Welcome to another exciting installment in this season’s Peninsula Darts action. With the expanding of the league’s ‘premises’ and promotion of two very good teams into the first division, it is anyone’s guess how things will unfold. Well, so far, so topsy-turvy! Newly promoted Hoo have made a bold start by beating neighbours Five Bells (9-3), the Evening Star (10-2) and then the champions at The Labour Club in Twydall (8-4). The Labour Club’s A team are sitting close by in second place after another cracking start. Wins over The Labour Club B, The Palmerston Club and at The Hogarth in Grain. Also in joint second place in the table are ‘old’ league members The Sportsman A, who have also triumphed in Grain, beaten The Cecil Arms and put paid to the hard to beat White Horse. Again, another place affected by legs won and lost. Much fancied Walnut Tree, from Gillingham, have lost just one game so far, against fellow cross-river team, Palmerston Club, enough to keep them back in seventh place behind The White Horse in Upper Stoke. The lower reaches of the first division are more interesting. Old stalwarts and former champions The Hogarth have only won once to date and captain/chairman Lee must be hoping his team start winning soon, before losing becomes a habit. The Evening Star were elected back into the top division after last season’s relegation, but this this friendly side are finding life difficult, without a win. A similar story for The Cecil Arms, having just changed venue. On the floor of the table are the Five Bells of Hoo. A typical and consistent mid-table club, having played only two games, they are yet to record a win. Captain and committee man Phil Goodier will be looking to put some steel into their performances and kick-start their season.

In the second Section we find The Sans Pareil undefeated at the top and looking strong. This seemingly social bunch hide an austere and winning heart. Four games, four wins put them two points ahead of The Steam Packet A. Here is another team who are no strangers to success, having won the Gillingham Summer League. Is there really such a gulf between the leagues? Like The Evening Star, here are a side that is a little too good for the second division but may not be quite good enough for the higher section. A great bunch of boys though! The Sportsman B also fall into a similar category with their undoubtedly talented team. So not a great deal of surprises in this division unless the mid-table position of those perpetual Wooden Spooners, The Fenn Bell, is taken into account. With their latest result, a draw away at The Nags Head, added to their points tally, the ‘Spooners’ sit at an impressive fourth in the table. Can this team of ‘mates’ retain the Spoon? Don’t count on it! The position of the two Cliffe teams, just below the Nags Head at the foot of the table must not be seen as a crisis for any of them since, except for the top two, there is not a great deal of difference in the standard among the rest. Take into account the Bon -Hommie and suppers of the second division, a visitor from Mars could be forgiven for mistaking it for a first division venue!

The knock-outs are also underway and the attendance for the Blind Triples was very encouraging and the event enjoyed by all. Certainly the turn-out was better than last year, a good omen for the kos to come. Probably the most looked forward to and intriguing contest of the season is the Team ko. Involving all the teams from both divisions, this is seen as the FA Cup of our league, when anyone can win over the course of nine straight 6×6 legs. And this has proved to be the case. With three first division teams defeating another three from that division the odds of an upset or two materialised. The VCS Club from the second duly despatched The Hogarth of the first and thus the next round will see seven top section sides against five from the second. Clearly a scenario for further upsets here. All the losing teams from the first round will enter The Hed Hedger Plate and get another chance for glory.

Just 21 maximum 180 throws so far this year with Alan Reeves, Lee Knight and Vince Tipple bagging two each. Top check-out is 118 thrown by Lewis Googin for the Hogarth in their uninspiring season, and 115 by John Plum for The Sans Pareil in their season of success!

The committee have ‘lost’ two members due to work commitments; Jon Watt, a very active and supportive man on the committee, the other being the only second division representative. As this is a very successful and growing league replacements are eagerly awaited. Dart players with the energy of Jon Watt and others with an interest in the league (second division?) should be proposed and seconded with the chairman as soon as possible.

See the Results Table

Until next month, happy darting, Adrian B&B