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Photos: Sian Bradley

Varsity 2016: Dartsity

The University of Sheffield edged out Sheffield Hallam 11-10 in a tightly contested Dartsity contest in front of a raucous crowd of 400 at the Octagon.

It was the second ever edition of Dartsity – the first, a day short of one year previous, was won 8-1 by Sheffield in front of 75 spectators.

Presented by University of Sheffield Darts member and MC George Francis and broadcast live on Forge TV, the Octagon event took university darts in the city to a whole new level.

The first match pitted Sheffield captain Jonny Kirk against Hallam counterpart Jack Handley, and Kirk raced into a 2-0 lead with a 40 per cent success rate on his doubles.

However, Handley capitalised on double trouble from Kirk to take the final leg, planting his second third dart in the double eight.

Danny Hall and Declan Parsons starred in the tie of the night, the former hitting two 140s and a 100 in a 19-dart opening leg to make it 1-0.

IMG_2941Parsons fought back impressively however, and won the tie 2-1 with 27 and 29-dart legs to seal tournament-high averages of over 60 for the pair.

Max Orange then turned the tie in Sheffield’s favour once more, notching up the only 3-0 win of the night by comfortably dispatching Jamesey Ennis.

The next two ties were scrappy affairs – Hallam’s Alex Hadfield beat Tom Hogg 2-1 in a match more memorable for the former being carried onto stage by Hallam supporters than the manner of the victory itself, before Ed McCosh of Sheffield prevailed over Ben Laurence by the same scoreline to put his side 9-6 up.

Brad Hambleton then set Sheffield nerves racing by taking a 2-0 lead over Rob Matthews, but the Sheffield thrower checked out 91 on the bullseye to make it 10-8.

IMG_3002Brad Clowery needed just one leg to seal the win for Sheffield, and he managed it at the first attempt to spark wild celebrations.

Peter Newton did, however, bring Hallam’s total up to 10 with a 2-1 win, rounding off an exhilarating night of darts in front of one of the biggest crowds of the Varsity week.

The crowd were treated to a night of darting drama from the two teams, as well as exhibitions from seasoned professionals Trevor Burkhill, Micky Stocks and Mark Lawrence and World Youth Championship finalist Nathan Aspinall, and responded by creating a formidable atmoshphere.

Though tensions threatened to spill over towards the end of proceedings, the victory for Sheffield was not overshadowed by negative factors, but by the overwhelming success of a darts event spearheaded by Sport Sheffield Social Sport’s James Blencowe.


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