York student Alex ‘The Arm’ Harrison was crowned UK University Darts Singles champion on Saturday, in a tournament held in James College’s Roger Kirk Centre.
A beaten semi-finalist last year, Harrison overcame reigning champion and pre-tournament favourite Matthew Howard, from Edge Hill University, in the final.
Harrison’s form had been somewhat inconsistent throughout the day, but he produced some spectacular darts when in mattered, including a 14-dart checkout, on his way to recording a 6-3 win in the final.
Harrison lost the first leg, but proceeded to win five in a row, hitting top form and looking irrepressable at times.
The winner was in magnanimous mood afterwards, telling Nouse: “I got very lucky today and played very well in the final. Matt Howard was amazing and probably deserved to win, but I’m delighted.”
This came at the end of a day which began with doubts over whether the event would go ahead as scheduled.
Disaster struck on Saturday morning, with promotions company Diamondwire, who were due to supply the dartboards, failing to show up.
This led to a frantic scramble on Saturday morning to find another company who could supply the equipment, with Bradford Dart Promotions agreeing to travel north so that the event could go ahead, though it did force a delay of an hour; a delay which was extended by the fact that the number of boards available was reduced.
Society chairman Nick Hall said, “We want to thank Bradford Dart Promotions for coming to help us out, and everyone else here for being so patient with us – the situation was beyond our control.”
“Bradford have been absolutely fantastic – they came in at the drop of a hat, and that’s the great thing about local companies like this.”
Ultimately, the event proved to be a huge success, with York playing hosts for a second year running.
Organiser Alan Belmore said, “We have 139 players here this time, compared to 90 last year, which is really exciting. Darts is really taking off actually – it’s certainly growing as a sport among students.”