Belfast Telegraph

Let's play darts and a bit of snooker - for a laugh

By Billy Weir

I'm never sure about made-up sporting competitions, even if they are for a good cause, which is why Let's Play Darts for Comic Relief and the World Seniors Snooker sat rather uneasily this week.

The former has Gabby Logan joined by eight celebrities paired with eight darts players facing each other all in a good cause while the snooker features 16 players all looking to add a few quid to their pension fund.

Of course, as it wasn't purely a sports show, Gabby had to treat us all like idiots thus we had the toe-curling guide to darts and the hilarious psychology of the players, before we got all serious and were told the real reason why we were doing this - publicity. Sorry, charity.

It struck me that with Bobby George, Andy Fordham, Ted Hankey et al on board the lunch menu alone would have fed a village in Eritrea for the next 20 years - that's double 10, which is in the bottom right hand side of the board for those of you new to darts. Near the 15.

I have to say it has been quite enjoyable, comedians Lee Mack and Tim Vine playing better darts than most who now frequent the former home of the sport, the Lakeside Club.

Blackpool's Circus Arena was the venue for the snooker, won in the end by veteran Mark Williams, who defeated Fergal O'Brien in the best of three final.

The tournament has been fiddled with yet again to allow players 40 and over into it, or the players people know as I like to call them, and Williams, who reached the final of a proper tournament earlier in the week, was feeling his age.

"It's nice to win any tournament now, especially at my age, I suppose that's why I'm in the Seniors now," said the 39-year-old. Hang on…

"I'm looking forward to next year so I'm old enough to defend it," he added as we got the feeling he wasn't taking things seriously. Still, good to see people helping out those less fortunate than themselves, after all, the money he made from his appearance will allow Joe Johnson to buy a new white suit.

Next up is the Snooker Shootout, in the same venue, with 10 seconds per shot, which didn't go down well with the wizened Williams.

"Thirty five seconds is a good time, but 10 seconds? You can't even have a pee in 10 seconds," he said, and I was reeling, but more at the fact that I am older than both the finalists, although snooker relief may have some way to go to catch up with the comic variety.

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