Suffragettes or Behind lock and bar 3...
Always when I walk from my hotel into town I pass a house with a blue plaque. Those blue plaques always remember important persons of the town and most names I've never heard before. Out of curiosity I googgelt the name from this plaque - Emma Sproson - and of course will tell you the results.
Emma Sproson born nearby Wolverhampton as one of seven children of a builder 1867 was not only a suffragette but the first female councillor of Wolverhampton. Till today she is known in Wolverhampton as the "red Emma" as well. Sproson got soon interested in socialism and feminism and in Wolverhampton joined the Independent Labour Party. 1896 she married the local party secretary. He invited at some time the Pankhurst sisters to Wolverhampton, who were well-known suffragettes and the Pankhurst's invited his wife ton London to take part in a demonstration. The demonstration ended in a riot and Sproson and 61 other women ended for a fortnight behind lock and bar.
A few years later due to similar incidents happened she again ended behind lock and bar - the suffragettes were not approved by the larger part of the population. When in 1907 Sproson founded the Women's Freedom League it was looked on as illegal - and once again Sproson passed some time in jail. Sproson always worked for charity beside her work for women's rights especially for the right to vote for all women. When in 1921 women for the first time were allowed to be councillor Sproson offered herself as a candidate and was successful. Till her death in 1936 she worked for women's rights and sick persons.
On the third day of the Grand Slam in Wolverhampton the last group matches of groups E-H were played and with them a lot of decisions as only Gary Anderson and Glen Durrant had already qualified for the Knock 'Out phase.
First Gary Anderson and Simon Whitlock walked on stage and Whitlock just couldn't keep up with Anderson who is getting nearer and nearer his best. Whitlock lost 2:5 which mend he was out of the races. In the second match of the group H Berry van Peer and Cameron Menzies played against each other. I am really not sure for whom I felt worse.Menzies tried his best but somehow suffered much more by van Peer's Dartitis then van Peer himself. He just couldn't play with such joy as he had shown in his first two matches as he emphasized too much.in the end he lost a very close match 4:5. I had really hoped for a win for Menzies and now van Peer was celebrated as a hero though he forced the other players not only to deal with the opponent but with the opponent's dartitis as well. Not an easy situation for the players and Menzies to be sure was the victim.
All was decided in group H - Anderson and van Peer progressed, Whitlock and Menzies were eliminated.
The next group was group E and the first match was Glen Durrant v Corey Cadby. Cady showed a strong performance, stronger than in his two matches before and Durrant suddenly had a problem. Cadby won the match 5:4. The match between Peter Wright and Alan Norris followed - a match in which the winner won all. Before the match could started a few minutes the board was turned to and fro to Wright's request. Wright quite often complains about the board. Sometimes his opponents join the complaint, sometimes they ignore it.. I believe most of the time the board after the to and fro turning hangs in the same position as it hang when the players came on stage. might be it is a way for Wright to get rid of his nerves or might be he does it to destroy his opponent's focus. The match - when it finally started - was another close match in which Peter Wright prevailed.
So in group E Durrant and Wright progressed and Cadby and Norris were eliminated.
The next matches were group G matches. First we had Michael Smith against Mark McGeeney. First Smith dominated. But it looked McGeeney suddenly realised he had nothing to lose and for a few legs he showed why he is the number 1 of the BDO. He seemed finally to enjoy playing darts again and his smile was back too. It was not enough to win the match but at least it might have been a consolation for the debut Grand Slam campaign.The second match was between Mensur Suljovic and James Wilson and depending on the result a nine-dart shoot out could happen.James Wilson turned up. It was enough to level 4:4. But in the deciding leg he had only one chance to finish his 130 points - he couldn't hit them and Suljovic won the match. So now Nine-Darts Shoot Out. Suljovic and Smith progressed, Wilson and McGeeney were out of the tournament.
The last group on stage was group F and first on was Dave Chisnall v Jeffrey de Zwaan. It was another close match in which Jeffrey de Zwaan prevailed 5:4. Might be we would see a nine-dart shout out in this group? That depended on the result of the match between Stephen Bunting and Scott Mitchell. And once again we had a close match which ended in a deciding match. It was a good match from both players. The deciding leg was won by Bunting. So again no nine-dart shoot out and Stephen Bunting and Dave Chisnall - helped by the Bunting/Mitchell result - progressed into round two.
A thrilling evening! Heated up by it I felt it was rather cold outside. In addition it had been very warm in the press room and one stage it got even warmer during the evening.. Hats off to the players that they manage to stay focused.