News Report

IOM Team - Islands International 2023
Margaret Kelly in action
Janine Halsall in action
Alan Young in action
A motley crew
Ladies celebrating victory

News Report

Islands International


Ladies and Men put up a fight at first holding of new competition

Islands International

The inaugural Islands International darts competition took place over the weekend of Saturday 28th and Sunday 29th January at the beautiful St. Pierre Park Hotel in Guernsey, where teams representing the Isle of Man, Republic of Ireland, Jersey and Guernsey battled it out in teams of 7 ladies and 13 men.

The ladies team featured 6 of the top 7 players from the previous seasons ranking tables - Margaret Kelly, Nikki Bardsley, Wendy Andrews, Janine Halsall, Rachel Robertson and debutant Sophie Hicklin, with Sophe Moore stepping in to complete the team.
Due to costs and other commitments, the men’s team featured just 5 players from the previous seasons top 13 in the island rankings – Mark Venables, Alan Young, Willie Biggane, Tony Kennaugh and Walter McCarthy. The absence of many established names gave an opportunity for some upcoming young players and steady old hands to step in and complete the team. Youngsters Jack Saxon, Ryan Teare and Jak Stott were joined by wily veterans Steve Moran and Ben Brogan, with John Halsall, Robbie Lawson and Kevin Biggane completing the line-up.

Ladies Match 1 – Isle of Man 2-5 Guernsey

First up were the ladies and they got off to a great start, with Wendy Andrews and captain Margaret Kelly both winning their games 3-0 to put the IOM into an early lead. Unfortunately, the match then slipped away as Nikki Bardsley lost the next match before 4 consecutive 3-2 losses left the IOM on the wrong end of a 5-2 scoreline in a match that could have easily gone the other way but for some missed doubles at key moments.

Men's Match 1 – Isle of Man 6-7 Guernsey

For the men it was a similar story, as they raced out of the blocks with Alan Young kicking things off with a 3-0 win, followed by Tony Kennaugh and Steve Moran both winning 3-1 to put IOM 3 up. But Guernsey pulled it back to 3-3, as IOM were again on the wrong side of a couple of last leg deciders. Captain Mark Venables and Ben Brogan got the team back on track with 3-1 wins either side of a 3-2 defeat for Robbie Lawson leaving the score at 5-4. After Walter McCarthy lost a close game, Jack Saxon put the IOM back in front with a superb debut performance to win 3-0. However the last two games went the way of Guernsey, allowing them to sneek a 7-6 win.

Ladies match 2 – Isle of Man 1-6 Republic of Ireland

The Irish ladies were very impressive all weekend boasting top players such as Katie Sheldon and Robyn Byrne. The Manx ladies battled hard, with Janine Halsall producing a fabulous 3-0 win over Ailish Finnan and Wendy Andrews suffering an agonising 3-2 defeat to Caroline Breen. Nikki Bardsley was really unlucky against the superb Robyn, who didn’t allow her one shot at a double despite posting the ladies teams best average of the weekend of 66.61. But overall the quality of the Irish saw them cruise to victory.

Men’s match 2 – Isle of Man 1-12 Republic of Ireland

The Manx men suffered a similar fate to the ladies, with the Irish proving too strong overall. But there were some excellent efforts in defeat, with Tony Kennaugh posting a 70.62 averagein a 3-1 defeat to Brian Fletcher jr. and Robbie Lawson losing another last leg decider, this time to experienced international David Concannon. It was Alan Young who got the win to avoid the whitewash, taking advantage of an off-night by Michael Meaney to win 3-0. Although ultimately outclassed, it was excellent experience for all the players to go up against such quality opposition.

Ladies Match 3 – Isle of Man 5-2 Jersey

Sunday afternoon saw the Manx ladies take out their frustrations from day 1 on the ladies from Jersey. After falling behind 2-0 in the match, including a very unlucky 3-2 loss for Sophie Hicklin, the ladies reeled off the next 5 games to win the match. Wendy Andrews (3-2), Janine Halsall (3-1), Rachel Robertson (3-1), Margaret Kelly (3-0) and Nikki Bardsley (3-0) give the IOM their first win of the weekend.

Men’s Match 3 – Isle of Man 4-9 Jersey

The men’s hopes of following the ladies lead took an early knock after falling behind 2-0. Alan Young put in a superb performance with a 120 finish and 77.77 average in a 3-1 win to get the Manx on the board. The game was poised at 4-4 after Robbie Lawson got his first win of the weekend with a 3-1 win over Jersey star Craig Quemard, Tony Kennaugh won 3-2 and Walter McCarthy won 3-1. Unfortunately, the wheels fell off a bit after that, although youngsters Ryan Teare and Jak Stott were extremely unlucky to lose 3-2.

Ladies 3rd/4th Place play-off – Isle of Man 4-0 Jersey

The ladies missed out on a place in the final by one point but re-focused quickly to stroll past Jersey in their playoff match, dropping just 4 legs on the way to a 4-0 win. Rachel Robertson kicked things off with a 3-1 win before Margaret Kelly (3-0) and Nikki Bardsley (3-1) put the team on the hill. Sophe Moore then took the glory with her first win of the weekend, 3-1, to complete a comprehensive victory.

Mens 3rd/4th Place play-off – Isle of Man 4-7 Guernsey

Unfortunately, it was to be a winless weekend for the men, which was far from a fair reflection of their efforts. After falling behind 1-0, it was Alan Young again who got the IOM off the mark, winning a nail-biter 3-2. After losing the next two games, Jack Saxon (3-1) and Robbie Lawson (3-1) levelled the match at 3-3. Mark Venables then put in his best performance of the weekend to win 3-0, averaging 72.73 and putting the Manx men in the lead. However, the next four games all went the way of Guernsey, allowing them to finish in 3rd place.

Top performer for the ladies was Margaret Kelly with 3 wins out of 4, with Janine, Nikki, Wendy and Rachel all getting two wins each.

For the men, Alan Young went undefeated with 4 wins out of 4 with Tony Kennaugh, Mark Venables, Robbie Lawson and Jack Saxon all picking up 2 wins each.

The Isle of Man Darts Organisation would like to thank all of the players who represented their island with pride, particularly those that stepped in to ensure we could send a team to the event.

Thanks also to our opponents who made for a hugely enjoyable weekend and, of course, well done to the Republic of Ireland who won both the Ladies and Men’s events and oozed class all weekend.

Massive thanks also go to our hosts, the Guernsey Darts Association who did a fabulous job in putting on the event – they’ve set the bar high for us as hosts next year!

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