Andover’s Arron Monk and Harriet Raynsford won their respective singles in style at the Wolversdene Club last Saturday to maintain the Academy’s proud 100% record at the Andover Unicorn Darts Youth Open.
Monk and Raynsford faced some tough examinations of their talent and character from the cream of the Academy and determined challengers from five neighbouring counties.
In the ladies final, Harriet won a high scoring tussle over academy and county team-mate Samantha Pike. Sam was poised to strike in each leg but was barely given a chance due to some clinical finishing and although having been the runner up now for three years running her performance showed just why she is establishing herself in the county set-up. Harriet has had a magnificent season partnering Sam to the national pair’s title and runners up spot in the singles and this crowned a superb year so far. For the record Raynsford 20.88, Pike 21.13 averages were good enough to grace the premier league of the inter counties senior section.
The academy was also well represented in the Mens section but by either knocking each other out or running into some top class performances from outsiders only Monk was to reach the staged finals.
Conner Bevis, Adam Major, Luke Goddard, Dan Read, Gary Thorne, Sean White and Karl Brooks won their way through the group stages to make the last sixteen but only Major and Thorne made it to the quarters before they made disappointing exits.
It is fair to say that on Saturday there was some of the best talent in the south of England on show at the packed Hayward’s suite but Monk was in a class of his own clearly indicating why he is rated so highly by Taylor, Wade and company. Monk eased his way to the final without dropping a leg only to find himself 2-0 down to Wiltshire’s talented Chris Aubrey who nailed 13 and 19 dart legs. Monk then went up a gear winning five consecutive legs in 15, 14, 16, 17 and 15 darts. Aubrey never gave in as his 27.87 average will testify but Monk 30.74 always had that extra gear.
The day was always going to end on a poignant note with Ivan and Jacqui Gentleman presenting the awards and the memory of Jamie taking part in similar presentations in Essex with Bobby George.
The academy is proud to be associated with such a special family and knowing that Jamie would have thoroughly enjoyed the day as a player and a spectator and he has left a lasting legacy.
It was a spectacularly good day throughout and the Academy wishes to thank main sponsors Mike Kirkby and 1-2 Call Cabs, Steve Murphy of ASP Murphy, Roger Smith of Transplus, DartsWorld, The Unicorn Group and the Wolversdene Club for providing such a fine venue.
Ladies: 1st: Harriet Raynsford, trophy, LCD TV, Dartboard and DartsWorld subscription. 2nd: Samantha Pike, trophy, IPOD and Dartboard. 3-4: Kyla Tobin, Karla Blake £25 gift voucher and Dartboard. 5-8: Molly Dawkins, Christine Pike, Jodie Waters and Amy Thorne £15 gift voucher.
Mens: 1st: Arron Monk, trophy, LCD TV, Dartboard and DartsWorld subscription. 2nd: Chris Aubrey (Wilts) IPOD, trophy and Dartboard. 3-4: Adam Smith-Neale (Warwicks), Justin Bradshaw (Hants) £25 gift voucher and Dartboard.5-8: Gary Thorne, Adam Major, John Mulley (Berks) and Luke Humphreys (Wilts) £15 gift voucher and Unicorn wallet.
Highest check-outs: 119, Luke Humphreys, 67, Kyla Tobin £20 gift vouchers.