Alan Towe - A Look Back In Time - 1st December 2005
Following a narrow defeat in their away game curtain raiser against Suffolk, West Midlands were quick to bounce back in their second of the scheduled nine fixtures in division three of the Kaliber BDO Inter Counties Championships.
Playing at home against Devon at the Gilberts Bar, Willenhall, the ladies ‘B’ got the proceedings underway and they could not have asked for a better start as Leanne Jennings kicked off with a lady of the match performance against Penny Farrow to win 3-2 with a 16.70 average. Devon replied in the shape of Elizabeth Mackay who beat Teresa Woakes 3-2 to level the match. A 3-1 win by Claire Ford over Diana Carpenter saw the home team forge ahead again, but once more Devon drew level, this time thanks to Jenny Prout, who after trailing 2-0 to Sue Smith came back to win 3-2
Two each and two to play, the game could swing either way. Julie Aston (West Midlands) stormed into a 2-0 lead over Trish Penberthy, only to see her counterpart fight back to 2-2. Nevertheless, Julie stuck to her task and with a 36 game shot in the fifth leg won the tie 3-2. The result now hinged on the final tussle between Teresa Johnston (West Midlands) and Christine Harding. Teresa won the first two legs, Christine took the next two. Nerves got to both players in the decider as they struggled to find the big scores. Despite this Teresa was first to a double and finally won the leg, the game and the match on double one with Harding requiring 45.
So with a 4-2 win from the ladies it was now down to the men to add to the good start. Old campaigner Jack Routledge set the pace when he rattled off a straight 3-0 win over his opponent Nigel Callard. The cheers were short lived as Brian Pincombe wiped out Routledge’s win with a 3-2 success over Roy Rutter. West Midlands got their noses in front again when David Arnold added another 3-0 win to the tally with Paul Groves on the receiving end. For the second time the visitors drew level, on this occasion it was Chris Batchelor’s 3-2 victory over Alan Cockayne that realised Devon’s second win, Batchelor coming back from 2-0 down.
Chalking up the home team’s third win was Mark Rollinson and as per his fellow winners won 3-0. James Gregory was the Devon man to lose against Rollinson. Going into the final game of the half all previous results had gone against the first throw advantage, Viv Gould was about to change all that. He went 2-0 up against Martin Horn in 21 and 19 darts. Horn pulled one back, but it only delayed the inevitable as Gould recorded a sixteen darts winner to give him a man of the match award winning average of 24.93 and put the West Midlands 4-2 up at the break.
Geoffrey Morrish reduced the arrears for the away side with a 3-2 win over Steve Penwright, but his win seemed to spur on the home players rather than his team mates. The remaining five games all went to the hosts. Andy Forrester beat Neil Anstead 3-0, Mervyn Field, Mick Naoks and Ray Benton in turn had 3-1 wins against Simon Drew, Brian Hodge and Andrew Taylor. Eddie Price won the final game against Dick Ottery 3-0 to give a final scoreline of 9-3.
The ladies ‘A’ had the misfortune to be the West Midlands first losers of the weekend. With wins for Devon from Cath Oram, Carole Holdsworth and Joyce Wilson, they were 3-0 down before Sara Jukes (15.41) recorded their first and what turned out to be their only winner. Taking the result along to 5-1 for Devon were Sandra Chamberlain and Merryl Jarman.
For an overall win the Midlander’s required four winners from the men’s ‘A’ match. The first four games were shared with Devon twice taking the lead. Paul Milford was their first winner, his success cancelled out by Peter Wyse. Flynn Jones restored the away side’s advantage only to see Chris Hickman level once more. The last two games of the half went to Colin Greenslade and Chris Hunt to give the Devon outfit a 4-2 lead.
It turned out to be a tale of two halves as the second half proved to be a complete opposite to the first. Mick James added his 3-1 win over Andrew Steed to the hosts tally and although William Lewis restored the two games advantage for Devon, wins from Eddie Price and Gary Taylor took the score to 5-5. Martin Bevan (Devon) gave his side the chance of victory with a 3-1 win over Avtar Singh, but it was not to be as man of the match Ian “Mr Reliable” Jones (29.22) beat Trevor Perry 3-2 to end the match at six each, but the overall 20-16 result went in favour of the West Midlands.
For the past few seasons the West Midlands have, and at times not without good reason, moaned and groaned about the ladies letting them down, their results being the difference between their losing rather than winning. Well, so far this season they are
playing a bigger part than they have previously. I agree the ‘A’ side’s two opening 5-1 defeats have not helped the cause but the ‘B’ have had a draw and a 4-2 win. Both of them came up trumps in their latest fixture an away game against Wiltshire.
Leanne Jennings made it two consecutive match awards when she opened up for the ‘B’ side against Joyce Stanton, won 3-0 and recorded a 16.70 average. Teresa Woakes made it 2-0 with her similar margin win over Ruth Smith. It was then time for two in a row for Wiltshire and providing their wins were Jan Murphy and Lisa Smith. The last two games both went the full five legs distance, but it was wins for Julie Aston and Teresa Johnston against Ally Thompson and Joanne Little to give West Mids a 4-2 victory.
The men’s ‘B’ followed up their previous 9-3 victory with yet another 9-3 success. After an opening win from Steve Penwright, Mick Noakes made it 2-0 with an award winning performance. Noakes won the first leg, then, his counterpart, Steve Willard took the next two. A 125 checkout gave Noakes the fourth and with an 18 game shot in the fifth he won 3-2. Making it 3-0 was Dave Robbins, a 3-1 win over Trevor Jules. Alan Enstone was Wiltshire’s first winner as he accounted for his namesake Alan Cockayne with a straight 3-0 win.
Taking the match up to the interval Jack Routledge and David Arnold both won to give the away side a comfortable 5-1 lead.
Only two more games were required to guarantee a win for the ‘B’ side, Mark Lloyd and Andy Forrester providing those wins. Nick Price and Adi Acott reduced the arrears for Wiltshire, but it was labour in vain as further wins from Ray Benton and Mark Rollinson gave a final result of 9-3.
As staed earlier the ladies ‘A’ had suffered two 5-1 embarrassments, but ironically that was the margin by which they beat Wiltshire and recorded their first win of the campaign. The first five games all went to the West Midlands, wins from Chris Banks, Leanne Jennings, Claire Ford, Clare Hobbs and lady of the match Sara Jukes (18.42), not only lady of the match but also the lady that chalked up the all important winning leg of the weekend, the one that assured the West Midlands of an overall win. The home team took the last game through Carol Bowers.
Three games played, three wins, the fixture already won, the men’s ‘A’ game should be a stroll in the park. Not so!!
Seven legs are all that the West Midlands won in the first half as Bob Phillips, Martin Richell, Darren Lodge, Mick Cummins, Barry Cadd and Juan Hopkins were the six players to give Wiltshire a massive 6-0 lead at the halfway point.
The second half began with a little more promise as Darrel Thorpe beat Ian Greenaway. However, the hope was short lived as further wins from Richie Jones, Bob Bowers and Mark Thomson gave Wiltshire a commanding 9-1 advantage.
In the penultimate game Ian Jones turned in another man of the match performance, his second in as many games, defeating Trevor Halliday 3-0 and recording a tremendous 31.31 average as he checked out in 18, 16 and 14 darts.
Eddie Price lost the last game 3-1 to Lee Horsfall to round off a 10-2 win for the home team, but nevertheless it was another 20-16 win for the West Midlands making it two wins in three outings. It’s early days, but could this be the season we see West Midlands return to division two? Watch this space!!!
On the local league front, the Brook Meadow Individual League after completing their league fixtures, which saw Mark Birch take the title with a total of 130, four more than Robbie Earl, who won the title last season, have been busy with their singles and doubles knockouts.
Winning the singles event in great style was Bill Cadby. Bill had no easy passage to the title as he played Robbie Earl in the quarter finals and beat him in three straight legs. He then accounted for Keith Kelly in the semi’s with a 3-1 verdict and squared up to none other than the league champion, Mark Birch in the final. Although Birch hit 2x140, 121 and 4x100 in the final it was not enough as Cadby ran out the 3-1 victor.
The doubles crown went to the pairing of John Whitehouse and Alan Smith. After beating Mark Showering and Gareth Lomas 3-1 in the last four they lifted the title with a similar result against Mark Elkin and Peter Stevens.
The Harborne and District Summer League have also been engaged in their singles and doubles. Smethwick Labour Club representative Lance Hackett took the singles title. He sailed through both the semi’s against C.Field and final where his opponent was Steve Wenlock without dropping a single leg.
The doubles knockout was won by E.Simpson and B.Cowan (George) with the runners up B.Hadley and G.Taylor (Smethwick Labour Club).
Midland Red won the Summer Cup final with a final 4-3 win over the George.
Darren Brown (Custard House) won the Small Heath League’s Charity Singles Knockout. Martin Cooper, representing Bromford Bridge Members Club ‘A’ was the runner up.