YOUNG Ryan Dodd’s debut 180 stirred some old memories for those connected with Ridley League darts.

Ryan, 13, recorded the competition’s youngest ever maximum during title-chasing Felsted Chequers’ win at City FC, an achievement that earned him an admiring thumbs-up from 89-year-old Dick Clough.

Clough made his debut with Chelmsford Ship, and remembers the days when Ridley League players would travel miles for one game of 301 up.

Among his later pubs were the Walnut Tree, Littley Green Compasses and the Windmill. Not one of those teams survives; the downside to darts’ new popularity as a spectator and TV attraction.

Much later he saw the league shrink to the point where it risked closure, then played through its brief resurgence as two divisions, with one centred on Chelmsford, the other on Braintree and Dunmow.