 in the final.

Gordy was too strong for Charlie in the final and won 3- 0.

Finally the Open Singles was at the forefront and after a number of gruelling hours of titanic trebles and dozens of doubles there were just eight players left in the quarter-final line-up.

Andy Dowie 7-5 Martin Murison; Derek Maclean 7-5; Barry Maclean; Alan Morrison 5-7 Stevie Mitchell; Sandy Morrison 7-2 Barry Stuart left just four players in the darts ring for the top prize.

Mitchell then dumped Sandy Mo out after a 7-3 win with Derek Maclean running out a 7-3 victor over Dowie in the other semi final.

The final was a whitewash for Maclean who cruised to a 7-0 win as he retained the trophy he won in similar fashion 12-months earlier.

Darts week organisers would like to thank all players who took part and those who travelled great distances to compete. Thanks are also due to the management and staff of the Sea Angling Club who always ensure that everything runs smoothly and to Gordie Mopp for all the work he done before and during the festival.

A special thanks to all the board sponsors throughout the week from: Tolsta Community Development Ltd; Lavas garage; L and H Rangers Club; Carpet World; Woodlands Centre Cafe; Melbost Farm; DJ Gordie Mopp; Perfectly Polished; Macraes Garage; Calmax; Black House Bakery; Sea Angling Club and Angus Campbell Filling Station.

More than 160 180’s were steered onto the board during the festival with Alex ‘Momby’ Morrison claiming 25 himself. Derek Maclean had 22 with Innes Maclean 17.

Jim O’ Donnell landed a 160 finish, Dave Macmillan 164, Alan Morrison 167 and Alex Momby Morrison a 170 top darts.

The big dogs didnt disappoint us with their outfits or their singing, their darts were pretty good too and Kenny ‘Dokus’ Macdonald was delighted to hit his highest ever finish of 109.