Seven in a row for unstoppable Rice

Steve Rice
Steve Rice

Steve Rice has won his seventh consecutive Bridlington Premier Darts League title, finishing 16 points ahead of his nearest rival Jim Gordon.

Rice, the current Bridlington Free Press Sports Person of the Year, topped the table from the start of the season in March and won 44 of his 53 games,

He hit a staggering 30 180s during the campaign, with 40 legs of 16 darts and under and more than 10 checkouts of over 100.

Gordon had run Rice close in 2012, but the champion moved up another gear making this his most successful season yet.

Now a Yorkshire player, Gordon secured second place with a sizeable margin of 10 points over Barry Balaban. His stats showed 19 180s, over 30 finishes of 16 and under and 13 checkouts above 100.

Balaban secured third place ahead of Phil Downsworth and Darren Boyd.

Division Two was all about the newcomers who, between them, topped the league from start to finish but this was a much closer affair with only 13 points separating the top three after trading blows over 49 games and 16 fixtures.

Dean Thorpe took top spot at the first time of asking by a narrow margin of only four points over Gav Boynton.

These two players led the way from the off with some impressive form, and both players broke the 30+ single dart average barrier and had numerous fast finishes of under 15 darts.

Third place went to another newcomer Paul Hamblin, who will be another player to watch out for in Division One next season.

He managed to clinch the highest checkout in Division Two, a brilliant 161, and he also hit a 12-dart finish.

Rob Wilson thwarted the return of the rejuvenated Andy Wheeler by taking fourth position ahead of him by just three points.

The very successful Division Three, now in its second season, proved to be another very tough place to be with only two points separating the top three players.

Dave Haley, returning to the Bridlington Premier Darts League after a two-year absence, took the honours, two points ahead of Bob O’Neil.

O’Neil had held top position for most of the season but over the last two fixtures, when he should have sewn it up, he faltered at the final hurdle and Haley gladly stepped in to claim the spoils.

Newcomer Dave Smith had to settle for third place after a sudden death playoff with O’Neil as both players finished the season on the same points.

Bridlington Premier Darts League thanked all the dedicated and committed darts players who turn up week in and week out .

Organisers also thanked The Coachman Pub, The Windsor Hotel and Roger Boysen of Darts for Windows for their continued sponsorship and Phil Downsworth, Steve Rice and Andy Mudd for their input each season into helping with the League set up.