A black day for BDP as the competition hit a new low today with a paltry 47 players entering the Main Event and 10 in the Ladies plus 3 Youths playing their own little Comp, no real point trying to follow the Ladies and Youth Comps as it seems to change format for every event. Far and away the lowest attendance since the early days probably when the tournaments were held in small venues in and around Bradford. The decline in numbers has been noticeable all season with the general consensus being that the new format this year of splitting the season into 4 in effect with 4 separate Grand Finals just hasn’t been popular at all and players have voted with their feet by staying away. Maybe there has been too much chopping and changing of rules in search of the perfect formula when the original formula was fine to start with in the old guise of a full season of tournaments with one big event namely The Grand Final at the end of it. Plans already underway amongst the committee to revert back to the old system for next season but obviously having to face the consequences this season and see it through as it is. In a situation like this the only saving grace is there is time to run a money in money out tournament as a second comp to keep the players that are here at the venue all day and keep the sponsoring club happy.
Kai Haddock ( 19.24 ) 4-3 ( 19.12 ) Tom Gurran
Giffy Khasoi ( 17.46 ) 3-2 ( 17.79 ) Lynne Horne
This Final turned into a real battle for Giffi this week after missing 6 darts at doubles to win 3-0, instead Lynne fought back to level the match at 2-2, however having missed doubles herself in the first 2 legs a 3-0 result could just as easily gone her way, as it was neither player at the best in a war of attrition in the end with all the legs won between 26 and 36 darts with Giffi hitting Double 9 at the 7th time of asking to shade it. Nothing in it really but Giffi with the winning habit at the moment.
No Games played
Mark Reynoldson 3-0 Lewis Pride Dave Peasgood 3-0 Kieran Evans Mark Taylor 3-0 Steve Booth Josh Clough 3-0 Jonathan Troy Mally Welsh 3-2 Rick Waite Joe Osgothorpe 3-2 Craig Maddocks Steve Blower 3-2 Wayne Butterworth Lance Milburn 3-2 Andy Ward Steve O'Donnell 3-2 Neil Ward Tom Neal 3-1 Michael Townend Richard Rawding 3-2 Adam Kay Wayne Woodhouse 3-1 Jordan Fisher Alex Pride 3-2 Rich Winpenny Jaron Esteve 3-0 Tom Briggs Ian Holmes 3-0 Ray Long Richard Yates 3-1 Mark Hanslip Robin Towler 3-1 Mick Wiltshire
With the depressingly low turn out there were even gaps in the second round sheet so some players had a bye straight through to Round 3. In the games that were played Mark Reynoldson looked in superb form as he averaged around 90 in beating the unfortunate Lewis Pride 3-0. Big Mark Taylor is a Keighley resident but it doesn’t take long to realize he is a full blown Londoner with all the twang of a cockney barrow boy, the words ‘Go on my son’ amongst other such London lingo could be heard all afternoon, highly amusing and source of much entertainment to brighten up the mood, the big man going well too at this stage with a win over Wakefield’s Steve Booth. Adam Kay from Chapel Allerton in Central Leeds back in action with his distinctive and unorthodox throwing style after and giving Chesterfield’s Richard Rawding a run for his money before going down 2-3. The battle of the elder statesmen won by Ian Holmes 3-0 over fellow Bradfordian Ray Long at the bottom end of the draw.
Josh Scales 3-0 Arron Poole Mark Reynoldson 3-1 Sam Loader Steve Hudson 3-1 Dave Peasgood Josh Clough 3-0 Mark Taylor Brendan Marren 3-1 James Barton Mally Welsh 3-0 Mark Leonard Joe Osgothorpe 3-2 Arron Wike Steve Blower 3-1 Lance Milburn Steve O'Donnell 3-2 Mick Hayward Richard Rawding 3-1 Tom Neal Alex Pride 3-2 Wayne Woodhouse Jaron Esteve 3-0 Steve Silver Ian Holmes 3-2 Matthew Hagyard Robin Towler 3-1 Richard Yates
Always good to see 1990 News of the World Finalist Steve Hudson turn out on his home Keighley patch, his hair is a bit greyer than it was back then but the ability to throw darts is still there as he beat Barnsley’s Dave Peasgood 3-1. A real dour battle on the end board between Ian Holmes and Matthew Hagyard, the Bradford man not the most mobile these days as age creeps up on him while Matthew has just taken up the game and is a Keighley Rugby Union player in his main sport and losing out to the more experienced player in match that seemed to last forever. The clash of the round resulting in victory for Brendan Marren over fellow Woodbottom SL star James Barton by 3 legs to 1.
Mark Reynoldson 4-2 Josh Scales Steve Hudson 4-3 Josh Clough Brendan Marren 4-0 Mally Welsh Ian Ward 4-3 Joe Osgothorpe Steve Blower 4-3 John Clifford Steve O'Donnell 4-3 Richard Rawding Jaron Esteve 4-0 Alex Pride Robin Towler 4-0 Ian Holmes
No doubt Jaron Esteve along with Brendan Marren the clear favourites to win today’s event and both cruised through with 4-0 victories, a strange game for Jaron as opponent Alex Pride usually quite a stern test for any top player really struggled as he seemed to rush his darts in this game and Jaron won the game comfortably without having to play particularly well himself. Josh Scales forged into an early 2-0 lead but was overhauled by Mark Reynoldson who had thrown well all day, the Wakefield player frustrated with himself even though he was throwing well but knowing his steady Tons weren’t good enough against the 140’s coming back at him. A number of 4-3 games in this round with John Clifford, Josh Clough, Richard Rawding and Joe Osgothorpe all just dipping out to their opponents.
Mark Reynoldson 4-1 Steve Hudson Brendan Marren 4-0 Ian Ward Steve O'Donnell 4-3 Steve Blower Jaron Esteve 4-2 Robin Towler
Castleford’s Steve O’Donnell having to fight tooth and nail in every round so far to progress, taken the distance by Neil Ward, Mick Hayward, Richard Rawding and now young Gipton star Steve Blower, the St Albans SL player reflecting afterwards on the missed dart at a double that would have taken him to a first BDP Semi but it was not to be this time. Everything going swimmingly for Jaron Esteve on the darts front, a debut comeback victory from 1-3 down and Man of the Match performance for Yorkshire B recently at Warwickshire and into another BDP Semi here after seeing off Robin Towler in one of his brighly coloured trademark Hawaiian shirts that he loves to wear on these occasions. No surprise to see Mark Reynoldson in the Semi with the quality of darts he has been throwing all day with Steve Hudson unable to stop him this time, while Brendan Marren going about his business with another 4-0 win, this time Ian Ward put to the sword.
SEMI FINAL 1
Brendan Marren ( 26.83 ) 5-1 ( 26.51 ) Mark Reynoldson
A match much closer than the 5-1 scoreline suggests at Skipton’s Mark Reynoldson put in a fine effort in his first BDP Semi but missed darts at a crucial time proved to be his undoing in this game. Both players threw well against the throw early on with Brendan taking an early advantage with a 112 checkout to break the throw with an 18 darter and Mark firing straight back to equalize with another 18 darter and despite scoring well in the next leg to be left on 36 after 15 darts he couldn’t halt the Marren march as took the leg with some precision darts in 15. The key moment came in the next leg with Mark setting himself up superbly for a break back with 3 straight Tons a 99 and a 70 set up shot to leave 32, however all that good work counted for nothing as he threw the leg away with 6 missed darts at doubles, the sort of finishes he had been taking out easily all day long, with those misses went his chances as Brendan kicked for home like a Champion Racehorse powering in another strong leg of 15 darts but just like his earlier leg he was on a 1 dart finish after 12 so had the luxury of 3 clean darts to finish the leg which he did do to go 4-1 up. A 19 dart hold was enough to get the job done with Mark unable to hit a telling score till too late in day as he was left on 70 at the end. A ruthlessly efficient performance from Brendan, ‘The Afterburner’ probably firing on 3 out of 4 cylinders with 14 x 100 pluses and a couple of 98 scores besides a good Ton plus finish in the opening leg. A good effort from Mark but he might wonder what might have been had he tied the game at 2-2 but all in all a good day for him as he hit 12 x 100 pluses with 5 of them big 140 scores and also 3 scores in the 90’s.
SEMI FINAL 2
Jaron Esteve ( 25.30 ) 5-0 ( 23.12 ) Steve O'Donnell
A straight forward passage to the Final for Jaron Esteve as he crushed an out of sorts Steve O’Donnell 5-0 to set up a showdown with Brendan Marren. Rock Inn SL star Steve had managed to dodge a few bullets on route to the Semi’s with all of his games going to the wire and all the effort probably left him with little in the tank when he needed to be firing on all fronts against a player in tip top form and full of confidence. The E/W Ardsley SL Captain always seems to pull out a key shot at the right time and he did just that in the opening leg which swung all the momentum his way, an 82 finish with his opponent waiting on 8. A mortal early blow for Steve and he never really covered after that as Jaz ran away with it without really having to go through the gears, winning legs in 18,23,18,20 and 20 darts bore this out with Steve not having a shot at a double, a match to forget for him in truth but still a good achievement to reach the Semi with little match practice these days and to compete with the top boys you have to be match sharp all the time to stand any chance. A total of only 4 x 100 pluses and a couple of 99’s tells its own story and never enough to challenge a player of Jaron’s ability as he dominated with 9 x 100 pluses and 3 scores in the 90’s.
Brendan Marren ( 31.38 ) 5-1 ( 26.77 ) Jaron Esteve
A tremendous Brendan Marren performance in the Final to overwhelm Jaron Esteve with a display of power scoring and absolutely lethal finishing. No doubt about it ‘The Afterburner’ was turbo charged and firing on a full 4 cylinders as he would have to be against Jaron having also lost out to the Ossett star in their last couple of meetings. The home town player took a vice like grip on the game right from the first leg and never looked like letting go with Jaron having to put in an excellent 15 dart leg just to avoid a whitewash at 0-4 down. Power darts all the way through from Brendan firing in a couple of Maximums in the first 2 legs to take them in 14 and 16 darts. Former Lofthouse and South Elmsall resident Jaron now settled in Ossett needed to hold throw in leg 3 to stem the tide but he threw by far his worst leg of the game with 62 his highest score in the 6 turns he had which allowed Brendan to cruise it with an 18 darter himself and more dominance followed in leg 4, this time a 106 finish for a 15 dart leg snuffing out any chance for Jaron back on 140. Even at 0-4 down it would be foolish to write off a player of Jaron’s class just as it was at York darts not so long ago when he came from 1-5 down to beat a rampant Daz Johnson 6-5 with some quite astonishing darts that day to reach that Final and hopes of a comeback this time flickered briefly as he put together a great leg to reduce the deficit to 1-4, however Brendan was in a determined mood and wasn’t about to let this one slip and as Jaron threatened early in the leg the tall Woodbottom SL ace put his foot on the accelerator with a late salvo of 140,100 and a fine 118 to finish the match in some style with another 15 darter and probably his best performance for some time i would dare to suggest. A faultless display in all departments of the game as he scored big with 2 x 180’s, 11 x 100 pluses, 2 x 90’s efforts plus 2 x 3 figure checkouts with a stat of 5 out of 7 on the doubles which makes him extremely hard to beat. Very rarely does Jaron get outplayed to this extent but only in leg 4 did he really fire like he can, maybe he could have done with a sterner test in the day with only Robin Towler putting up any real resistance against him so when the big hits from Brendan came in the Final he couldn’t find the response that he usually has but still yet another Final appearance to his name in a great year so far for him as he hit 10 x 100 pluses and 3 x 90’s scores in the match.
In previous years gone by Brendan has been the dominant force at BDP alongside Les Delderfield and Willie Kershaw out of all the regular players but in recent times the going has certainly got a lot tougher for the Keighley star with quite a few early round defeats that were almost unheard of 4 or 5 years ago. The main reason for this decline as it were is that the standard of players across the board has increased so much with so many now having the tools and the belief that they can beat the top players like Brendan whereas at one time only the elite stars could match him. However his victory today only serves notice that he is still a player of the highest calibre and will always be one of the main men to beat at BDP. A vintage Marren performance today and a true gentleman of the game, always respectful, polite and courteous to everyone around him.