Now that the weather is now longer the main topic here in Minehead as it is getting warmer and the snow started to thaw in the light rain I can pick up another topic which has a Minehead relation as well. And I am sure over the last few days a lot of people fell back on it to first to brave the cold and now the wetness - hot tea or coffee or might be hot chocolate as well which is supposed to be even lift the mood.
When you stay in a Bed and Breakfast here in Minehead it will soon attract your attention that you will not get served Twinings or another off-the-shelf tea for breakfast but Miles tea or coffee or Miles hot chocolate. The hosts here in Minehead emphasize to offer regional products and Miles is a regional company and you will already in Bath or Bristol not find the products in the shops.
The company has its headquarters in nearby Porlock und the company already exists since 1888 though the grandfather of the now owner worked as a tea tester originally in London and it was his grandson who moved 1961 to Porlock He first worked as tea inspector in Avonmouth and at this time each tea case which arrived was tested. Later Miles started to buy small quantities of tea to blend them. First it was only a small company but later a coffee roastery was added and other teas and hot chocolate were joined to the range. 2018 Miles teas and coffees were listed in the teas and coffees section of the "Best Brands" magazine - as only company from the UK. So should you come to Minehead look in shops and supermarkets for the Miles products - it's worth it.
The second day of the UK Open started with the matches of the fourth round which was played on the main stage and on three of the other boards. By now the two venues were far better heated then on the day before and I really wondered whether some of the matches of the first day would have had another come out in this circumstances.
As not as many matches were played at the same time any longer and the format was longer as well I had more time to have a closer look at some of the matches. Kim Huybrechts looked quite vitalised after yesterday's win while Daryl Gurney looked more the contrary. No idea why - might be he was only bugged as he couldn't find into the match. But it was soon clear that the match would end with a Huybrechts' win. Till I had moved into the room with the three boards Michael Smith had already sent Ryan Meikle packing. Chris Dobey soon got rid of Jason Lowe as well. Only the other two matches took a little bit longer. When I left the room John Part was behind to Ron Meulenkamp. I had a short look at the Ricky Evans Gary Anderson match which was under Anderson's control from the start. When I returned to Part and co Part was interviewed - so he had won in the end.
Owen against Rafferty was a very close and intense match. Beside them at the other board Wade and Pallett just moved the small table with the water and the glassed from the podium. It seemed to jangle every time they walked past it. Wade didn't look happy and he lost in the end 6:10. Steve West on the other side looked very happy as the match went his way from the start. When I returned to the main stage the match between Rob Cross and Kyle Anderson was almost over and the players went into the last break. I stayed to the end while Anderson reduced his deficit step by step. But in the end it was not enough.
Than Martin Schindler and Corey Cadby walked on stage and first it looked quite good for Schindler. So I went over to the other boards. Gerwyn Price had already eliminated Dirk van Duijvenbode but I had a look at the Ratajski Brown match which the Polish Eagle dominated. Ian White against Jamie Hughes was a very close affair and I was a little bit surprised it ended with a White win. The last match was the match between Paul Hogan and Jeffrey de Zwaan - another very close affair because Hogan had problems to seal the deal. In the last moment he finally, finally managed just so. Cadby in the meantime had turned on the gas und Schindler couldn't keep up. He lost 7:10 but has no reason to be not happy with his performance.
In the evening the tournament went on with the fifth round. And with the upsets. In the first match on the main stage it looked like Mervyn King would have no problem to get rid of John Part but somehow Part managed to turn the match around with the help of some big finishes and won it. I have no idea how Robert Owen managed to overcome Ian White it certainly was a surprise after the great darts White had produced in his other matches. David Pallett won against Kim Huybrechts and couldn't believe it. Steve West played very consistent and focussed against Michel Smith and made no faults - it was a deserved win.
I changed in between against to the main stage where the match between Gerwyn Price and Paul Hogan was almost over. It was a very entertaining match and Hogan a little bit adapted Price's emotionality. After a good throw he would turn to the left and shout "Come on" just as Price did. There were even a little crowd around the stage which produced some atmosphere and supported Hogan. But it didn't help in the end and it was Price who progressed into the quarterfinals.
At one of the boards Corey Cadby defeated Chris Dobey. It was a good match of both players. After that the matches between Gary Anderson and Jermaine Wattimena and Rob Cross and Krzysztof Ratajski on the main stage ended the fifth round. Anderson and Cross both showed their class and gave their opponents no chance at all. Nevertheless I was a little bit astonished Ratajski went so unsung - he had played much better in his matches before.
After the matches followed the quarterfinals draw.
On my way home in the slight rain I thought it had been another surprising day - who would have thought players like Pallett, West or Owen would reach the quarterfinals? That Part would manage to progress there probably not even his biggest fans would have believed to be possible. And then the draw! The two favourites to win would already meet in the quarterfinals.