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HELLO, good afternoon and welcome to my blog. Hope this post reaches you all well. Having successfully landed a number of football tips over the last few days, I’m turning my attention to the sport for noblemen of excessive girth – darts.

There’s a cracking night of hot, sweaty, tattooed action in prospect ahead of us this evening at Belfast. I represented the University of Geneva at darts back in the day so I know what I’m talking about. I vividly recall one fiercely-contested final against a rather hirsute gentleman from Wilderswill - Roger ‘Bullseye’ Frei – who was uncannily accurate with his finishing. He had me on the rack at 4-0 in a best of nine contest until I fought back with characteristic bravery. With the match tied at 4-4 and his large following baying for blood I simply had to win, as the prize on offer for the winner was a bespoke matching glockenspiel and cuckoo clock set, hand carved from Norwegian wood.

Frei had the darts and threw a swift and solid ton-forty to start. With the scorer scribbling away like a turbo-charged Samuel Pepys, I stepped up to the oche and fired my first two darts into the treble 20 bed, but I suffered an unfortunate bounce-out to leave the scores Frei 361, Sixtynine 381. At his next visit, Frei slammed another two darts into the treble 20 bed then nonchalantly flung one into the bullseye, scoring 170. I wouldn’t say I was feeling the heat at that time, for Denis Ovens wasn’t within easy reach, but I knew I had to up my game.

I strode confidently up to the oche and flung my fourth dart of the final leg. It landed in the treble 20 bed, but covered it so I had to go downstairs for the treble 19. This I nailed, twice, to put a bit of pressure on Frei’s next throw. With the scores at Frei 191, Sixtynine 207, my opponent scored a disappointing 60, with each dart ending up right on the wire. The crowd was roaring its support, so I switched to southpaw for show, but over-egged the first dart which fortuitously landed in double top. I scored single twenty with the second and managed a treble with the third for an accidental Shanghai to leave 87.

Frei had three darts at 131 to win it by this point, however, and I’ll give him his dues he hurled his first arrow slap bang in the middle of the treble 20 to leave 71 with two darts. He confidently hit treble seven with his next to leave bullseye, his favourite double. Judging by the noise at this point you’d have thought that the Swiss Federal Chancellor had just announced his PIN number over the tannoy.

Unbelievably, Frei missed the bullseye by the width of a caterpillar’s nose hair. Checking out on 87 was far from a formality for me, however, with my nerves jangling like Bobby George’s jewellery. Distracted by a glint of light off someone’s Swiss Army Knife I somehow contrived to pull my first dart so badly it nestled into little twelve, leaving me two darts at 75. I held it together enough to get 25 with my next, leaving bullseye to win.

I’ll leave it to you, my loyal followers, to work out what happened with my throw at the 50. Suffice to say, my matching glockenspiel and cuckoo clock set still has pride of place on my marble mantelpiece and brings back a lot of happy memories.   

I digress. Here are my tips for tonight...

Eight matches have been played in this season’s Premier League Darts without a single one throwing up a draw, so I’m going against the form and recommending you to lay the favourite in three of tonight’s four matches - Anderson/Webster, Whitlock/Wade and Lewis/Van Barneveld.

The obvious BACK bet, however, is to get on Phil ‘The Power’ Taylor who should have enough wattage to ease past Terry ‘The Bull’ Jenkins comfortably enough.

Please note: feel free to trade out at any point in your lay bets, depending as ever on the size of your ging-gangs and the solidity of your betting bank.

Good luck and happy punting!

Remember: Trebles for show, doubles for dough.
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