Alan Towe - A Look Back In Time - 1st February 2005
I begin 2005 with an apology to all subscribers and readers that my column did not appear in the January edition of this magazine. Unfortunately I have since been informed there was a severe lack of space last month and the result being certain columns had to be left out, sadly mine was one of them. However, I would like to take a few lines this month just to recap on mainly what happened in the county match between West Midlands and Nottinghamshire before talking about the latest encounter against Gloucestershire.
With two opening defeats against Merseyside and Devon, West Midlands were badly in need of getting a win and a few points on the board and that is exactly what they did in their home tie with Nottinghamshire. The two ladies teams both finished all square at three each with Sara Jukes (18.56) taking the ’A’ side’s match award and Chris Banks (15.95) the ‘B’.
The men were in super form as the ‘A’ side won 9-3, with Chris Hickman, with a tremendous 31.00 average took the man of the match accolade and Eddie Price (28.36) collected the trophy for the ‘B’ team as they romped to a 7-5 victory to give West Midlands a 22-14 win, their first of the campaign.
Now moving on to the most recent fixture, an away game against Gloucestershire. This one did not get off to such a good start as Chris Banks opened up a 2-0 lead over Karen Brown and lost 3-2, Sue Smith went 1-0 up against Margaret Little and lost 4-1, Claire Downing came from 2-0 down to Sharon McNulty to level terms and then lost then decider and with a straight 3-0 defeat for Ann Jones from Claire Armitage, Gloucestershire were in an unassailable 4-0 lead.
The rout continued as Claire Hobbs went down 3-1 to Brenda Hales and it was not until the final game that West Midlands chalked up their one and only success when Debbie Hackett (18.11) beat Michelle Langdon 3-0 to put the final score at 5-1.
The men’s ‘B’, in a confident mood following their win in the previous game against Nottinghamshire began with four wins in the first six games. David Arnold opened the account with a neat 3-0 win over Clive Baldwin, only to see Peter Fawson level the match with a similar straight legs win over Martin McCauley. Dave Pugh put the visitors ahead again beating Darren Smith 3-2 after trailing 2-1, but once more the hosts squared the game when Andy Sim defeated Glen West after West had gone 2-0 up.
Two straight legs wins from Mervyn Field and Dave Robbins over respective opponents Jim Keveren and Mark Turley saw West Midlands go into the break with a 4-2 advantage.
Stuart Kendrick extended the lead when he won 3-0 against Andy Reid at the start of the second session and although Brian Dickson pulled one back for Gloucestershire with a 3-1 success over Frank Johnson Lol Frazer’s man of the match performance in his tie with Russ Kitchenor took the score along to 6-3 and a share of the spoils was guaranteed. Frazer came from 1-0 down to win 3-1 and average 29.64. The home team then had their best run of the match, two wins in a row supplied by Keith Lawrence and Stuart Finch, who in turn beat Eddie Price and Alan Cockayne to leave the result hinging on the final game.
The twelfth and last game of the day was fought out between Paul Meyer (Gloucestershire) and Lee Jones. Meyer won the first leg in 20 darts, Meyer the second in 22. With a 105 checkout Meyer took the lead again in 18 darts, but was left nursing 90 when Jones went out on 74 to leave the result now resting on the very last leg of the day. With the darts advantage Meyer kicked off with two tons, Jones replying with 123 and 85. Meyer then struggled hitting 60, 30, 44, 45 and 41, while his counterpart hit 81, 11, 140 and 21 to leave 40 , which with his next two darts he calmly put away to win 3-2 and give his team mates a 7-5 victory.
Sunday’s ladies game was almost a carbon copy of the previous day with the home side winning the first five games and West Midlands one and only winner coming in the final encounter.
Louise Palmer, Dee Norman, Wendy Booth, Cath Brennan and Irene Kendrick had wins over Sara Jukes, Angie Perry, Kim Fellows, Teresa Johnston and Janet Hubbard respectively. Kath Jenkins was last on for the away side playing Chris Marsh. Marsh won the first leg hitting two 140’s for a 25 darts leg. Kath levelled the match and went 2-1 up before sealing her 3-1 win in 20 darts plus her lady of the match trophy for her 15.78 average.
For an overall victory the men’s ‘A’ now required a 10-2 or better win. Gary Taylor set them on the road with his 3-2 win over Malcolm Shill, but the task became more difficult as Peter Wyse and Dave Evans both lost to their counterparts Chris Whiting and John Fairley. Avtar Singh kept the faint hopes alive by beating Steve Poulter 3-1, but the dream then quickly faded as Richard Foster and Ade Arnold both suffered straight leg defeats at the hands of Tony Loveridge and Mark Blandford to give Gloucestershire a 4-2 lead at the halfway stage.
Things got better in the second half as ‘Mr Reliable’, Ian Jones chalked up a much needed and a team confidence boosting 3-0 win over Dene Baldwin. Following in Ian’s path were Paddy Johnson, who won 3-1 against John Dykes, Mick James beat Brian Simms 3-0, Daryl Thorpe with his 3-1 success over Shaun Hughes and man of the match, for the second consecutive time, Chris Hickman (28.36) who with a 3-0 verdict accounted for Alan Wiggett. The final game went to Mark Chiswell (Gloucestershire), Mark beating Viv Gould 3-0 to give a final score of 7-5 to West Midlands, but unfortunately for them an overall defeat of 20-16.
With almost half of the season completed and just one win from four matches, West Midlands are now in a position whereby wins are a must if they are to stand any chance of promotion to division two.
The Forest of Arden Winter League’s singles were held at the Sheldon Heath Social Club and in the men’s event Mick Cooper, representing the host club won the title, beating Terry Commerford from the Harvester in the final. Greville Arms player Debbie Flynn took the honours in the ladies competition, with Jeanette James (Sheldon Ivy Leaf) the runner up.
The final of the Presidents Cup was staged at the Mackadown Sports and Social Club the two finalists were league leaders Red Arrows and Farringdon Social.
With wins from J.Cartmell, M.Duggan, A.Price and I.Spencer for Red Arrows and N.Lumley, B.Phipps, A.Sleath plus in the doubles A.Sleath and P.Newton the scoreline was delicately poised at four each with one more doubles game to be played. The very close 5-4 result went somewhat surprisingly to Farringdon Social when N.Lumley and R.Read beat their counterparts I.Spencer and A.Price.
Singles knockouts were also on the agenda for the Tamworth Cue Sports League and it was Chris Payne who became the new division one champion. Runner up was Andy Starvey and losing semi finalists K.Haddon and A.Anslow. In division two Martin Cairns was the winner beating Derek Harbisher in the final round. Losing in the last four were N.Warner and R.Woodhall.
Sally Hudson and Neil Parsonage (Gunmakers Arms) are the latest names to go on the winner’s silverware for the Small Heath League’s Mixed Doubles Competition. Sally and Neil lifted the tile with a last gasp victory over Christine Bowen and Darren Brown from the Custard House.
Losing semi finalists were Sheila Carter and Dave Carter (Innisfree) and Carol Stanton and Martin Westmorland from McVeighs.
The league recently played a charity game against GULP charity side. The evening was set out in three sections. First the GULP’s top nine players took on and beat the league’s representative side 7-2. Then in the remainder of the games GULP won 19-13. The ladies game finished all square at four each.
The league is now looking to form a charity team to represent their league against other charity teams. More on this as it progresses.
The Four Oaks and District League have played off their three a side Ian Cooper Memorial Cup and the final 2-1 winners were B.Linnecore, M.Corfield and J.Kavanagh who represented Midland Red ‘A’. Runners up were the Pint Pot ‘A’ team of G.Redfern, C.Vickers and T.Vickers.