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Article: Alan Towe - A Look Back In Time 1st April 2004

Alan Towe - A Look Back In Time 1st April 2004

A home tie against Leicestershire was what promotion hopefuls West Midlands had in their latest third division fixture in the BDO Inter Counties Championships.

A 3-2 win from Gill Cook, after twice falling behind to Lin Rowland, gave the home team the best possible start and with a further straight 3-0 success from Debi Hackett over Krissie Long the hosts opened up a 2-0 lead. At number three was Teresa Johnson, who had previously won four of the teams five match awards, another win most definitely looked on the cards. However, it was not to be. Teresa was not up to her own usually high standards, her finishing doubles letting her down as she lost 3-0 to Leicestershire’s award winner Tracey Burrows (17.48).

Putting the Midlanders back on winning lines was Angie Perry. With a 3-0 result Angie accounted for Michelle Herriot , and her 16.70 average earned her the lady of the match award. The draw assured, Teresa Johnston looked all set to confirm the win as she twice took the lead against Louise Hathaway, but unfortunately for Angie Louise got her act together in the final two legs and ran out the 3-2 winner leaving the result hinging on the final encounter between Jenny Aston and Moira Simons.

The pressure appeared to get to the home player more so than Leicester’s Simons. The first leg was nip and tuck with Simons just getting the winning double first. The following two legs were never in doubt as Jenny struggled to find the high scores and Moira went on to win 3-0 and give her team mates a share of the points.

The men’s ‘B’ side were looking to extend their unbeaten run to six games. Eddie Price and Alan Cockayne did their part to maintain that record as opener Price, despite being taken the full five legs distance, defeated Andy Norton and Cockayne, in double quick time beat Philip Daulman 3-0.

It was game three before Leicestershire chalked up their first win. Stuart Lilley went one down to Avtar Singh but fought back to snatch a 3-1 victory. That however, was the away side’s only moment of glory in the first half as Joe Biggs won 3-1 against Steve Proudman, Adrian Arnold (27.33 award winner) beat Moe Whelan 3-0 and by the same margin Frank Johnson defeated Mark Rushton to give the West Midlands a 5-1 lead at the break.

Lee Jones began the second half for the home team, but was unable to increase their advantage as he finished on the wrong side of a 3-2 verdict to Steve Neill. Gary Taylor moved the running score along to 6-2 with a neat 3-0 win over Colin Murphy and with a further 3-1 success from Mervyn Field against Andy Tempest the all important seventh win was recorded and the West Midlands had stretched their unbeaten run to six games.

Although Fred Parsons twice took the lead against Dave Walker, it was the latter who finished on top with a 3-2 result. The final two games went in West Midlands favour. Brendon Cowen (West Midlands) was made to battle all the way by Colin Kirby, who won the first and third legs only to lose the last two and see his opponent take the 3-2 verdict. The final game was another five legs affair, but again it was the home player, on this occasion, Viv Gould who won the game against Dave Andrew to give a final score of 9-3 to the West Midlands.

Jan Bell (Leicestershire) drew first blood in the ladies ‘A’ game when she beat Kath Jenkins 3-1 after Kath had won the opening leg. Claire Downing squared the match with a similar 3-1 victory over Norma Needham and with a further 3-2 success from Sara Jukes over Trish Roberts, West Midlands took a 2-1 lead. Teek Newberry kept the away side in the match, her 3-1 win against Sue Smith taking the scoreline to two each.

In the penultimate game Janet Hubbard produced a lady of the match performance, her 19.78 average giving her a 3-0 win and leaving her counterpart without a throw at a double in any of the legs. As in the ladies ‘B’ game the result yet again was resting on the final encounter and once more it was the visitors who got the verdict to ensure a share of the points. On this occasion it was Angela Barrow who came to Leicestershire’s rescue, her 3-1 win over Claire Hobbs ending the game at 3-3.

The men’s ‘A’ now had what appeared to be an easy task, requiring just four winners for an overall victory. Those winners came in the opening four games. Mick James started the ball rolling with his 3-1 win over Martin Bowman. Mick was followed by John Pountney, who had a similar 3-1 win in his tie with Martin Whatmough, John producing a terrific 154 checkout in the fourth leg. Another 3-1 win by Ian Jones against Steve Smith and a straight legs success from Paddy Johnson over Kelvin Clarke put the hosts 4-0 up.

The run continued as man of the match Richard Foster (30.92) beat Dave Homer 3-1 and Chris Hickman made it 6-0, bringing the first half curtain down with a 3-0 win over Ian Warhurst.

Lol Frazer ensured that the second half began in similar fashion to the first by beating Derek Burrows with yet another 3-1 result. Then came two 3-0 wins supplied by Ian Hartland and Jamie Parsons, at the expense of GFred Boddey and Stuart Lilley, giving the West Midlands an unassailable 9-0 lead.

It was game ten before Leicestershire recorded their first winner. Dave Barrow was made to fight all the way by Peter Wyse before securing his 3-2 win and making it two in a row was Jez Porter who had a 3-1 win over Darren Williams, but the final game went to West Midlands man Dave Evans. Dave lost the first leg to Graham Roberts, but responded magnificently to win 3-1 and give his side a final 10-2 victory and an overall 25-11 win.

Once again the Saunders Hall WMC was the idyllic setting for the finals of the Bedworth Gateway Open finals. The men’s final was battled out between Tipton Social (West Midlands) and the White Hart from Northamptonshire. Lol Frazer was first on for Tipton Social and with six three figure scores to his opponents, Derek Burhope’s four won 2-0. The second was a high scoring affair going the full three legs distance, but it was Darren Williamson (White Hart) who got the 2-1 verdict over Darren Williams to level the match.

The Tipton outfit got their noses in front again when Ian Jones, in 15 and 18 darts beat his namesake Chris Jones 2-1, Chris winning the second leg in 22 darts. Another Chris, this time Hickman took the Social Club’s advantage along to 3-1 with his 2-1 win over Jamie Richardson and with Tom Aldridge beating Jimmy Wilson 2-0, after both players had struggled on finishing doubles, the title went to Tipton Social Club with a 4-1 result.

Tipton had beaten High Street WMC (Swindon) 5-2 in the semi’s, while by the same margin the White Hart took out the Nags Head from Peterborough.

The ladies semi finals saw convincing wins for the Air Balloon Tavern (Bristol) and the Black Horse (Worcestershire). Air Balloon beat New Warwick Social (Warwick) 6-1 and Black Horse, with a 5-2 scoreline beat the White Hart (Swindon).

In the final Black Horse got the better start going 2-0 up with wins from Wendy Danks and Betty Sinnett, who in turn beat Sonia Tibbetts and Karen Littler. Down but not out, Air Balloon then staged their fightback. Gail Dent won 2-1 against Korien Hopkins and with a similar win by Marie Geaney against Tracy Bishop the match was squared at two each.

Black Horse forged ahead again when Kim Jones came from 1-0 down to Audrey Thatcher to win 2-1. However, the never say die attitude shown by Air Balloon came to the fore again, this time in the form of Sharon Webb, who despite being taken to a deciding leg by Shirley Dudley won 2-1. The destination of the winners silverware was down to the last two players, Sue Smith (Air Balloon) and Annie Ryder (Black Horse). The first leg could have gone either way but it was Sue Smith who won it. There was now doubt with the second, Sue built up a lead and when she checked out on 24 her opponent was back on 107. Sue’s 2-0 victory gave her team mates a close 4-3 win, but nevertheless a win is a win and whether it had been 4-0 or 4-3 the Air Balloon will not mind in the least, they were the champions.

Well done to all of the finalists, the competition always attracts top class teams and all of them did extremely well to reach the finals.

The Small Heath Winter league have been involved in their Charity Shield, Delegates and Ladies Knockout’s. Taking the Charity Shield title, with a final win over Kevin Taylor (Gunmakers Arms) was Dave Carter from the Antelope. Losing semi finalists were Chris Stokes (Victoria 301 Club), Neil Parsonage (Gunmakers Arms).

The Delegates Knockout was split into three groups. Winner of group one was Kevin Maloney (Custard House) with John Young (Antelope) the runner up. Group two’s title went to John McCaffrey (Antelope) who beat Custard House player Ian McLean in the final. Mark Birch (Heartlands Club) won the group three knockout with a final success over Chris Stokes, who represented the Victoria 301 Club.

Mandy Rivers (Gunmakers Arms) lifted the ladies knockout crown, Sheila Carter (Antelope) having to satisfy herself with the second prize.

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