In form University of Sunderland darts ace, Chris Chilver, insists his side has not given up hope of qualifying for the North East University Darts League finals, ahead of tomorrow’s home clash against Newcastle 2nds.
The Wearsiders fell further adrift of the leading pack, with a third defeat of the season against York 1sts, and know they will realistically have to win all of their remaining games, to finish in the top two for a second successive season.
Nonetheless, despite the odds being against them, the darts society have continually battled against adversity during his three years in the side, and Chilver remains confident that they can once more defy the odds by still reaching the league’s end of season showpiece event.
“Getting into the top two for a second year was always going to be a tough task when you look at the size of other teams and the support they receive from their universities,” said Chilver.
“That said last year we got there by showing grit, determination and solidarity as a team. This year is looking unlikely, but we didn’t get there last year by admitting defeat.
“If we have a chance of being in the top two, then that’s what we’ll continue to play for.”
Sunderland are faced with the visit of Newcastle 2nds tomorrow – a team they dismantled 10-1 in the away fixture in November.
Captain Dan Kelly hailed the performance as the greatest of his tenure as captain, and while Chilver expects a much tougher test tomorrow, he still expects to walk away with the two points.
“Newcastle 2nds was a huge confidence boosting result early on in the season, but we all know how many times this season a result could have gone either way. That said, if we don’t come away with a victory tomorrow I’ll be very disappointed.”
On a personal level, Chilver has markedly improved in 2016, qualifying in second place for finals night in the University of Sunderland singles league.
The Teesside thrower only lost to Captain Dan Kelly in the league phase and after missing out on the recent York triple header through work commitments, he admits he is itching to bring his form on to the North East University Darts League stage.
“I put in a lot of hours over the Christmas period and changed a few things which has transformed my game,” admitted Chilver.
“I was pretty unhappy with my performances this season despite clocking up some good wins in the NEUDL so I knew I had to put the hours in and change something.
“I was absolutely gutted at missing the York matches. It still turned out to be a great result for the team but I’d just started coming into my form after Christmas, so I wanted to really take it to them.
“I don’t expect to be pushed too hard tomorrow, but that doesn’t mean I’ll be giving anyone an easy ride. I always up my game for the darts league and tomorrow will be no exception.”
The University of Sunderland darts team welcome Newcastle 2nds to Cheemas, Millfield on Wednesday, with bull off at 7.30pm.