No TV nerves for local darts ace

Michael Haynes, from Chapel, competing at the BDO 2014 Daily Mirror Trophy in Blackpool.
Michael Haynes, from Chapel, competing at the BDO 2014 Daily Mirror Trophy in Blackpool.

Darts ace Michael Haynes says he had “no nerves” during his live televised debut in Blackpool last week.

Haynes, from Sparrowpit near Chapel-en-le-Frith, qualified through to the first round proper of the inaugural BDO Daily Mirror World Trophy.

The 52-year-old may have gone out at the first hurdle, after a 6-4 defeat to Jeffrey De Graaf, but he told the Advertiser he was proud of his efforts in front of the cameras at the Blackpool Tower Ballroom.

He said: “It was a marvellous occasion. I was really proud of myself because I had no nerves beforehand.

“There was no fear at all, which was a surprise to me.

“Up there on the stage, with the cameras and the crowd watching me, I think I played pretty well.

“I was 3-2 up going into the break but after that he (De Graaf) was playing really well and he went on to seal the win.”

Haynes’ match statistics belied the fact that he was a qualifier.

He hit two 14-dart finishes within the first three legs and also achieved the first maximum 180 of the game.

After extending his lead to 4-2 Haynes was then dragged back in by the Dutch thrower as he went on to win four in a row and seal progress to round two.

Michael, who was cheered on at the event by partner Sheila as well as friends from home, only qualified for the event after going down to Blackpool last Wednesday.

From a field of 300 qualifiers, he was one of four to seal passage to the main event.

He then faced a quickfire dash home to Chapel before heading back to Blackpool again just 24 hours later to compete.

Michael, who plays at county level for Cheshire, added: “The qualifiers appealed to me because it was a midweek tournament and I work weekends.

“Luckily I got through and it was brilliant to be a part of.”