Full house gathers as darts stars hope to clinch Dyfed honours
THE 28th staging of the Men's Dyfed Darts Championship takes place at St. Peter's Civic Hall, Carmarthen on Friday evening, sponsored for the first time by Heineken Wales UK.
This competition, the only one of its kind run in Wales, invites players from all Winter Leagues, within the three counties of Ceredigionshire, Carmarthenshire and Pembrokeshire.
Over the past decade, leagues have had their allocation of representatives cut by half — 12 down to six. For the first time, the organisers feel comfortable with this year's entry — a full house of 128 from 25 leagues.
Again, a few leagues have failed to make the cut, as entries are now being accepted on a first in, last out basis.
The championship only carries a prize fund of £500, but it's the prestige of the event, that draws the top players from their respective leagues.
Not all the top names will be taking part this year, as the event clashes with the BDO World Championship and Winmau play-offs in Briddlington.
Nevertheless, of the 15 past winners of this event, seven will be present as well as several top players who have failed to get to the finals, and numerous new faces making their first appearance.
The draw, which for the first time does not feature prelims or byes, witnesses the majority of the top names appearing in the bottom half, and whoever comes through this half will have to be on top of their game.
Players in this half include, former winners Marshall James, Rob Hughes, Paul James, Andrew Dickenson and Eric Burden, along with Rob Coverdale, Martin Thomas (Aberystwyth), Steve Alker and Peter Evans.
The top half will be no push over either with a combination of some exciting youngsters and new faces in the line-up along with previous winners, Lee Chenery, Nigel Gardner, past Open winner Andrew Lewis, and in-form players such as Chris Jenkins, Richard Jupp and Luke Jones.
Players must register by 7.15pm and the first games will be called on at 7.30pm. There will be 11 boards in play with the format of five legs of 501.
Spectators will be charged £1 admission fee.