Andy Parsons overcomes Hants ace Gary Stafford in £1,000 darts shoot-out

Andy Parsons

Andy Parsons

First published in General Sport Daily Echo: Photograph of the Author by , Rugby correspondent and sub-editor

put in a blistering performance on a hot and humid oche to claim the 2012 Doves Vauxhall Hampshire Open title.

The former Somerset player got the better of a field of about 400 darters who turned down the sunshine to compete in the country’s biggest oneday open at Southampton’s Novotel.

Parons beat Hampshire’s Gary Stafford in a one-sided final, but both players had produced quality arrows throughout the day to earn the right to face each other for the £1,000 top prize.

Sadly, Stafford left his game on the semi-final board, where he had just got the better of county teammate Sam Rooney – checking out on 160 in one leg – and Parsons took advantage.

He claimed a sloppy opening leg from both players and quickly moved to 5-0 up and a game away from the top prize as Stafford struggled.

The latter never looked settled and could have lost without registering a leg, but found a double when Parsons faltered with the finishing line in sight.

However there was to be no comeback as Parsons claimed the title with a 110 game shot – finishing on the bull.

He said: “That was the best I have played all day.

“I slipped up a couple of times earlier on but managed to get through each time.”

“I felt for Gary because he just did not get going but I am glad to have won – it’s a great tournament with a lot of people here,” added Parsons, who intends to spend some of his winnings on his eight-month-old son Lucas and partner Katy James.

Stafford, who lives in Sholing, Southampton, said: “It just did not go.

At the end of the day the semi-final took it out of me – playing against a fellow county player and friend and going all the nine legs.

“I was mentally drained in the final.”

Four Hampshire players were still standing at the quarter-final stage.

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