As we arrived at the Alexandra Palace just before 10am on Sunday morning, we entered the players’ lounge to find Paul ‘Moo Moo’Amos hard at it on the practice board next to Mark Walsh, who would later go on to end Justin Pipe’s dream on becoming the 2013 PDC World Darts Champion.
Amos’ practice darts matched those of the Watford thrower and the he certainly did not look out of place, taking everything in his stride.
The players entered the great stage at around 11am to do some pre-match interviews alongside Sky’s John Macdonald and the legendary referee, Russ Bray. Both players appeared calm and following on from his accurate practice, Amos threw his first three darts on the Alexandra Palace stage. Lo and behold, he hit a 180 and set the tone for what was going to be a magical day for the Catford thrower.
Amos’ intent to take his game to the next level was clearly evident and he embraced all that the day threw at him and as Russ Bray called his nickname to the crowd and Labrinth’s ‘Earthquake’ echoed around the palace, the intent in Paul’s eyes was there for all to see. He high-fived his entourage en route to the stage and the “MOOOOOS” resounded from Amos’ army of fans! A walk-on worthy of any of the PDC professionals!
The Rattler’s music choice ‘This town ain’t big enough’ by Sparks proved an apt choice on the day as Steve’s opponent’s darts were ‘too big’ and the sparks all came from the Londoner; the stage was not big enough for both players and, unfortunately for the Yorkshireman, Steve, it was he who relinquished the power to Paul.
A 180 from Paul in the very first leg of the match was greeted by Russ Bray’s inimitable voice announcing the feat loudly, along with a plethora of ‘MOOOOOS’ from the delighted crowd.
The cameras and bright lights on stage never affected Amos as he went from strength to strength, averaging well into the 90s and would have competed with any of the pros on the day, which included an unforgettable 9 darter from Dean Winstanley.
Steve hit back with a 180 of his own in the third leg of the match, which helped to make the day memorable for him; alas Steve’s ‘Cup final’ was the previous year’s unforgettable triumph in the John Smith’s People’s Darts on the Lakeside stage and it was becoming clear that this year belonged to Amos and a double 12 in the fourth sealed it, to the delight of Paul’s fans.
Amos is just what Redtooth Darts is looking for in a champion: the desire to make it into the Professional game is clearly there for all to see and the guy certainly has bags of character. When asked if he thinks he will make it through Q school, Paul insisted: “I will do my utmost best, if I don’t make it, it will not be through lack of trying, through will to win, I really do want to get through Q school and I believe I’m capable of doing so!”
We wish Paul, Steve and the other fourteen of our Q school entrants the very best of luck in Qualifying School 2013!