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Article: Alan Towe - A Look Back In Time - 1st April 2005

Alan Towe - A Look Back In Time - 1st April 2005

Points most definitely appear to be difficult to come by this season for the West Midlands in division three of the Kaliber BDO Inter Counties Championships. After completing the first five of the scheduled nine fixtures their record so far reads, won two, drawn none and lost three, hardly championship form. So with just four matches remaining they certainly needed to get back on track and start a winning run to have any hope of promotion.

The latest fixture was an away game against Humberside and every one of the four games turned out to be a tale of two halves, with the second sessions proving to be the most telling in all of them. The ladies ‘B’ got the match underway and it was the hosts who got first blood, Sue Bilby beating Jenny Aston-Hind in three straight legs to go one up. Teresa Johnston levelled the score with a similar 3-0 victory over Sue Walker only to see Ann Waslin record a close 3-2 win over Sue Smith to put the home team’s noses in front again.

Then came the second half. Claire Hobbs got the ball rolling with a 3-2 win against Kath Marshall. Claire won the first and lost the next two. Despite struggling on her finishing doubles in the penultimate leg she still managed to win it before her counterpart reached a double. In the fifth and final leg again it was Hobbs who stormed in front to reach a double first and check out on double five to win 3-2 and level the match.

At number five was Chris Banks. Chris twice fell behind to Janice Wilcock, but nevertheless she stuck to her task and not only won 3-2 but also took the match award in the process with her 16.84 average, and for the first time in the match the West Midlands were ahead with one to play. Claire Downing was the Midlander’s last player, facing up to Barbara Bradley. Claire won the first leg with time to spare. The second was much closer however it was Claire who won it to go within an ace of victory. In the very next leg she wrapped up the issue, a 3-0 win plus a 4-2 win for her team mates, their first win of the campaign.

So the ladies had done their bit, what could the men offer. As with the ladies the first game went in favour of the home team. Rob Kerrison beating Alan Cockayne 3-1 after Cockayne had won the first two legs. Peter Wyse got West Midlands into the game with a man of the match performance beating Steve Burwell 3-1. Burwell won the opener with a 130 checkout, but with legs of 21, 18 and 20 darts Wyse chalked up a 25.23 average to win him the award. Stuart Kendrick added to the Midlands tally with another 3-1 success, this time at the expense of John Ingram. Lee Jones looked all set to make it 3-1 when he won the first two legs against Kelvin Frankel. However, Frankel took advantage of some indifferent finishing by Jones and won 3-2.

Ian Hartland got the West Midlands back on track with his neat 3-0 win over Mark Pygott and with Mervyn Field’s 3-1 win against Neil Dobson the visitors went into the break with what appeared to be a comfortable 4-2 advantage.

Then came the second half. Glen West was first to the oche and was taken out 3-1 by Kev Mooney. Martin McCauley twice came from behind to Jim Grayson but eventually lost out 3-2. Jack Routledge and Eddie Price were both on the receiving end of a straight 3-0 legs defeat, in turn to Craig Harrison and Mick Howard to put the home team 6-4 to the good with two to play. Mick Lowthorpe put the result beyond the West Midlands reach when he capitalised on the missed doubles by Frank Johnson and to round off an 8-4 victory for Humberside Al Whitehead defeated David Arnold 3-2.

Kath Jenkins began the Sunday games in fine style as with her 3-0 win margin she accounted for Wendy Dearing, but as in the previous day by the halfway stage the ladies were trailing 2-1 when Kim Fellows lost 3-2 to Maureen Herrington and Debbie Hackett ended on the wrong side of a 3-0 result to Karen Richardson. Then again came the second half and as with the ‘B’ side it was a case of all three games going in favour of the away team. Janet Hubbard was the player who began the comeback, a 3-1 win over Michelle Britton. Janet was followed by Sara Jukes, who had a 3-0 success against Karen Helmore and to round off the 4-2 win Angie Perry laid on a lady of the match performance with a 19.77 average to beat Chris Readhead 3-1 after being 1-0 down.

A win was what was now required from the men’s ‘A’ to earn an overall victory. Chris Hickman began the match and gave first blood to the Midlands side, a 3-1 win over Jim Lowthorpe. Tony Richardson levelled for the hosts when he won in a similar fashion, 3-1 against Mick James. West Mids then moved up a gear, Viv Gould began his 3-2 win over Syd Smaller

with a 111 outshot and following up was Ian “The Whippet” Jones to make it 31-. Jones took on Brian Preece and went one up in eighteen darts with a 100 outshot. The second leg Jones won in seventeen darts, but despite leaving himself on double twenty after only fifteen darts in the third it was Preece who took the leg in seventeen darts.

With another eighteen darts leg plus a tremendous 136 game shot Jones then wrapped up the issue, a 3-1 win plus the man of the match award for his 28.88 average. Daryl Thorpe moved the score along to 4-1 by winning 3-1 against Tony Howard and although Paddy Johnson lost 3-2 to Pete Leake in the last encounter of the first half, the West Midlands still had a clear 4-2 lead.

Then came the inevitable second half. It started pretty god as Dave Evans increased the lead to 5-2 by beating Mick Lidgett 3-2. However, Gary Taylor and Lol Frazer then both went down in three straight legs to respective opponents Mick Nixon and Dave Ladley to take the running score along to 5-4, still in the West Midlands favour.

Adrian Arnold found the going too tough against Dave Brooks as he lost 3-2 but never reached an outshot in the three losing legs, but all appeared to be about to change again as Richie Foster recorded a 3-2 win over Steve Tranmer in the penultimate match. Richie won the first with a 102 finish, lost the second, then won the third and was taken to a decider when Tranmer won the fourth. The decider was a cracker, Tranmer left double nineteen after fifteen darts but was not allowed another visit to the oche as Foster checked out with a 109 game shot.

The two anchor men, on which everything now depended were, for Humberside Mervyn King and for the West Midlands Avtar Singh. The opener was a fiercely fought contest, King hitting 100, 140, 43, 44 and 138 to leave double eighteen and Singh replying with 81, 140, 140, 34 and 70 to leave a similar double eighteen. One dart was all King required to clinch the leg. From there on in it was the Humberside man who took control. A seventeen darts second leg and sixteen darts for a 3-0 win were all he took, giving him a personal average of 30.67 for the match award and his team a 6-6 draw plus a share of the spoils for the weekend’s fixture.

So as I said earlier it was most definitely a case of a tale of two halves. For the men, both were leading 4-2 at the halfway stage, the ‘A’ then finishing all square at 6-6 and the ‘B’ actually going down 8-4, while full credit to the ladies, both of them were trailing 2-1 at the midway point and both bounced back to secure 4-2 wins, well done ladies!!!

White Hart ’A’ (Swindon) are the new champions of the prestigious Bedworth Gateway Open Competition. The Swindon outfit won the final against the Nags Head ’A’ from Peterborough 4-2 to take the top prize of £600. Nags Head collected £300 as runners up. Each of the losing semi finalists, Bees Knees (Cirencester) and Samson and Lion ‘A’ (West Midlands) picked up £200

The ladies title plus £400 went to Bristol based Air Balloon Tavern, with the runners the Crown (Bedford) collecting £300. The final score was as the men’s 4-2. Losing semi finalists were Centre Points Social Club (Worcester) and Erwood Inn ‘A’ (Powys) receiving £200 each for their efforts.

The Four Oaks and District League staged their doubles knockout at two separate venues. At the Good Hope Social Club M.Gaughan and G.Gaughan, representing the hosts were the winners, beating C.Kealy and D.Smith (Boldmere Sports) 2-0. The second venue was the Barn Social Club, where W.Griffiths and D.Miller (Good Hope Flights) won a very close final against L.Shorthouse and D.Jarvis jnr 201, to set up an all Good Hope Social Club final on finals night.

The league’s singles knockout was also staged at two venues playing down to a winner at each. At the Good Hope Social Club A.James (Midland Red) beat Old Oscott Arrows representative R.Kenyon by 2-1. The other play off was staged at the Barn Social. A.Stainfield (Yenton Exiles) beat Saints man J.Kiernan in the semi’s despite Kiernan having a 160 break and an eight darts leg. In the final Stainfield had an eight darts leg and went on to win 2-1 against M.Sheppard from the Leopard, who hit two maximums.

The Small Heath Summer League completed their fixture card with what was the most important fixture of the season. It was a match between the two top teams, Victoria 301 Club and Custard House. The championship was what was on offer for the winner of the match. As expected the result was very close, a 5-4 verdict going in favour of the Custard House giving them a total of 20 points, exactly the same as their opponents, but the Custard House had just one more leg advantage than the 301 club, 78 compared to 77 and that was enough to give them the title.

The Forest of Arden Winter League have been engaged in their men’s and women’s doubles knockouts. Playing at Sheldon Heath Social Club Alan Price and John Cartmell of the Red Arrows took the men’s title with a 2-1 success over fellow finalists Alan Savage and Mat Cooper (Sheldon Heath Flights).

The women’s final was another 2-1 verdict with Pat Whing (Mackadown Sports and Social) and Jeanette James (Sheldon Ivy Leaf) getting the better of their final opponents Ruth Gwilliam and Pat Hussey representing Greville Arrows.

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