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DEL BOY'S DIARY; Delme Parfitt takes an off-beat sporting look at the week that's gone and the days to come.

POOR fellow, I thought, as Shayne Burgess was annihilated by Phil "The Power" Taylor at the Skol World Darts Championship this week, I know how you must be feeling.

I did too. Only a couple of years ago former World No 1 Eric Bristow came to our local as part of some brewery promotion or other.

And being an esteemed member of the darts team, I was lucky enough to get the chance to share the oche with the one and only Crafty Cockney.

Unfortunately I was never any good with the arrows if ever I heard two particular words beforehand - game on!

So, as drinkers from the packed bar crowded around the rubber mat to witness my impending public humiliation, the old nervous yips kicked in.

As I struggled to get above the 26 mark with three darts, good old Eric (the perfect gentleman throughout, I should add) was filling his boots in the treble 20 slot, a picture of perfection, little finger extended and all.

Not even a bellyful of Brain's bitter could steady my nerves and it couldn't have been more than a couple of minutes before Eric was shaking my hand and saying "wew dun guvna!"

The point is, Bristow could have played with his left hand and on one knee and still got the better of me.

Ditto Taylor at the Circus Tavern, despite facing professional opposition.

As my editor said when Jamie Baulch came last in his first heat in the Olympic 400m: "I could have gone to Sydney and done no worse than Baulch!"

MY TIP FOR NEXT WEEK:

Calzaghe to win the BBC Wales Sports Personality of the Year award tomorrow. If he doesn't then I suggest head of sport Nigel Walker does a quick runner from the studio!

WATCH OUT FOR: The big Llanelli v Leicester Heineken Cup showdown at Stradey Park next week and in particular Neil Back's back row duel with Scott Quinnell - bang!

HEAR, HEAR (BUT YOU PROBABLY NEVER WILL):

Tony Petty (to Colin Addison): "Here's one million pounds, now go and sign five players. . ." Closely followed by Swans fans chanting "We love you Petty, we do."
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Wales On Sunday (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:Jan 6, 2002
Words:359
Previous Article:HOCKEY ROUND-UP.
Next Article:7 DAYS AHEAD.

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