A Look Back In Time - 1st August 2010
July saw two major competitions in our area the Coventry open and the Midlands Open. First the Coventry Open which was staged at the Bishopsgate Club, Foleshill Road, Coventry, the final bringing together the Warwickshire duo Tony Randell and Trevor Frost. Randell began his campaign with a close 4-3 victory over Lyndon Hextall, but then rattled off comfortable 4-1 wins against Martin Giddings and Jamie Hughes. In his group final the opposition came in the form of Lee Harris, Randell once again recording a 4-1 success.
Tony Kennedy provided some stiff opposition in the quarter finals, however Randell won through with a slender 5-4 win. Now with a final place well within his sights Randell faced up to Pat Pace in the last four. As expected at this stage of the competition there were going to be no easy victories and Pace made sure of that by taking Randell to the eighth leg before sealing a 5-3 win.
From the other half of the draw Frost chalked up 4-2 wins right up to the group final beating on the way Wayne Pepper, Stuart White and Nick Fullwell. The group final contender was fellow Warwickshire county player Nick Gorst, but now Frost had settled quite comfortably and strolled to a 4-0 win.
The last eight and Kirk Shepherd was the next to the oche and the next to make his exit as Frost recorded a 5-3 win. The semi final was going to be a real tester as another Warwickshire man, this time Nigel Heydon was Frost’s opponent. The game went the full nine legs distance with Frost just getting the 5-4 verdict.
The final was anticipated to be a cracker and the audience were not disappointed. Playing now the best of eleven legs it almost went to the wire, but Randell just got the edge and ran out the 6-4 victor collecting the guaranteed top prize of £500.
The following day, Sunday 11th July, Warwickshire Darts Organisation together with Maxamum Darts sponsored the Midlands Open the venue being Barras Social Club, Coventry Street, Coventry and retaining the tile and collecting the top prize of £1500 was my old friend and team mate Wayne Jones.
The path to the final was not an easy one for Jones although the scorelines suggest he made short work of some tough opposition. After a by in the preliminaries he kicked off with a straight 4-0 wins over Dan Willis and Mick Gorst. Mark Hylton won two legs in a 4-2 defeat before Kevin Painter went out 5-1. Quarter final opponent was Kevin McDine who lost 5-2 and Jones then booked his final spot with a 5-1 success against Wes Newton.
Paul Brookes emerged from the other half of the draw as a finalist. He too had a bye in the preliminary round and followed that up with a 4-0 over John Walton. In the last 64 Brookes faced a man in form, the winner from the previous day’s competition Tony Randell. Unfazed by this Brookes ran out a comfortable 4-1 winner. John Elliott then made his exit after taking Brookes to a seventh and deciding leg, Ashley Whiskey also leaving the competition as he went down 4-2. Last eight and Brookes stormed to the semi’s with a 4-1 victory over Lee Moore taking him to the semi’s where he squared up to Jamie Caven. The games were now extended to the best of nine, Brookes running out the 5-3 winner, and as it turned out that was the scoreline by which he lost the final, nevertheless for his efforts he received £600 for a very creditable performance.
On the local scene the Small Heath Winter League staged their presentation at the Emerald Club and on the evening played off their Blind Doubles Knockout. The successful duo on the night were Neil Parsonage and Dave Brown who in the final accounted for Edward Martin and Paul Brown.
Now the summer league has got underway and the early pacesetters are Mitre and Devils, both teams having lost one of their opening four games with just a couple of legs of average separating them.
The Forest of Arden have also got their summer season off the mark and in division one it is Rileys who are setting the pace as Rileys Flights lead the field with a 100% win record in their opening three games and Rileys Red Arrows are second having lost one of the four fixtures they have completed. It’s Sheldon Arrows and Highwood who are the top two teams in division two, the former with maximum points from three games and the latter having lost one in four.
Tony Randell and Bob Nixon finished dead level on points and average to share the winners position in the Carlsberg Olton Double Top League last season and Nixon appears to be set on claiming the title on his own in this the current season.
With a quarter of the season played Nixon is in pole position on 42 points from 15 games and has a five points advantage over second in the table Andy Hutchings, who does have a game in hand and could reduce the arrears to just two points with a 3-0 win. Randell, at the time of print is third in the table on 35 points, however he has two games in hand on Nixon and again two 3-0 wins in those game would take him into second place and only one point adrift of Nixon. It could be a very close finish yet again, but this time it could be a three horse race not two.
The thisisdarts Individual League have been engaged in their doubles knockout. Taking the title with a final win over Blane Homer and Ian McFarlane were Adam Thomas and Matt Gallett. After beating Mark Elkin and Jake Smith in the quarter finals Thomas and Gallett took out George and Kristian Green in the semi’s to book their final spot.
From the other side of the draw Homer and McFarlane had to first play against Steve Cousins and Mark O’Donnell in a preliminary round game, they then went on to defeat Sean O’Donnell and Darren Whitehouse, before a last four success over Stuart Bliss and Adam Gallett.
On the league front Ian McFarlane has opened up a massive eleven points gap between him, at number one and Adam Gallett who is in second place. Robbie Earle is third a further one point behind Gallett. With only one defeat in 298 games McFarlane looks a good bet for the title
The Tamworth Sports Bar League are seven games into their new season and Three Horse Shoes, who have won all seven games, already have huge 14 points lead over St Johns Club, who are second in the table.
The league’s former Captains League is now known as the Players League, whereby one player is selected from each team and they play in that league throughout the season. The current leader of the league is Mac Tarbuck from the Wigginton and he is three points clear of his nearest rival Clyde Hooper who plays for Three Horse Shoes.
Finally watch out in this column for details of the very popular and ever growing www.sportsdale.com Christmas Open, which I am lead to believe is going to be bigger and better than last year’s with an even bigger prize pot. Details will be printed as soon as they are made available.