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The 20th Western Isles Darts Festival took flight in Stornoway last night (Monday January 29) as 22 hopefuls entered the Early Bird competition at the Sea Angling Club.

Victory went to Alex 'Momby' Morrison for the third consecutive year, with him defeating festival founder Andy Dowie 5-3 in the final.

The first of six days of events, the Early Bird offered entrants a top prize of £100, as well as the chance to get their eye in for further competitions.

Eleven 180s were scored - six by Mr Dowie - on a night that involved some intriguing draws. This included a first round that featured two favourites for the title, Mr Morrison and Dave Macmillan, squaring off, and Mr Dowie drawn against his own son Dean.

As well as the evening's main competition, Monday also included a nine dart scoring challenge to raise money for a Prostate Cancer UK, as well as the opportunity to purchase shirts made especially for the festival's 20th year.

Monday was also the first time the festival had used the Dart Connect software to aid with draws and scoring.

Andrew MacDonald (left), Chairman of WIDL, presents the trophy to Alex Morrison. Photograph: Western Isles Darts League

Speaking on the opening night, Andrew MacDonald, Chairman of the Western Isles Darts League (WIDL), said it was good to get the festival up and running.

"The darts family is an extended family - from the mainland and the islands - and we don't get together often, but when we do it is like no time has passed," he said.

"The Early Bird is an easy intro to the week. It is not treated as seriously as the other competitions. One year a sponsor gave a chicken to the winner. It's just a chance to get the arms in."

He added: "Thanks to the committee for the hard work getting the sponsors, and getting the technology up and running so people are comfortable using it. And thank you to the sponsors."

Competition continues tonight with the Western Isles Masters, the only event requiring pre-qualifying as the top players from the Western Isles Darts League battle for the prize.

Other competitions from Wednesday until the final night on Saturday - which includes the coveted Open Singles - can be entered on the day. More information on the competitions, including start times, can be found on the WIDL Facebook page.