Darts ought to be Merton’s specialist sport: after all, it requires minimal physical exertion, and can be (and frequently is) played with a pint in one’s hand. Indeed, we gained promotion for four years in a row before 2009, and Mertonians featured in the Varsity match.
Alas, Merton is no longer at those heady heights, though this season was certainly an improvement on the previous one, which featured just one victory. Competing in the league of fours, Merton finished third, ahead of Keble (who withdrew), Lady Margaret Hall and University College (both of whom failed to complete their fixtures). There were certainly some highlights, notably home and away victories against LMH. A gritty, surprise draw against Mansfield was another proud moment – coming from 5-2 down to draw with three consecutive double-one finishes from Captain Alex ‘Chaff’ Weate (2012). We suffered no complete humiliations (surely a sign of Mertonian sporting success), even when we faced the might of the University Library Service!
The less said about Cuppers, however, the better. Out of three entries, only Stephen ‘The Power’ Thatcher (2012) managed to win a single leg; in fact, but for a missed double-10, he could have reached the second round. Yet even in defeat, we played with traditional Merton style: plenty of heart, effort and good humour, despite little to show on the scoreboard.
Given that the year started with a captain reluctantly appointed over breakfast, a squad comprising exclusively finalists, and star player Alex ‘The Master’ Moore (2012) making the bold choice to prioritise University rowing over college darts, the season can definitely be considered a success. The emergence of an enthusiastic batch of freshers, led by next year’s captain Bertie ‘Grizzly’ Beor-Roberts (2014), ensures that the future looks bright for Merton darts!
Alex Weate (2012)
Darts Captain 2014-15