Flight of fancy: Norwich couple working together to reach new heights at the oche

Jason Lovett and Roz Bulmer at their homely oche in Norwich. Picture: Antony Kelly

Jason Lovett and Roz Bulmer at their homely oche in Norwich. Picture: Antony Kelly - Credit: Archant

Domestic bliss is helping Norwich's Jason Lovett cook up a storm in the darts world.

The 39-year-old's love affair with the sport stepped up a notch when he started a relationship with women's ace Roz Bulmer five years ago. The pair have taken to the oche almost every night in their kitchen since moving in together in Costessey and Lovett admits their romance is one of the main reasons he has landed a coveted tour card on the Professional Darts Corporation (PDC) circuit.

'I was always a good pub player but I was never great. I never took it seriously and I never used to practice,' he said.

'But then I got with my partner and she's well into darts. She was definitely a lot better than me when we got together but I've improved a lot and she's helped. We want to see each other do well obviously but of course we're competitive.

'We're not as competitive as we were though. We now play matches together, rather than against each other, to bring each other's games on.'

Bulmer got to the semi-final of last year's British Darts Organisation (BDO) Gold Cup and has put her heart and soul into becoming one of Norfolk's best female players.

That passion is never far away when she plays alongside Lovett in pairs competition for Norwich's Forge pub – and when watching him compete in singles events. Bulmer, who like her partner joked she was the boss of the household, said: 'He's doing really well. I'm so proud but this is only the start of things.

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'When Jason says he can't be bothered to practice I say; 'Phil Taylor wouldn't be sitting on the sofa'. So he gets up, then I tend to, and we bounce off each other. We've definitely helped each other improve.

'I like to tell him when he's done wrong, like gas-bagging when he should be concentrating ready for his turn to throw. Him and Darren (Webster, playing partner) get told if I spot something.

'It's good that I like to tell them about it because some of the journeys we do in the car are long and they're not going to want me nagging them all the way home.'

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