Alan Towe - A Look Back In Time - 1st March 2006
After three consecutive wins in division three of the Kaliber BDO Inter Counties Championships, West Midlands travelled to Wales in their latest fixture to take on Gwynedd and extend their winning run to four.
The ladies ‘B’ got the ball rolling, Teresa Woakes helping them on their way with a 3-1 victory over Tracy Kearns. The cheers were short lived as Margaret Jones and Sandie Lee handing out 3-1 defeats to Julie Aston and Anne Jones to put the hosts 2-1 up. Bethan Roberts increased that advantage to 3-1 when she beat Sue Smith in three straight legs.
It was the penultimate game before West Midlands recorded their second winner, coming in the form of Angie Perry. Angie chalked up a 3-1 success against Fiona Evans, her 19.10 average earning her the team’s lady of the match award and giving them a chance of at least sharing the points. That was not to be. Teresa Johnston (West Midlands) won the opening leg against Helen Jones, but it was Jones who won the following three legs to win 3-1 and put the final scoreline at 4-2 in favour of Gwynedd.
The men’s ‘B’, with a 100% win record so far have obviously been in top form and hoping to continue in the same vein. It was a good start as Viv Gould set the pattern, a 3-2 victory over Paul Barron despite twice being pegged back to level terms. Robert Carr doubled the advantage with a 3-1 success over Trefor Lloyd and with a further 3-2 win from Jack Routledge after he had trailed 2-0 to Stephen Roberts, the Midland’s side had a 3-0 lead.
Gwynedd gained their first win in game four when Huw Watson beat Frank Johnson in tremendous five legs affair. Watson took the first in fifteen darts with a 131 outshot. Johnson drew level hitting double nine for the leg. Once again Watson produced a three figure game shot, this time 155 to go 2-1 up. Johnson hit back, forcing a deciding leg with a 130 checkout, but with a 140 and 180 Watson won the fifth and final leg to clinch his 3-2 triumph, plus a man of the match award for his 27.65 average.
Advantage swayed one way then the other in game five. Chris Jones (West Midlands) won the first leg, only to see his counterpart, George Bell win the next two legs. Jones squared the match in the fourth and then went on to win the fifth to restore his team’s three games buffer once more. Ian Hartland and Larry Ellis took the match into the break, Hartland extending the visitors lead to 5-1 with a neat 3-0 win.
As the second half got underway, the local crowd got more and more excited. Ifor Davies beat Mark Lloyd 3-2 after trailing 2-0, Colin Nicoll handed out a 3-0 whitewash to Steve Penwright, Wil Roberts beat David Arnold 3-1 and with Timothy Grubb winning 3-2 against Mick Noakes, suddenly Gwynedd were back in the game at five each.
West Midland’s Colin Wood won the opener against Russell Edwards, but it then looked as if the home player was going to put his team in the lead for the first time in the match when he went within an ace of winning his encounter by taking the following two legs. Wood bounced back to level terms and then clinched a 3-2 win in the fifth on double two, ensuring at least a share of the spoils for the Midlander’s.
Save the best till last, that was obviously the case on this occasion for the West Midlander’s as up to the oche stepped Andy Forrester to face Gwyndaf Morris. The first two legs were shared, but the next two both went to Forrester to give him a 3-1 win, an award winning 27.65 average and a 7-5 victory for the team.
With the overall score at 9-9 both teams had everything to play for in Sunday’s games. Sara Jukes (14.18) played her part as she kicked off the ladies ‘A’ games with a straight 3-0 win over Jane Brownley. From there on in it was one way traffic all in Gwynedd’s favour. Marcia Roberts, Rhian Williams, Jacky Blanes, Gaynor Williams and Jac Leggath in turn had wins over their West Midland opponents Claire Hobbs, Kath Jenkins, Leanne Jennings, Kim Fellows and Jackie Simmons to give a final verdict of 5-1 to Gwynedd.
The heat was now on the men’s ‘A’ as they required a win in excess of 9-3 for an overall victory. Both Gary Taylor and Avtar Singh lost their first leg to respective opponents Alwyn Hughes and James Dorenbos. Nevertheless the two players fought back and each of them secured 3-1 wins. Ian Jones was the hosts first winner beating Peter Wyse 3-1, after Peter had won the opening leg. Darryl Thorpe broke the sequence as he won the first leg against Huw Watson and then went on to win 3-1 to give the away side a 3-1 lead.
From 3-1 up to 4-3 down, that was the story as David Roberts, Kevin Toole and Meirion Jones defeated Mick James, Lol Frazer and Stuart Kendrick to guarantee the home team at the worst an overall draw. Tudor Williams went 1-0 up against Eddie Price, but Price fought back to secure a 3-1 win and start a West Midlands mini revival. Although Mark Rollinson won the first two legs in his tie with Ifor Davies he was taken to a decider before ensuring a win. Dave Robbins made no mistakes in his game with Mark Devon, Dave requiring only three legs to earn his win. In the penultimate game, after an earlier win for Gwynedd’s Ian Jones, it was only fitting there should be a win for West Midlands Ian Jones and he did nothing to disappoint his team mates. One up in seventeen darts, lost the second after only a dozen darts and then went on to win the game in fourteen and eighteen darts, which gave him a 31.54 average and his fourth consecutive man of the match award.
The final game went to the home team, Martin Phillips won 3-2 against Richie Foster after Foster had come from 2-0 down to 2-2 and then lost the decider. A hard fought 7-5 win for the West Midlands men’s ‘A’ team, unfortunately it was not quite enough as the overall scoreline finished at 19-17 to Gwynedd.
The Brook Meadow Individual League has completed its league programme and retaining the title for the second successive season is Mark Birch, but this time it was oh so close. oing into the last two games Birch, who had won all but three of his twenty games held a three point’s advantage over rival Robbie Earl. In both of the final games he lost 2-1, first to Simon Winters and then Ian McFarlane. Earl meanwhile was chalking up a 2-1 success over Keith Kelly and a 3-0 win against Terry Blakemore, which left him just one point short of the total 83 set by Birch. Simon Winters was in third place a further two points behind Earl.
What a fantastic season it turned out to be with the title so closely contested from the very first game to the last.
In the league’s singles knockout the highlight was the semi final encounter between Ian McFarlane and Robbie Earl. The match contained no fewer than twenty, three figure scores, with McFarlane hitting 3x140,2x123,114,5x100 and a 121 finish to Earl’s 180,140 and 6x100. The 3-2 result went in McFarlane’s favour. He then went on to face Jason Evans in the final and won that tussle by 3-2 to lift the title.
League champion Mark Birch went out in the quarter finals, finishing on the wrong side of a surprising 3-0 scoreline to Jason Evans.
The singles knockout was on the fixture card for the Small Heath League and taking the title was Mitre’s representative Pat Koyce. Koyce lifted the crown with a final success over fellow team mate Trevor Frost.
Losing semi finalists were David Ali, again from the Mitre and Paul Wilding (Victoria Flights).
In the doubles knockout Bromford Bridge Members Club ‘A’ representatives Martin Cooper and Ross Macken were the duo to lift the title. Losing out in the final were Brendan Lysaght and Mark Kane.
Making their exits in the last four were Darren Brown / Robbie Vann (Custard House) and Clive Austin / Dean Bond (Mitre).
Congratulations to Chris Stokes (Tribe) on winning the singles knockout in the G.U.L.P. Charity League for the third time in four seasons. Stokes regained the crown with a final 2-0 win over Barmy Army’s Eddie Bullock.
The league recently raised a total of £134 in a charity match playing against a Terry Constable Select in which the charity team won 8-3.
R.Macken and M.Cooper (Tigers) beat C.Stokes and P.Wilding 2-0 in the final of the doubles knockout. The win ensured that the trophy stayed with the Tigers for the third consecutive season.
Amazingly every single game throughout the competition finished with a straight 2-0 result.
I finish this month’s column on a sombre note, the South West Birmingham Clubs Winter League have lost one of their long serving players and committee members Brenda Bullock. Brenda recently passed away at the age of 67 following a short illness. In addition to the winter league Brenda was also treasurer of the summer league and had played in various other local league’s including the Warwickshire Super League.
For in excess of forty years she had managed a team for Bournbrook and Selly Oak Social Club. She will be sadly missed by all her many friends, relations and team mates.