A Look Back In Time - 1st October 2014
As the new season in the BDO Inter County Championships got underway on the weekend of the 6th and 7th of September, West Midlands will have to wait until the 4th and 5th of October before they play their first match, an away game against Merseyside.
The reason for the first game against Nottinghamshire being postponed until the 7th and 8th of March 2015 is that West Midlands home venue, Gilberts Bar, Willenhall had a double booking, there was already a wedding booked for that day.
Merseyside has always been a tough fixture, especially on home ground, but as a newly promoted team from division three, hopes of a West Midlands win, a team that narrowly lost out on promotion to division one last season, the difference being just nine points, are high and after last season’s disappointment the players will be all out challenging for one of the two promotion places.
Congratulations to Warwickshire’s Jamie Hughes on winning the Antwerp Open with a final victory over Martin Adams. In the last sixteen Jamie defeated Pip Blackwell, avenging his defeat to the same player in the last BDO County match against Kent.
Further wins over fellow England International Glen Durrant by 5 legs to 2 and then a semi final whitewash over the ever improving Sam Hewson paved his way to the final. More points for Jamie towards a possible Lakeside spot in the New Year.
There was further success for Jamie when he teamed up with Lincolnshire’s Paula Jacklin to clinch the mixed pairs title.
Meanwhile Warwickshire’s “Golden Girl” Trina Gulliver agonizingly lost out in a dramatic semi final with Deta Hedman, after being 4 legs to 1 up Trina missed many doubles to see the game off and bowed out by 5 legs to 4.
We hear a lot nowadays of pubs and clubs closing down, the obvious knock on effect of that is there are then fewer venues to play darts. More and more leagues have also folded, so it’s always encouraging to hear of new leagues getting underway and that is what has happened in the Black Country, West Midlands. A newly formed “Black Country Premier Darts League” has begun its inaugural season with an initial eleven teams kicking off the new season. It is hoped that the league will go from strength to strength and add more teams as the seasons go by.
After only three fixtures just three teams remain undefeated An 11-4 win at Park Lane Taverners took Lyde Green Flights top of the table with an average advantage over previous leaders Gate R&R, who had a narrow 8-7 home win over Wynall Lane Warriors. Hasbury Monks, who have only played two games, are the other unbeaten team, a 10-5 win at Britannia Bulldogs putting them in fourth place in the table.
With some players having completed 24 games in the Ripley Elite Darts Singles League the title for both divisions is still wide open. Ash Spencer, who has played 24 games tops the Premier Division with 99 points having won 18 of the games he has played. However, hot on his heels are Paul Baker, with 92 points from 21 games, Daz Brown, with 90 points also from 21 games and fourth placed Dave Allcock on 87 points, he also has three games in hand on Spencer.
Second placed Baker has notched no fewer than 16 maximums so far and shares the least dart of eleven with Daz Brown and Ian Richardson. He also has the best average which is 33.40, but the highest finish of 156 goes to Paul Hodges. However, there is still quite a way to go and with the league and the personal achievements everything could well change before the end of the season.
Rob Coggins leads the Sleeping Beauty Beds Division One with 106 points from 21 games, just one point ahead of Lee Stanley, who has played 22 games and third placed Chris Hill, who is on 104 points from 24 games.
Fourth placed Andy Houghton has chalked up the most 180’s so far, a total of 10, while Andy Gillott, with a 160 checkout has the highest finish. Duncan Rhodes has the best average of 27.42 and shares the least darts, which is 12 with Rob Coggins.
The Ripley Elite Darts Singles Winter League will be getting underway in October, players of all standards are welcome to join the league. Anyone interested or requiring any further information should contact Daz Brown on 07869-105655.
After just passing the halfway point of the season the Long Eaton Singles Darts League’s three divisions are all still up for grabs, although after saying that division one appears to be a two horse race as Mark Cwley leads the field with 54 points and Tony Glover is second, just two points adrift. There is then an eight points gap to third place where George Singh is a further three points ahead of Dean Andrews.
The highest finish after ten games is 140 held by Mark Cowley, while Dean Andrews and Kez Barfield have recorded the fastest game, which is 13 darts.
Division two leader Jason Holmes is on 45 points and is four ahead of Richard Turgoose, who has a game in hand on Holmes. Steve Butler is third, his 40 points is just one short of Turgoose’s total.
Thirteen darts, like division one is also the best game in division two and has been achieved by both Richard Turgoose and Alan Jackson, but the best game shot of 154 by Steve Butler is higher than the division finish.
Mike Booth and Colin Dunston are both on 61 points at the top of division three, Booth ahead on average and also having a game in hand on Dunston. Then comes a ten points gap to Jason Morley in third place, who has 51 points.
Three players have checked out in 16 darts in the division, John Brierley, Mike Booth and Colin Dunston, who has achieved the feat no fewer than three times. The best finish so far is 130 recorded by Stuart beard.
At the time of going to print five qualifying rounds of the league’s Chunky Cordon Cup have been played off, with just three remaining. Players having already won through to the grand finals at The Sportsman, 1 Granville Avenue, Long Eaton, Nottingham, NG10 4HA on Sunday October 12th are, Malc Tucker, Dean Andrews, Mike Booth, Richard Turgoose, Stuart Barrowcliffe, George Singh, Mark Cowley, Brian Spence, Colin Johnson and Mel Hopkins.
The South Birmingham League have played off their Doubles and Mixed Doubles Knockouts. Winning the former were W.Naylor and M.Naylor, who had a final win over N.Parsonage and M.McFall.
The Mixed Doubles title went to R.Earl and N.Dunn, with J.Whitehouse and J.Neal runners up.
Over the Bank Holiday Monday there were no usual league fixtures for the South Birmingham League so they staged a couple of pub players competitions.
Winning the senior event was Mike McFall, who had a final success against Jason Hough. Losing semi finalists were, Mark James and Dean Sanders.
The youth title went to Mitchell Kingdon, with Peter Kingdon the runner up.
A total of twenty five pairs turned out for the Forest of Arden Summer League’s men’s doubles knockout and taking the crown were B.Nixon and T.Steele, who won 2-1 against P.Nunn and C.John.
The ladies title went to S.Kingdon and C.Kingdon with D.Derbyshire and N.Harris runners up, again the result was 2-1.
The Pip Club League staged their Division Two Singles Knockout and the winners was the White Lion representative Duncan Campbell, who defeated Mark McCloughlin (Bulls Head ‘B’, Polesworth) in the final. Losing in the last four were Leighton Young (White Lion) and Martin Richards (Old Liberal).
I finish on a sad note reporting the death of Graham Stamps, who passed away on Sunday 17th August.
Graham was a well known and popular player throughout the darts circuit having played in many leagues including six seasons for the Warwickshire County team.
I personally knew Graham well as he played for me in the Mitchells and Butler sponsored exhibition team I ran and also both of us represented the Sports Argus charity team at the same time.
Condolences go to all his family and friends. Rest in Peace Graham.