Guernsey Press

Guernsey get ‘marvellous’ first win over friends from London

The Guernsey team were ‘absolutely marvellous’ in their landmark win over a large London contingent at the weekend.

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A line of players, including Guernsey's Jerry Baguio (front), attack the board. (Picture by Andrew Le Poidevin, 33022861)

That praise comes from Caroline La Touche, who was pivotal in organising a massive trophy match against the City of London Darts Association at West Legion, where the hosts romped to a surprising 68-45 victory.

The relatively new rivalry is now in its third year and has boomed to the extent that COLDA brought over 70 players total, 56 of whom contested the trophy match on Saturday.

When La Touche did the draw, she expected a tough task, particularly given that Guernsey had lost the previous two editions.

But early leads of 13-7 and 27-13 raised her hopes considerably.

‘I thought, “Could we keep this up?”,’ La Touche said.

After the Guernsey team – based around West Legion regulars – actually pulled it off, she was very proud indeed.

‘I could not be more proud of the Western Individual League players for everything they achieved on Saturday and how everybody conducted themselves,’ she said.

‘It was absolutely marvellous.’

The COLDA singles league currently packs over 300 players across 22 total divisions.

The travelling contingent included some newcomers to ‘international’ competition but also a handful of Premier A players, who could have been expected to provide particularly tough opposition.

One early show of brilliance from Guernsey came in the 21st rubber, where Chris Hamon faced a seemingly nightmarish draw against Premier A title contender Tom McGhee.

McGhee was expected to dominate – and he did in the first leg. But his 180 in the second was answered by one from Hamon, who went on to take the match 3-1.

Numerous other Guernsey players, including those who would not normally take the spotlight, also registered impressive victories against the London opposition.

COLDA organiser Paul Clark was sanguine in defeat.

‘You want to win, but winning is not the be-all and end-all,’ he said.

‘It’s the friendships between Guernsey and COLDA.’

Indeed, looking beyond the scoreline, the event proved a triumph of friendly rivalry and electric atmosphere.

‘It was buzzing. I could not hear myself speak half the time,’ La Touche added.

‘I have never known it so loud up there.’

The weekend had also opened up with a curtain-raising lottery pairs competition, which featured 96 players in total.

Alex Rosamond and COLDA’s Ben Curley won the final 4-1 against the rival Guernsey-London pairing of Phil Mason and Shaun Francome.

Reflecting on the trip as a whole, Clark praised the island’s ‘lovely people’ and credited the hospitality they got at both St Pierre Park and the West Legion.

‘Because the weekend goes so well, and you’re treated so well, the real winner is darts, basically,’ he said.

‘Everybody who plays it loves playing darts and the social side is a massive part of darts.

‘For 2026 we could probably bring 80 players over.’