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Article: A Look Back In Time - 1st October 2011

A Look Back In Time - 1st October 2011

The start of a brand new season in the BDO Inter County Championships and West Midlands could not have had a much tougher opener than an away game against Surrey, who last season played in the premier division, but perhaps, with a good performance the outcome of this game would set the pattern for the rest of the campaign.

Saturday’s games saw the ladies kick off in fine style as they romped to a winning 4-0 lead with wins from Heather Wright, Jacqueline Maiden, Kim Fellows and Samantha Kaye at the expense of Rebecca Bosten, Julie Hopkins, Tania Blake and Julie Austin. Heather Wright gave encouragement to her team mates when she opened up with a straight 3-0 win against Bosten and earned the lady of the match award with her 15.18 average.

Game number five saw the hosts chalk up their first winner, Billie Auzins recording a 3-0 success against Shellbie Simmons and with the final game going 3-1 to Marie Barthrop (Surrey) over Doreen Kaye, the result was a 4-2 win for the Midlands outfit.

The men’s ‘B’ team also got a good start as Paul Price won 3-2 against Dave Webb and Viv Gould took the lead to 2-0 with his 3-0 success over Ryan Hitchens. Surrey fought back through Robin Hathaway, a close 3-2 verdict over Ian Hatrtland and Scott Robertson wiped out the West Midlands lead when he won 3-1 against Lance Hackett.

Game number five and the match delicately balanced at two each. John Platt (West Midlands) stepped up to the oche to face Neville Wright. John with top shots of 2x140 and 100 won the first leg and could easily have gone two up if his finishing doubles hadn’t proved to be so difficult, because of this Wright stepped in and levelled the game with a 64 outshot. The next leg was again a problem for Platt when he reached a double, but this time he hung on in there and won the leg to go 2-1 up. A maximum in the fourth leg gave Platt a healthy lead and this time he made no mistakes with his finishing as he checked out on 103 to win 3-1 and put West Midlands noses in front again.

Unfortunately the lead was short lived as Kirk De Ruyter beat Greg Parkes 3-1 to square the match for a second time. A man of the match performance from Ian Stanton (25.47) began another run for the visitors. Stanton went one up against Brandonn Monk and then trailed 2-1, but won the last two legs convincingly to win 3-2. Chris Stanley had a straight 3-0 success over Ben Burton and Martin Angell emulated that scoreline in his game with Keith Williams to move the running score along to 6-3 in favour of the Midland’s side. Avtar Singh had a comfortable 3-1 victory over Lee Williams to register the magical seventh game for the West Midlands and confirm their win with the score at 7-3. The penultimate encounter was a close 3-2 verdict in favour of Mark Watkiss (West Midlands) in his tie with Mark Budd, and with Keith Benson grabbing a late consolation for Surrey with his 3-1 win over Adam Johnson the final score was an 8-4 victory for the West Midlands, putting them 12-6 up after the first day.

Sunday’s games did not begin too well for the ladies as Sarah Robbins and Kath Jenkins both lost 3-0 in turn to Martine Russell and Sharon Cullip. Lisa Astbury reduced the arrears when she won 3-1 against Helen Cullip and the match was put back to level pegging when Diane Tolley turned on a match award winning display against Lisa Munt. The game was a tension packed affair with both players struggling on finishing doubles, but it was Diane who came out on top with a 3-0 win and an 18.56 average to take the score to 2-2.

For the first time in the match West Midlands went ahead in the fifth game. Jackie Crew (West Midlands) found herself trailing 2-0 to Apylee Jones and on the verge of defeat, but she kept her calm and began her fight back with a win in the third leg. She then won the fourth and took the game to a deciding leg, which she eventually won on double one.

With an unbeatable 3-2 lead the final game between Angie Frewin (Surrey) and Claire Hobbs looked as if it would copy the previous one between Jones and Crew as the home player opened up a 2-0 lead and the away player erase the lead and take the game to a decider. However, it was not to be on this occasion as Angie Frewin left Hobbs requiring 25 as she checked out on 40 to give an end result of 3-3.

The Premier Division introduced a new best of seven legs per set format last season in the men’s ‘A’ league and this season the same format has been applied to the men’s ‘A’ in division one. The new format looked as though it suited the

West Midlands players as Danny Coyle began the match with a 4-2 win over Tony Andrews and fellow player Nick Fullwell beat Stephen Lovett 4-3. Fullwell’s game was a cracker, his opponent had a storming start as he won the first leg

with a 126 outshot in 18 darts, checked out on 66 in the second in a 14 darts leg and went 3-0 up in 19 darts with Fullwell not reaching a double in any of the three legs, which in the “Old” format would have seen him lose 3-0. However, that was not going to be the case with the new ruling. Nick began his come in real style as in the fourth leg he had scores of 125, 140, 140 and a 96 game shot in ELEVEN darts. Leg number five and he hit 140, 100, 140 and this time finished on 121 for a TWELVE darts leg. The sixth leg saw Fullwell have top shots of 180 and 100 and force a decider with a 64 checkout in 21 darts and now it was his opponent, Stephen Lovett, who hadn’t reached a finishing double in the three legs.

The seventh and final leg was a superb tussle between the two players. Lovett had first throw advantage and had top scores of 100, 140 and 130 to get down to double ten. Fullwell hit 100, 180 and 171 and sealed his 4-3 victory with a 24 game shot, also his man of the match award with a 30.92 average.

Surrey pulled one back in the third game when Ronald Godbeer beat Peter Wyse in three straight legs, but Matt Dicken restored the two game buffer for his team mates when he won 4-2 against Richard McLaughlin.

From 3-1 up West Midlands then found themselves 4-3 down as Graham Hollis and Lewis Venes both recorded 4-2 wins in turn against Mark Rollinson and Andrew Forrester before Aaron Turner added his 4-1 win over Jamie Hughes to the tally.

Long serving West Midlands player Ian Jones got his side back on winning lines when he in a battle royal with Mark Harris won 4-3. Jones went 2-0 up, Harris levelled at 2-2, with 4x100 Jones went 3-2 up, only to see Harris notch a maximum and force a decider in which Jones hit 2x100 and 140 to clinch his 4-3 win with a 62 outshot and a tremendous 28.34 average.

Four to play and 4-4 the score, Richard Platt (West Midlands) began his game with Douglas Harwood with a tremendous twelve darts leg hitting 125, 125, 125 and a 126 finish. He then went two up in 16 darts. Harwood pulled one back in the third with 3x100 and a 141 finish, but lost out in the following two and Platt won 4-1. Moving the score along to 6-4 and ensuring at least a share of the spoils was Dean Stewart. Twice Stewart had to come from behind against his counterpart Kurtis Atkins, but nevertheless he stood his ground and went on to win 4-2.

Gary Creamer kept Surrey in the game when in the penultimate game he defeated Jake Jones 4-2, after Jones had gone one up with a 116 finish and restored parity in the fourth leg when he had a game shot of 40. The result now hinged on the final game, was it to be a 6-6 draw or a win for the away team? The outcome, a win for the away team, Neil Pointen, from 1-0 down to Jimmy Mann went into a 3-1 lead. Mann reduced that to 3-2 in the fifth only to see Pointen wrap up a 4-2 win in the sixth but also a 7-5 win for the West Midlands.

So a very encouraging 22-14 opening win for the West Midlands against a former premier division outfit, let’s hope this is something to build on for the remainder of the season and who knows, perhaps the premier next season?

On the local league front the Camp Hill League have completed their league fixtures and Langley Hall have won the title. Langley went through the season without dropping a single point, winning all fourteen of the games. Last seasons champions Lady Westminster claimed the runners up spot with 24 points, four clear of third placed Sportsman. With Langley Hall finishing as champions their local rivals Langley Hall Ladies took the wooden spoon on average, as they plus Scruffy Murphy’s and Laddettes all ending the campaign with four points

In the league’s singles knockout Dan Tudor (Langley Hall) took the honours with a final success over Devils Club representative John Young. Tudor had earlier beaten Graham Davis (Waggoners) in the semi’s and D.Salerno (Lady Westminster) in the last eight, while Young had wins over C.Murphy (Scruffy Murphy’s) in the semi’s and Mark Gilmartin (Lady Westminster) in the quarter finals.

The doubles title went to J.Isaacs and D.Heath, who had a final win over J.Carter and D.Tudor. Losing semi finalists were D.Salerno and B.Glover plus P.Freeman and S.Ironmonger.

Langley Hall made it a fantastic double by winning the division cup, their opponents Lady Westminster, once again having to settle for the runners up spot. (PHOTO’S ATTACHED)

The Small Heath League also had the singles knockout on their programme. The competition attracted a total of 27 competitors to the Emerald Club, Birmingham. Three figure scores flowed throughout the competition, but it was the Emerald’s own Joe Fox who notched the only maximum of the night.

The final saw newcomer to the league John Burdett from the Mitre take on Peter Yardley (Emerald Club), both of whom had played well throughout to reach the final stage.

Despite the 2-0 result in favour of Burdett, Yardley had given a good account of himself, losing out in both legs on a finishing double, but it was the sharper finishing of Burdett that won the day and a 118 checkout, finishing on the bull gave him the title.

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