The curtain was brought down on another successful season for the Malta Darts Association in the month of May after nine months of exciting competition for clubs, players and everyone involved in the Maltese darting family. A round-up of the season has been broken down into four segments; 1. The domestic club scene, 2. The domestic Individual scene, 3. The Malta Open and Foreign experiences, 4. The 3-year plan for the association.
Domestic Club Round-Up
Kalkara St Joseph & Marsa St Michaels dominate the scene
In Division one of the National league, Kalkara St Joseph were crowned national champions for the first time ever after seeing of the challenge of Marsa St Michaels. These two teams were inseparable throughout the entire season with Kalkara only claiming the title on the second to last day of the championship. From the lower end of the table Hamrun Education Bar A and Birkirkara Juventus Vero Amore were relegated to Division Two.
Despite finishing runners-up, Marsa St Michaels had a season to remember as they manage to claim both of the cup honours at stake. Firstly, winning the 4 a-side competition against Floriana Ajax which required a deciding leg in a 9-8 victory and a week later took revenge on Kalkara by securing the 5 a-side cup in a 3-2 victory.
In Division two, Mosta Horseshoe Bar dominated the division by claiming 64 points from the 66 available and next season they will be serious contenders for the top honour. Joining them in division one will be Gudja POs Bar B which finished eleven points behind but a comfortable five points ahead of third place Zejtun Beland Bullseye.
Domestic Individual Round-Up
Season to remember for Albert Scerri & Norbert Attard
Various competitions took place this season with the four honours up for grabs with Albert Scerri and Norbert Attard claiming two each.
Albert Scerri finished on top in the overall player of the year award with 109 ranking points, followed by Andy Keen on 101 points and in third place Godfrey Abela on 74 points. Scerri also claimed the Super Cup defeating Norbert Attard 2-1 in the final.
The Malta Singles champion award was won by Norbert Attard, edging out Albert Scerri and Gordon Stanmore in a required decider between all three as they could not be separated at the end of the regular last 8 group stage. This was the second individual honour for Attard as earlier in the season, together with his brother David Attard won the Malta Doubles Championship.
Albert Scerri and Norbert Attard also qualified to represent Malta at the European Championship in Holland later this year and will be joined by Gordon Stanmore and veteran Vincent Busutill to complete the line-up.
Malta Open & Foreign Competitions
Positive results for Maltese players
The pinnacle of the Maltese darting calendar is the Malta open and the 2015 edition produced some great excitement as 348 participants took part in the three-day event. In the men`s event, Umit Uygunsozlu of Turkey won the title defeating 2001 World Champion, John Walton 2-1 in the final. Ann-Kathrin Wigmann of Germany claimed the women’s title defeating Swede, Krisitin Bomander 4-1 in the final. Norbert Attard reached the quarter final stage as he was the local player to advance the furthest.
In the doubles competition, local pair of Andy Keen and Gordon Stanmore came very close as they lost in the Final, 4-2 against John Walton and John Van de Weerd. At the semi-final stage the Maltese pair eliminated another local pair, that of Godfrey Abela and Mario Camilleri.
Also this season a number of local players took part in the Italian Open in Bologna with memorable results achieved. Norbert Attard won the title in an all Maltese final against Godfrey Abela. John Agius/Tony Borg came very close in the doubles competition losing 5-3 in the final.
Norbert Attard also reached the last 16 stage in the Romanian Open losing in a deciding leg against 104th BDO World ranked player, Alen Bell of England.
The Association & 3-year plan
Exciting times ahead for the Sport
At the start of the season a 3-year plan was drafted for the association on how the sport can progress to the next level with key milestones set for each of the three years.
Year one`s targets where achieved with flying colours as one area targeted was the sport`s presence in the media with various articles published on newspapers, online portals and magazines, took part in seven TV features and 1,400 members on the association new FB page in the space of eight months. The cherry on the cake on this front was that for the first time ever numerous competitions, including finals night of the Malta Open where live streamed for the public.
The other two focus areas were the restructuring of the association and its competitions and acquiring a sponsorship partner for the 2016/17 season which will be announced in due time.
The upcoming season is a very exciting one for the Malta darts as on the local scene we have some surprises in store for the November, Malta Open and for the first time ever a new elite competition will be created with local players being able to showcase their talent across the island. The biggest project locally will be the introduction of a school’s program called “Learning mathematics through darts” which is supported by the Ministry of Education.
On the international scene the following has been already confirmed.
- September 2016: National team will take part in the WDF European Championship taking place in Holland.
- October 2016: Seventeen local players will take part in the PDC Southern Europe qualifier in Spain.
- November 2016: Local player Norbert Attard will take part in the BDO World Masters and BDO World Championship qualifier in England.
On behalf of the association we would like to thank everyone who has contributed to a very successful season and invite anyone interested to joining our darting family by getting in touch with our public relations officer, Andre Zammit via email on firstname.lastname@example.org or via the FB group “Malta darts association”.
Andre Zammit | Public Relations Officer | Malta Darts Association