Adam Pope leads the way at the top of League A of the Darts Atlas Bang Average League after picking up two wins in the opening week of the new season.
Pope, who missed out on last season’s play-offs by one point, kicked off the new campaign with a 4-2 win against Alexandru Nicolae Costec, which included a 16-darter and a key 77 finish.
Pope then made it two wins from two with a 4-1 victory over Joe Lettice, running off four legs in a row from 1-0 down and closing out the match with a 78 finish for an 18-dart leg.
Last season’s League B champion Ian Bain also got off to a strong start, claiming three points from his first two League A fixtures.
An 84 checkout put Bain 3-1 up against Hayden Johnson, but he could not close out the win in the fifth leg and Johnson took the game’s last two legs to seal a share of the points in a 3-3 draw.
Bain did close out the week with a win, though, as he reeled off four straight legs from 1-0 down to defeat Costec 4-1, and sit in second spot and a point behind the early leader Pope.
League B promotion play-off winner Dan Marshall marked his League A debut appearance with a win, battling back from 2-1 down to edge past Johnson 4-2, while Israel-based Neeman Hasida also opened up with a victory, posting a season-high average of 60.56 to beat Lettice 4-1.
Defending champion Paddy Burke’s absence this season due to work commitments means a new BADL champion will be crowned in Season 5. Previous play-off finalists Ryan Holland and Bradley Warren will both be looking to get their campaigns off to a good start in week two.
Carl Hadlington has been forced to withdraw from the competition due to an injury. As a result, all of his fixtures and results from the season have been expunged from the record books. We wish Carl a speedy recovery and look forward to seeing him back in action soon.
Former BADL champion Barney enjoyed a winning return as one of three players to start the new League B season with two victories in the first week.
Barney posted a season-high average of 63.72 and wrapped up a 4-1 win over Ryan Nassau with an 80 finish, before showing his fighting qualities to come back from 2-1 down to defeat Liam Weaver 4-2 in a nervy last-leg decider.
Rob Sullivan also opened his campaign with back-to-back wins, whitewashing Dazz Humphreys 4-0, and then taking out finishes of 80 and 64 to record the same scoreline against Andy Woods.
The returning Shane Wilkinson was the third player to kick off with four points in the opening week, punishing missed doubles from his opponents to beat Humphreys 4-1 and Michael Kimber 4-0.
David Cromack also boasts an unbeaten record after the first two rounds of fixtures, as he followed up a 4-0 win against Woods with a 3-3 draw with newcomer Pars Yuksel. Cromack took out 94 in the second leg, but had to survive 10 match darts in the decider to take home a point.
League B includes three new players this season, and two of them faced off in the opening week. Steven Dow took the honours with a 4-1 victory over Yuksel, but lost out 4-2 to Nassau in his other game.
The third debutant, Simon Charles, tasted victory and defeat in his first outings, checking out 90 in a last-leg decider to beat Kimber 4-2, but spurned a 2-0 lead to lose 4-2 to Weaver in his other fixture.
Neeman Hasida showed his class with a 74 average as he defeated Liam Weaver 4-0 to progress to the quarter-finals of the League Cup.
After winning the first two legs in 23 and 27 darts, Hasida turned on the style with legs of 14 and 17 darts to book his place in the last eight.
Hasida was one of four players to advance to the quarter-finals, along with fellow League A players Ian Bain and Dan Marshall.
In two all-League A contests in the second round, Bain closed out a 4-1 victory over Bradley Warren with a 19-dart leg, in a match where both players averaged above 60. Meanwhile, League A newcomer Marshall sealed a 4-1 win against Joe Lettice with an 85 checkout.
League B’s David Cromack is also into the last eight after his scheduled opponent, Carl Hadlington, withdrew from the league due to injury.
Cromack was one of six players from League B to win through the first round, and did so in impressive fashion with a match-winning 118 checkout to edge past Ryan Nassau 4-2.
Debutants Simon Charles and Steven Dow both won in last-leg deciders to move into the second round.
After seeing his opponent Michael Kimber take out 73 to level at 2-2, the last three legs all went against throw as Charles won 4-3, while Dow battled back to beat Andy Woods in a final leg.
The third new player for this season, Pars Yuksel, was beaten 4-1 by Liam Weaver, while former BADL champion Barney came through a last-leg to get past Rob Sullivan 4-3 and Shane Wilkinson fought back from 2-0 down to beat Dazz Humphreys 4-2 in the other first round ties.