GEELONG sharpshooter Eddy Sims claimed a second consecutive Harry Metcalfe Memorial men’s singles crown at the 10th annual Latrobe Classic darts tournament in Morwell at the weekend.
The 2008 Australian Masters champion, who has contested the Victorian Open tournament every year since its relocation to the Latrobe Valley in 2003, labelled the region a “second home” in his victory speech.
Latrobe Valley Mixed Dart League administrator Sheryl Rockall said the glowing testament spoke volumes of the esteem in which the tournament was held.
“I never heard one raised voice… there was a lot of laughing going on in the background and people just enjoyed themselves, because they love coming up here to Morwell,” Rockall said.
“He (Sims) has supported us every year so that’s good.”
Local Karen Richardson recorded her best result in the women’s draw with a third place finish, but was the width of a wire away from progressing to the final.
In her pivotal playoff against eventual champion and former Traralgon resident Carol Forwood, Richardson was one dart away from pegging out but saw several attempts bounce off the board’s wiring around her required double.
“It was extremely close; we’re very proud of her to come where she did but it would have been lovely to see her in the final,” Rockall said.
Forwood also won the women’s and mixed doubles competitions in her homecoming tournament, having begun her darts career with LVMDL.
“We’re always happy (with) how (well) Carol goes, we still class her as ours,” Rockall said.
Junior world number one Matthew Francois was runner-up in the mixed doubles with his mother Seven Francois, and his perennial presence was another source of great pride for the league.
“Matthew Francois, he’s just a young gentleman,” Rockall said.
Geelong junior Tori Kewish was the story of the weekend, finishing second in the women’s singles and doubles tournaments amid a quality field, which was up about 10 per cent in overall participation.