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     And Four Were Left

    Dart TournamentsCharis writes "On the second day again the tournament started in the evening and after an almost full English breakfast I took the train to Manchester. Usually it takes around half an hour but on this morning due to engine trouble it took much longer and the train was totally over heated. 

    Due to the problems we stood for some time at the station Castlefields and I spied some ruins in a nearby field which I thought looked "Roman" and really -

    those were not the ruins of a castle but of a Roman fort. On their way to the North the Romans had build here in the middle of the Brigands region in 79 AD a small fort - Mamucium - which existed till they left Great Britain in 407.
    First it really was only a small fort to control the Brigands, a Celtic tribe, but later it was enlarged when the Romans advanced to Scotland and was used as a provision camp and to produce and repair weapons as well. Beside the fort develop a civil settlement, in which at the peak around 2000 people lived. For the Romans the position of the fort was strategic on a small hill and directly at the main road between the important cities Chester and York.

    After the Romans had left Great Britain the region stayed uninhabited till the Anglo-Saxons turned up around three hundred years later and founded a little bit North the settlement Mamecaster from which developed today's Manchester. You can see today neither Romans nor Anglo-Saxons any more in Manchester which shows all characteristics of a typical industrial town but some interesting modern architecture as well.

    In the evening I returned to an even more crowded Reebok Stadium, in which all the top players entered the tournament. It was almost impossible to take reasonable pictures. When I had managed to find a position to follow the action to be sure I got into contact with elbows and other bodyparts all the time. So I gave in and decided only to watch the matches.
    First I had a look on the match between Jyhan Artut and Kim Huybrechts on the small stage, which was disappointing for Artut. Not that Huybrechts played outstanding but he had some really good legs while for Jyhan nothing came together at all. His scores were just too low to be a danger for a player of Huybrecht's class. While Huybrechts ended his match completely unimpressed his brother Ronny was steamrolled on the big stage by Phil Taylor. A similar experience was for Mark Webster his match against Richie Burnett.
    The really great matches happened on this day off the two stages and unobserved by television on the floorboards - matches like Brendan Dolan v Colin Lloyd, John Bowles v Paul Nicholson or Ronnie Baxter v Ken MacNeill.

    Not really high class but rather entertaining was the match between John Part and Ted Hankey on main stage, Hankey lost but I like to watch him play. I managed to have a look at the match Whitlock/Newton on the small stage. Simon Whitlock did never get into the match at and looked almost disinterested; Newton had no problem at all. Mervyn King didn't get a food hold against Michael van Gerwen on main stage either but was much more engaged then Whitlock

    Both Palfreyman's managed to progress into the next round though I've no idea how. The West brother still in the tournament let Ian White no chance and was cheered by his very much look alike brother. Only one of the Speedy Hire Qualifiers survived the third round - Stephen Bunting who made short work of Andy Jenkins.

    It was almost midnight when I left the Reebok where the construction work for the next round already was in full swing.
    In the supermarket nearby really some people still dealt with their weekend purchase.


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