Cirencester's darts ace aims to find ruthless streak
ONE-YEAR-OLD Ellen Boulton is going to have to share her nursery with dad Paul’s dart board.
And when he is competing on the oche, Paul Boulton needs to discover a ruthless streak. It’s no more, Mr Nice Guy.
They are Boulton’s reflections after his live appearance on Sky Sports TV at the Speedy Services UK Open.
Cirencester’s top darts player may have lost in his preliminary round match against Arron Monk, but the former World U21 champion looked a relieved man when edging past Boulton 4-3.
And it has convinced the Wiltshire county amateur that he can compete with the best.
“I am going to have to sit down with my family and talk through the possibility of going to the dart tour’s qualifying school in January,” said Paul.
“There is a lot of travelling, weekends away, not to mention the expense – unless I can get some sponsorship. If I were single, I would do it like a shot, but I now have a young family. “Whatever happens, I must practice harder. I used to have a board set up in the spare room, but that is now Ellen’s nursery. We are going to have to tweak things around to set up my board again.
“And I need to find a ruthless, mean side in competitions. I think I’m too nice.”
Boulton made the worse possible start at the unique big money tournament at the Reebok Stadium where the world’s top professionals share the stage with leading amateurs.
He was 2-0 down (despite throwing a 180 in the second leg) and then 3-1 behind in the first-to-four contest, but he found the bull for a spectacular get-out to make it 3-2 and forced a decider when taking an edgy sixth leg.
Monk then showed the grit of a champion, producing a spectacular 180 followed by a 113 finish to win the match 4-3.
“The pros were complimentary about the way I played and I would love to go back and have another go on the main board,” said Boulton.
“The only way I could have beaten Arron in the deciding leg was to throw a nine-darter.
“Arron was superb and you could not wish to meet a nicer bloke. He went quite a long way in the tournament and won about £4,000, I think.”
There was a shock outcome in the final when Scotland’s Robert Thornton beat the legendary Phil ‘The Power’ Taylor.
Boulton's Swindon League team-mate Johnny Haines also went out 4-3 at the UK Open to former BDO World Champion Mark Webster. Haines effectively had a match point but paid the price for missing one dart at the bull and Webster came from behind to triumph.