Alan Towe - A Look Back In Time - 1st February 2007
There were no pre Christmas celebrations for the West Midlands Darts Organisation as they finished the old year on a low as they suffered their first defeat of the season. Prior to the fixture away to Nottinghamshire the West Midlands had recorded two wins and a draw in their opening three games, a defeat against fellow promotion challengers was the last thing they wanted.
The ladies ‘B’ got the proceedings underway. The home team were first to settle as they chalked up four consecutive winners to ensure a team victory. Karen Simon was first to the oche taking on Claire Hobbs. Karen, despite being pegged back in the second leg went on to win 3-1. Hazel Wood was taken the full five legs distance by Kim Fellows, but it was the former player who doubled Nottinghamshire’s advantage to 2-0. The following two games were straight 3-0 wins, Brenda McColl beating Alison Bowen and Eleanor Dunn taking out Ann Jones to give the hosts a commanding 4-0 lead.
It was the fifth game before West Midlands offered any resistance and it came in the form of Claire Ford. Claire lady of the match in the previous encounter at home to Wiltshire, went one leg down to Jean Johnson. However, she fought back to earn a well deserved 3-1 win and at the same time take the match award for a second time with her 17.06 average.
The final game went once again to Nottinghamshire. Susan Page-Looker beating Jackie Simmons 3-0 to put the final score at 5-1 to the home side.
The men’s ‘B’ were looking to increase their winning run to four games and at the same time maintain their 100% win record. The first four games all went with the darts advantage. West Midlands Mark Lloyd (26.90) with a man of the match performance won the opener against Pete McConville 3-1, his win was cancelled out by Micky Pitchford, who had a 3-2 success over Micky Bache. The visitors forged ahead once more, this time through Mick Noakes. Noakes twice fell behind to Reg Barton, but he stuck to his task and returned a 3-2 win. Dave King was Nottinghamshire’s leveller in the fourth game as with a 29-47 average he accounted for Liam Kelly with a straight three legs win.
Maintaining the run of wins West Midlands long time servant Jack Routledge, with game shots of 100, 103 and double one won 3-1 against Trevor Ellis and in the final game of the first half Viv Gould broke the sequence to beat Pete Wychely 3-2 after trailing 2-1 and give West Midlands a 4-2 lead.
Getting the second hald underway was Robert Carr. Carr kicked off his game against Steve Kirk with a 125 finish and although Kirk bounced straight back to win the second leg, it was Carr who ran out the 3-2 winner after his counterpart had levelled for a second time in the fourth. Nick Barton (Nottinghamshire) pulled one back for the home team when he defeated Chris Jones 3-0 in the eighth game, but from there on in it was all West Midlands.
David Arnold ensured a share of the spoils with a 3-2 win over Tim Broadhurst, but it was Chris Plumpton who got the all important seventh win when he beat Richard Cooper 3-0 to put the away side 7-3 up. The last two games both went in favour of West Midlands, Ian Hartland won 3-2 against Rob Trownson, who had won the first two legs and Colin Wood took the final score to 9-3 for the visitors with his 3-1 success over Dave Banks.
That was Saturday’s games, Sunday’s were a different kettle of fish. The ladies fell to their worst defeat of the season 6-0. The whitewash was handed out by Julie Wilson, Laura Tye, Julie Freshney, Kelly Stevens, Nicola
McNamee and Helen Harvey, who in turn defeated Sara Jukes, Julie Aston, Leanne Jennings, Diane Tolley, Chris Banks and Kath Jenkins. Although 6-0 appears to be somewhat of a trouncing it actually was not that much of a one sided affair. Diane Tolley was the only West Midlands player who did not reach or even through for a finishing double and she despite losing 3-0 lost to Nottinghamshire’s lady of the match Kelly Stevens who recorded a tremendous 24.24 average. So the ladies should not be too despondent and not let their heads drop for the next match.
Last to the oche the men’s ‘A’, who had had two wins in three games, their only defeat coming in the previous outing when they lost their home game by the smallest of margins against Wiltshire 7-5. The match as far as the West Midlands were concerned did not get off to the best of starts. Mark Jones lost 3-1 to Andy Kerr. Stuart Kendrick lost 3-2 to Marc Dewsbury. If ever West Midlands needed a winner it was now and sure enough it was provided by the ever reliant Ian Jones. Jones won the first leg against Phil Rawson with a 95 outshot. He did even better in the second with a 100 game shot in seventeen darts. The game was wrapped up in the third when Jones hit double twenty with his sixteenth dart for a 3-0 win. Avtar Singh went 1-0 down to Dave Brown, but he hung on in to claim a 3-1 victory and level the scoreline at two each.
Nottinghamshire then moved up a gear in the shape of Pete Dallman and Mark Wilson. Dallman accounted for Eddie Price with his 3-1 win and a 101 finish in the fourth leg and Wilson won his game against Mick James in just three legs to put the score at the break at 4-2 to Nottinghamshire.
The hosts began the second half where they had left off the first as Jay Foreman beat Gary Taylor 3-1 and Chris Cooper, with the same result defeated Dave Robbins to now give Notts an emphatic 6-2 lead. Paul Harvey put the score 7-2 and beyond West Midlands reach when he won 3-0 against Lol Frazer. A man of the match performance from Richard Foster (28.92) and a 3-2 win at the expense of Wes Deane was enough to reduce the arrears and also make the scoreline a little more respectable, unfortunately it was not enough to save the match or the overall result. Further salt was rubbed into the wound when the last two games between Dave McGarry versus Peter Wyse and Neil Birkin versus Mark Rollinson both went to the Nottingham players McGarry and Birkin. The final score 9-3 to Nottinghamshire who also got the overall result of 23-13.
Nottinghamshire now lead the promotion table with 88 points and despite the defeat West Midlands, who are fifth in the table are only eight points adrift.
On the local scene the Pip Club League have been engaged in their Open Cup Competition. Playing at the Belgrave Club, the group one semi finals saw the Dolphin beat White Lion and Red Lion ’A’ account for the Globe.
In group two Three Horse Shoes and the Wigginton made it to the final with victories in turn over Boot Inn and the Royal Oak (Kingsbury). Both finals will be played off on the 12th April 2007 at the Pip Club.
The Brook Meadow Individual League completed their 2006 season with the play off of their singles and doubles competitions. League champion Ian McFarlane completed a magnificent season making it a treble celebration by adding the singles and doubles titles to his already won league title. Ian began his singles campaign with a neat 3-0 victory over Brian Cooper. He was then taken the full five legs distance in round one by reigning champion Simon Winters, but came out of the tussle with a close 3-2 decision. In the quarter finals McFarlane reverted back to straight wins by defeating Mark Elkin 3-0. The semi final was a similar story, on the receiving end of a 3-0 defeat this time was Ross Macken.
From the other side of the draw Carl Winters emerged as the finalist after beating Jay Murray (3-2), Martin Cooper (3-2) and Terry Blakemore (3-1). The final was a cracker going the full five legs distance, Winters hitting a maximum, 3x140, 6x100 and recording a fourteen darts leg. Meanwhile, McFarlane had scores of 4x140, 3x125, 121, 6x100 and winning legs in 15, 16 and 17 darts for a 3-2 success, leaving his opponent Carl Winters the 3-2 runner up for the second consecutive season.
In the doubles McFarlane teamed up with Mark Elkin. They beat Mark Birch and Brian Cooper 3-0 in the quarter finals and Ross Macken and Terry Blakemore 3-2 in the last four. The final opposition came in the form of Simon Winters and Barry French, but Elkin and McFarlane proved too strong and ran out 3-1 winners, taking the title for the third consecutive season and during that time have only dropped six legs.
The knockout staged at Tipton Sports and Social Club was a huge success attracting in excess of 100 entrants. The eventual winner, who claimed the top prize of £500 was Welsh player Andy Roberts. Roberts was taken to the wire in the final narrowly beating Wolverhampton man Wayne Jones 4-3. Jones collected £250 as runner up. Over £1,000 was paid out in prize money. So successful was the event that already it is being spoken of as an annual knockout.
The G.U.L.P. Charity League have staged their Sikie Shield Knockout Competition at the Potcheen Still. The event sponsored by Tigers representative Tony Comerford saw Brian Phipps from the Tribe take the title with a final success against Paul Webster from the Who’s.
Losing semi finalists were Colin Walsh (Beasts) and John McCaffrey (Potcheen Still).