Chapel darts player helps England retain British title

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Chapel-en-le-Frith darts player Mick Haynes helped England retain the BDO British International Championship in Wales.

Haynes was part of the England men’s side to beat both Scotland and Wales on Sunday 8th April to lift the trophy once more.

The team were strong with clear wins overall - 8-4 over Scotland and 9-3 over Wales - at the championship held in Merthyr Tydfil.

It was a mixed bag of results for Haynes, however, who won one and lost one of his two matches against an opponent from each country.

He suffered a narrow loss to Scotland’s Colin Miller by four legs to two, averaging 25.87, but bounced back when it mattered against Wales’ Mitch Butler.

A noticeable increase in his points average, up to 28.13, saw Haynes to a four legs to three win over Butler to help England to victory.

And Haynes, 56, was pleased to get a win on his first appearance for England, with a bullseye to defeat Butler.

“It was a good experience,” he said. “I’ve not done it before so I was really pleased to get the call, especially at my age.

“I never quite got into the first game. Even though I was on last it seemed to come round really quickly. I was more prepared for the second game.

“The second game was very close. It all came down to the bullseye and I managed to sneak it, which made the weekend for me.

“It’s such fine margins at that level when everyone’s around the similar ability it can go either way but it went my way this time around.

“The team won and it was a nice experience to be part of too.

“There were a lot of familiar faces there from the county scene, it was just the setting and the occasion which was very different.”

Haynes has played darts for almost 40 years and has made his way up through the ranks, currently competing for Cheshire in the Premier Division of the British Inter-County Championships.

“I was very close last year for the England team but just got over the line this year. I got all my points playing through county darts, which they took into consideration,” he said.

“It maybe the only chance I ever get to represent England. There are so many good players. I’m not the future of darts but the younger ones are. There are some really good young players coming through.

“Will I ever get another chance? I don’t know. I’ll just carry on enjoying what I do and seeing where it takes me.”

While fellow England player Lorraine Winstanley was part of the women’s team to also lift their BDO British Internaional Championship crown, after wins over Wales and Scotland.

The Buxton champion lost her first match against Wales’ Chris Savvery but bounced back with an impressive display on Saturday to beat Chelsea McMahon of Scotland to help England claim back the title.