Ridley League 'confident' of an October restart and are open to more pubs and clubs joining
- Credit: ZAC GOODWIN/PA
Ridley League secretary Dave Suckling, heartened by the turn-out at last week’s annual meeting, is confident the competition can restart by the first week in October - after 18 months of enforced inactivity.
Mark Chapman’s resignation as captain means Little Waltham’s darts team need to re-group, while Chequers are looking for a new home amid rumours that the Felsted pub may aim more for the menu trade following the retirement of publicans Graham and Wendy Barker.
Margaretting Black Bull is also in new hands and its future direction yet unknown.
On the plus side, a second team is expected at the Dog & Partridge and Suckling feels "pretty good about our chances of starting again in October" with his hope that the league's registration meeting next month confirms it.
A leaflet drop among pubs and clubs will, it's hoped, boost membership of the competition, now in its 94th year and with eyes firmly fixed on their centenary in 2028.
The league also has the fact that it is one of a few across the UK running a mixed pub game competition, both darts and dominoes.
Suckling accepts the tie-up hasn’t always been an advantage.
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He said: “Some folk are put off because they don't know how to play dominoes.
"But the dominoes is for those who want to play dominoes and the darts for those who play darts. It's just that, if you want to do both, you can.
"The bonus is that, though each category has its own championship, matches are decided on aggregate points, so it’s not weighted, as many leagues are, in favour of ‘Super League’ strength darts teams.
"It can hardly be fairer.”
Club registration takes place at the Little Waltham club on September 7 at 8pm and Suckling is happy to talk to interested clubs, and solo players, beforehand, ones who have a blank Tuesday and fancy "a good social night".
He can be reached on 07742 595 328 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org