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Article: A Look Back In Time - 1st November 2014

A Look Back In Time - 1st November 2014

The majority of teams had begun their new season in the BDO Inter County Championships on the weekend of the 6th and 7th of September, West Midlands had their fixture with Nottinghamshire postponed and had to wait until the 4th and 5th October to get their season underway. Nevertheless it was a wait well worth waiting for as they returned from their trip to Merseyside with a win.

The weekend however, didn’t get off to a convincing start as Saturday’s ladies game kicked off with a 3-1 win for the home side’s Karen O’Connor at the expense of Jacqueline Maiden. Kim Fellows, despite twice being pegged back to level terms by Clare New went on to win 3-2 and level the score at one each.

Merseyside forged ahead again in the third, this time through Tracy Morrison, who after opening a 2-0 lead against Samantha Maiden lost the next two legs, but came back to win the deciding leg for another 3-2 result.

The home team then went within an ace of victory when Sandra James, in three straight legs beat Wendy Waine, and with a further 3-1 win from Emma Barlow over Claire Hobbs, Merseyside had sealed their win as they were then 4-1 up.

The final game saw Mary McGovern (Merseyside) take on Christine Banks, Christine making the result a little more respectable for the West Midlands, a 4-2 defeat, as she won 3-1, her 15.05 average earning her the team’s lady of the match award.

The men’s ‘B’ also had a bit of a rough start to the campaign Alan Kilroe giving the home team a 3-2 start after his opponent Justin Evans had won the first two legs. One of the West Midlands more mature players, John Mycock levelled the score as he beat Ian McNeill 3-1 and the Midlander’s then actually went 2-1 up as Mark Craddock won 3-2 against Raymond Fleming. Craddock won the first two legs in 21 and 18 darts, only to see Fleming respond with winning legs of 16 and 20 to square the match and take it to a deciding leg. Despite having first throw advantage Craddock had a bad start as he hit two scores of 26. Fleming meanwhile with top shots of 2x140 was first to a finish, throwing for 54 he missed his checkout and allowed Craddock in to throw for 52. Just two darts were all that was required for Cradock to win the leg and the game 3-2, his 25.08 average the West Midlands best of the day which earned him the match award.

Martin Angell looked all set to extend West Midlands lead when he went 2-0 up against Robert Gorst, but it then all went wrong and Gorst went on to win 3-2.

For the second time in the match Merseyside went ahead again in the fifth when David Harnick recorded a straight 3-0 win over Lee Ashe, but the hosts lead was short lived as Adam Johnson cancelled out their advantage with a win over Kevin McGrath after McGrath had come from 1-0 to lead 2-1 and finally lose 3-2.

The second half of the match began with the teams level at 3-3, but not for long as Shawn Kemp, twice trailing to Jamie Barrowman, won 3-2, Dave Richards won 3-0 against Mark Allen-Watkiss and Alan Magee beat Rushpal Bhogal 3-1 to give Merseyside a 6-3 lead, requiring just one more win for victory.

Robert Thompson (West Midlands) delayed that victory when he won 3-2 against Marc Lynam despite Lynam leading 1-0 and 2-1. But the penultimate game brought about what was likely to be the inevitable when Lee Hodson won 3-2 against Gary Watts, Watts putting up a brave fight to come back from 2-0 down to 2-2, but unable to stop his opponent taking the decider and giving the home team a commanding and unassailable 7-4 lead.

The final game of the day saw George Bell increase Merseyside’s margin of victory to 8-4 when he won 3-0 against Karl Hughes.

Sunday began really well for the West Midlands as the ladies ‘A’ side romped to a much needed 6-0 victory. Starting the rout was lady of the match Lisa Astbury. Lisa beat her counterpart Janet Hardman 3-0 without her reaching a double in any of the three legs and won her award with a respectable 20.04 average.

Heather Wright doubled the lead with a 3-1 success over Ann Morrison before Gemma Barrett made it 3-0 when she beat Vicki Evans with a straight 3-0 result.

Game number four saw Kath Jenkins (West Midlands) lose the first leg to Julie Whelan, then go 2-1 up. Whelan won the fourth, but missed her finish in the fifth and Jenkins took the game 3-2 to chalk up the all important fourth match winning game.

Moving the score along to 5-0 was Kim Fellows, Kim having a 3-1 win over Esther Owens and then to round off an impressive 6-0 win was Sarah Roberts, who won her game against Pamela Courts 3-0.

Neil Pointon was first on for the West Midlands men’s ‘A’ taking on the challenge of Mike Addison. Neil proved to be too strong for Addison as he ran out a clear cut 4-0 winner. Ian Stanton struggled with his finishing doubles and his opponent Philip Bennett won 4-1 to level the match. The away side went ahead again in the third when John Platt beat Michael Brooks 4-1 and with a 4-2 result by Matthew Dicken over Jason Povah, West Midlands had opened up a 3-1 lead.

Merseyside’s Robbie Green won the first two legs against Danny Coyle and although Coyle then took the following three legs it was Green who won the last two for a 4-3 win. Rounding off the first half Michael Baker restored the Midlanders two games advantage when he beat Ste Hall 4-3. Baker won the first two legs, Hall the next three and Baker the last two to put the running tally at 4-2 at the break.

The second half began with the first four games being shared Kevin Lloyd (Merseyside) won the first against Paul Price 4-2, Mark Rollinson (West Midlands) the second when he won 4-0 against Jamie Green. David Hughes kept the hosts in the match with his 4-2 win over Christopher Mason, but in the very next game Gavin Baker assured the West Midlands of at the worst a draw when he took the score to 6-4 with a 4-1 win over Brian McDonnell.

Looking to take the match to the final game Merseyside’s Peter Harnick won the first leg against Glen Cullen and then went 3-1 up, However Cullen stuck to his task and with three winning legs in a row won the game 4-3 to give an advantage of 7-4 to his team.

Saving the best till last, anchor man for the West Midlands was Ian Jones. Strangely Jones struggled a little in the opening legs and his opponent Dan Nuttie actually opened up a 2-1 lead. Then Jones moved up a gear winning the fourth leg in 13 darts with scores of 140, 120, 100, 101 and checked out on double twenty. He then went 3-2 up with a 17 darts leg and rounded off his 4-2 win with a 19 darts leg to give him an average of 26.34 and earn him another man of the match trophy to go with the many he has won over the years for the West Midlands.

An away game against Merseyside, never an easy task but West Midlands rose to the occasion and returned with a 20-16 win, which hopefully will set them on the road to a much needed promotion back to division one.

Congratulations to Warwickshire’s Jamie Hughes, who along with partner Sam Hewson of Lincolnshire took the British Open Pairs title being held at the Spa Centre Bridlington. Jamie and Sam have made their mark on many of the pair’s competitions being held on the circuit and form a very effective partnership. The pair’s event with more than 150 entries is a tough event to take but they did it in style defeating Garry Thompson and Scott Waites of Yorkshire in the quarter finals and then Jamie Wilson (Yorkshire) and Gary Robson (Cheshire). Then in the final they overcame Scotland’s Steve Robertson and Lancashire’s Ryan Hogarth with a 4-3 scoreline.

The Warwickshire man hit the headlines again showing tremendous form and great character in the 41st Winmau World Masters staged at Hull when he fought his way back from 2-0 down in the quarter finals against Alan Norris to go on and win 3-2.

In the semi finals Hughes came up against three times former Winmau champion Martin Adams, a man he had recently beaten in the final of the Antwerp Open, and once again Jamie found himself trailing, this time by 5-2, but held his nerve to go on and clinch a place in the final.

In the final Hughes opened up a 2-0 lead over Welsh captain Martin Phillips, but in the end it was the experience of Phillips that came to the fore as he went on to win the title with a 7-3 result.

Congratulations to Mark Westgarth on winning the Warwickshire Men’s Super League Open. From a very strong field of 55 players Mark won through to the final where he defeated Ian McFarlane to take the title.

Losing semi finalists were Paul Austin and Rob Hawker.

The Ripley Elite Darts Singles League has completed yet another very successful summer season, which produced some top class darts throughout. Taking the honours in the premier division was Paul Baker, who amassed a total of 131 points, but it was such a close finish as runner up Daz Brown was just two points behind him.

The leading duo ran away with the title race as Ash Spencer in third place was fourteen points behind Brown.

Baker not only finished top of the league but also hit the most maximums, a total of 22, had the best average of 33.40 and shared the least darts of eleven with his nearest rival Daz Brown and Ian Richardson, not a bad season Mr Baker!!

The highest finish of 156 was achieved by Paul Hodges.

The “Sleeping Beauty Beds” division one title was not so closely fought as Rob Coggins finished top of the table with 137 points and runner up Andy Houghton was nine points adrift with 128.

As in the premier division the title winner also took the most 180’s and least darts, as Coggins registered 14 maximums and shared the least darts of 12 with Duncan Rhodes, Duncan also chalking up the best average of 27.42. The highest finish of 160 went to Andy Gillott.

After the majority of players have completed seven games in division one of the Long Eaton Singles League, Tony Glover with 74 points leads the way, but is closely followed by Mark Cowley, who although four points behind Glover does have two games in hand.

At this stage of the proceedings Cowley has the highest finish of 140, while Glover has the best average of 76.42. Thirteen darts is the best so far and has been achieved by Dean Andrews, Kez Barfield and George Singh.

In division two just one point separates the top two players. Paul Iliffe is top with 77 points and Richard Turgoose second on 76. Third placed Jason Holmes is also in the frame on 74 points as he has a game in hand on the two players above him.

Iliffe has the highest finish of 158, while Turgoose, together with Alan Jackson holds the least darts, which is 13.

In division three Mike Booth, with 114 points has what appears to be a commanding lead as he is currently a huge 24 points in front of second placed John Brierley, but that gap could be greatly reduced as Brierley has two games in hand on Booth and third placed Colin Dunston on 87 points has three games in hand on the leader.

John Brierley holds not only the highest finish of 167 but also the least darts of 15.

On the local league front, Saltley Amateur Gardeners went into their final fixture of the season in group one of the Sheldon and District Summer League with an unbeaten record, having won seven and drawn two of the nine games. Their final game was an away fixture against next to bottom Iron Horse Flights and it was the hosts who provided the shock of the week by beating their opponents 5-3. Despite the defeat Saltley won the title, but only by three points of average as Riley’s Rags took the runners up spot with a 5-3 home win over Highwood Flights to finish on the same 16 points as the champions.

Langley Hall Sports and Social were group two winners, taking the title by one point over The Pirates, Marston Green Tavern losing out on second place as they lost their last game at George V ‘A’ 6-2.

Just one point separated the top two teams in group three, Banbury Club the winners with 12 points and Raven second with 11.

Riley’s Misfits won the battle of the Misfits in their final game in group four as they won 5-3 at Shirley RBL Misfits to record a 100% win record for the season, the only team in the league to win all of the games. Runners up Baldwin Bears were four points behind Riley’s.

Holy Souls won group five with a three points lead over their nearest rivals Willclare Sports and Social, while Highwood KB’s had a more comfortable five points gap between them and second placed George V ‘B’ in group six.

Emerald Flights were the group seven winners with 13 points, Meadway Sports and Social second on 10 points.

The first semi of the South Birmingham League’s Rose Bowl brought together Group ‘B’ runners up The Crown and Group ‘A’ winners Chelmsley Wood RBL. The result was a very surprising 6-1 win for The Crown. The second semi final saw Group ‘C’ winners St John’s Flights face Group ‘B’ champions Riley’s Kings, the latter recording a convincing 7-0 win.

In the all Group ‘B’ final, it was the runners up Crown who beat the group winners Riley’s Kings 5-2.

The semi finals of the Rose Bowl Consolation Cup saw wins for Punch Bowl, who handed out a 7-0 whitewash to their opponents The Trident and St John’s, who won 5-0 against Banbury Flights.

The final was a closer affair, Punch Bowl, with 5x100 from their B.Evans getting the 5-3 verdict to leave St John’s as runners up.

Whitmore Reans WMC completed their season in the Tettenhall Wednesday Night League with a 5-2 home win over Moreton. Whitmore went through the 21 games season undefeated, while Moreton, as a result of their defeat finished fifth in the table. Riley’s, a massive ten points behind Whitmore took the runners up spot with a 5-2 win over The Bull.

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