The time had finally arrived. The Sensational Scot that is Cameron Menzies, clad in a blue polo, was ushered onto the Ally Pally stage by the unmistakable tones of John McDonald. As ‘I’m Feeling It’ rang around the venue, we were soon to find out if the Bearded Beast was feeling it on the stage.

Cammy had the darts to start the match, and started without a Treble, registering 59, before Diogo responded similarly with 58. It was the third visit of the match that saw the first flashes of life from the Muirkirk Maestro, slamming home his first 140 to leave 261. Portela failed to adequately pressure, meaning that despite only scoring 41 on the next turn, Cammy could recover to land the opening Maximum of the tie to leave Tops. It was dispatched with the second dart in hand, and Cammy took the opening leg of the match. (0) 1-0 (0).

The second leg saw Cammy fire home another 180 to start, and even made it to a fourth in the quest for a Nine, before a slight malfunctioning of the radar ended those particular hopes. Eventually, with plenty of Portela pressure, Cammy faced off against a 136 Finish, and although finding the first Treble, he drifted wide with dart two, before Portela took D6 with the last in his hand to level. (0) 1-1 (0).

An unremarkable third leg of the match, but we did get the first real sign of frustration from Cammy, something we’d encounter a few more times later in the match. A score of 43 only left 202, leading to the clear annoyance, before a 140 and a Two Dart 62 kill on D16, which was met with a total juxtaposition to earlier in the leg, as he roared “come on” and punched the air in celebration at the clinical finish to hold. (0) 2-1 (0).

Leg four was arguably Cammy’s best, opening with 96 and following with a rapid 140. Portela hit one of his own to put pressure on, leaving 160, but after an awkward set up from 83 to tops, Cammy took Tops with the first in hand to seal the opening set. (0) 3-1 (0).

SET 1: Cameron Menzies 1-0 Diogo Portela

It was a much better start to the second set for Diogo than it was for Cammy – In truth it was a slow start to the set for the Scotsman as Diogo upped his levels and reached 170 with Cammy back on 315. Braziliant was eventually left on 98, missing with the opening dart low, before splitting to the 16s and nailing the Double for Leg One. (1) 0-1 (0).

It was slightly better from Cammy in the next leg, but frustration was once again a talking point, as after a visits of 100 and 60 respectively, he registered a score of 50 involving two T5s, and Cammy, not one to conceal how he feels on stage, showed his frustration at peppering the Treble that neighbours his desired target. Once again it came down to Tops under pressure, and he nailed it first dart, before shaking his head and retrieving his signature arrows. (1) 1-1 (0).

Cammy started with a 134, and played a good leg. However, the same can be said for Diogo as the Rio dartist navigated his way through the third leg of the set. Both men produced smart set up shots to leave the leg finely balanced on Tops. However, Diogo got first chance on his throw, and finished it second dart to retake the lead in the set. (1) 1-2 (0).

After a being potentially a visit away from a break to throw for the set, Cammy couldn’t bring any of that potentially unused energy to the fourth, starting with back to back 60s before finally finding the 140 for a bit of life. More first dart Trebling, second dart strays, and shakes of his Muirkirk bonce. A bemused look at the hands was also an unwanted sight in the leg, when he left 171. Eventually Portela managed to finish the set on D2 and ensure Cammy got a much needed break from the stage. (1) 1-3 (0).

SET 2: Cameron Menzies 1-1 Diogo Portela

Well, the break certainly did Cammy a wee bit of good. During the leg, he managed to find a missing edge and thunder home another 180, although judging on his reaction you’d have thought he’d done a Gary in the 2015 final (I’m not recounting it, you know). His combination finishing, which had been one of his greatest assets up to this points, continued to shine as an arrow in the quiver, and he went T17-D16 to seal the leg in another two dart deal. (1) 1-0 (1).

It was a leg of mixed fortunes in the following, with the treble bed being hit sporadically, and more frustration edging in. He hit a score of 41, and in my notes, I described the following verbal expulsion as ‘indecipherable Scottish frustration’, but after a 135 to leave 52 later in the leg, with Portela well back having been left on 154, Cammy again took the 52 in Two Darts (12-D20) and doubled his lead in the set. (1) 2-0 (1).

This was an unremarkable leg – and my notes were simply headlined ‘Cammy not in his groove’. Diogo had a handful of darts at double and eventually D5 was the victim of his Brazilian motif darts for Portela to hold and get a foothold in the set. (1) 2-1 (1).

This was a leg I think Cammy owes to John Part – Simply due to the commentator’s curse working more like magic. Part made a passing comment about Cammy hitting the floor better than the T20 after dropping his last dart in hand, before Cammy picked it up and whalloped home a dart into the magical red segment. He finished off the leg with the best moment of the match, a simply stunning 137 out, hitting the T19 and following with Two Double Tops, to which he gave the audience a smouldering look. It was a scintillating way to wrap up the set and go within one set of the match. (1) 3-1 (1).

SET 3 – Cameron Menzies 2-1 Diogo Porterla

A trend that had been one of the main causes of frustration during the match was the lie of Cammy’s darts. The first two would have been above, working their way down, but the lie of the second wouldn’t quite be welcoming enough to the third dart, which would end up below the hallowed red segment. A 119 was the highlight of the leg for him, but Portela played a good leg on throw and took 107 on D16 to hold in the set opener. (2) 0-1 (1).

A much better leg here, as the trebles flowed much more freely. Down at 186 after Nine Darts, with a flurry of scoring including a 140. With D16 left, Cammy came inside twice, and was left with a choice: Double Four or nothing. But in true Cammy style he nailed it to level. (2) 1-1 (1).

The next leg also wielded a timely 140, getting down to 185 from 325, and that was followed up with a 105 to leave 80. This was much improved from Cammy and knew it, so when his two dart mastery flaired up to take the 80 via the T20-D10 route, he treated the audience to a celebration and a half, with a finger point and…I actually don’t know. My job is words and I can’t describe it. My notes said something I shan’t repeat and ‘Cammy Wiggle?’, so that’s what we’re going with. The Wiggle that probably wooed Fallon, and rest of the watching world. His hips don’t lie and neither do his darts. Within one of victory. (2) 2-1 (1).

Cammy clearly decided on the back of that that he wanted to exit the stage quickly, as he dug out a final Maximum in the fourth, celebrating it in typically odd fashion. Another 140 left Tops, which he took with his second dart in hand (knocking home D10) to end the tie and secure a debut victory on the Ally Pally stage. (2) 3-1 (1).

RESULT: Cameron Menzies 3-1 Diogo Portela

The Stats:
Average – 85.92
180s – 4
High Checkout – 137
Checkout Percentage – 53

The Verdict:
He seemed frustrated. He said as much afterwards. He moved like Jagger on stage, and some of his Darts flew like Superman on holiday – Calm, collected and outright beautiful. It was a typically hectic Cammy performance, with its typical peaks and troughs, but a more than solid debut win on the World Championship stage. Up next is Vincent van der Voort, and if Cammy can find that more consistent edge on the trebles, I genuinely think he can win it, but VvdV has made a name for himself at this level by being consistent, and Cammy will have to find that level himself, which he’s more than capable of. He shares a bill with Gary on Thursday Night, but that’s what the preview’s for.

And Rod Studd – Don’t think your usage of ‘Muirkirk Maestro’ went unnoticed. My lawyers are in the process of patenting it so don’t get too used to using it.

Ryan Segal @theryansegal