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York beat Lancaster 5-3 in the men’s darts at Barker House farm on Friday night before a crowd packed full of loud and passionate Lancaster supporters. The atmosphere could be described as almost riotous, with students standing on chairs to see above the crowd and to exchange chants and mocking jeers to the opposing side.
York built a quick and confident lead over Lancaster in the first few rounds, leaving Lancaster trailing 3-1. The York students seemed almost surprised at their early lead and doubtless this helped the confidence of their players. York darts player Thomas Hesketh sounded elated and when he described the night as “Awesome, we’re having a good game and a great night out”.
Then the Lancaster team rallied to make a come back, heralded by Lancaster’s Bridson scoring an impressive 180 in one of the rounds.
Credit is also due to Lancaster’s Robson, a fresher, who beat York’s University Singles champion and team captain 2-1 to make the overall score 4-3 to York leaving Lancaster desperately seeking an equalizer.
Naturally the atmosphere was electric, and the crowd were loudly heckling. @yorkersport tweeted that “We’re hearing the men’s darts referee is refusing to calm down the crowd as ‘they might start booing me.” Cartmel darts player Philip Flenley felt that the usual standards of these players was lowered by crowd pressures, and that it was becoming a game decided chiefly on who could hold their nerve more. He also observed how 60 became a good score when most of the players were more used to hitting tonnes in less pressurised situations.
However in the final round York pulled ahead to bring the final score to 5-3, leaving the York players feeling ecstatic and the Lancaster fans disappointed, but consoled by the fact that overall Lancaster was still ahead in the Roses competition.