A large crowd travelled to Hannon's Hotel in Roscommon on Sunday to see the most entertaining League Cup Final in recent times, as the curtain fell on yet another Roscommon County Darts League season.
In a final that provided many twists and turns, The Widow Pat's of Knockcroghery eventually took the title with a 4-3 over Spell's of Ballaghaderreen. Spell's topped this yearís League table by three points ahead of the Widow Pat's but did what mattered most on final night despite Spell's best efforts. The Knockcroghery side, who won their Cup back in 2003, made a superb start taking the opening two games.
Widow Pat's 1 Spells 0 (Mick Egan 4, Sean Fleming 3)
Sharing 17 ton pluses between them in the game, The Widow's Mick Egan and Spell's Sean Fleming played out a nervy opening leg, which fell Egan's way after 30 darts. Both players were much improved in the following leg, which Egan took in 21 darts. Fleming replied to level with 22 and 17 darters. A 72 checkout from Egan in a 21 darter saw him take the lead again, but Fleming replied in the 6th leg with a 24 darter. Egan's 16-dart winning leg included heavy scoring and no messing on his finishing with Fleming sitting on 154.
Widow Pat's 2, Spell's 0 (Jimmy Reilly 4, Eugene McDonagh 1)
Eugene McDonagh started well in game two with a 20 dart leg, but Reilly managed to take the next four games with legs of 19, 27, 26 and 22 darts with McDonagh never too far behind.
Widow Pat's 2, Spell's 1 (Paul Carton 3, Martin Fleming 4)
In a game where both players shared 24 ton pluses between them, Carton took a very one-sided opening leg in 21 darts. However, Fleming took the next three in 18, 23 and 20 darts to lead 3-1. Fleming continued well, opening up the 6th leg with a 180 but Carton was to take it with a superb 113 checkout in 21 darts. Both players shared good scoring in the 6th leg, which also went Carton's way in 20 darts to break the throw. Carton had the darts in the deciding leg and was first to reach the double after 15 darts. But after missing six darts at double and under pressure from Fleming's high scores, Carton had to suffer watching the Spell's Captain take out a 68 checkout adding to his 65 and 98 checkouts from earlier legs.
Widow Pat's 2, Spell's 2 (Pat Byrne 3, Denis Coffey 4)
Neither player played near their best but it was Coffey's better scoring that kept him in touch in this game with twelve of the seventeen ton pluses between them going to Coffey.
Widow Pat's 2 Spell's 3 (Scobie Connaughton 0, Patrick Tansey 4)
Patrick Tansey gave Spell's the lead in the Final for the first time with this win over Scobie in game five. Tansey's finishing being more effective than Connaughton's the key to his win.
Widow Pat's 3, Spell's 3 (Tony Lyons 4, Paddy Fleming 1)
A 113 checkout from Lyons in leg four was crucial to his teamís cause. After taking the opening two legs in 27 and 20 dart legs, Lyons added the third leg with that crucial 113 in a 21 darter. The third of the Fleming brothers missed his first few darts at double. Fleming took the 4th leg in 18 darts with a 58 checkout but missed doubles in the next leg cost Fleming dear and Lyons, who missed some of his own, capitalised on those errors to take the win.
Widow Pat's 4, Spell's 3 (Stephen Beirne 4, Sean Corcoran 3)
This match provided one of the greatest lessons for any aspiring dart player no matter where there from. From the off Stephen Beirne got stuck in and was rewarded in taking the first leg. All legs continued to go with the darts up to the sixth. Then was to follow one of the most dramatic legs of darts ever seen in the League. Corcoran opened it up with a well-timed 180 and was sitting on 100 after 12 darts. Beirne continued down steadily. With both players trying to cope with all sorts of pressures both got stuck on their finishing, something rarely seen in the League. Beirne eventually struck the winning double leading to celebratory jigs and reels from the Widow's faithful. Shield Final.
McDermott's, Ballinaheglish 4 Creaton's, Loughlynn 2
Preceeding the Cup Final was the meeting of Creaton's of Loughglynn and McDermott's of Ballinaheglish in the Shield Final. McDermott's did the business in this one. They were boosted in taking the three opening games, courtesy of David Concannon, Pat Egan and Thomas Concannon. David Concannon, who was in top class form included checkouts of 104, 52 and 36 in his 3-0 win over Tony Thacker. Pat Egan finished very well, with checkouts of 32, 99 and 40 in his 3-0 win over Brendan Scally. Sean Finan was aided by a 102 checkout in leg three of his 3-2 defeat to Thomas Concannon.
Concannon's scoring was heavier throughout than Finan's but he was made to sweat it out until the end. Mark Finneran was the better player from the start and throughout in his clash with Joe Crawley. A classy first leg from Finneran included scores of 23, 125, 100, 137 and a 116 checkout. Finneran included a 180 in the second leg but failed to strike double quick enough. Crawley took the third, and took the win while including a 180 of his own in the final leg. Joe Elliffe took out a 106 checkout in his 3-1 defeat to Adrian Doory in game five. But McDermott's secured the win as Andy Fallon beat Pat Reid on a 3-2 scoreline.
Presentations were made by Chairman of Roscommon County Darts Joe Elliffe to all winners and runners-up. Short speeches were made by Widow Pat's Captain Pat Byrne, and Joe Elliffe.
Special thanks to Tommy Beirne, Martin Murphy, Martin Kearney, Patrick Tansey, Joe Elliffe, Martina McKeon, Sean Fleming, Luke Concannon, Thomas Concannon, David Concannon, Robbie Dolan, and Stephen Victory, and Frank Duffy for their help on Saturday. Those forgotten have not been forgotten, just forgotten to be mentioned! Thank you also goes to the management and staff at Hannon's Hotel for their hospitality on the day and throughout the League. Prior to the Finals a momentís silence was observed in respect of the late Martin Hannon.