A Look Back In Time - 1st December 2009
Following the curtain raising 22-14 away win against Suffolk in division two of the BDO Inter Counties Championships, West Midlands were brought back down to earth when they entertained Lincolnshire at Gilberts Bar, Willenhall and suffered a 201 16 defeat. The result has seen them slide from pole position to a mid table fifth position and eight points adrift of new leaders London.
It was a mixed fortunes affair for the men’s teams as the ‘B’ side won 7-5 and the ‘A’ finished on the wrong side of the same scoreline. For the ladies it was two 4-2 defeats after both had won the opening games by the same margin.
In Saturdays games Sarah Robbins got the ball rolling for the West Midlands with a straight 3-0 victory over Layla Bontoft. Sarah’s 18.60 average earning her the match award at the end of the day. Dawn Armstrong was quick to cancel out Sarah’s lead as she with a similar 3-0 result beat Liz Arnold. West Midlands got their noses in front again in the third encounter when Heather Wright, despite being pushed all the way to a fifth and deciding leg by Maxine Halsey, won 3-2.
Unfortunately, that was where the good news ended as Tammy Chance (West Midlands)p a 2-0 lead against Elaine Corke finally went down 3-2 to bring the overall score level again. For the first time in the match Lincolnshire went ahead in the fifth game. Emma Tomlinson won the first leg against Jackie Simmons, but then went 2-1 down when Jackie won the next two legs. Emma came back to win the fourth and force a decider and went on to win the leg and the game 3-2. Taking the result along to 4-2 was Lincolnshire’s Paula Jacklin who with a 3-1 scoreline beat Gemma Poole.
The men’s ‘B’ could not have begun on a better note as Jamie Hughes turned on a man of the match performance against Roy Horrocks to put the West Midlands one up. Jamie won the first leg in 14 darts and the second in 19 hitting a maximum in the process. Horrocks pulled one back in the third only to see Hughes claim his 3-1 victory with another 14 darter in the fourth and record a 28.88 average. Next on for the west Midlands was Jason Gilbert who also won 3-1 in his tie with Nathan Careless.
Trevor Carter looked as though he was going to add to the 2-0 scoreline when he won the opener against Desmond Houlton, but he then faltered and lost the next two legs. He levelled in the fourth but then lost the game 3-2 in the fifth. Simon Stainton restored parity in the fourth game when in three legs he accounted for Ian Hartland.
With the score at two each West Midlands forged ahead again, this time through Paul Price who after going one down to Michael Taylor went on to win 3-2 and by the halfway stage the lead had been extended to 4-2 with a further 3-2 win from Richard Platt who beat Neil Smith.
The whole of the last six games went with the darts advantage. Phillip Baines made it 5-3 when he defeated Ian Stanton 3-1, but Martin Angell restored the two games advantage with a straight 3-0 win against Rick Hunter. Jonathon Bywater kept Lincolnshire in the match when he came from 1-0 down to beat Matin Tibbetts 3-1 and although his team mate William Skellett drew level with Viv Gould at 2-2 after trailing 2-0 he lost out in the decider and Gould won 3-2.
Two games remaining and West Midlands had a 6-4 lead. The penultimate game saw Martin Richards gain a 3-1 win over Lance Hackett to reduce the arrears for Lincolnshire to 6-5 and keep them in with a shout for a share of the spoils. Fortunately for the home side it was not to be as Dean Stewart opened a 2-0 lead and although Mark Blackwell pegged him back to 2-1 it was Stewart who got the 3-1 verdict to give the Midlanders a 7-5 win.
Finishing doubles were not easy to come by for the ladies ‘A’ as they found when they quickly went 3-0 down with wins from Rowena Watson, Debra Royal and Dawn Wright who in turn defeated Claire Hobbs, Kim Fellows and Leanne Jennings.
West Midlands long time servant Diane Tolley chalked up the ‘A’ side’s first win as she beat Diane Wikinson 3-1 and with a further 3-1 win from Kath Jenkins (17.65), whose victory against Shelley Bontoft-Gash earned her the match award, a possible draw was on the cards. It was unfortunate that someone never mentioned the fact to Lincolnshire’s Claire Ball as she swept away the challenge of Jayne Stubbs to win 3-0 and average a very creditable 25.05 to earn her the team’s lady of the match award and at the same time give her team a 4-2 win.
The men’s ‘A’ struggled from the word go as Duncan Hunt beat Andy Forrester 3-2 and Graham McFarlane won 3-1 against Chris Plumpton and although throughout the match it was an uphill fight they were never really out of the match. Steve Farmer and Ian Jones levelled the game at 2-2 with respective 3-1 wins over Steve Hamill and Michael Capewell and all of a sudden the match appeared to be setting a pattern of two in a row for either side. So after the West Midlands pair had won it was then the turn of the visitors and again that’s how it was as David Greaves had a 3-1 win against Danny Coyle and Dave Lambley recorded a straight three legs win over Peter Edmonds.
Trailing 4-2 the West Midlands two in a row were supplied by Mark Rollinson and man of the match Peter Wyse. Rollinson took just three legs to defeat his opponent Michael Ray, while Wyse needed four but it was the manner in which he won the four against Dean Baker that earned him the award. He took the first leg in 19 darts, lost the second in 12 and then went on to his 3-1 success in 18 and 20 for a 27.12 average.
Eight games played and nothing separating the two teams. Matt Dicken twice took the lead against Martyn Palmer but it was Palmer who won the most important fifth and deciding leg and once again making it two I a row Jamie Robson added his 3-0 win over Lol Frazer to give the away team a 6-4 lead and a guarantee of worst possible scenario a share of the points.
Another two consecutive wins would secure a 6-6 result for the hosts, but even that would not be enough to gain an overall victory. Nicky Bache was on at number eleven and he was made to fight all the way for his 3-2 win. Ian Frame won the first and despite Bache cancelling his win in the second took the lead again in the third. The last two legs could have gone either way but it was Bache who got the vital 20 and 4 outshots to grab a 3-2 win.
The final game of the weekend and it was between Avtar Singh (West Midlands) and David Andrew, it was at this crucial point that the pattern of the match was broken. Andrew went on to beat Singh 3-0 giving the visitors not only a 7-5 men’s ‘A’ win but also an overall 20-16 victory.
I am sad to report this month the passing away of Martin Wadsworth. “Waddy” as he was known to many throughout the Midlands was a man who lived for darts and for many years represented Warwickshire County and captained the Sports Argus Charity team.
When I set up the first Mitchells and Butlers Exhibition team Martin Wadsworth was one of the first players I asked to join me. Martin was a fantastic player to have in any team as he was not only a great player but he was always brilliant with team morale, he could always lift the team spirit whenever necessary and forever game for a laugh or a practical joke. In fact Martin played one on yours truly in this very column. One night while out on an M & B exhibition Martin was telling me about an exhibition he had played and the tons and over he had scored. Busy with the game in hand I asked him to jot down a few scores and notes and said I would do a write up in Darts World. So when write up time came around for Darts World I set to and did Martin’s write up. When the next edition came out Martin came up to me and laughingly confessed the scores he had given me were incorrect and it was impossible to score that many tons in the games he played. Obviously at my expense everyone had a good laugh, but that was Martin Wadsworth, a great player and an even greater man. I am proud to say Martin was a dear friend of mine and he will always be remembered as such, he will be sadly missed by all who knew him.
I would like to wish all readers and subscribers a Merry Christmas and a Very Happy, Healthy and Prosperous New Year.