World Darts Scene
Guaranteed a new winners name on this years Boyle Sports Grand Slam trophy, Jose de Sousa (Portugal) faced James Wade (England) in the first to sixteen legs final, at the Ricoh Centre Coventry, last week. A glimpse of their respective pedigrees favoured Wade, a winner of 36 P.D.C. titles, 23 major finals and 9 tv victories. Pitch that C.V. against newcomer de Sousa’s 3 P.D.C. titles and 1 major final and you wouldn’t bet your last tenner on the man from Portugal.
Stats apart, it was still a one sided affair in the Englishman’s favour, who had also won both previous encounters. The 46 year old de Sousa can also be a “Maverick” on the oche, his semi final combination bust of 126 playing Simon Whitlock and his refusal to go for a last dart Bull, opponent Dave Chisnall sitting on a double, good examples of what not to do. Fortunately for him, he capitalised on both, a situation not to be relied on.
On the other side of the coin, Wade, is a meticulous counter, set up shots from 300+ points out are often made to leave 170 or under. Bogey finishing numbers are avoided and the semi bull utilised where appropriate.
The bookies made Wade favourite and so it appeared as the more experienced player nicked the 1st, de Sousa missing 7 leg darts, then the 2nd, his opponent opening with 2×180, a further maxi in the third insufficient as Wade took out 78 for 0-3. Yet another 180,140 and D18, reduced the deficit, de Sousa now in his stride. The 5th leg in the opening session was a 10 dart belter, 180,134,171,D8, five maximums, a 171 and still 2-3 down.
lt was “tit for tat” in the next five, both recording 180’s, the man from Portugal, levelling at 5 apiece with a 130 finish T20,T20,D5. The 3rd session was also de Sousas (3-2) now nerve free and showing some real class, to take the 13th with 180,180,109,D16 and then the 15th again in 11, 140,180,140,S9,D16, to lead 8-7 prior to the start of the 4th.
Wade only managed one leg in the 4th, a tasty 12 darter, 140,140,60,161, on the bull, the other 4 legs going to his opponent, recording a further 3×180 and the score now 12-8 and looking ominous for the Aldershot man.
“The Machine” immediately reduced de Sousas lead to 3 with a 92 out on D8, followed by a 120 on D20. Now 12-10 many suspected de Sousa to buckle, including me. Definitely not, a maximum and 68 finish halted Wades progress momentarily, the “Machine” taking his 3rd leg of the session T20,D8. De Sousa wrapping up the 5th for 14-11.
Wade now needing at least 4 legs to remain in the match or a more unlikely 5 to win, missed a 64 out in the 1st of the 6th session, de Sousa also missing after 2×180, but keeping his cool to close on D4. Now requiring just one leg, a magnificent 171 (on 19’s) left 32 for the championship, the unflappable “Machine” completing the leg on D16. Now needing the next 4 legs without reply, it was a bridge too far for Wade as the newcomer went out in style on 158 (T20,T20,D19) for the title and the coveted Eric Bristow trophy.
Match average de Sousa 99.95, Wade 94.26.
** Jose de Sousa’s victory elevated him to 15th place in the P.D.C. Order of Merit and a seeded position in the Worlds at Ally Pally.
** Simon Whitlock beat the 180 record of Adrian Lewis, managing an exceptional 20 in the 28th leg of his encounter with de Sousa.
** Wade is now a 3 time Grand Slam runner up, previously losing to Scott Waites in 2010 after being 8-0 up, winning only 4 of the following 20 legs, to lose 12-16.
** Wades other loss in 2016 was to Michael van Gerwen.
** A former carpenter, de Sousa lives just outside Madrid, only earning his tour card 2 years ago. The 46 year old is the 1st Portugal player to reach a major final.
** Wade has recorded two 9 dart televised finishes, one a double start leg in 2014 playing Robert Thornton (160,180,161). Remarkably, Thornton responded later in the match with yet another. Unusual to say the least.
** De Sousas 49 tournament 180’s fell just 3 short of the record 42 by Adrian Lewis.
** Fancy your chances of a pro dart career, then pop over to Wigan on January 16,17,18,19th and join 600 others at qualifying school aiming to achieve a two year tour card. Entry £450, small change if you’re good enough, there’ll be 28 newcomers looking to challenge the best. Alternatively, Hildesheim, Germany, where there is less competition, (300), but only 8 places.
** Simon Williams (Hub) hit his 2nd 100 of his short 5 year career, last week.
Misunderstanding leads to arrest
An old darting friend of mine Arthur, we all called him ” Arty, “always shopped in an Essex Tesco store. He was well known, and every Saturday morning would buy £ 20 worth provisions and always the same products.
This particular day he was without his usual carer ( Arty suffered several debilitating issues ) venturing to the checkout as normal, with his shopping and a £ 20 note in his hand. The cashier greeted Arty and told him his bill was £ 21 as prices had increased that week.
Arty argued it was always £ 20 and anyway that’s all he had. A compromise of returning something to the shelf was refused.
Matters quickly deteriorated, voices raised, Arty not understanding the situation and becoming confused. Attempts to placate the 18 stone gentle giant were to no avail, losing his cool he grabbed the cashier by the throat, strangling her. Security was alerted, but the same fate awaited both men.
The police were quickly on the scene, overpowering a bewildered, distressed Arty, arresting and later charging him. The incident rapidly made local , then national newsrooms, resulting in the red top headline ………