Our “cub” reporter Carter caught up with the 8 non tour card holders from the team regarding how lockdown has been for them.

Cameron Menzies (CM)

Darren Beveridge (DB)

Chris Quantock (Chris Q)

Aden Kirk (AK)

Greg Ritchie (GR)

Craig Quinn (CQ)

Jamie Clark (JC)

Andrew Davidson (AD)

Q1. Firstly folks, how are you all and how are you coping with lockdown?

CM: Lock down hasn’t changed to much for me as I wasn’t working before it came here.  It got 2 of my holidays cancelled which was a pain. I have spent most of my time with my daughter so that’s been a great thing. 

DB: I’m still working through lockdown so I at least have some normality. It gets me out and keeps me busy during the day. Starting to get a little bored of it all now but I can imagine everyone feels the same. 

Chris Q: Fine thanks, back to work now.

AK: It’s a little difficult having an 8 month + pregnant fiancée who is high risk. But you just get on with it. (note, baby Kirk isn’t here yet at time of publishing)

GR: Doing well, loving a bit of time off work and chilling out! 

Craig Q: Not being able to visit my parents during lockdown has been difficult. Hopefully things will change for the better soon though. 

JC: Yeah I’m fine, been coping fine with everything under these terrible circumstances, however been good to spend valuable family time with the kids. 

AD: Better than I thought I would to be honest. I’ve used lockdown as an opportunity to lose some weight and build my game back to where it should be!

Q2. How much darts have you all played during lockdown and have you been playing much online competitions?

CM: I have played some tournaments but don’t seem to be doing very well.  Going to keep practising and wait to the main events starts I think I perform better then. 

DB: I have been playing as much as I can. Trying to squeeze practice in after work and playing a few online comps. Online darts has been a saviour during this time. It’s kept us all connected and playing darts together. I’m sure everyone would rather be playing outside their homes with a few refreshments but I don’t think that will be far away now. 

Chris Q: I’ve been playing a fair amount, no comps can’t be arsed with the bs!

AK: I’ve been playing almost everyday and I’m playing some lovely stuff at the minute. Not done any online comps I like to keep myself to myself.

GR: Probably playing a couple hours a day on average. Played about half a dozen tournaments, won 3! 

Craig Q: Never played much darts at all during lockdown except for the day of the Dunvegan event. This was also my first online comp ever.

JC:  Been playing a lot of darts to be honest, our local league has set up a 7 division league and it’s great fun.  Been entering a lot of small money tournaments online and really enjoying meting new people.

AD: I was a bit sceptical of the online tournaments at first, therefore I’ve only played a couple of them losing in the quarters to Chris Dobey in the last one I played. However still getting 2 hours or so on the board each day which I wouldn’t ordinarily have!

Q3. You all played in the recent Dunvegan tournament the other week (apart from Aden) how much did you enjoy it getting a throw with the team and getting good practice in?

CM: The tournament was good for a catch up and game with the boys. Think that was the most I had played over a weekend in a long time. Obviously the best man won…

DB: I thought it was a great idea. Really enjoyed playing all the lads and having a good laugh together. It has kept us playing competitive darts. Really looking forward to the next one. It was great practice and having the games streamed live added that little bit of extra pressure. 

Chris Q: I enjoyed it more then I thought I would, it was great practice. Better standard. And a good catch up with the boys.

GR:  Brilliant to get a game and a catch up with all the lads, really enjoyed it. 

Craig Q: The Dunvegan event was great fun. Was good to catch up with all the lads. I thought we all played some good darts. It would be great to do it again. I’d never played online before so I had to keep asking questions about set up, but I think I got there.

JC: Was good to get a catch up with the lads (missing wee Greg’s face) played well most of games and really enjoyed it. 

AD: I really enjoyed the Dunvegan challenge and seeing all the team again. Disappointed with the way I performed however but it is vastly different to what we were used to before lockdown!

AK: I didn’t play but they left me in the group chat. Stephanie kept threatening to post the chat on twitter -it was so funny. I’m def up for playing the next one.

Q4. Has this lockdown came at a right time for you all?

CM. It hasn’t for me I like to play competitive and also I had a few holidays booked so wasn’t the best of times. 

DB: It hasn’t come at the right time for myself to be honest. I was enjoying getting to play competitive darts and playing local competitions in between. The sooner it’s all back to normal the better. Just need to stay safe in the meantime and follow the guidelines put in place. 

Stephanie had also sorted a photo shoot for us all (so she doesn’t keep using the **** photos that she got at Q school), so that got cancelled too and now we’re stuck with rubbish photos for a while (and she’ll pick a really bad one of me now)

AK: No, not at all. 

Chris Q: Not sure you can say it’s the right time either way but It’s a massive drain.

GR: I was playing well before lockdown, so not really. 

Craig Q: Taking some time away from darts during lockdown has been a blessing in disguise for me. After playing in the Dunvegan event it has given me the spark I needed to get back practising.

JC: Tricky question, I would say no as I was just finding my feet in the PDC after a few good wins and qualifying for the UK, but then I would say yes as gives me time to look back and regroup!.

AD: For me personally, it could not have come at a better time. Was quite deflated after the UK Open and had we carried on as normal I wouldn’t have played the Challenge Tour scheduled in April as I wasn’t playing well and mentally not in the right place to compete properly. Lockdown has given me the appetite for the game again and now can’t wait to return!

TG: Nope, not good for anyone! Although the family time the boys (pro tour included) have been able to have is priceless. But we’ll all be glad for normality to resume- whenever that is.

Q5. When do you expect darts to resume after all this over in your honest opinion? (question asked before Summer Series was announced)

CM: I think challenge tour will be end of year or next year. The PDC are doing thing to get the players back and the majors back on so hopefully not to long for the main ones. 

DB: In my honest opinion darts won’t take long to get back up and running. The Matchplay has already been announced to go ahead but maybe just without fans in the crowd. It will gradually keep getting better but darts won’t be the same without all the supporters watching. I think we can all agree that we can’t wait for live darts to hit out tv screens again.

Chris Q: I think it will start again next year and this year will be a write off.

AK: Sooner than people think with the announcement of the Pro tour.

GR: It will be a tight schedule to get all PDC events done before end of year, I reckon remainder of challenge tour will be cancelled. 

Craig Q:  I hope local darts events and major comps get back up and running as soon as possible. Mid July hopefully. You can’t beat the feeling of excitement knowing your going to an event at the weekend. BUZZZZZZING….

JC: Not sure to be fair , I couldn’t put an exact date on it but roughly around 3/4 months but hopefully sooner, just need to wait and see what the government do.

AD: I think we might play the Challenge Tour weekend planned in Milton Keynes during August at the earliest, purely as the Challenge Tour has the biggest field of players in a PDC Tournament therefore social distancing would be next to impossible!

Q6. Finally, if Q School happens next year, how great would it be to get on the PDC circuit with the likes of Gary (Anderson) and Chris (Dobey)?

CM: I think every ones wants to have that card. You mix with the best you can take it serious it can help with you going pro. So getting a card is a great thing to push in yourself further. This will be my year. 

DB: It would be my life long ambition to make it onto the PDC circuit. I’ve came extremely close in the past couple of years. I just need to put that to the back of my mind and use it as motivation to keep pushing forward and break through. With the help and support of Dunvegan darts and Harrows darts I’m sure my time on the PDC circuit will come very soon. In the mean time it’s just practice, practice and more practice.

Chris Q: Would be like old times. Hopefully next time I stay for longer. 

AK: Chris and Gary are lovely people and great players. But I’d be more focused on what I’m doing than everyone else. When you’ve got a card you’re good enough to be there.

GR: That’s the main goal, will get it one year. Chris Dobey beat me during lockdown so he’ll be getting it. 

Craig Q: Q School is the life changer in darts for all players. To come away with a tour card and play on the pro tour with the best players in the world should be every darts players dream. It certainly is my dream and I won’t stop trying until it happens. I know 1 day it will happen!

JC: It would be an absolute dream and hopefully one day it will happen, the way things are going I couldn’t be more pleased and hopefully kick on from were I am now, couldn’t thank Tommy and Stephanie enough they are great people. I’d never played in CT or DT before going to Qschool, so it was an eye-opener, but I loved it, and I think I done ok. Next time the card is mine.

AD: It would be fantastic playing alongside the likes of Gary, Chris and Mark McGeeney. They’re all brilliant players and that’s who all of us aspire to be like!

By Carter Guiney