This year's event was huge as a Gold rated WDF Singles was added which brought in a lot of players from the U.K., Europe, Canada and Japan along with the many Americans who attend regularly. Cricket Nationals got going on Thursday with round robin bracket play. Sandy won her 9 player bracket going 21-3 overall. She then advanced to the knock out round abd won her opening match vs Tiffany Kemp to reach the Semi-Finals against a long time friend and rival, the ever tough Paula Murphy. This is where Sandy bowed out as Paula averaged over 5 marks per round in an awesome display of Cricket at it's finest. Sandy earned Top 4 while Paula went on to win the event.
Since her two knee replacement surguries Sandy has learned to pace herself and skipped the Friday 501 Nationals. The decision turned out to be a good one as she was well rested for Cricket Singles and a run to the Finals. This is always the toughest room in American darts and with top female players from abroad it was only that much tougher. Sandy dispatched some very talented players during her run and ended up in the Finals with legendary Fallon Sherrock. Fallon is the face of darts right now and it was a honor to play her L-Style teammate. Sandy couldn't find her form that helped her reach the Finals and finished as Runner-up.
By Saturday her endurance was starting to wear down a bit where she played as an unseeded player in the WDF Gold 501 Singles with a trip to Lakeside on the line. Sandy lost to England's Wendy Reinstadtler in the Top 16, Wendy would reach the Finals losing to Fallon. Then she and young phenom Aaja Jalbert paired up for Ladies Cricket Doubles. They have played together once and have been planning this reunion for a while, together they boast an impressive 16 National Championships. They got off to a shaky start at times but got rolling through the event knocking out several tough teams in route to the Finals vs England's Deta Hedman and Anca Zijistra of the Netherlands. This was a pretty good match through out but they just couldn't keep up and finished in 2nd place.
Sandy skipped the Mixed Triples event and Sunday's 501 Singles hoping to recharge for the final day, while it helped a bit she was pretty worn out by then, She and Aaja earned a Top 8 in 501 Doubles and she teamed with Joe Efter for the final event Mixed Doubles 501 but went down in the first round. Overall a pretty good showing against some elite competition, she placed in the money in 5 of the 6 events she played and reached the Finals board twice.
Sandy is so fortunate to have the support of some amazing sponsors like L-Style Global, Magic Wear Sports Apparel, Winmau and Plague Darts. She will be back in action next week a little closer to home in Asheville, NC for the Target-USSDA 501 National Championship and the popular Fire on the Mountain tournament.