THE highlight of the first week was the clash at darts between last season's champions White Boar A and one of the teams tipped to challenge them this season, Masons Arms A.

The Masons got off to the best possible start as wins by Jimmy Cunliffe and Alan Brocklehurst gave them a 2-0 lead. At this stage it looked gloomy for the Boar but their response was superb as wins by Paul Langford, Craig Mansell, Dave Studholme, Mick Bushby and Martin Holt powered them to victory and sent out a message that anyone claiming to take their title away is going to have to play exceptionally well.

The dominoes game between the two teams was shared with the Masons being thankful for a 91-50 win by Alan Brocklehurst and David Makinson, which gave them the aggregate. Another team which is sure to be there in the darts league is the Masons Arms from Ramsbottom. Their first game of the season against the White Horse did not really test them, but a 13 dart finish by Carl Woolnough underlined the ability that lies in the team. The Masons also took the dominoes to make it a very satisfying night.

Last season's dominoes champions Swan Hotel, played host to league newcomers Bird i'th Hand. The darts went all the way to the last game with the home side just taking it. At dominoes the host got their title defence off to a winning start, just getting the better of some closely fought games. Following last season's problems, the White Boar B got off to a winning start at darts and dominoes when they played host to another new team in the Masons Arms B.

It is hoped that players for the Boar B team will be more committed this season and realise that they have to turn up every week and not when they feel like it. This season's prizes will be awarded for the least darts, highest finish at darts and best win at dominoes. It is the responsibility of captains to make sure any of these achieved are put on result sheets.

RESULTS: Masons Arms A 2(3), White Boar A 5(3); Swan Hotel 4 (4), Bird i'th Hand 3(2); Masons Arms (Rams) 6 (4), White Horse 1(2); White Boar B 5 (6), Masons Arms B 2 (0).

HIGH SCORES: J. Cunliffe (Masons A) and J. Lyon (Bird i'th Hand) both 180. C. Woolnough (Masons Rams) 180 plus a 13 dart finish. A. Clark & A. Crompton (W. Boar B) 91-47. The best win to date.