SOMETIMES it simply isn’t your day.
Just ask darts star Paul Jennings, who had the anguish of suffering exactly that on Saturday as he made a first round exit at the BDO World Championships to Netherland’s Wesley Harms 3-0, two years since losing to the Dutchman in the Lakeside quarter-final 5-3.
Jenno, a quarter-finalist in his last two Frimley Green appearances, watched on helplessly as his darts bounced out out of the treble 20 an unfathomable six times.
It was extraordinary hard luck, but what wasn’t so luck-based was his failings with finishing.
The Headlander expressed his frustration at himself publicly, repeatedly screwing up his face when he failed to finish off a leg.
There’s luck, and then there’s grasping at the opportunities when they they appear. Jenno didn’t have the former and he didn’t do the latter.
The current Polish Open champion threw the first darts of the most eye-catching of opening round fixtures and clocked a 180 in the first leg, but Harms checked out with a 116.
Jenno replied with a double 10 finish, only for Harms – tipped by many as this year’s dark-horse – to finish with another century-plus, 101 giving him a 2-1 lead before he took the fourth leg to win the first set 3-1.
With two darts cushioned into the red berth of 20 in the second set’s first leg, Jenno aimed for a maximum.
His remaining dart, however, arrowed itself into another. First bounce out – tick.
The 37-year-old rued the misfortune and Harms shot a double top to lead.
Yet another bounce out ensued and then yet more missed checkouts, which Scottish Open champion Harms punished by finishing with a D10.
After four successive losing legs, Jenno stopped the rot by piercing the D15 slot.
Confidence restored, another drop out on 180 followed.
Jenno stayed calm though, drawing the set level at 2-2.
Jenno had two goes at D16, one at D9 and then a shot at D4 to draw the match. Missed. Harms finished on a D20 to take a 2-0 lead.
Harms took the first leg of what proved to be the final set and though Jennings did pull it back to 1-1, Harms was unflustered taking the next two legs including a 131 checkout.
Harms wasn’t imperious, he was just prolific on his checkouts – 45 percentage rate.
Jenno wasn’t bad, he hit three maximums and his average was only slighter lower than Harms, he just couldn’t finish consistently and Lady Luck was against him.
Harms’ last-16 opponent? Fellow Poolie Tony Eccles, if he beats Darryl Fitton today. Good luck, Viper.