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 Thursday, 9 January, 2003, 09:38 GMT
The best ever darts duel?
Colin Monk pips Tony O'Shea 3-2 to win an epic at the Embassy World Championship
Colin Monk pips Tony O'Shea 3-2 to win an epic at the Embassy World Championship.

Where does this game rank in the all-time greats?



After a memorable duel between the pair last year, the capacity crowd at the Lakeside Country Club were expecting something special - and they were not disappointed.

From the moment Monk emerged to the strains of 'Hey, Hey, We're the Monkees', the stage was set for a classic encounter.

And the two top throwers were toe-to-toe at the oche for a nerve-sapping 25 legs before Monk nailed a double 16 to clinch a thrilling tie-breaker.

As the competition continues to heat up, who are you tipping to take the title?


This debate is now closed. See below for a selection of your e-mails.


The best match I ever saw was the PDC championship final this year between Part and Taylor. The way Taylor came from nowhere to lead 5-4 from 4-1 down was incredible, and then Part's fighting spirit helping him to come back and win. What a match it was!
Ben Williams, England

I think the best game in the Embassy was Eric Bristow v Dave Lee in 1981. Even Bristow said: "You will not see a better game than that."
Paul Gaubert, USA

I'd like to congratulate Colin Monk and Tony O'Shea for the epic they served up for us the other night. Credit must go to both players for not giving up and entertaining us like that. Although a great match, I think the Taylor v Part final a few days ago was slightly better. For them to keep that standard of darts in a world final was immense, congratulations to John Part.

Oh and my tip for this years Embassy championship is Gary Anderson, the boy looks on fire and will be tough to beat, good luck Gary!
Lee Murray, United Kingdom

I was lucky enough to be at the Lakeside for the epic Martin Adams v Chris Mason quarter-final in 1999. On TV it must have been good, but the atmosphere there was electric! A feast of 180s from both players, a comeback win, a beer-fuelled crowd - what more could you want?!!
Alex, UK

The PDC is sometimes good, but it doesn't produce new stars. It is just a Phil Taylor party.
Bart Romijn, Netherlands

I think that Richie Davies will win the title because of the outstanding form he showed against Tony David. If he can keep this up, then Gary Anderson will struggle to beat him. Davies and Barney in the final. If Richie can keep his head, he will certainly show Barney how to play darts.
Richard Clarke, Mighty England

Gary Anderson has surprised many people with his form in the competition, but the fact is that if he continues to play to the same standard he will be very hard to beat even for Ray Barneveld.
John Laking, England

I can't remember a game as good as Taylor Vs Part in the PDC final the other night that was as good as it gets since the great Bristow Vs Wilson games.

As a footnote I think that the main reason most people think the PDC is best is because of Taylor, but the darts bodies really should get their act together, we should be able to have one world champion and not end up like boxing has.
Nick, England

I'm tipping the victor of the Bob Taylor v Gary Anderson duel for Lakeside crown this year. They've both shown real ability and fight, the same qualities which saw Les Wallace win in 1997 and the great Jocky Wilson triumph in 1982 and 1989.
Alasdair Ross, Isle of Skye, Great Britain

Now he's defeated O'Shea, look no further than Colin Monk

Matt May, England

The greatest darts match of all time happened only a few days ago with the marathon tussle between John Part and Phil Taylor. Where we not only had the high scores and the big out shots, but the psychological aspect of the sport with Part refusing to let Taylor intimidate him and always having the belief in himself that he could win it.

The greatest match at the Embassy however is probably a tie between Taylor & Gregory in the 1992 final, and Barneveld and Burnett in the 1998 final. Two epic encounters that went the distance and where the winner of the match was in doubt right to the last double.
Arsalan Syed, England

Raymond looks very sharp this year. I had the opportunity to watch him last year in the competition of his hometown, Den Haag. My brother also played in that team. It is unbelievable the way he let's go of his darts. It doesn't seem to cost any trouble to hit that treble 20.

I think this year will be his year again because of the fact that he has now lost some weight and has a better physical condition. Plus, his finishing-tactics are (finally) up-to-date. Remember, it's all about options, when will Martin Adams finally take the advice?
Peter Blijs, Nederland

Now he's defeated O'Shea, look no further than Colin Monk - nerves of steel, and the temperament for the longer games, coming into the quarters.
Matt May, England

Best ever dart duel - without a doubt the match last week against John Part and Phil Taylor. The Embassy is good but not as good as the PDC championship. When will all these people stop dreaming about how much better the Embassy players are?
Simon, England

The greatest game ever had to be when I beat Paddy O' Flannigan for 20

Joe, Ireland

Dear friends, as a real "Aantwaarpenair" (Dutch dialect to express that you're someone from the city of Antwerp/Belgium) I can only warn you by saying the following sentence: "Watch out for a man called The Sheriff!"
Bosch Tim, Belgium

It has to be Barney for me - but as an outsider, I'd go for Ritchie Davies - he's got over the nerves he always has - or whoever beats him will win - they have done the past two years (Walton and David)!Davies vs Barneveld final! Though I'd love to see Anderson or Taylor win it for Scotland!
Kevin Mitchell, Scotland

I'd have to say the Martin Adams vs Chris Mason quarter-final a few years ago was the greatest. It was the match that got me really interested in darts.

There was a huge amount of 180s, plus Chris came back from 4-1 down. The final set with the missed doubles was drama of the highest order.

Congrats also to John Part - he's a class act and over the course of the week, deserved to win in Purfleet.
Steve Wilson, England

The greatest game ever had to be when I beat Paddy O' Flannigan for 20 three years ago.

I finished double one after about 20 darts at it. The atmosphere was great, real tension......

Second would have to be Taylor/Part on Sunday night, class.
Joe, Ireland

The 'Crafty Cockney' versus 'Stoneface' back in the good old days

Bob, England

Colin Monk has proved he can last the distance but he will have to contend with Barneys' big three-dart average should he progress further. With darts like that, the King will be in difficulties.
Mark Broderick, Northern Ireland

Deller v Bristow in 1983 is the greatest in memory; this last decade, Taylor's pre-eminence has effectively precluded real contests (until now, of course). The early 1980s saw many more closer and tenser battles at the top level of the game, with Wilson, Lowe and Bristow to the fore.
Brett Christophers, England

The 'Crafty Cockney' versus 'Stoneface' back in the good old days when Eric Bristowe came back from the interval a different player to beat John Lowe.
Bob, England

I'd like to Merv win the title this year. After playing like a plonker in last year's final he deserves the victory.

Barney will take some beating as will big Bob Taylor. The quality throughout really is exceptional but I reckon Merv's on for the title.
Tom, England

The Part v Taylor final was probably the greatest darts match ever...........there are no comparisons.
James O Connor, Ireland

I think it's the turn of the Scots this year!

Stevie, Scotland

Colin Monk and Tony O'Shea, is for me ranked second best ever at Frimley Green. For me the number one duel was the final between Mike Gregory and Phil Taylor in 1992.
Rinus "Opa" Pomper, The Netherlands

What a match it was - O'Shea v Monk - a classic!
Niels, Good old Holland

I think it's the turn of the Scots this year!! I was very impressed by Gary Anderson's performance against Andy Fordham and if he can reproduce that form he will be hard to beat.
Stevie, Scotland

Barney is the most talented player left in the field and should win if he stays concentrated.

As for the debate about the different tournaments, having been to both I enjoy watching the Embassy Championship more. The family friendly atmosphere at The Lakeside, the bigger facility, the better facilities food and drink wise that the Embassy provides, as well as being a bigger arena - puts it ahead.
Matthew Wegner, North London

Monky deserves a go in the final but I'm not sure if he has the standard to win

Derek, Ireland

Barnie is the favourite due to his current form, but I would like to see Colin Monk (fish) win it.
Rob Gibbons, UK - Wales

Who will win the Embassy this year? That's a very tough question to answer. I think there are two players that can achieve it. David and Van Barneveld of course. It all depends on the shape of the day and hitting the doubles at crucial moments. At the end of the day Barney will win, I'm afraid...
Danny Wentholt, The Netherlands

Everybody's forgetting Eric 'The Sheriff' Clarys. He passed the first two rounds in style. If now he can beat Barney in the quarter-finals the road to the title lays wide open.
Willie, Belgium

Monky deserves a go in the final but I'm not sure if he has the standard to win. The match against O'Shea was a cracker and both men threw nice darts at the end. But, in a match that goes that far, with breaks in the throw, questions must be asked of both players if they have the killer instinct to nail it at the final stage.

My tip: a repeat of last year with David and King.
Derek, Ireland

I think it's the year of "The Bear"

Dave Forster, England
I think that there are three men who have the capabilities at the moment to win this tournament. Tony David, Mervyn King and Ray Barneveld. I hope Barney will be victorious.
Thijs Rensing, Netherlands

Yes it's true that the bulk of the top players are to be found in the PDC version (congratulations to John Part on a fantastic victory)but there are still a number of excellent players left in the Embassy equally as good as any of the top players in the PDC (with the obvious exception of Phil Taylor).

I would like to see Raymond Van Barnevald add a third title to his collection, but Aussie Tony David will take some beating. It would be good to see an 'Open' event where players from the BDO and PDC were both eligible, it would provide great entertainment.
Pete Young, United Kingdom

I think it's the year of "The Bear", I've never seen him look so relaxed in all the years I've known him (a Scotsman with a Englishman as a cousin) - Come on Robert!!
Dave Forster, England

Phil Taylor being the great player he is obviously had the best interest of darts at heart when he helped set up the PDC. I hope it's as obvious to everyone else as it is to me, if we ever want darts to progress into the same bracket as other top sports like snooker, the two factions must combine.

Enough is enough let's give darts players the respect they deserve and end this dark age of separation.
James, England

Can Phil Talyor please come back next year or can Michael Vaughan take up darts!

Martin, England

The local lad Gary Anderson is going to win as long as he keeps playing like he is. Everyone in Eyemouth is wishing you all the best!
Gail McGovern, Scotland (Eyemouth)

I take Tony David to defend his title and if not, then I think it will be Ray Barneveld. If either does win then it will be the first time since the darts divide that the embassy title is held by a better player than the PDC's title.

It will also mean that no Britain is the holder of either title! So can Phil Talyor please come back next year or can Michael Vaughan take up darts!
Martin, England

Gary Anderson going to win it this year - Gary do it for Scotland!
Blade-Wuk, Scotland

Sorry to hear that Andy 'The Viking' went out but never the less, he will be back next year. Bob Taylor is in a good form so is it his year to do the trick he is a nice guy so Bob 'The Bear' is up for it.
Yuri van Kampen, Bonaire Netherlands Antilles

Ray Barneveld will take the title

Dennis Rond, Holland

I'd like to say a big well done to Gary Anderson and Bob Taylor for their demolition of high ranked Englishmen! I'm tipping Gary Anderson to go all the way; if he keeps up that three-dart average he'll be unstoppable.
Darren Main, Scotland

Phil Taylor must accept a late wild card to win the Embassy title as there's something wrong in the darting universe when the Power's not a world champ!
Dave Dominguez, Wales

Ray Barneveld will take the title. The only player that can stop him is Ray himself. Let's hope he can keep his cool this time and not depend too much on his good luck charms, but on his phenomenal scoring ability. The last few Embassys it didn't work, remember!!!
Dennis Rond, Holland

It's a tough one to call. King certainly tickles my fancy as I view him as a very clinical finisher - but without question, Barneveld is my favourite. He is the real deal.
James Sheehy, Eire

Gary Anderson is a dark horse and out of everybody in the second round he had the highest average (99 per three darts), plus close to 50% checkout. Nobody will beat him if he continues that form. Otherwise Barney will win it, although he can beat Anderson if he's on form.
Jeff Bowles, Scotland

Barney will win it again this year, he has shown great consistency in his averages

Jez, The Netherlands

I don't agree with the statement that the averages during the PDC Championship were better. Actually, it's the other way around: good old John Lowe, for instance, shot a mere 72.49 three-dart average in his second round match!

In the early stages, it was a "poor" standard all the way. Of course, as you'll see during the Embassy, averages tend to creep up in the later stages when only the better darters remain.

I think Barney will win it again this year, he has shown great consistency in his averages the last couple of years: He's always around the 96 mark or higher for three darts.
Jez, The Netherlands

I love Tony David's style of darts, his throw is so relaxed and accurate. I hope he retains the title. It would be deservedly so.
Peter O' Connell, Ireland

John Burton will win the title this year. He's very good and it's time for another Welsh victory at the Lakeside. CYMRU!
Frans, Netherlands

I think that Mr Wagner may be within a chance of winning or my favourite darts player Mr Coote.
Jamie, England

Raymond "Barney" Barneveld will win this years Embassy! Go Barney - goooo.
Tuncay Kaya, Turkey

Tony David and Ray Barneveld are the only two players in the tournament

Alun Thomas, England

When Tim Henman's injury is over, I'm sure he is one of the favourites. His backhand is much stronger than Andy Fordham's. One thing that bothers me is that I did not see his wife yet, with a pint between the crowd...
Henk Engel, Holland

Andy Fordham to win! He's just a little better than my mate Ciaran "the 26 master" Riley.
Steve Kirwin, England

Tony David against Bob Taylor in the finals - David will win the title to retain the championship.
Jeff Taylor, U.S.A.

Tony David and Ray Barneveld are the only two players in the tournament and it will be a close call as to which one of these lifts the trophy on Sunday evening.
Alun Thomas, England

It seems that no-one has yet tipped the quiet man Bob 'The Bear' Taylor

Dave Miller, Scotland

Wagner the Magician from Norway is going to win it.
Mr Benson, UK

Tony David has survived the short rounds and only gets better the longer the match - go for it Tony.
Doug Bremner, Australia

Richie Davies will win the title because a dark horse always wins the title every year.
Steve, UK

For me it's got to be Colin Monk, with the amazing support he gets from all his family - remember his son getting all emotional last year! Here's hoping we see some real Monk-ey magic, let's hope he doesn't get spanked.
Ed Fletcher, Britain

It seems that no-one has yet tipped the quiet man Bob 'The Bear' Taylor to lift the trophy this year. Since his move to Sweden he's been playing some of the best darts of his life, and at this year's World Championship he has only dropped one set in reaching the quarter finals. If he can keep his nerve, he could go all the way... come on Big Man.
Dave Miller, Scotland

Colin Monk could provide a few shocks

Mat Meeks, England

I'm backing Mervyn King for the title this year, he was in great form in his first round match and can go all the way.
Jack, England

Now Steve Coote is out, my money is on John Walton. But I would love to see Martin Adams win it. Come on Wolfie!
Ciaran Riley, England

This year Marieke de Boer will win the Embassy Darts Championships. She won a difficult match against Rogers-Pickett and she is very good at playing difficult matches against the best players because there's no pressure her.
Sjoerd, The Netherlands

Andy Fordham will hold the title this year. After showing cracking form in his first round match, it'll take an extraordinary performance to prevent him from lifting the trophy.
Paul and Dave, England

Let's all support the most brilliant, natural, surreal, self made dart player out there... the pride of Belgium, Eric the Sheriff Clarys! Go Eric! You can do it.
Stijn Kums, Belgium

I still think that Barney has what it takes to become Champion once again. However a convincing performance from O'Shea last night, does leave me wondering. Colin Monk could provide a few shocks. But beware the King. Mervyn King.
Mat Meeks, England

This year Martin Adams will hold up the trophy

Rinus "Opa" Pomper, The Netherlands

I am hoping that indeed this year's champion will be Andy Fordham, because he is the one to deserve the title after being so often in the semi-finals. Come on Andy, do not let me and your other fans down.
Yuri van Kampen, Bonaire Netherlands Antilles

Having watched a couple of the Embassy matches interspersed with some PDC action, its quite frightening to see the gap. The Robson/Wagner match was awful, a 76 dart average at one point. There are some class acts in the Embassy and I'd love to see Adams do it, one of the few gentlemen on and OFF the oche.
Robert Bowden, England

Tony David all the way, he is so cool, calm and collected. I can't see anyone beating him. I don't know if anyone else agrees with me but who is this guy ROY who is commentating with big Tony Green. Get him off and get PDC World Champ John Part in quick.
Richard Evans, London, England

James Wade all the way, although we work with his mum at work every day and she always gets the drinks in, so come back soon, Hazel, we are dying of thirst here!!
Greg, England

This year Martin Adams will hold up the trophy, I hope. Because after 10 years of being there, it would be great to see him win. But on the other hand, Raymond Barneveld will be there at the end to win it, because he has gone that road before.
Rinus "Opa" Pomper, The Netherlands

The mighty Trina Gulliver will be on her travels to victory once again this year

Adam, England

My money is on big Andy Fordham. He played a cracking first round match and deserves to go far this time round
Whallo, England

I think until the BDO sorts itself out the PDC championship will steadily grow. Some of the top former Embassy competitors have already voted with their feet and I fear more will follow.

Having taken a keen interest for the first time this year and having just watched an outstanding final between Phil Taylor and John Part you can't blame the top Embassy players from wanting to compete in this the true world championships. Calling the winner at Frimley "world darts champion" is like calling the Div One winner the champions of England.
Nigel Large, England

Andy Fordham will win this year tournament before swapping and going to the PDC where he can meet the good players
Ben Hance, UK

Ritchie Davies will go far, so will John Burton, but I think Tony David will win it again because he is capable of beating anyone when he is on his best form.
Trefor Jones, Wales

I am appalled at the camera timing of the latest match, Wagner v Robson. Most of the out shots where missed and more attention was given to the player's facial expressions than the darts, if you must do this can you at least use a split screen method.
Jan Stanley, England

Be ready to be blasted by the Bouncing Bomb, John Burton. Me and my mate Jon played him in a pub in London a few years back when his head wasn't together - but he had total class and ambition. He's clearly right back in the zone now and after beating Flint why shouldn't he another Taff to beat the World? He's confident, solid and a great outside bet.
Tim, England

I'm backing Ted Hankey all the way, he's the man who can in 2003

Emma, England

Super darts, it's great to watch, I would like to see Colin Monk do well, but think this could be the Wolf's year... best of luck to both... Also the mighty Trina Gulliver will be on her travels to victory once again... best wishes and happy New Year to you all involved and thanks for making it so enjoyable to watch.
Adam, England

Embassy World Darts Championship

Barneveld's title

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