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Article: A Look Back In Time - 1st April 2008

A Look Back In Time - 1st April 2008

West Midlands latest Kaliber BDO Inter Counties Championship fixture was a home tie at Gilberts Bar, Willenhall against Merseyside. Merseyside are not having the best of seasons and really this was a game that the Midlanders were expected to win and extend their advantage at the top of the division two promotional table. As with all the best laid plans this one did not go true to form.

After the last two results the ladies ‘B’ were looking to make it a hat trick of wins. Julie Aston got them off on the right foot when she won 3-1 against Linda Finn. Emma Barlow’s 3-1 win over Jackie Simmons levelled the match and with a further 3-2 success by Karen Marsden against Kim Fellows Merseyside had turned the game around and opened up a 2-1 lead.

Chris Banks provided West Midlands second win when she accounted for Viv Cullimore with a 3-1 result only to see the visitors forge ahead again, this time through Joanne Oliver, who beat Lisa Astbury 3-2. West Midlands had obviously kept the best till last as Claire Ford laid on a lady of the match performance against Sue Alexander beating her in three straight legs and recording a 15.99 average to finish the game all square at 3-3. A somewhat surprising result as the West Midlands ladies ‘B’ are now third in their division and Merseyside ladies are ninth with bottom team Northumberland just four points behind them.

The men’s ‘B’ with four wins and two draws in their six outings were prior to the fixture slightly ahead of Merseyside in the table and so a tough encounter was on the cards for both teams. Kevin Lloyd gave Merseyside the opening win as he raced to a 3-0 victory over Mick Noakes. Eddie Price cancelled out Lloyd’s win when he defeated Mick Kelly 3-2 however, the results continued to go with the darts advantage when Ian Cullinworth (Merseyside) beat Chris Jones 3-2, Jack Routledge (West Midlands) won 3-1 against Lee Price and Mark Rice (Merseyside) gave his team a 3-2 lead with a 3-0 success over Mat Dicken. The sequence was broken in the final game of the half when Alan Jennion (Merseyside) had a straight legs win against Robert Carr giving the visitors a 4-2 lead at the break.

The second half turned out to be worse than the first as Dave Hughes extended the away tams lead to 5-2 with a 3-1 win over Colin Wood. Chris Plumpton produced a man of the match performance against Chris Kenny, beating him 3-2 and averaging 24.92 to slightly reduce the arrears but only momentarily as Gary Carvell won 3-2 against Mark Lloyd and Alan Brown beat Greg Parkes 3-1 to put the score beyond the home teams reach at 7-3.

In the penultimate game Paul Price (West Midlands) had a 3-1 win over Alan Kilroe, Price checking out on 140 in the second leg, but the final game went to Merseyside’s Arthur Griffiths, a 3-1 win at the expense of Viv Gould to give the visitors an 8-4 win.

The ladies ‘A’ must surely be the seasons draw specialists. In their previous six outings they have won 1, lost 1 and drawn 4 and this latest fixture added yet another draw to their tally.

Three times the home side forged a lead and three times their opponents drew level. Sara Jukes was the first winner a 3-1 affair against Tracy Morrison. Kim Williams replied for the away side another 3-1 result with Jayne Stubbs on the receiving end. Leanne Jennings, six out of six times winner of the trams match award was on at number three and again she came up trumps beating Janet Hardman 3-0, but on this occasion her 17.68 average was not enough to earn her the top lady award.

Game four went to Merseyside. Michelle Jones came back from 2-0 down to Claire Hobbs to snatch a 3-2 win, Claire sadly having trouble with her finishing doubles in all of the last three legs. At 2-2 and two to play everything was still there to play for. Kath Jenkins became the only other lady to win a West Midlands ‘A’ side player to win the match award when she beat Pam Courts 3-1 and recorded an average of 20.37 to leave the running tally delicately balanced at 3-2 in favour of the West Midlands. Unfortunately, West Midlands representative Diane Tolley was another player to suffer on finishing doubles and in the end that was the reason for her 3-0 defeat at the hands of Julie Whelan to give a final result of 3-3.

Similar to the ‘B’’ team the men’s ‘A’ went into the fixture with an undefeated record for the season and with the running total for the weekend being 14-10 to Merseyside they needed to pull out the stops to avoid what would be a disastrous defeat and put them in jeopardy of not only losing pole position but also in danger of losing promotion.

Jamie Hughes got the proceedings underway a fine 3-0 win in 18-14 and 21 darts over Peter Harnick and at the same time a very creditable match award winning 28.36 average. The away team their got their act together and rolled off two 3-1 wins from Tony O’Neil and Mick Brooks who, in turn beat Chris Hickman and Mark Jones. Mark Rollinson (West Midlands) went two up against Dave Farrington and although Farrington won the third Rollinson rounded off his win with a terrific 153 outshot. The final two games of the half went to the hosts, Dave Arnold winning 3-0 against Steve Leek and Peter Wyse beating Bob Alexander 3-2 to open up a 4-2 lead at the midway point.

In the first four games of the second half West Midlands not only doubled their lead but also kept intact the ‘A’ teams unbeaten record. Martin Angell was first player to the oche, he took on and beat Kevin Toole 3-2. Following Angell was Steve Farmer, Ian Jones and Lol Frazer who won against respective opponents Mick Graves, Phil Brooks and Dave Burns taking the scoreline along to 8-2.

The last two games of the weekend saw West Midland players Stuart Kendrick and Nicky Bache unable to find the form they are capable of and as a result their respective opponents Hugh Morrison and Eric Kershaw ran out 3-1 and 3-0 winners to put the final score at 8-4 to the West Midlands men’s ‘A’.

The overall result was an 18-18 draw, but with the final two fixtures being away to Derbyshire and at home to Norfolk, West Midlands two nearest rivals in the promotional table, is this draw going to be enough? I’m sure it will be and that the Midlander’s will rise to the occasion in the closing two games of the season.

The second Wolverhampton open provided some excellent darts attracting no fewer than 111 entries on the day with players travelling from Birmingham, Coventry, Uttoxeter and Derby.

The competition provided a couple of early shocks with local PDC player Darren Williams and Redditch man Dave Honey going out at the first hurdle.

The eventual winner collecting £500 was Stuart Dutton from Bedfordshire winning his second open in the space of two weeks. Beaten finalist was Birmingham's Pat Koyce who lost 5-3 and received £200. Dutton was first to settle down as he raced into a 3-0 lead only for Koyce to battle back and draw level at 3-3. Dutton then won the seventh leg in 14 darts and held his nerve in the eighth to clinch the title.

Wolverhampton's Wayne Jones made it to the semi final going out 4-3 to the eventual champion Stuart Dutton in what was a tense encounter with both players missing important doubles. The other semi final saw Pat Koyce finish on the right side of the 4-1 scoreline with Mark Jodrill missing out on the final.

The losing semi finalists each picked up £100 and the losing quarter finalists £25 each.

The next Wolverhampton open is to be staged on Saturday 21st June

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