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

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

After the opening two fixtures in division three of the BDO Inter Counties Championships, West Midlands record read, won one lost one and their third outing, an away game against Nottinghamshire was one which they wanted to win to extend their winning sequence to two.

With a 5-1 success in their previous encounter against Devon, the ladies ‘B’ side were also hopeful of making it two wins in a row and began as though they would actually do that. Sara Jukes kicked the proceedings off with a straight 3-0win over Jackie Mainwaring. Teresa Johnson, who had won the opening two match awards of the season, confidently and efficiently added a third when she beat Lyn Webster in just three legs, with an average of 19.03 she opened up a 2-0 lead for West Midlands.

It was the third game before the hosts won their first game of the day. Erica Hall, playing against Teresa Johnston, like the previous two winners, won 3-0. Irene Carr (Nottinghamshire) followed Hall to the oche to face Debi Hackett. Twice Carr took the lead, and twice Hackett cancelled it out, but the final leg was won by the home player after her opponent had failed on a double fifteen outshot.

With the running total standing level at two each, there was everything to play for in the last two games. In the penultimate tie Gina Guest went one down to Ann Jones (West Midlands). Guest levelled in the next leg only to see Jones forge ahead again in the third leg. Once again the home representative drew level to force a fifth and final leg in which she broke the sequence, finishing on 40 to seal a 3-2 victory and give Nottinghamshire a 3-2 lead, the first time they had been in front in the match.

The last game would now be the difference between a win or draw for the home team and despite a win in the first leg for West Midlands Jenni Aston, it was Kelly Stevens, who won the game 3-1 and give a final scoreline of 4-2 to Notts.

The men’s ‘B’ team, with a draw and a win were unbeaten so far, but got off to a somewhat shaky start. Fred Parsons (West Midlands) was on the wrong side of a 3-1 result in his tussle with Mick Pitchford, but a man of the match performance from Mervyn Field (28.43) in his 3-1 beating of Tim Broadhurst wiped out the home teams advantage. Rob Flinders restored Nottingham’s lead when he accounted for Lee Jones with another 3-1 verdict. However, Jamie Parsons defeated Wes Deane 3-1 and Frank Johnson won 3-2 against Steve Kirk to give the visitors a 3-2 lead, the first time they had had their noses in front.

At the halfway mark it was honours even as Mick McMackin, after being pegged back to 1-1 by Viv Gould, won the following two legs to win 3-1 and give a running total of 3-3.

West Midlands got the better start to the second session, Avtar Singh was their opener, gaining not only a straight 3-0 win over Dave Banks but giving his team mates the lead again. Game number eight could have gone either way as Steve Miell (Nottinghamshire) won the first leg, then Adrian Arnold the next two. Miell took the fourth leg, but it was Arnold who won the decider to win 3-2, taking the score to 5-3.

Pete Wycherley, unfortunately for Alan Cockayne, was in fine form for the hosts as he romped to a 3-0 win to reduce the arrears and set up an opportunity for his fellow player, Rob Nock to level the match again. Nock did exactly that. Taking on Joe Biggs, Nock lost the first leg after missing double ten and seeing Biggs win the leg with a superb 94 game shot. Although Biggs reached a finishing double in the next three legs he was unable to take advantage and Nock wrapped up a valuable 3-1 win.

Two to play and the score at 5-5, the result could go to either way. Stuart Glover (Nottinghamshire) was guilty of missing doubles in the first two legs against Lol Frazer and the latter took full advantage to open up a 2-0 lead. Glover made no mistakes in the third leg as he finished with a 65 outshot. He then gave Frazer another opportunity in the fourth when he left double nine off 78. The West Midlands man then won the game 3-1 with a neat 32 finish. Eddie Price looked all set to win the match in double quick time when he won the first two legs against Tom Allies, with Allies failing to reach a double in either leg. Nevertheless, the home player stuck to his task and clawed his way back to 2-2, his efforts proving to be in vain as Price edged him out in a close last leg, finishing on double ten for a 3-2 win and a second successive 7-5 win for the team.

In Sunday’s games, the ladies ‘A’ with a win and a draw were also boasting an unbeaten record. But after the first three games that record looked to be in real danger. Karen Etches beat Kath Jenkins 3-0, Sharon Beestall won 3-1 against Claire Hobbs and Margaret Shipley added another straight win when she beat Claire Downing to take the score to 3-0 in favour of Nottinghamshire.

Angie Perry’s lady of the match show against Tracey Fells kept the Midlands hopes alive. Angie lost the opening leg but bounced back to win 3-1 with a 16.58 average. Those hopes disappeared in the penultimate game, Julie Freshney, who went 1-0 down to Janet Hubbard came back to win 3-1 and give the hosts an unassailable 4-1 lead.

Sue Smith claimed West Midlands second victory when in the final game she beat Jean Johnson 3-2. Sue was made to fight all the way for her win as Jean Johnson won the first leg, Sue the second and third, Johnson the fourth and Smith the all important and vital decider.

Pete Dallman won the initial men’s ‘A’ games against Martin Tibetts by 3-2 to give first blood to Nottinghamshire. However, the home team’s cheers were short lived as Ian Hartland wiped out the opening lead with his 3-1 win over Reg Barton. Darren Williams came from behind twice in his contest with Dave McGarry and sealed a 3-2 win with a tremendous 100 game shot in the fifth and final leg. Taking the scoreline along to 3-1in favour of West Midlands was Mick James. James was a 3-1 winner against Paul Gallagher. By the same margin, Nottinghamshire’s man of the match Dave King (28.15) defeated Peter Wyse to momentarily reduce the arrears to 3-2, but a 3-2 win from Dave Evans, including a 108 finish in the last leg against Mark Dewsbury gave the away team a 4-2 lead at the midway point.

The second session was a complete reversal. Paul Harvey began the Nottinghamshire fight back when he won 3-1 against John Pountney. Neil Birkin, after trailing 2-1 to Ian Jones sealed a 3-2 victory with eighteen and seventeen darts winning legs to level the match at 4-4. In the ninth game the home team took the lead for the first time since the opener. Pete McConville, with a 2-1 lead over counterpart Gary Taylor won the tie in style as he checked out on 80 for a fourteen darts leg.

Dave Emery came within a whisker of winning the home side’s match award, when with a 28.00 average he beat Paddy Johnson 3-1 ensuring at the worst a share of the points for his colleagues. Chris Hickman did clainch the West Midlands award when he won 3-1 against Andy Kirk. Hickman won the first leg in 19 darts, Kirk’s reply was to win the second in a similar amount of darts. Sixteen darts was all Hickman required to win the third leg and then with a fabulous 152 game shot he won the leg in 18 darts, the game 3-1 and the man of the match award with a 27.94 average.

From what appeared to be a comfortable 4-2 lead, West Midlands now required the last game of the weekend to secure a share of the men’s ‘A’ spoils, an overall win, even a draw beyond their reach. Richard Foster was the man that supplied that draw. He won the first leg against Mark Wilson in eighteen darts, then the second with his opponent requiring 55 and confirmed his straight 3-0 win when he found double one after Wilson had missed his doubles.

So the overall result was a close 19-17 (22-17 with bonus points) to Nottinghamshire, but with only a third of the season completed there are still six fixtures to play and a lot can happen in those remaining games as often it does.

Finally congratulations to Davina Atterbury and Mark Kane from the Heartlands Club, who have won the Small Heath Summer season mixed doubles knockout. The winning duo claimed the tile with a final success against Victoria 301 Club representatives D.O’Sullivan and Chris Stokes.

Losing semi finalists were Sheila Carter and Dave Carter (Antelope) and Sarah Hudson and Neil Parsonage (Black Horse).

On the night Neil Parsonage hit a maximum and Mark Kane recorded a 160 break.

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