Cross Square Hotel Christmas Darts Festival
Raymie Carroll is Dart Champion
The inaugural Cross Square Hotel Christmas Darts Festival produced some terrific darts as players from a half dozen different leagues battle for the privilage of becoming the first winner. Well that honour at the end of a most enjoyable evening’s darts fell to Raymie Carroll from Camlough who throws for Traynors A in Newry and District Darts League Premier Division.
If you had said to Raymie at 6pm that afternoon he would be crowned champion he along with everyone present would have though you mad as he had lost the opening two of his Round Robin Board matches to Steve O’Hara and Gary Loughran.
With welcome and most grateful assistance of the early arrivals from Dundalk the room was readied for the days action which did not disappoint the onlookers and throwers alike. As the call of 180 rang out throughout the qualifying games a 136 high check-out from Seamie Rooney was recorded as players vied for the two qualifying spots available from each board. Such was the quality of play no one came through their board unbeaten and legs won used to determine the qualifiers. Eventual winner Raymie ousted namesake Darren by a leg to set up a last eight meeting with John Lawlor on Board Three with the Camlough man coming from 3-2 down to reach the last four with a 4-3 victory. On Board One Steve O’Hara lost out a thriller with Paddy Kearney 4-3 but had the consolation of picking up the highest check-out prize with a 140 outshot. John Donnelly beat Seamie Rooney 4-2 on Board Two to advance with Michael Casey comfortably reaching the semis with a 4-1 defeat of Raymond O’Brien.
The best of 7 legs semi-finals could not have got off to a better start as underdog Raymie opened up with a 180 against tournament favourite John Donnelly. With the match tied at 2-2, and John in control of the leg Raymie finished 229 in 5 darts to forge 3-2 ahead and hit another 180 in the next leg to book his place in the final with a 4-2 win. The second semi was one way traffic as Paddy Kearney ran out a 4-0 winner over Michael Casey.
The eagerly awaited final saw Raymie (174, 2×140, 120, 8×100) produce three 2 darts finishes to 84, 82 and 52 on his way to a 4-0 victory over Paddy (2×140,123 4×100, 95) to become the inaugural winner of the Cross Square Hotel Festival of Darts.