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History Of The Dundela Darts Team...

Chris Astbury, Secretary & Team Manager
Dundela darts were formed in 1976 and joined the Belfast & District darts league in 1977. The team were runners-up in the 4th division, which got them promoted to the 3rd division. They won this at the first attempt, in 1980/81 and they then went on to win the 2nd division at the first attempt in 1981/82. They then gained promotion to the first division and there they have stayed up to the present moment in time.
In 1987/88 the team won the 1st division, having never been out of the top 6 teams in the league for 20 years. In 1997/98 the team created history in the Belfast & District league by winning all 4 of the trophies they played in, a proud moment for the club, and as the Rice Cup was 50 years old it went into the Dundela Darts trophy cabinet along with the 1st division title, the Knock Out Cup and the 6 a side Trophy. In fact the team went on to with the 6 a side trophy for 6 years in a row and in that time we played in 6 consecutive Cup Finals winning 4 and losing 2.
Most of the club trophies are in honour of members who have died, they include the 'Harry Graham' Player of the Year, the 'Robert Gilmore' Individual, the 'Hugh Patton A' team 6 a sides and 'Billy Ryan B' Team 6 a sides. They were all devoted members of the club.
We pride ourselves on having loyal players who have been with the club a long time including Basil Fullerton who has played 676 league and cup games for the Duns, Jim Watton 576 games and Stevie McKeown 570 games. Basil Fullerton and Stevie McKeown share the highest check out with 160, Winkie Dalzell did a 12 darter for the club followed by 5 players with 13 darts. Stevie McKeown holds the record of 24 180s for the club with Basil Fullerton one behind on 23.
Over the years a host of players have represented Belfast and the North Down county team with Harry Turner and Roy McMurray playing for Northern Ireland, and Harry won the Guinness Masters the biggest tournament in Northern Ireland. Another player who I have to mention is Davy McClements, in the 1980/81 season he created a record in the club which has never been equaled by winning all the trophies that were available to him. He won the player of the year, the individual, the highest check out (154), the lowest darts (16) and then went on to win the pairs partnering Basil Fullerton.
Since Davy set this record there has been another club trophy within the darts, the 'Ton' award but up to now no one has been able to equal his record of 5 trophies never mind better it with 6. I have did my best for Northern Ireland as and executive officer of the Northern Ireland Darts Organization., and as an International referee having refereed my first International in Wales in May 1987and have did over 30 Internationals since then even going to Europe to referee. I have been secretary of the Duns since 1981 and secretary of the Belfast & District League for the last 4 years having been the assistant secretary for 5 years. Although I have hardly ever thrown darts for the Duns, I hope in my own way to have enhanced the name of Dundela darts with my work at a national and international level of darts.

Chris Astbury, Secretary and Team Manager, Dundela Darts.

Footnote: From Dundela FC Secretary...

When I approached Chris to write an article about the dart section for our website I knew that a lot of people would find this a very interesting article to read during the closed soccer season.
I myself had the pleasure of being at the Dundela darts presentation of prizes night, and of course everyone enjoyed the night immensely.
I would just like to thank Chris for his work in the dart section of the club and at the highest level in the game.
They say it takes dedication, and this gentleman most certainly has this in abundance.
I would also like to take this opportunity to wish the team every success in the future, and with Chris at the helm it's sure the trophy cabinet will always have many prizes in it.

John Garrett.

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