Bullseye for Lancaster in women’s darts

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Roses Darts night turned the Great Hall into a party atmosphere. A bar had been set up at the back of the hall and two projectors beamed close-ups of the game to the crowd. Lancaster’s very own darts arena was ready. The rules: nine players from each team faced each other in one-on-one games, each game decided by the first to two legs. The first team to five games won the title and four Roses points.

Lancaster started well with Katie Walsh’s 2-1 victory. Next, Aro ‘the Arrow’ Nugawela doubled Lancaster’s lead. By now the crowd was growing and Nugawela made sure to do her best to get them going. Lancaster’s good start, admittedly helped by the alcohol, did just that. York’s Lil Hennessy and captain Julie Pan played well though, pulling the score back to 2-2. As the evening went on and the crowd continued to grow, Liz Rising and Rachel Taylor were able to give Lancaster back their two-game advantage, both winning nail-biting deciding legs.

With Lancaster’s girls needing just one win out of the next three to clinch victory, the pressure was really on for York. Their players responded well to this pressure with Hayley Ramshay and Lauren Clarke remaining calm to set up a dramatic deciding game. York’s Esme Nichols kept their momentum going, taking the first leg.

For the first time, the pressure was all on Lancaster. In Roses, home advantage is often vital and so it proved again. With the majority of the now fully packed Great Hall willing her to victory, Lancaster’s Emily Smith levelled the game before checking with her first attempt to take the four points. Elated from her win, Smith told SCAN: “It felt unreal. I couldn’t have done this without these girls”. Congratulations to Smith and both sets of players for some great darts!

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