The hits keep on rolling for the NWT at the Adult National Darts Championships in Saskatoon.
First, it was Elvis Beaudoin and Keith Way who made history at the event by becoming the first team from the territory to win a national championships of any sort at the tournament, that being the men’s doubles title on Tuesday evening.
This time, it was Way on his own who provided the excitement in the men’s singles on Wednesday as he managed to qualify for the World Masters darts tournament coming up in England later this year; the dates for this year’s edition have not yet been finalized.
Way ended up getting the furthest of any NWT player in either the men’s or women’s singles on Wednesday, eventually bowing out to Shaun Narain of Alberta.
“I was flat in that game,” he said. “One flat leg cost me.”
While the national championships was now out of reach, there was still a matter of the fifth and final World Masters spot. The four losing quarter-finalists entered their own playoff to see who would fill that spot and it would be Way coming out on top as he defeated Dwayne Laviolette of Nova Scotia first followed by dispatching Dan Dairocas of B.C. in the second match to punch his ticket for Bridlington, England later this year.
“I wanted to win the national championship more but this is a nice bonus and it’s an accomplishment,” said Way.
As with the men’s doubles final, all of Team NWT was watching Way doing his thing and Way said it was another great show of support.
“My personal opinion, this is probably the best bunch I’ve been a part of for as long as I’ve been doing this in the NWT,” he said. “This is the best we’ve ever done and there’s still more to come.”
In total, five men and three women managed to make it out of their sections and into the 64-player single-elimination playoff rounds in their respective divisions. The opening round actually guaranteed there would be at least one NWT player in the round of 32 as Way was forced to take on teammate Norm Sanderson of Yellowknife.
“That’s just the way the placings ended up,” said Way. “You don’t want to have to beat one of your buddies but that’s the way it goes sometimes and it was me who went on this time. Having so many people advance means we got some good points, too.”
Those points Way referred to are part of the Canada Cup, which is given to the team which earns the most men’s and women’s points during the doubles, singles and mixed doubles events. The NWT has never won the Canada Cup and probably won’t this year but the win in the men’s doubles and the results means they probably won’t finish last, either.
“We’ve had a lot of good results and I’m gonna say this is the best performance the NWT has ever had,” said Way.
The mixed doubles happens on Thursday with the Nodor Cup team knockout competition on Friday and the Canadian Open starting up later that evening.
Friday is also a day where Way could see some extra international duty for Canada as he will enter the men’s qualifying tournament for the World Cup in Romania this coming October. The top four men’s and women’s players from that tournament will suit up for Team Canada at that event.
Brenda Moreau of Fort Simpson will be the women’s representative for the NWT and she knows a thing or two about international duty as she played with the Canadian team at the Americas Cup in Trinidad and Tobago in 2008, the only ladies player from the NWT to ever wear the maple leaf on the world darts stage.
Both Way and Moreau won their way into the tournament by finishing atop the standings in their division at the NWT Darts Championships in Hay River back in March.