A Look Back In Time - 1st May 2010
West Midlands travelled south to take on Berkshire in the latest of their division two fixtures in the Rileys BDO Inter Counties Championships knowing full well that they needed a win to stay in touch with leaders London and at the same time maintain their number two position in the promotional table.
Saturday’s games saw the ladies ‘B’ put a terrific fight to earn a share of the points. Heather Wright (West Midlands) got the game underway with a 3-1 win over Greta Darling, but the applause was short lived as Jackie Walford (Berkshire) cancelled out the win with her straight 3-0 success against Jayne Stubbs. Debbie Shadwell gave the hosts the lead when she accounted for Gemma Poole with a very close 3-2 verdict, but like the West Midlands the lead was again erased as Liz Arnold turned on a lady of the match performance against Pat Shallwood beating her 3-0 and averaging 17.08.
West Midlands took the lead again in the fifth game when Kim Fellows was another straight legs winner against Camilla Karkaria to leave the result hinging on the final game between Carole Holroyd and Jacqui Simmons. The first leg went to Jacqui, but from there on in it was all the Berkshire player as she went on to win the game 3-1 and put the final score at 3-3.
The men’s ‘B’ hadn’t lost since the opening day of the season, chalking up three wins and two draws, the last two outings finishing all square. The first five games surprisingly all went against the first throw advantage. Ken Partington (Berkshire) set the pattern as he handed out a 3-0 defeat to Shane Price. Kevin Cassidy was unable to add to his team mates win as he lost 3-1 to Mark Watkiss. Kevin Morley gave the home side a 2-1 lead with his 3-1 win against Danny Coyle, only to see Peter Edmonds gain a narrow 3-2 win over Johnathon Mulley to level the score again. Lee Drinkwater continued the trend as he for the third time in the opening five games gave Berkshire the lead when he just got the better of Lance Hackett in a 3-2 win. It was at this point that the mould was broken, William Foot the man to break it. The first leg went to Foot, his opponent Jack Routledge taking the second. A fifteen darts leg saw Foot go ahead again and he wrapped up a 301 win in the fourth to take the running total along to 4-2 to the hosts.
With Viv Gould (West Midlands) unable to find his finishing doubles Brian Smith took full advantage to race to a 3-0 win and extend his side’s lead to 5-2. It took a man of the match display from Richard Foster to stop the rot. Richard began his game against Steve Shadwell with a seventeen darts leg including scores of 137 and 100 plus an 80 checkout. He then doubled his lead with a similar seventeen darts leg hitting 93, 85, 140, 89, 82 and 12 game shot. The win was completed in nineteen darts with top shots of 2x100 and 131 giving him a 3-0 win and a 28.36 average. Richard’s win seemed to inspire his team mates as Ian Stanton followed up with a 3-2 win over Mick Hussey after Hussey had opened up what appeared to be a winning 2-0 lead. Reducing the arrears even further to 5-4 was Richard Platt. Platt, like Stanton was made to work for his win, another five legs affair which saw him go 2-0 up against Pete Fisher. Level at 2-2 and win 3-2.
In the penultimate encounter Trevor Carter (West Midlands) won the opener against Craig Griffiths, but then found finishing doubles hard to come by and went down 3-1 to leave his fellow West Midlands man Paul Price battling to earn a share of the spoils for the team. Paul went one up in seventeen darts, his opponent Andrew Saunders left way back on 209 when he won the second in nineteen. The third leg could easily have gone either way, but fortunately for Price Saunders missed his chances and he went on to win 3-0 and square the match at 6-6 making it three consecutive draw’s for the men’s ‘B’.
The women’s ‘A’, after a 4-2 away win against Suffolk in the opening fixture of the season then lost the next five games and were now looking for their second victory of the campaign and did they do it in style. First to the oche for the West Midlands was Kath Jenkins who faced up to Jo Sibley. The opening leg was a nervy affair and
could have gone to either player after a number of visits to the board, but it eventually went to Jo Sibley. Kath Jenkins then got her act together and went on to win the game 3-1. On at number two was Tammy Chance. Tammy’s opposition came in the form of Angela Hogan, who after going 1-0 down levelled the score, but then had to sit back while Tammy went on to win 3-1 and claim the West Midlands ladies ‘A’ match award with her 18.16 average.
It was as early as the third game that West Midlands guaranteed themselves of at least a share of the points, Lisa Astbury the lady who twice had her lead cancelled out by Louise Lawrence before winning 3-2. West Midlands long time servant Diane Tolley chalked up the all important match winning fourth game, a 3-1 win over Louise Walford taking the score nicely along to 4-0.
The last two West Midland players were pushed all the way, Claire Hobbs after going 1-0 up against Stevie Lees went 2-1 down, but went on to win 3-2 and Sarah Robbins, who went 2-0 down to Kate Denton, fought back to also win 3-2 to give a final scoreline, and a very impressive one of 6-0 to the visitors.
For the men’s ‘A’ it was not the best of weekends although Dean Stewart did give them a dream start. Playing against Steve Rose Dean, despite being taken the full five legs distance came up with a 3-2 win and a 29.16 average which at the end of the day earned the team’s match award. Geoff Heath made it one each with his 3-2 win over Mark Rollinson only to see Ian Jones, with yet another five legs thriller beat Gary Hawkins and give West Midlands a slender lead once more. Parity was restored when Paul Rose won in straight legs against Peter Wyse and then for the first time Berkshire took the lead, another Paul, this time Snowshill, beat Richard Platt, again in three legs. By the midway point of the game Berkshire had opened up a healthy 4-2 advantage, Scott Lovett adding his 3-1 success over Avtar Singh to the tally.
Things went from bad to worse as Stephen Green made it 5-2 after a 3-2 win in his tie with Andy Forrester. Jamie Hughes momentarily stopped the Berkshire charge as he with a 3-2 verdict, the fifth in the eight games played so far, beat Daniel Woodcroft. Joe Lacey returned the home side to winning ways and ensured them of at least a draw with a 3-1 win against Matt Dicken. However, the hosts were made to wait as veteran Lol Frazer won the five legs battle with Mark Hardwick to keep the Midlanders in with a shout at 6-4 down and two to play.
Ironically it was a former West Midlands player who took the Berkshire count beyond West Midlands reach as in the eleventh game Paul Hogan handed out a 3-1 defeat to Nicky Bache. The final game went to the away team as Martin Angell won his tie with Peter Evison 3-0, putting the result for the ‘A’ side at 7-5 to Berkshire, but the most important result was the weekends overall scoreline of 20-16 which went to West Midlands and kept them well and truly in the promotion hunt with just two games to play.
In the last fixtures of the season in the Small Heath League the top two teams faced each other in what was to be a title decider. Prior to the match the Mitre were top of the pile, but had to travel to take on their nearest rivals Beaufort Social Club. The result was a crucial 7-2 victory for the home side giving them a total of 20 points, exactly the same number of points as the Mitre. However, Beaufort lifted the league crown as they had a more superior average, four legs better off than the Mitre.
The Pip Club League’s doubles knockout was won by Red Lion duo Mick Smith and Mark Tomlinson, runners up were Kevin Clubley and Tony Wilkinson from the Dolphin. Winners of the league’s Triples Knockout were Red Lion ‘A’ representatives Darren White, Mick Smith and Mark Slater, with Paul Corfield, Clyde Hooper and Alan Carter, from the Sports Bar, runners up.
In the singles competition, the division one winner was Mick Smith (Red Lion ‘A’) who defeated team mate Darren Jones in the final. The division two title went to North Warwick Cricket Club representative Paul Richards, with Ben Hawkesworth (Polesworth Darts Club) the losing finalist.
In the finals of the E.L.Ollerenshaw and L.R.Wyatt cups in the Gulp League the former was won by the Beasts who beat the Lions in the final and taking the title in the L.R.Wyatt Cup were league champions the Tribe, with St Andrews Tavern runners up.
The League Singles Knockout was played off at Redhill Tavern and taking the title was Tribe representative P.Yardley. Yardley’s final win was over fellow Tribe member M.Cooper. Losing semi finalists were J.Phipps (Tribe) and T.Constable (Lions).
Congratulations to C.Wyatt and M.Cooper who have lifted the doubles title with a final victory over P.Wilding and D.Rheeson. Losing semi finalists were J.O’Connor and C.Walsh, plus P.McCrave and N.McCrave.