Taking aim at the best

FROM Australia’s leading craftsmen to Goulburn’s second tier players, dozens are set to vie for a share of $5000 prizemoney at the Black Sheep Irish Pub this weekend.

High-profile players Kyle Anderson and Shane Tichowitch start favourites in pursuit of cash at the Dartsplaters Australia Matchplay Championship, and then there’s the rest.

Goulburn’s number one player Chris Hogan leads the locals’ charge and will be joined by tour veteran Rod Crawford. The less-fancied competitors are determined to catch their lauded opponents off guard.

For those who can’t beat the best, an opportunity to play with them awaits.

A precursor to the Matchplay Championships takes place on Friday with a drawn doubles tournament. Both Tichowitch and Anderson are expected to sign up for the competition, which throws players into pairs at random.

“You can come along and play with one of Australia’s best players,” Goulburn Darts Association vice president Dave Miller said.

“There’s some seriously good players, guys who if they had the opportunity would do well in England.”

Joining Tichowitch and Anderson are darts legend Russell Stewart and young guns Robbie King and Guy Holland, both fresh from tilts at the World Championships.

The well credentialed players will be in the cross-fires of many.

Underrated players were champing at the bit to get a crack at the game’s big names, Miller, who’ll himself be playing, says.

“The lowly B Grader in Goulburn can play the number one player in Australia.

That’s the way it works,” he said.

Serious competition commences with doubles on Saturday and culminates with head-to-head battles on Sunday.

The Goulburn leg of the matchplay tour has a higher bounty on its head than $5000. The winner of the overall tour earns a place in the World Championships, to be held in England this December.

Points in Goulburn are at a premium.

And unheralded locals plan on throwing the big guns’ campaigns off course.

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