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Article: Alan Towe - A Look Back In Time - 1st April 2001

Alan Towe - A Look Back In Time - 1st April 2001

Once again the Saunders Hall WMC, Bedworth was the idyllic setting for the finals of the ever popular Bedworth Gateway Men’s and Women’s Open finals. Both of the men’s semi finals finished with an odd leg victory, Hollybush Inn (Cheshire) beating Rodbourne Cheney WMC (Wiltshire) 4-3 and by the same margin Redfern Inn (Bristol) accounted for the Hurst Hill Tavern (West Midlands).

The first game of the seven a side final saw man of the match Mark Tirrell (28.62) open up for the Hollybush. Playing the best of three legs of 501, Tirrell won the opening leg against Redfield’s Kelvin Hart in 19 darts. Tirrell then kicked off with two tons and 140 in the second leg and from there on in he was intent on making the leg and the game his. He did exactly that in 16 darts to put the Cheshire side one up.

Rob Arrowsmith was on next for the Hollybush with Simon Laws his opponent. Arrowsmith won the game in two legs, 20 and 19 darts, with Laws unable to reach a double in either. The third tie was yet another two legs affair in which Redfield Inn won their first game. Representing the Bristol outfit was George Turnbull and for the Hollybush, Mark Godrill. Both legs could easily have gone either way but it was Turnbull with two outshots on single 5 who won the tussle, keeping his team in the match at 2-1.

Pete Boughey (Hollybush) began the fourth encounter with shots of 85-140-100 and 100. Despite throws of 100 and a maximum from Mark Barrs to leave double eight after only fifteen darts, it was Boughey who got the decisive finishing double to go one up in 15 darts. Both players struggled a little in the second leg and Barrs actually had first throw for a finishing double but missed, allowing Boughey to check out on double twenty for a 22 darts winner and at the same time putting the Cheshire team with an ace of victory.

The fifth game was the first to go the full five leg’s distance. Paul Sheehan (Hollybush), with top shots of 177 and 134 took the first leg in sixteen darts, his counterpart Jeff Williams replied with a fifteen darts leg, scores of 140-41-123 and 139 followed by a 58 game shot. The decider was a real nail biter, Sheehan with the advantage of the first throw chalked up scores of 81-97-38-42-60-68 and 48. Williams meanwhile had got off to a cracking start by notching a maximum. Then however, he struggled with his next four throws hitting 28-60-27 and 44. A further score of 100 and 46 left him on double eight but his opponent was not prepared to give a chance at his double as he finished on 67 to clinch not only the leg and game but more importantly the match as his team won 4-1

The semi finals of the women’s knockout, similar to the men’s both finished at 4-3. Rugby Workers Social Club defeated Lincolnshire Nailer from Skegness and Irthingborough WMC (Northampton) lost out to the Air Balloon Tavern (Bristol).

Nailer’s Debra Royal got the proceedings underway against Audrey Thatcher. Royal was in top form hitting 3x100 to beat Thatcher 2-0 in 23 and 22 darts. Karen Littler squared the match for the Air Balloon when she beat Carol Sharp in two straight legs. Game three saw the Air Balloon take the lead for the first time. The game could have swung either way as both players, Karen Moss (Lincolnshire Nailer) and Marie Geaney (Air Balloon), missed their doubles in both legs. Nevertheless it was Geaney who kept her nerve and wrap up the issue to give her team mates a 2-1 lead.

Yvonne Savery looked all set to increase that lead when she won the opener against Anne Jenkins, but Anne fought all the way, levelled and then went on to win 2-1 squaring the match at two each. For the second time in the match the Air Balloon took the lead. On this occasion it was Louise Perry who got the applause. In a very close tie with Julie Pipe, Louise had the finishing edge, which earned her the 2-0 win.

Requiring just one more win for the title, the Bristol side was represented by Joy Toghill who found it difficult to hit the high scores in the first leg. Fortunately for Joy she had the throw advantage and Diane Wilkinson, her opponent, did not take her chance to win the leg, Toghill did. Requiring single nine, she checked out in three darts. The following leg was a similar story with Toghill again winning the leg on a single nine finish to give her a 2-0 win and her team a 4-2 victory.

Once again we see the Bedworth Gateway Open reach the end of it’s tremendous journey. The completion of various rounds with teams travelling the length and breadth of the country to compete. It has always been a well supported competition with darts of the highest quality and this year has been no exception. However, it is at this

time when the winners and the other finalists get the applause and appreciation, but it should be remembered that without the dedication, hard work and many hours put in by Deric Wells and Sue Cooke the event just would not take place. So remember this in the forthcoming competition and try to make their job that little bit easier by playing games in the stated time and getting the results to Deric as quickly as possible.

Speaking of jobs getting easier the West Midlands quest for division two survival does not get any easier as in their latest fixture away to Co Durham they again tasted defeat, their fifth in six matches. Saturdays games saw the Women’s ‘B’, for the third consecutive time lose 5-1. Ann Jones (15.30) was again the lone winner. She was first on against Doreen Fenwick and after trailing 1-0 fought back to earn a 3-1 win. Claire Downing won her opening leg against Anita Dawson but then went down 3-1, the same scoreline by which Claire Hobbs lost to Liz Tait.

Dawn Hamer put the hosts into an unassailable position when she beat Brenda Phillips in three straight legs opening up a 3-1 lead. Even at this point the West Midlands could still have salvaged a share of the spoils as Frances Allen twice took the lead against Margaret Stewart and in the final game Janet Hubbard took a 2-0 lead over Pauline Kerrigan, but unfortunately they both lost 3-2.

The men’s ‘B’, with a very impressive record of four wins and only one defeat were obviously keen to extend their wins total. However, despite a 3-2 win from Pete Hadley over John Cairns in the opening game not much more went right for them in the first half. Brian Dolman lost 3-1 to Andrew Ford, while both Vic Lloyd and Frank Johnson lost 3-2 in turn to Jeff Sneath and Keith Elmore. Joe Biggs reduced the arrears to 3-2 when he beat George Davison 3-1 after losing the first leg, but the home side went into the break 4-2 up when Dale Richardson, with a 3-1 scoreline beat Roger Kinsella.

Co Durham’s lead was extended as Keith Temple won 3-2 after going 2-1 down to Ron Johnson. Ron’s namesake, Paul Johnson then began the West Midlands revival with his 3-2 victory over Tim Richardson. A man of the match performance from Ian Hartland (28.34) earned him a 3-1 win over Phil Borthwick and put the West Midlands back into the game at 4-5. Continuing the fight back was Fred Parsons. Fred had a 3-1 success against Tony Nixon before Clive Francis gave the visitors a 6-5 lead, the first time they had had their noses in front since the opening game. 3-2 was the margin by which Francis beat Robert Southwaite after Southwaite had won the first with a 101 checkout. Kenneth Atkinson gave the home team a share of the points when he, in three straight legs beat Jamie Parsons 3-0.

Diane Tolley gave the women’s ‘A’ a winning start when she came back from one down to beat Sharon Haywood 3-2. Then Durham stormed to a 5-1 lead thanks to Nancy Robinson, Gail Abbott, Claire Stewart and Dawn Winn, who in turn defeated Janet Cox, Rose Mycock, Teresa Johnston and Sue Smith. West Midlands grabbed the final encounter when Gill Cook, for the second successive fixture took the lady of the match award. Gill averaged 20-04 in her 3-0 win against Shirley Bowden, her win putting the final score at 4-2 to the hosts.

9-3 was the result now required by West Midlands to ensure an overall victory. Man of the match from the previous day, Ian Hartland repeated his 3-1 win, this time Phil Clements on the receiving end. Unfortunately the winning sequence was soon broken when Phil Nixon rounded off a 3-1 win over Mick James with a 121 outshot. John Comerford’s 3-2 win over Colin Davies gave Durham a 2-1 advantage which, Steve Penwright promptly cancelled out with finely executed 3-0 win against Kevin Elliott.

Any hopes of an overall victory went out of the window by the end of the first half. Paul Knighton and Jimmy Ashett adding two more wins to the home side’s tally at the expense of Avtar Singh and Gary Taylor. But there was still hopes of a win for the ‘A’ team remaining and still plenty to play for in the second half.

Roy Brown piled on the misery for the Midlander’s when he chalked up a 3-1 win over Jonathon Platt giving Durham a 5-2 lead. Game eight produced the West Midlands top player, Ian Jones turned in a great 3-0 win over Tony Eccles in 17-16 and 15 darts to give him a tremendous 33.40 average. Gary Storey guaranteed at least half of the points for the Northerner’s with a 3-1 win over Nick Walters before the away team recorded their best sequence of the match, two wins in a row. Providing the wins were Adrian Arnold and Tom Aldridge, who beat respective opponents Doug McCarthy and Shaun Galloway.

Everything now depended on the last game of the day. Paddy Lenagh (Co Durham) squared up to Steve Brindley, the former winning the first leg in 15 darts. Brindley replied with a 19 darts game and followed that with a 21 darts leg to go 2-1 up. Lenagh’s nerve held fast as he won the penultimate leg in 16 darts and the decider in 18 to give him a 3-2 win, his team a7-5 win and Co Durham an over all 25-14 victory.

Three fixtures remaining and West Midlands are just seven points ahead of bottom team Gwent and three behind Norfolk. A win in their next tie with Gwent is now vital to have any chance of avoiding relegation.


The “Ace of Clubs” charity team have been in action again, this time taking on a representative team from the Harborne and District League. Playing at the league’s headquarters, the Hillyfields, Harborne, the charity side won 8-4, the event raising a fabulous total of £280. Winners for the Ace of Clubs were P.James, C.Stokes, L.Newcombe, V.Byrne, J.Webster, S.Deery, S.Dwyer and B.Johnson and for the Harborne teamD.Marshall, C.O’Connor, L.Fithian and S.Edwards.

Staying with the Harborne and District Winter League, they have been busy playing off their Larner Shield, Singles and Doubles finals. Taking the honours in the Larner Shield was the George, who supplied both teams for the final. V.Gould, E.Simpson and S.Heeley who took the title with a final success over fellow team mates A.Stevens, J.Cannon and T.Cannon.

The singles title went to I.Butler (Bartley Green Social Club) who with a 2-1 result in the final defeated reigning champion T.McGlone (Midland Red).T.Cannon and E.Simpson (George) are the doubles champions with P.Sinnett and N.Plumpton (Hillyfields) the runners up.

The Small Heath Winter League have also been involved in their doubles knockout. S.Searle and S.Hunt (Sheldon Heath Flights) lifted the crown with a final success agaisnt D.Bourne and J.Bourne (Red Hill). Losing semi finalist were J.Randell / K.Maloney (Custard House) and N. Cook / J. Young (Red Hill).

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