A Look Back In Time - 1st January 2010
Well 2009 did not finish on a very good note for the West Midlands in division two of the Rileys Inter Counties Championships. The season began with great promise after a 22-14 away win against Suffolk before reality set in and as hosts to Lincolnshire West Midlands lost 20-16. The latest fixture saw the Midlanders travel away to Norfolk and the result was not what the players and officials would have wished for.
Saturday’s games saw the ladies ‘B’ begin brightly with Lisa Astbury win the first leg against Diane Bartrum and although she lost the next two she bounced back to snatch a 3-2 victory. That was the good news for the ‘B’ side as Lisa’s 3-2 win and her 16.63 average won her the lady of the match award as the remainder of her colleagues all lost.
Rosalyn Bulmer levelled the scoreline for Norfolk with her straight 3-0 success over Jackie Simmons and although Sarah Self had to come from behind twice against Sarah Robbins she won 3-2 to give Norfolk their first lead in the game. The advantage was extended to 3-1 when Christine Woolston beat Kim Fellows 3-0, and the home crowd did not have long to wait for a winning margin when Susan Brittain went 2-0 up against Heather Wright. However, the home team had to be a little more patient as Heather levelled the score to 2-2 before Susan won the decider to put the result beyond the West Midlands reach at 4-1.
The final game was a short three affair which saw Nikki Goldsmith defeat Tammy Chance to put the final score at 5-1.
The men’s ‘B’ were hoping to carry on the winning ways from their previous match when they won 7-5 against Lincolnshire and looked as though they were going to when Neil Pointon and Viv Gould in turn kicked off with 3-0 wins against Victor Hubbard and James Hubbard. It took a man of the match performance from Norfolk’s Barrie Webb to stop the rot, Webb after trailing 2-1 to Ian Stanton fought back to win 3-2, his 27.02 average the home team’s best of the day.
Kelvin Self squared the match, a 3-0 success over Martin Angell making it 2-2. The West Midlands got their noses in front again when Ian Hartland accounted for Jason Mold with a 3-1 result, but the lead was short lived as Richard Waller despite going 2-0 down to Paul Price held his nerve to clinch a 3-2 win and put the score at 3-3 at the mid point of the game.
The last six games began with the win going with the darts advantage. Matthew Dicken (West Midlands) won 3-0 against William Walpole, then Jason Lovett (Norfolk) beat Richard Platt 3-2. Game nine and West Midlands took the lead for the fourth time in the match when Jason Gilbert, with a 3-0 scoreline beat Julian Ray. The close 5-4 lead was short lived as the pattern continued and Wayne Wall (Norfolk) got the better of Peter Edmonds with his 3-1 win.
The penultimate game and there was nothing between the two teams as the running score stood at five each. It was a tough five legs affair with West Midlands Trevor Carter twice having his lead wiped out by Ian King. However, Trevor stuck to his task and with a final 73 outshot leaving King back on 145 he clinched a 3-2 win and guaranteed his team at least a share of the spoils.
Taking the oche for Norfolk in the final encounter was Peter Taylor who was hoping the winning pattern of darts advantage would continue to the bitter end and earn his team a 6-6 draw. Unfortunately for Peter the eleventh game was where the sequence finished. Richard Foster was West Midlands man and he could not have chosen a better time t put on a man of the match display. He began with scores of 137 and 140 followed by 83 and 117 and went on to win the leg in 15 darts with a 24 outshot Taylor way back on 255. In the second leg top shots of 100, 137 and 100 gave Foster a successful throw at double eight for a 19 darts leg, again his opponent way back on 144.
Taylor got his second wind in the third leg, winning it on a 40 game shot in 18 darts and actually levelled the game in the fourth in 21 darts, Foster down to a double in both legs. The tension was high in the final leg of the day with Taylor having first throw. He started with two tons but then somehow lost his way hitting 41, 45, 60 and 36. Meanwhile, Richard Foster was chalking up scores of 137, 85, 101, 60 and 82 to leave himself on 36 which he promptly put to bed with his next visit to the oche and earn a 3-2 win, a 7-5 win for his team and the match award for his 27.65 average.
Sunday and with the overall score standing at 10-8 in favour of the hosts both sides still had everything to play for. The gap did suddenly get wider as Norfolk ladies stepped up a gear to storm into a commanding 4-0 lead. Dawn Standley got the ball rolling with her 3-0 win against Claire Hobbs and set the standard for the home side. Janice Butters was next to the stage, a 3-1 win over Heather Wright and by the same margin Stephanie Mudd defeated Lisa Astbury.
At 3-0 down West Midlands were looking for inspiration and long time servant Diane Tolley did her best to provide that. Diane got off to the best possible start opening up a 2-0 lead over Linda Simmons, but then her luck ran out and despite having throws at double’s in the fourth and fifth legs lost out 3-2 giving the home side an unassailable 4-0 lead.
On at number five for West Midlands was Sarah Robbins. Sarah after winning the ‘B’ side match award in her last outing was eager to impress in the ‘A’ and that’s exactly what she did. With three tons in the first leg she went one up against Mary Jolly and although she hit another two in the second she lost that and the game was levelled. Her first throw of 140 in the third allowed her to keep ahead of Jolly in the third and despite both players being down to a double it was Sarah Robbins who took the leg with an outshot on 8. Sarah wrapped up her 3-1 win with top shots of 100, 140, 83 and 86 checking out on 30 in 20 darts for an award winning 19.08 average.
Jayne Stubbs got first strike over Amanda Abbott in the last of the ladies game when against the darts she won the opening leg. However, a win was not to be as Abbott won the next three legs to win 3-1 and give Norfolk another 5-1 ladies victory.
Nothing less than a 10-2 win from the men’s ‘A’ would be good enough to stop an overall Norfolk victory. Jamie Hughes got the match underway with a neat 3-0 win over Kevin Walpole but Norfolk wee quick to reply through Richard Palmer who despite being pegged back to level terms twice by Avtar Singh won 3-2.
West Midlands then took two in a row thanks to wins from Andy Forrester and Ian Jones who handed defeats out respectively to Vincent Mudd and Stuart Welham. Lol Frazer was unable to stop the 3-1 win of Paul Daniels which effectively was the last game West Midlands could afford to lose if an overall win was to be achieved.
Dean Stewart kept the hopes alive with his 3-2 win against Tony Chapman, but it was all in vain as Michael Kemp recorded Norfolk’s all important third winner as he beat Chris Plumpton 3-1.
Game number eight proved to be the game of the weekend with West Midlands Steve Farmer in tremendous form. Playing against Philip Carter Steve got his game underway with shots of 140, 100, 140, 81 and 35 after missing double twenty. He then stepped up and took just two darts to finish on five in 17 darts. Leg number two saw him hit 123, 180, 45, 100 and 43 before finishing on double five in 16 darts to go 2-0 up. Saving the best till last Steve then opened up the third leg with scores 140, 140, 100 and 89 to leave double sixteen after only twelve darts and with his thirteenth dart he closed the contest a 3-0 winner with a fantastic 32.67 average to become a very worthy man of the match award winner.
Another straight 3-0 win was added to the West Midlands tally when Mark Rollinson (24.64) beat Martin Sheldon to put his team 6-3 up with three to play. First of the last three to play was one of this seasons newcomers to the West Midlands Danny Coyle who squared up to Darren Goldsmith. Danny struggled to find his form and Darren stepped in to take advantage and record a 3-0 win. Nicky Bache (West Midlands), with scores of 83, 100 and 140 plus a 113 game shot got off to a great start but then finishing doubles became hard to find and his opponent, Gary Butcher went on to take the game 3-1 moving the scoreline along to 6-5 to the West Midlands.
Peter Wyse, man of the match in the game against Lincolnshire was now required to provide the goods yet again and the manner in which he began looked as though he would. After he and his counterpart Andrew Mallett struggled on finishing doubles in the first leg it was Wyse who eventually won the leg. There was no question about the second leg, Wyse recorded the fastest leg of the weekends fixture when he hit 140, 180 and 145 to leave double eighteen after only nine darts. Although he took two darts to find his winning double it was still a superb eleven darts leg to go two up. With Wyse failing to find the big scores in the third leg it was mallet who pulled one back to 2-1 on double ten. The fourth leg could have gone either way but again it was the Norfolk man who won it to force a decider. Hitting 3x100 and 81, plus first throw advantage gave Mallett the vital edge and he went on to win the leg and the game 3-2 giving the hosts a 6-6 draw after trailing at one stage by 6-3.
Well as stated at the beginning of the column it was not a good end to 2009, but that is now behind the West Midlands and if they are to get promotion back to division one they have to look to 2010 and make sure they make a quick return to winning ways, which I’m sure they will.
Congratulations to the Forest of Arden Winter League who have managed to secure sponsorship from Rileys Bar, Solihull. The league is now extending it’s commitment to darts insomuch as in addition to the summer and winter league’s, on the agenda now is a Christmas Knockout, for which all the details from the event will appear in this column next month, and in addition plans are in the pipeline for an Individual Double Top League to be staged at the Solihull club on Wednesday nights.
The proposed start date for the individual league is the end of January and there will be a guaranteed £800 first prize and a total prize money pot of between £2,000 to £2,500. Chairman of the league, Mr Brian Twist is looking for 48 players to make up the league which will have an entrance fee of £20,00 per player. Anyone wishing to join the league or requiring any further information should contact Brian Twist at firstname.lastname@example.org or alternatively Brian Edwards at email@example.com