Sports

Dromintee dominate

Tuesday, 27 June 2017

Dromintee dominate thumbnailTHE Three Steps, Dromintee, celebrate winning the high profile Tommy Haughey Cup.

DROMINTEE club Three Steps A dominated at the Newry Darts League Finals night at Bellini's. Indeed in the long history of darts in the Newry area its doubtful if any club ever finished a season in such an emphatic manner.

On Friday evening the Steps won the most highly-coveted cup competition the Tommy Haughey Cup when they defeated Premier champions Trainor 's A. Plus they had their ace marksman Peter Grennan crowned as Open Individual champion while Gareth Kilgallon and Brendan Galvin carried off the Open Pairs title.

And prior to Friday, Steps thrower Thomas Mc- Cartney had won the Premier Division Individual title Finals night, with the excellent Gerard McGuigan, in full evening dress as Master of Ceremonies, got off to a flier when Yvonne Campbell beat Quinn's clubmate Anna Madigan in the Ladies Open Final. Both ladies threw some excellent arrows with Anna hitting two tons but Yvonne (140, 100) deservedly won 2-0. In the first leg she checked out on 84 and in the second she needed just three darts to finish on tops.

Then it was the turn of the men. Mark Gorman and Marty McParland of Magee's A did exceptionally well to get to the big decider but in the final of the Open Pairs they were blown away by the sheer class of the Steps duo Gareth Kilgallon and Brendan Galvin who ran out comfortable 5-0 winners Both Dromintee men were exceptional with the youthful Kilgallon hitting a 180 and several 140s. In total the Steps throwers scored 3x140, three 100s, a 121 and a 113, while Gorman and McParland top-scored with four tons.

Incidentally it was an exceptionally good day for Gareth Kilgallon who earlier in the evening had played a blinder in midfield for his Dromintee GAA team as they defeated The Wolf Tones in the County Armagh league.

After the Open pairs it was the biggie - The Open Individual Final to be played over nine legs. Both men Paddy Kearney (Indo A) and Peter Grennan (Three Steps A) had won the title before but it had been 15 years since Grennan's victory. As the match kicked into gear Kearney (123 and 140) was calling the shots and led 2-0. But in the third leg the Steps man began to find the range, hitting 100, 138 and 140 as he pulled it back to 2-1.

The big Dromintee man continued in this vein and won the next three legs with scores of 127, 134 and 177 to lead 4-2. Meanwhile Kearney was throwing solidly, hitting 137, 139 and 140 and he got back into the match at 4-3. But there was just no stopping the on-fire Grennan who ended the match in the eighth leg when he hit a big 180 and won the Open Individual Championship title with a double 12 finish.

Speaking to the Democrat after his fabulous victory, the selfless Peter said: "I dedicate this win to the late Marty McCone," Dart thrower and all-round sportsperson Marty had died so tragically earlier in the year.

Before the final action of the evening, Tom Haughey Cup Final, The Darts League chairman Gerry Matthews presented Harry Walsh with the Hall of Fame award. Harry, still playing for Premier side Ballyholland, has been throwing for almost 60 years and won Three Northern Charity Cups among a host of other trophies.

The Haughey finals featured Premier Champions Trainor 's A and The Three Steps and after winning both the Open Individual and Open Pairs titles, few would have backed against The Steps.

It certainly began that way with Martin Carvill (140, 2x100) beating Michael McKeown (125, 100), Sean Judge (3x100) beating Kevin McVerry (137) and Peter Grennan (2x140) beating Miceal McEvoy (100).

3-0 down, but Trainor's pulled back a couple of legs when Napier Boyce (4x100) beat Thomas Mc- Cartney (114) and Darren Carroll (100) beat Mickey Morgan. Brendan Galvin (140) put the Steps in front again when he defeated Noel Bradley.

Just one win would give the Haughey Cup to the Steps but the excellent Gareth Kilgallon (2x100) c o u l d n't do it as Graham Unwin (140, 2x100) beat him.

However, to frenzied celebrations, Peter McGenity defeated Mickey Donnelly to take the Tommy Haughey Cup to a new south Armagh home.

After the Haughey Final it was the presentation of the prizes for the season with a glittering array of silverware on show.

It was a tremendous night at Bellini's and lots of credit must go to the hard-working secretary Liam Bradley who toiled long and hard to prepare the groundwork for this memorable night.

Finally the Newry and District Darts League committee would like to thank all their players and sponsors over the past year, especially their main sponsor, The Clara Hotel, Bulgaria - as well as Bellini's, Vegas Casino, McGuigan's, Trainor's, Camlough, Newry AOH, The Indo, Boyd's, Dromintee GFC and Destination Newry.

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