DARTS flew and ale flowed as 20 hardy players were put through their paces during a 24-hour dartathon.

The group of friends from Faringdon spent 24 hours in the Bell Hotel, playing darts and drinking, consuming in excess of 160 pints between 7pm on Friday and 7pm on Saturday.

But although their efforts may just sound like a lock-in with a twist, the dedicated darts players also managed to raise £1,500 through sponsorship and a collection for the Oakwood Day Centre along the way.

Organiser Daniel Oyston, 30, said: “We decided to see how many games we could get through in 24 hours, and I think we managed about 340.

“There were 20 of us who started out, and some went off at different stages because they were too shattered, but people were coming in all night and all day and joining in.”

Mr Oyston said the challenge had created a great atmosphere in the hotel, with food supplied by their hosts free of charge and a discount on ale from behind the bar.

He said: “The hotel gave us a big breakfast on the Saturday morning and they kept bringing out snacks for us. We were drinking pretty much the whole time. We sobered up a bit on the Saturday morning but then we started again.”

Among the darts players was Bell landlady Mel Gravestock, 40, who said it had been a great 24 hours.

She said: “Everyone had a laugh, everyone really enjoyed themselves.

“To be honest, the drinking slowed down a bit on Saturday but everyone started again in the afternoon.”

The money raised will be given to the Oakwood Day Centre in Meadowbank, Faringdon, which runs activities for older people three times a week.

Mr Oyston said: “The centre relies on fund-raising, they don’t get anything from the lottery or anything like that, and I think they were facing having to go from three days a week to two so we wanted to help them.”