Andy Jenkins admitted he felt like he ‘was teeing off with a putter’ after being forced to play with only two of his own darts in The Untouchables on Friday night.
The Cosham star was despatched 5-1 in his quarter-final with world champion Adrian Lewis after somehow losing one of his darts on the way to the stage.
That left Jenkins to use one dart from a raffle prize for his encounter, which was a totally different weight and feel to his usual equipment.
Raymond van Barneveld eventually beat Lewis 5-4 to retain his title from last year – while he came through against plucky local qualifier Danny Pinhorne 5-1 on his way to the final.
But Jenkins was left disappointed that a successful sell-out exhibition tournament on home soil ended for him in such bizarre circumstances.
Jenkins said: ‘I had it in my hand on the way to the stage but then I got up there and it had gone.
‘It must have caught in someone’s jumper on the way up there. I went back to have a look for it, but couldn’t find it so I had to use this big chunky thing that was up there on the stage for the raffle!
‘Normally I carry a spare but I didn’t think I would really need one that night.
‘Adrian knew straight away and said “you can’t play with that” but I said “we’ve got to play. We can’t stop it now.”
‘It’s a shame but that’s the way it goes.
‘It’s like trying to play a 500-yard hole on a golf course and you’ve got only a putter.
‘Players get used to their own darts over a number of years and it affects your mind if you haven’t got them.
‘I had enough to do trying to beat the world champion with three of my own darts, let alone with someone else’s.’
Jenkins’ missing dart eventually turned up beneath the stairs of the stage, but van Barneveld was the star of the show after a pulsating high-scoring semi-final with James Wade as both players averaged 100.
Petersfield under-21 champion Jack Marriner went down 4-0 to Lewis in his preliminary round clash, while Co Stompe embraced his usual ‘Play Up Stompe’ chants by wearing a Pompey shirt for his showdown with Mark Webster.
But it failed to bring the Dutchman any luck as he went down 5-1, while Lewis then eased past the Welshman 5-2 in their semi-final.
Jenkins said: ‘It was a good night. Everyone I spoke to enjoyed it and I know Barney really likes coming to Portsmouth to play.
‘We had a few drinks afterwards and he loves the place and the atmosphere. He knows that people in Portsmouth love their darts.’