Blackwood shows darts rivals no benevolence

Benevolent Cup runner-up Lee Hellyer, left, with winner Gary Blackwood
Benevolent Cup runner-up Lee Hellyer, left, with winner Gary Blackwood

The Bognor Friday Night League Benevolent Cup knockout take place at the Newtown Social Club.

A total of 51 players took part, a good turnout.

The first round brought 180s from Dave Owens (Friary ‘Z’), Lee Franklin (Friary ‘Z’) and Gary Blackwood (Legends), all winning their matches.

Three-time champion Blackwood hit another 180 in his second round win on his way to meeting another former champion, Micky Rowland (Friary ‘Z’), in the semi-finals.

Rowland hit a 180 in the second leg, but Blackwood made the final. The other semi-final saw Lee Hellyer (Newtown Amity) against Adam Hall (Aldingbourne Mavericks), but it wasn’t to be for division-two singles knockout winner Hall as Hellyer took the place in the final.

The final started with Blackwood winning nearest the bull, and he started with 60 followed by two 140s. Hellyer couldn’t score like his opponent, and in just 18 darts Blackwood hit double top for the first leg.

Over-60s and ladies step up to oche
Grand Slam success for Blackwood
Hellyer started the second leg with a ton, and scored 81 and 88 with his next throws. But despite some drop-outs for Blackwood, two 85s and a 171 put him in the lead.

With 94 left he could only leave 24, giving Hellyer a chance at 104. But Hellyer missed the bullseye to take the leg. Blackwood had three darts to go 2-0 up, but he missed, giving Hellyer his shot which he took to take the match to 1-1.

Leg three saw Blackwood hit a ton followed by 80. It should have been another ton, but a dart fell from the board. He followed it with 81 and 95, but a slip left him with double seven which he couldn’t hit on the first attempt. Hellyer eventually hit a ton, but it was too late as Blackwood hit the double to go 2-1 up.

Leg four saw Hellyer with a slow start but eventually hit 122. Blackwood hit back with a ton, but Hellyer replied with his own. Hellyer could only leave 76, but Blackwood threw for 80, hitting single 20 and double 20, then double 10 for the leg, taking the match 3-1, and his fourth Benevolent Cup title.