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Article: A Look Back In Time - 1st November 2010

A Look Back In Time - 1st November 2010

After an encouraging 19-17 home win over Middlesex in their opening fixture in division one of the Rileys BDO Inter Counties Championships, West Midlands were quickly brought back down to earth in their second encounter away to Oxfordshire.

Saturdays game were not good for the West Midlands, the ladies ‘B’ began brightly when Liz Arnold beat her counterpart Caroline Birch 3-1, but then the hosts took three in a row through Katrina Blackman, Kimberley Ledbury and Nicola Curzon at the expense in turn of Sandra Cox, Claire Hobbs and Lisa Astbury.

Long time West Midlands player Diane Tolley stopped the rot with her lady of the match performance against Sharon Wells, Diane winning 3-2 with top shots of 100 and 131 in the deciding leg to give her a 17.23 average. Unfortunately that was where the good news stopped again as the final game between Kelly Dutton (Oxfordshire) and Gemma Poole was won 3-1 by the former giving the home side a 4-2 win.

If things could get worse they did with the men’s ‘B’ side. Oxfordshire went 2-0 up with a 3-1 win from Nigel Russell over Trevor Carter and a 3-0 success by Graham Manning against Danny Coyle. In the third game Martin Angell pulled out a man of the match performance against Marcus Wright. With 2x100 and 129 Martin won the opening leg, both players faltered on finishing doubles in the second leg, but it was Angell with a 16 outshot that went two ahead. The third leg was the best with the West Midlands man hitting top scores of 180, 100 and 97 before finishing on 74 for a 15 darts leg and a 23.48 average.

Trailing 2-1 but with everything still to play for. That was soon to change as Paul Champ beat Ian Hartland 3-0, Sean Holley won 3-1 against Paul Wright and Lee Russell got the 3-2 verdict in a five legs thriller with Richard Platt to take the score along to 5-1 in favour of the home team.

Game number seven was another five legs affair between Kit Young and West Midlands man Viv Gould. Gould won the first leg in 18 darts only to see Young square the game in the second. Once again Gould went ahead this time in 21 darts, but again his opponent drew level also in 21 darts. The fifth and final leg saw both player throwing for a winning double but it was Gould who eventually got it and the 3-2 decision, reducing the overall arrears to 5-2.

Five games to play and to add to West Midlands miseries all five went in favour of Oxfordshire. John George Russell got the ball rolling in their direction again when he beat Gavin Baker 3-1. The tie between Neal Russell (Oxfordshire) and Neil Pointon could have gone either way, but the close 3-2 result went to the former. No doubts about the next result Ian Moss recorded a straight 3-0 win over Greg Parkes, who only managed to reach a finishing double in the second leg. At 8-2 to the hosts Ain Addison added his 3-2 win over Ian Stanton to the tally, after Stanton had twice taken the lead. Rounding off the men’s ‘B’ game was Antony Barrett and Mark Watkiss (West Midlands). This was yet another five legs affair, Barrett going 1-0 up and then Watkiss opening up a 2-1 lead. However, the away player failed to reach a double in the last two legs and Barrett ran out the 3-2 winner giving Oxfordshire a final massive 10-2 victory and a lead on the day of 14-4.

Could things get any worse in Sunday’s games, well it appeared as if they could. In the ladies ‘A’ game the home team went 2-0 up with straight 3-0 wins from Deta Hedman and Sandra Cox over their respective opponents Kath Jenkins and Tammy Chance. The situation did not improve much as Claire Hobbs, Lisa Astbury and Sarah Robbins all finished on the wrong side of a 3-1 result against Linda Jones, Leanne Jennings and Karen Williams to put Oxfordshire well and truly in the driving seat at 5-0 up with just one to play.

The trend continued down to the final game as Julie Newman (Oxfordshire) after stuttering on the first leg, allowing her opponent Kim Fellows a throw at a finishing double went on to win 3-0 and complete the 6-0 whitewash.

The men’s ‘A’, well what could they salvage from the weekend? After the first five results were in it did not appear as though there was going to be any comeback for the ‘A’ team. Andrew Thomas and Daniel Butler each had 3-1 wins for the home county against respective opponents Avtar Singh and Chris Hickman. Roger Haines made it 3-0 when he beat Chris Plumpton in just three legs. Moving the running total along to 4-0 was Stuart Dutton. Dutton opened a 2-0 lead over Matt Dicken and although Dicken reduced the deficit in the third leg he finally went down 3-1.

In the fifth game Lol Frazer became the first West Midlands player to actually take a lead, going 1-0 up against Mark Thompson. Unfortunately Lol then missed his finishing doubles in the following two legs and finally lost 3-1, giving the home crowd a lead of 5-0 to help cheer on their team.

Joseph Palmer looked as if he would carry on the onslaught as he took the first leg off Ian Jones, after Jones had missed out on doubles to win the leg. However, as he has many, many times in the past Ian Jones with three tons got himself back into the game with a 19 darts leg. He then hit 140 and 100 to clinch a 20 darts leg and go 2-1 up and sealed a much needed 3-1 West Midlands win in 17 darts and a 26.86 average.

Inspired by Jones’ win Mark Rollinson, despite taking the lead twice was taken to a decider by Oliver Varney but ran out the 3-2 winner. Andy Forrester at number eight laid on a man of the match performance against Nick Cobb. Cobb actually opened up what appeared to be a commanding 2-0 lead, but Forrester with two consecutive 40 game shots drew level at two each and then in the final leg with top shots of 140, 100 and 123 clinched a 3-2 win in 16 darts and an award winning 26.90 average, just 0.04 better than his team mate Ian Jones.

Now with the score a little more respectable at 5-3 to Oxfordshire Jamie Hughes took the oche for the Midlanders and made short work of his opponent Kevin Wilkins when he handed out a double quick time 3-0 defeat to reduce the arrears even further to 5-4. The match was levelled in the tenth game, Ian Moss won the first leg against Ian Stanton, but it was the West midlands man Stanton who took the next three legs for a 3-1 victory.

In the penultimate encounter the West Midlands actually took the lead for the first time in the match. Peter Wyse followed up scores of 140,100 and 100 with a double sixteen to win the first leg in 19 darts. Adrian Larner (Oxfordshire) left himself on double twelve in the second leg, but a 20 checkout saw Wyse go 2-0 up. The third leg was all that was required by Peter Wyse for his win, he kicked off the leg with a maximum and went on to win the leg in 18 darts and the game 3-0 to give West Midlands, what appeared earlier on in the match an improbable if not impossible 6-5 lead.

Now quite unexpectedly the result hinged on the final game between Jon Jukes (Oxfordshire) and Dean Stewart. Jukes opened up a 2-0 lead, Stewart responded to make it 2-2. After 15 darts Stewart left himself on 48, but he never got a throw for it as Jukes sealed his 3-2 win with double twelve first dart and earned his team a share of the 6-6 result.

So an overall 26-10 win for Oxfordshire which as seen them take over pole position in the division one promotional table and West Midlands drop from second to seventh on 32 points, 19 adrift of the leaders, but there is still a long, long way to go.

On the local league front the Individual League season has drawn to an end now officially Ian McFarlane is crowned as champion, something that has been a reality for a number of weeks. Finishing as runner up was Robbie Earl on 162 points, 35 short of McFarlane.

Special mention also goes to Brian Johnson who has run the league, Stuart Bliss of thisisdarts for his sponsorship and eleven years old Luis Barberan who finished the season in fifth place from a finishing list of 22 players.

The Sheldon and District Summer League have completed its final week of fixtures and in group three Pavilions lost the title in their very last game. Going into the fixture they were top of the group but had a home tie against their nearest rivals Kingshurst and District Labour Club. The result was 6-2 in favour of Kingshurst giving them a total of 16 points and leaving Pavilions as runners up on 15 points. The other group winners were, Bromford Bridge Members Club Exiles (Group One), Highwood ‘A’ (Group Two), Highwood ‘B’ (Group Four), Shirley RBL Flights (Group Five) and Garretts Green Social (Group Six).

In the league’s Mrs F Richman Trophy there were wins for Rileys Flights and Olton RBL in the semi final. The final was very close with Olton just getting the 4-3 edge. Player of the final was Andy Hutchings (Olton RBL) who had top shots of 180,137 and 3x100.

Three Horse Shoes are the Tamworth Sports Bar League champions on 111 points, runners up were Sports Bar 180 with 95 points. The league have also played off their Charity Cup and Doubles Knockout and in the former the final was contested by Sports Bar 180 and Three Horse Shoes. Shoes opened up a 2-0 lead with wins from Sam Whittaker / Clyde Hooper and Simon Caswell / Paul Whittaker in the doubles and then went 3-0 up when Peter Albrighton beat Terry Molineux in the singles. Sports Bar fought back taking two games thanks to Paul Corfield and Phil Jones but Sam Whittaker’s win over Trevor Barrs put the result beyond doubt giving Three Horse Shoes a 4-2 victory and the title.

In the doubles knockout is was another success for Sam Whittaker when he and Paul Whittaker beat Mark Tomlinson and Clyde Hooper in the final.

The Small Heath League’s Doubles Knockout champions this season are Neil Parsonage and Raymond Fisher from the Emerald Club. Neil and Ray defeated Dave Lacy and Brendan Lysaght (Mitre) in the final. Losing semi finalists were, Arthur Forde and Edward Martin (Devils Club) plus Paul Brown and Alan Wale (Custard House).

In the first qualifying round of the Rileys Midlands Master played at Wolverhampton Dean Stewart was the eventual winner. Stewart will now go forward to the finals to be played on the 11th December and joining him will be the remainder of the last eight in the competition, Ash Khayat, David Pallet, Mick Todd, Lee Butler, Matt Padgett, Nick Bache and Liam Willems.

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