A Look Back In Time - 1st October 2007
West Midlands, newly promoted to division two of the Kaliber BDO Inter Counties Championships got their new promotional challenge and the season off to a great start when they accounted for Sussex with a 24-15 result and their ladies in super form.
Playing at Gilberts Bar, Willenhall, the ladies ‘B’ got the ball rolling. Sarah Robbins set the pattern when she won 3-0 against Sam Harding in the opening game and with her 17.48 average took the match award in the process. Claire Ford made it 2-0 when she beat Dee Collins 3-2 and with 3-1 wins from Kim Fellows and Chris Banks who in turn defeated Debbie Oakman and Lorraine Horne the hosts had won the game as early as the fourth encounter.
Sussex chalked up their first winner when in the fifth game Sue Sexton won 3-2 against Jackie Simmons. Jackie had won the first leg Sue the next two and although the West Midlands player had levelled in the fourth it was Sexton who got the 3-2 result in the deciding leg. The final game went to Julie Aston . Julie went one down to Elaine Chapman (Sussex) but kept her head and went on to win 3-1 and put the final score at 5-1 to the home side.
Throwing against the darts advantage Dave Arnold put the men’s ‘B’ one up with a 3-1 win over Jason Hills and that set the mould for the rest of the first half as all games were won against the darts. Andrew Stanford (sussex) levelled when he won 3-1 against Robert Carr, Carr having won the first leg. Mat Dicken got his season off to the best possible start when he not only beat Robert Collins 3-1, but his 26.24 average winning him the man of the match award at the end of the day. Viv Gould looked as if he would add to the West Midlands tally when he went one leg up against Kez Bothing, but failed to add to his one leg and eventually went down 3-1 to square the match for a second time.
In the fourth game David Mansell took the first leg against Martin Angell in sixteen darts, then Angell settled down and went on to win 3-1 and give the home team the lead for the third time in only five games. Rounding off the first half Simon Morris beat Jason Lavender 3-0 to go into the break at three each.
The second half did not start well as Paul Russell beat Jack Routledge 3-2, Ian Barrett won 3-1 against Mick Noakes and a further 3-1 win by Mark Davis over Andy Forrester gave Sussex a 6-3 lead. There was a similarity in all of the last three games as away players Richard Ford, Ken Sowerby and Andrew Sexton all won their first legs against respective opponents Eddie Price, Paul Price and Mark Lloyd. However, all three West Midland players stuck to their task and bounced back to win 3-1 and earn their team a well deserved 6-6 draw.
Sunday’s games saw the visitors draw first blood when Donna Rainsley chalked up a 3-1 win in the opening game against Sara Jukes. Claire Hobbs cancelled out Rainsley’s win with a neat 3-0 verdict over Glenys Laker. Sussex went ahead again in the third game when Karen Winter took just three legs to beat Diane Tolley and move the scoreline along to 2-1 in favour of the visitors. However, from there on in it was all West Midlands, Leanne Jennings (23.89) turned on a match award winning performance against Sue Bird. Leanne won the first leg in 20 darts, her opponent the second in a similar 20 darts. Leanne then forged ahead with an 18 darts leg and wrapped up her victory with further winning legs of 22 and 20 darts.
It was the fifth game that West Midlands got their noses in front for the first time, Kath Jenkins handing out a 3-0 defeat to Trish Kidd and with Jayne Stubbs beating Rhonda West 3-2 in the final encounter, after twice falling behind, the final score was a 4-2 win for the Midlanders.
To complete the weekend of darts was the men’s ‘A’ match with West Midlands requiring four winners to secure an overall win. The game did not began too well as Mick James lost out by 3-0 to Darren Woolgar and Avtar Singh went down by 3-1 to Geoff Taylor. It took a man of the match feat by Jamie Hughes to get the hosts off the mark. Jamie chalked up a straight 3-0 win over Paul Eves and recorded a 28.36 average. Following Jamie was “Mr Reliable” Ian Jones. Jones, like Hughes also won 3-0 against his opponent Neil Smith to level the running total at 2-2.
The 3-0 results continued as Gary Taylor finished on the wrong side of that scoreline against Danny King to see Sussexx forge ahead again at 3-2. Nevetheless, by the halfway stage it was evens again as Chris Hickman beat Keith Price 3-1leaving his team to win just one more game in the second half for their victory.
That win was not long awaited as Steve Farmer in his debut game for the West Midlands won 3-1 after trailing 1-0 to Dave Creasy and giving the hosts the lead for the first time in the game. The lead was short lived as Jim Withers came from 2-1 down against Chris Plumpton to win 3-2.
The last four games all went against first throw advantage. Peter Wyse (West Midlands) beat Pete Crossley 3-1, then Michael Hammond defeated Mark Jones by the same margin. In the penultimate game Nicky Bache beat James Packer 3-1 to put his side 6-5 up with one to play, but the win was not to be as Rod Hawkins had a 3-1 win over Richard Foster to give a final result of 6-6 and an overall result of 24-15 to the Midlanders.
Canley Sports and Social Club, Coventry was the setting for the British Champions Cup Regional play off’s. The final of the men’s competition brought together two local counties West Midlands and Wrawickshire. The result was a convincing 8-1 victroy for the West Midlands thanks to wins from Mark Jones, Ian Jones, Chris Plumpton, Mick James, Richard Foster, Lol Frazer, Peter Wyse and Avtar Singh. Warwickshire’s sole winner was K.Taylor.
West Midlands also reached the final of the women’s event but unfortunately the result was not as pleasing as the men’s. Northamptonshire provided the opposition and it was their T.Fox, N.Coleman, M.Garling, S.Ruthuin, R.Harris and K.Roberts who gained the six wins in the 6-1 result. Kim Fellows was West Midlands winner.
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.