A Look Back In Time - 1st November 2007
Two teams, London and West Midlands who have previously met each other in better times squared up to each other at the Greenside Social Club in the latest and second of the scheduled nine fixtures in division two of the Kaliber BDO Inter Counties Championships.
Kicking the weekend off were the ladies ‘B’. It was not a good start for the Midlanders as Tina Hamilton and Andrea Walker opened London’s account with in turn a 3-2 win over Lisa Astbury and a 3-1 success against Sam Pugh. Diane Tolley chalked up West Midlands first win when she began her tussle with Wendy Church with a 90 game shot to go one up. Church answered with a win in the second leg only to see Tolley hit back immediately with a tremendous 130 outshot to forge ahead again. Both players were down to a double in the third leg but it was Diane Tolley with her 40 finish that earned the 3-1 win and what turned out to be a match award winning 17.88 average.
Angie Graham stretched London’s lead to 3-1 when she accounted for Claire Ford with a 3-1 win after Ford had won the first leg. June Murphy made it 4-1 despite Jackie Simmons twice coming from behind to square the game and it was a similar story in the last game when Sarah Robbins (West Midlands) won the second and fourth legs against Joanne Deamer only to lose out in the decoder and go down 3-2. The final score 5-1 to the hosts.
After an opening 6-6 draw with Sussex the ‘B’ side were eager to get their first win under their belts and who better to get it against than the once mighty London. The match got off on the right foot when Martin Angell opened with a 3-2 win over Dave Etherington and making it 2-0 was David Arnold who beat Luke Langley 3-1.
The cheers were short lived as Rob Edwards chalked up London’s first win when he won 3-1 against Viv Gould. Robbie Hain was next to the oche for the home side and although he was twice pegged back by Mick Noakes went on to win 3-2 and level the game at two each. London’s fifth player was Dave Goodwin who looked as if he would give his team the lead for the first time in the match when he won the opener against Matt Dicken. Dicken however, had other ideas as he levelled in seventeen darts and went ahead in fifteen hitting 100,140,45 and 125 before checking out on 91. With top shots of 132 and 100 in the fourth leg Dicken went on to win the tie 3-1 when he shot out on 10 in 20 darts to give him a 26.18 average, which at the end of the day earned him the teams match award. Rounding off the first half Robert Carr made short work of the challenge of Jimmy Foster, winning in three straight legs to give the visitors a first half lead of 4-2.
Ian Dawson pulled one back for the home team when he beat Stuart Kendrick 3-1 in the first game of the second half. Nevertheless, West Midlands two game buffer was reinstated when Avtar Singh defeated Paul Bedward 3-1 and with a further 3-0 success from veteran Jack Routledge the Midlander’s were in an unassailable 6-3 lead.
Keeping London in the game was Paul Hurlington, who kept hopes of a draw alive when he came back from 2-1 down against Mark Lloyd to win 3-2. All hopes wee erased when Eddie Price recorded a straight 3-0 win over Paul Hackett to increase the lead to 7-4 and ensure the ‘B’ side’s first win of the campaign. The final game went to the hosts, another straight legs victory, Steve Dolan beating Gary Taylot and putting the final score at 7-5 to West Midlands.
West Midlands ‘A’ ladies began Sunday’s games in better form then their ‘B’ had done the previous day as Jayne Stubbs got proceedings underway with a 3-2 win over Tammy MacKenzie and the West Midlands lead was doubled when Sara Jukes fought back from 1-0 down to defeat Chrissy Stubbings 3-1. Leanne Jennings guaranteed at least a share of the points for her team when she won 3-1 against Lynne Brondini, her 21.47 average also earning her the match award.
At 3-0 down London began their fight back and the first player to help claw their way into the game was Dee Belcher. 1-0 down to Claire Hobbs Dee fought hard to earn a 3-1 victory. Once Dee had set the pattern her team mates, Jackie Saunders and Tara Deamer followed on. In turn they also trailed to respective opponents Julie Aston and Kath Jenkins but went on to win 3-1 and take the tally to a final scoreline of 3-3.
The men’s ‘A’ team now required nothing less than a win to get anything out of the fixture, but the start did not show too much promise. Paul Wright (London) beat Mark Rollinson 3-2, John Nelson made it 2-0 with a 3-1 success against Peter Wyse and taking the scoreline along to 3-0 was Wayne Brown who defeated Jamie Hughes 3-2. Mark Jones reduced the arrears with a 3-1 win over Nicky Turner, but London’s three games advantage was restored when Robbie Hain won 3-2 against Richard Foster. By the midway point the score was made a little more respectable when Nick Bache beat Ian Nicholls 3-1 to make it 4-2 to London.
Things got worse as Steve McHale beat Chris Plumpton 3-2 after Plumpton had taken a 2-1 lead in the first game of the second half to give the hosts a commanding 5-2 lead. However, at this point the tide began to turn, Lol Frazer leading 2-0 against Earl Grant was pegged back to 2-2 and went on to win 3-2, Mick James beat Paul Reeves 3-1 and Steve Farmer who trailed 1-0 to Ian McNeill levelled in 17 darts, went ahead in 18 darts and won the game in 13 darts hitting 100,140,45 a maximum 180 and checking out on double eighteen to give him an average of 31.41, which won him the ‘A’ teams match award.
So the score was now a much better 5-5 with two to play. In the penultimate game David Arnold added a 3-0 win over Robert Morris to leave the result hinging on the final game of the weekend. Who better to play such a vital game than “Mr Reliable” Ian Jones. Ian had problems with finishing doubles in the first leg and saw his counterpart Alan Hardy take advantage and step in to steal the leg with a 4 game shot. Jones then stepped up a gear to level in 18 darts and an 84 checkout and then went ahead in 19 darts on double top. The fourth leg saw Jones clinch a 3-1 victory when he checked out on 67, giving his team their first win of the season and an overall result of an 18-18 draw to put them second in the promotion table, nine points adrift of leaders Nottinghamshire.
Harborne and District League former league secretary and current league player Steve Wenlock is certainly getting his son, Joshua off to an early start, as from the age of eighteen months he was throwing magnetic darts and now at the ripe old age of three is actually throwing, under supervision, small pointed darts.
Joshua’a aunty, nine years old Jessica McGlone is daughter of Warwickshire county player Tom McGlone and had been playing darts for around six years. Jessica is a regular spectator at the Warwickshire games to watch he dad play.
This month’s column is ending on a sad note and is a sure sign of the times. The Bedworth Gateway Open has been for many, many years been one of the major competitions not only in the Midlands but throughout the country with entries coming from all corners of the land. Unfortunately I have received confirmation from organiser Deric Wells that due to the lack of entries the competition will not be run this year. Teams who have already sent in entries will have their fees refunded.
Let’s hope this is just a minor blip and that the competition will return to it’s former glory again next year.