Sunday, January 14, 2007

On target...

Live blogging from the Lakeside my sofa. All the drama, excitement and old fat blokes with tattoos of World Championship Darts as Martin 'Wolfie' Adams takes on Phill 'House Husband' Nixon. Rapid fire updates courtesy of Killing Time.

5.59pm: Nerves starting to creep in. Me, not the players. Am growing concerned that they'll still be at it at 7.30pm, when I really need to find out what's happening to Coronation Street's Tracy Barlow.

6pm: Eek! We're off. BBC link announcer tells us that "Frimley Green is rocking."

6.01pm: Tony Green and Ray Stubbs open the Beeb's coverage with some rowing hi-jinx on the lake. Very creative.

6.03pm: Lovely video montage with extreme close-ups of Martin and Phill's sovereign rings and respective chins/beards.

6.05pm: M tells me that she finds it reassuring that you can be 50, as Adams and Nixon both are, and be able to play at the top of your 'sport'. Meanwhile, Suzanne Nixon is picked out by the Beeb's cameras. She has a look of steely determination and general miserableism, and is obviously keen for Phill to take home the prize as her and their eight children need to eat.

6.07pm: Wolfie is the first to enter the club arena. He manages his usual embarrassed wolf howl.

6.08pm: Nixy Nixon storms on to We Will Rock You. A bit like your dad at a disco.

6.10pm: Phill throws first. He's had his hair cut. Tony Green reckons Martin is the most nervous but adds, apropos of an addled mind, "if he wins he can go and buy himself a brand new

6.14pm: Commentators inform us that Phill travelled to the
Lakeside on public transport but was given a lift to the bus stop by the landlord of his local pub. It's these enlightening anecdotes that make the event so special. It's one leg each. Close-up of the Chelsea Pensioners on the front row. Most of them are asleep. Still, it's early days.

6.17pm: Tony Green has an unhealthy preoccupation with stony-faced Suzanne Nixon and informs the viewers that "we've had some good laughs in the bar". You can make your own mind up about the sub-text of this comment.

6.19pm: Adams takes first set. The physical similarities between Martin and his surnamesake Gerry Adams suddenly strikes M, who asks if they're related. I expect that Tony Green will say something about this by the 13th set if we get that far.

6.28pm: Tony G moves his attentions to Mrs Sharon Adams. "She's looking pensive and she's...well...erm...looking pensive." Adams takes second set. Nixon licks his fingers in a fine display of homo-erotica.

6.32pm: Phill gets his first 180.

6.36pm: Adams takes third set. At this rate I will see Coronation Street.

6.39pm: Nixon coughs into his hand and tells himself to "come on, come on, come on". Apparently, if he wins he will become president of his local club. President Nixon. How very droll.

6.41pm: The fancy hair of both men is rigidly held in place in a mysterious manner. Adams' fine mop-top, a bouffant, anachronistic number that harks back to the 1970s, wins that particular contest. Adams takes fourth set.

6.49pm: Camera cuts to Suzanne. "Headaches all over," says Tony G. Surely just in the head, Tony, hence the name? Tony's thoughts on Suzanne are beginning to disturb me.

6.51pm: Martin Adams manages a miraculous shot - he fires his last dart into the flight of another. Amazing. It should be worth a few points, I think, but apparently that dart scores zero.

6.52pm: Adams takes fifth set.

6.55pm: In part I think that Nixon's appalling effort thus far could be due to all that finger-licking. It's disgusting.

6.59pm: "Suzanne and Sharon. The two wives," says Tony G. He gives the impression that he knows them both intimately and, when he was a younger man, probably gave them both a bendy Bully.

7.03pm: Nixon is missing double after double. Adams takes sixth set, and needs one more for the £70,000 cheque that goes with the title.

7.05pm: During the break Bobby George tells Ray Stubbs that if Nixon stages a comeback he will call him "Yewdini", demonstrating that wearing hefty gold chain can and does hamper a man's intellect.

7.13pm: A woman with obvious severe learning difficulties waves a scarf emblazoned with 'Martin' at the camera.

7.14pm: "Sharon signing autographs already," informs Tony Green as the on-screen images show the same. The crazy world of celebrity strikes again. After tonight, the Lakeside behind her, Sharon could well be making up the numbers in the Big Brother house.

7.15pm: Shot of Suzanne, smiling. "Smiling evermore," says Tony. "From Durham. Go to Durham you meet some lovely people." Durham Town Council press office will probably be using this catchy slogan as of tomorrow.

7.17pm: Phill wins a rare game. "When he smiles he looks like Jocky Wilson," says the ever insightful Tony. He doesn't.

7.19pm: Phill scratches temple after mis-calculating his arrows. Just one more game required for Adams.

7.21pm: Already panicking about how he'll be filling the remaining forty minutes when Adams wins the next game, Tony G says "This is the hand that could be holding the trophy."

7.22pm: At last, a Wolfman gag from the commentators. "Phill will need silver bullets if he's to get back in this one." Maybe he's got one - he wins a leg to make it 2-2 in the seventh set.

7.23pm: "The pipes of Pan could be with you, Phill," Tony tells us.

7.24pm: Tony G was right and Pan pipes can be heard at the Lakeside. Or maybe it's the punters blowing into their empty Carlsberg bottles. Nixon wins a set back to prolong the agony and f*ck up my plans to watch Coronation Street.

7.29pm: "Stand by Suzanne," says Tony, with Nixon getting back in the game. Be afraid, Suzanne, be very afraid.

7.33pm: Phill wins another set to make it 6-2. "He's flying," says co-commentator John Part. He's not.

7.37pm: "He's playing with nothing to lose," says John Part of Nixon. Part is forgetting that the winner gets £70,000 and the loser £40k less.

7.40pm: Phill wins another set. He doesn't give a damn about Tracy Barlow.

7.44pm: Tony just won't leave the players' wives alone. "Her heads going down," he says of Sharon Adams, fantasizing as the words are uttered. "This is magic," he harps on, his mind not really on Nixon's amazing comeback.

7.48pm: 2-2 in the tenth leg. Both men's hair still intact.

7.49pm: John Part: "How can you not root for a man who was 6-0 down?" That, John, is called backing the loser. Although he has a point.

7.50pm: 81 for the title. Adams misses his double. Nixon wins the game to win another leg in his comeback. 6-4 on sets.

7.53pm: Nixy's best man told him to "play darts" at the interval. Great advice.

7.58pm: Tony G: "Look at the smiles all over the place." Sometimes a bit of dead air is preferable.

8pm: Coronation Street ends. What happened? Another chance for Adams to take the title. He requires 64. Misses his double eight. Nixon wins to level the set 2-2. Again. Over on Channel Four Celeb Big Brother starts in just an hour. Oh dear.

8.02pm: Nixon wins the eleventh set to make it 6-5. If Tony Green could swear he would say un-f*cking-believable.

8.04pm: "I only said that in passing," announces Tony G, apropos of Nixon's fine arrows. "And it came to pass," says John Park, coming over all biblical, which is surely not allowed if you're a Canadian. Nixon wins another leg. 1-0 in the twelfth. His wife looks close to a heart attack. With the game heading to a feverish climax, Tony G has stopped talking about the wives at last.

8.06pm: Three-way split-screen vision. Mrs Adams holds her hands in the air in resignation, Martin Adams is talking to himself, Nixon wins the second game of the set.

8.09pm: Nixon wins another leg to take the set. "Six to Martin, six to Phill. Can he believe it? Well you've got to believe it, Martin," shouts Tony G. Sharon, not M's favourite wife of the two, leaves the hall in tears. And to think she'd taken advantage of the BBC's make-up department before the game. "Suzanne ain't leaving," says Tony.

8.12pm: Adams wins the first leg of the final set against the throw.

8.14pm: Both miss Shanghai finishes. Adams double top to win. He does. 2-0.

8.16pm: Nixon's game wobbles in the third leg.

8.17pm: Adams 54 for the title. Double top to win. He
does. "At last, Martin Adams, the world number one, achieves his ambition, but he was a lucky man," understates Tony Green. Sharon, the glory seeker, runs back into the arena for a hug and almost hugs the wrong man. Both men drink heavily from their bottles of Vittel.

8.18pm: Nixon picks up his cheque for £30,000. "It's a lot to get for just chucking some arrows," says my youngest son.

8.19pm: Adams celebrates victory by sticking his thumbs in the air. Very old skool. There is the mandatory playing of Queen's We Are The Champions. "Take the plaudits, son," says Tony G. Adams sticks his thumbs in the air again. He knows no other way. "Tumultuous applause," says Ray Stubbs, showing off.

8.22pm: Martin is handed a pint of bitter back stage. "And when I fink back I used to watch the darts every year sitting back in my chair and I used to watch Eric [Bristow]. And 'ere I am, wiv the trophy in me hand."

8.26pm: Suddenly think that you might not be interested in darts. Sorry. I won't do it again.

More from the Lakeside World Darts Championship at BBC Sport.


NQ said...

That was so exciting, I almost thought I was watching sport for a moment there!

I did see the bit where the DWAG was signing autographs. Surely some mis-understanding or something? Signing off the bar tab maybe?

bazza27 said...

An extraordinary game of darts, which sadly, for me, just had the wrong ending. Call me a sadist but I wanted to see Martin and Sharons reaction when he lost, but sadly it was not meant to be.

Dave W said...

Wrong ending for me, too, Bazza. Just before she stormed out I'm sure that Sharon had been on the phone to her solicitors to file for divorce. Did you see Ray French doing the post-game interviews? He told Martin "we were outside the toilet pushing notes through to let her know how you were getting on." Martin's response? "Have you got her on the toilet on video?" A strange couple. Swingers, I reckon.

bazza27 said...

Only the BBC would admit on live television to harrassing a lady whilst she was on the toilet.

looby said...

It was brilliant wasn't it? Every year I get really drawn into it.

Did you see the game where that very young player with the spiky hair scored 3? He gamely lifted his glass of water to the audience.