The full nerve-inducing power of Alexandra Palace in one mad checkout 4 years ago

The full nerve-inducing power of Alexandra Palace in one mad checkout

Some say it's like the Colosseum. In a way.

Alexandra Palace can make or break a man. Dreams are realised and killed on the board of Ally Pally and nerves are solidified or broken in front of the most rapturous darts crowd in the world.

Advertisement

It's a funny thing, how much darts players can be put off by the Alexandra Palace locals who, in truth, aren't even watching half the time.

You look beyond the thrower and you just see people dressed as bananas and yoghurts and lads standing up unprompted to dance. Most of them don't even seem to be looking towards the stage. For all intents and purposes, it's just a bar of Mexican Waves, chants and carnage in the background but, when one person cheers in the direction of the sport actually taking place, it sets the rest of them off.

That shouldn't sound like a rant, it seems like good craic. It's just curious that it can startle so many players.

Advertisement

Well, in the preliminary round before Sunday's first round clashes, Cody Harris and Willard Bruguier were feeling the same effects that many a mere mortal knows too well.

Harris won in the end but the pair engaged in a first set checkout that you'd only see at Alexandra Palace.

With both going up to the board and a chance to take the first set there and then - when that would've put them half way there - both bottled.

Both of them bottled it twice.

Advertisement

Ladies and gentlemen, this is Ally Pally.

Harris got there eventually and took the whole game in the end but if they both just looked behind them at the streams of drunk fans falling over themselves singing "don't take me home", they might not have been so intimated in the first place.

Advertisement

That's the magic of the darts.