Alan Towe - A Look Back In Time
As I sit down to write up this month’s column the opening article gives me a distinct feeling of déjà vu. Understandably so as the story is of Tipton’s men’s team winning the West Midlands Super League Championship. Not so much a story more of an annual event.
Tipton have secured this season’s title with a total of 120 points, twenty two more than their nearest rivals and runners up Wednesfield.
Wednesbury finished top of the pile in the ladies section, they chalked up fifty five points, second placed Blakenhall ending up with forty nine.
To complete the season the league played off their Men’s and Women’s Averages and the Delegates Knockouts. Firstly the men’s average event. From the one side of the draw Ian Jones (Tipton) reached the final with wins against Stuart Kendrick, David Platt and Mark Wellings. Halesowen’s Adrian Arnold had wins over fellow West Midland players Martin Tibbetts and Steve Parkes on his path to the last two. The final produced somewhat of shock. The tie went the full three legs distance with Jones, who must have been everyone’s pre match favourite, finishing on the wrong side of a 2-1 scoreline.
Halesowen’s Claire Downing had a tough passage to the ladies final. She took on the evergreen Rose Mycock in her opening game and won in two straight legs. Claire’s next opponent was one of the West Midlands top county players Diane Tolley. The match went the three legs, but again it was Downing who got the verdict to give her place in the final. From the other half of the draw Wednesbury representative Angie Perry emerged as a final contestant. Angie had 2-1 victories over Claire Hobbs and Val Arnold in the earlier rounds and that was the exact margin by which she defeated Claire Downing in the final.
Seven players contested the Delegate’s Knockout. Progressing through the first round at the expense of Fred Parsons, Dot Harvey and Gill Cook were Adrian Arnold, Dave Walker and Vic Lloyd. Avtar Singh had a bye first round.
In round two, the semi finals, Singh beat Arnold and Lloyd took out Walker. As in the previous finals the match went to the wire, Avtar Singh (Bloxwich) just getting the 2-1 edge on his Wednesfield counterpart.
One way and another the Sheldon and District League have been rather busy recently. Firstly in their ever popular, annual “Lea Hall Royal British Legion and Sheldon and District Darts League Poppy Appeal Knockout” they have completed the first round play off. Reigning champions the Sportsman had an away fixture against Sheldon Heath Social Club Jans X but came through relatively unscathed with a 7-2 victory.
Great Western Nomads were another team to win 7-2, a maximum from their M.Welsh helping them on their way against the Iron Horse. A.Caddick was the star for the Stokesy’s Quartet as he recorded a 120 break a 136 checkout and a nine darts leg as he and his team mates chalked up a 6-3 win at Sheldon Heath Social Club. Three Horseshoes Flights had a 5-4 win at the Heathway ‘A’, T.Price getting off to a 160 start.
The draw for round two is Three Horseshoes v EBAHA ‘A’, Sheldon ShoesFlights or Shedlon Heath Social Club Blues v Shard End Social ‘B’, Mill House or S.A.G. Flights v Chelmsley Wood RBL, Mackadown Alcs v Stoksey’s Quartet, Great Western Nomads v Dovecote or Sheldon Shoes, Sportsman ‘A’ v Sheldon Heath Social Club Jans X, Three Horseshoes Flights v Heathway ‘B’, Saltley Amateur Gardeners v Shard End Social ‘A’.
The Sheldon Charity team have been on the road travelling to Hampton in Arden to take on the Fentham Club representatives in not only a darts challenge but also Dominoes, Speed Snooker and Crown Green Bowls.
The hosts certainly had their fair share of the results as they won the bowls 5-2. The domino match finished all square at two each, while the speed snooker was won by the club’s player “Henry”. The darts encounter was a 9-4 success for the charity team, but as always the biggest winner was the charity’s two causes, the Birmingham Children’s Hospital and the University Hospital Burns Unit. They will benefit to the tune of £163, which was raised from the four events.
The Birmingham Ladies Double Top League, after completing their main season have now decided another two vital issues, the winners of their singles and doubles competitions, both being played at the league’s headquarters, the Irish Centre, Digbeth.
In the singles, league champion Vicky Edwards made her exit in the quarter finals as Joyce Webster got the better of her. Joyce then went on to the Semi’s where she lost by the odd leg to Angie Bourne. From the other side of the draw Chris Brooks and Debbie Bloomer, a newcomer to the league this season, met in the last four play off. Debbie continued her good run with a straight two legs win.
The final was a high scoring affair with Angie hitting 2x100 and Debbie notching 2x100 plus a 140. It was a very close match going to the wire in a 2-1 result, which was won by Debbie Bloomer.
In the doubles knockout Debbie teamed up with Vicky Edwards, they won their semi final against Chris Brooks and Joyce Webster 2-0, while in the other penultimate game Jeanette James and Pat Bradshaw gained a 2-1 verdict against Angie Bourne and Janet Dudley.
Debbie crowned her first season in the league with a great 2-0 win to make it a superb double for her and also a fabulous double for her partner Vicky Edwards who added the title to her league championship.
Congratulations and commiseration’s go to West Midlands Wayne Jones. Congratulations because Wayne, playing in the British Classic at Kettering finished as runner up, commiseration’s because he threw so well to lose.
The first of the semi’s saw Glamorgan’s Richie Davies beat London’s Chris Mason. Davies won the opening set 2-1. Mason bounced back with a 2-0 success in the second. But with two seventeen darts legs Davies secured his final spot.
Wayne Jones faced up to Somerset’s Dave Weston. All three sets went to a decider. Jones in 18 and 17 darts won the first, Weston the second in 21 and 15. The deciding set got off to a cracking start when Jones went ahead in 16 darts. Davies levelled in 18 and then the tension of the occasion got to both players. Weston notched a maximum plus a ton, top shot for Jones was one single score of a ton. Nevertheless, 86 was the most vital score for Jones as he checked out on that to clinch a narrow 2-1 win.
Both finalists began their last scrap of the day without any sign of nerves whatsoever. With scores of 125,140,100 and 96 Davies left double top after only a dozen darts. Meanwhile, Jones with 2 x 100,45 and 140 required 116. Without any hesitation he stepped up to the oche and efficiently put the game beyond his opponents reach. The second leg was even better. This time, with the darts advantage Davies hit 100,140,100 and 96 to leave double sixteen. Jones response was superb, three consecutive scores of 140 and the remaining 81 was disposed of with his next two arrows for a scintillating ELEVEN darts leg.
Davies was quick to reply as he, in two straight legs, 14 and 18 darts won the second set with jones unable to reach a finishing double in either, setting up a crowd pleasing third set. Due to his first throw advantage Jones had first chance at a finishing double in the opener of the decider. Unfortunately hw missed and allowed Davies to step in with a game shot on double eight in 16 darts. Again Jones missed in the second leg and as in the previous leg Davies took full advantage to win the leg on double sixteen, again in 16 darts for a 2-1 success plus the title.
There were no changes to the officials at the recent West Midlands County AGM. Biggest news to come out of the meeting was the fact that the county will be changing their home venue for the forthcoming season, they will play at the "99" Club, Tat Bank Road, Oldbury, Warley, West Midlands.
I would like to close this month’s column with heart felt congratulations and best wishes for a young player would has recently played his biggest “MATCH” ever. The player, my son Clive Towe.
On the 5th August at St Bartholomew’s Church, Wednesbury, Clive married Joanne Higgs, sorry Towe, please forgive me it is early days, I’m sure I’ll get used to it soon. Everything was perfect for the marriage ceremony even the sun came out for the day. Everyone had a great time thanks to the precise planning to great detail not only by Clive and Joanne but also Joanne’s parents Peter and Kath who were fantastic.
The happy couple jetted off to Tenerife for their honeymoon, where they have since telephoned to say the temperature’s are 30 plus, what a hard way to start married life, lazing in the sunshine and drinking champagne.
Clive’s mom Sheila, sister Claire and I wish the two of them all they could ever wish themselves, but most of all a healthy happy married life.