JOHN Mann proved to be a worthy winner when the Players Championship of the Plymouth City Super League was contested at the home of the league sponsors, Maritime Social Club.
The 21 teams provided their own leading player who had performed the best over the season and one of the early winners in round one was Reg Matthews (Kings Arms B) who defeated Shaun Dring (Maritime SC) 3-0.
Paul Tackle (Ker St SC) was also a winner in straight legs against Jack Heath (Porters A), while Maria O’Brien (St Levan Inn) caught the eye when defeating Hyde Park’s Mike Connell.
The first two legs were shared before O’Brien edged 2-1 in front with a 16-darter and then emerged a 3-1 winner when taking the next in 20.
FINALISTS: Tracy Dring, landlady of the Maritime Social Club, who sponsor the Plymouth City Super League, presents the winner John Mann (left) and Dave Collins with their glass bowls after making the final of the Players Championship competition.
Alex Brown (Clifton A) was taken the full five legs by Compton’s Geoff Norman but got the decisive double in the fifth leg.
Dave Collins (Plymton Cons A) topped the singles table at the end of the season and he carried that form into the last 16 when he emerged a 3-0 winner over Tackle, achieving a 27.33 average.
He opened up with a leg in 15 which he finished with a checkout of 101 and then took the next two in 19 and 21 for a solid 3-0 success.
Lewis Dare (Dartsworld) emerged a 3-0 winner against Henry Cooper (Kings Arms A) while Warren Gordon (The Staddy) overcame Neil Holder (The Albemarle) by a 3-1 margin.
Gordon took the opener in 17 and although the Whitleigh player levelled in 21 two more legs in 17 and 21 were enough to see Gordon progress to the last eight.
Steve Hiscox (Plympton Cons B) ended the hopes of Matthews when he defeated him 3-1 while Brown had to go the full distance once again but emerged a 3-2 winner for the second time when defeating Mike Nancholas (The Fawn).
Lee Hellings (Octagon SC) defeated Andy Pengelly (Clifton B) 3-0, with his best leg coming in 15 while Mann (27.83) was too good for Neil White (Maritime B) and won 3-0 in 16, 14 and 24 finishing the third leg with a kill of 114.
Dave Johns (Ships Tavern) found O’Brien in good form once again and went out of the competition when losing 3-1.
O’Brien, the only lady player competing, took the opener, aided buy a maximum, only for Johns to win the next and pull level at 1-1.
The England International then showed her credentials by scoring 140-180-137 and finishing in two from 44 for an 11-darter before progressing into the last eight when winning the fourth leg.
Collins had to face Dare in the first of the quarter-final matches and eased to a 3-0 win, aided by a 16-darter.
He was followed into the semi’s by Gordon who put in a solid showing in defeating Hiscox 3-0 with his best leg being claimed in 15.
Brown had his hopes of progress dashed when he was ousted 3-1 by Hellings before Mann beat O’Brien in what was the best encounter of the evening.
In the opening leg, O’Brien hit her third maximum on the night, only for Mann to take it in 15 and he followed up by taking the next two in 19 and 15 for a 30.67 average against O’Brien’s best of 26.63 which earned her a lot of credit from the admiring onlookers.
Twice Collins took the lead in the first semi, only for Gordon to level on both occasions, taking the fourth leg, after he opened up with a maximum.
Collins’ first throw in the deciding leg was also a top score of 180 and never relinquishing his advantage, checked out in 18 for a place in the final.
Hellings tried his best to keep pace with Mann in the second of the semi-finals but the Porters marksman was in a rich vein of form.
He took the first two legs in 19 and 17 before scoring 180-140-100 with his first three visits in the third leg and then checking out from 81 in three for a win in 12 and a single dart average of 31.31.
The final, disappointingly, failed to live up to expectations and it proved one match too far for Collins.
In the best of seven final, Mann (26.37) had it all his own way, winning 4-0 in 20, 20, 18 and 18 and on the evening’s performance, nobody could begrudge him his success.