Alan Towe - A Look Back In Time - 1st January 2005
With two defeats in the opening two fixtures in division three of the Kaliber BDO Inter Counties Championships, West Midlands were badly in need of a win if they were to have any chance of achieving promotion this season. The fourth game was a home tie at Gilberts Bar, Willenhall, against Nottinghamshire.
The ladies ‘B’ side, with two draws in their first two games had a bit of a see saw match. They got off to a good start with a lady of the match performance from Chris Banks (18.95). Chris, playing against Linda Whittaker lost the opening leg, but bounced back to win the following three to win 3-1. The visitors then took two in a row, thanks to Irene Carr, who defeated Claire Hobbs 3-1 and Sheila Sellars, who had a straight three legs win over Jenny Aston-Hind.
Trailing 2-1 West Midlands came back to level terms when Ann Jones accounted for Karen Staton with a 3-1 scoreline and then, for the second time went ahead when Sue Smith, despite being brought back to level terms after leading 2-0 and taken to a fifth and deciding leg by Kelly Stevens, won 3-2.
A draw now guaranteed, a win was all dependant on the final game between Claire Downing and Erica Hall (Nottinghamshire). Claire won the first leg convincingly with her counterpart left back on 143 when she checked out on 36. She could then have opened up a 2-0 lead if not for finishing doubles, Claire’s failure allowing Erica to step in and win the leg. Yet again in the third leg Claire was unable to finish and it was the Nottinghamshire player that forged ahead into a 2-1 lead. Kicking off with 140 and 120 Erica stormed into a useful lead and found her winning double sixteen as Claire left herself on 37. The result all square at 3-3.
The men’s ‘B’ with one draw and one defeat were still seeking their first win of the campaign. They got off to a cracking start losing just two of the first half games. Darren Williams opened up with a 3-1 success over Peter Wycherley. Darren was followed to the stage by Eddie Price. Long serving West Midlands player Price doubled the home team’s advantage in double quick time beating Alan Draycott in straight legs and 15, 23 and 17 darts to earn him the man of the match award with a 27.83 average.
It was game three before the away side chalked up their first winner. He came in the shape of Simon Birkett, who with a 3-1 result took out Joe Biggs. Dave Robbins restored West Mids two game advantage, coming from 1-0 down to 2-1 up and then 2-2 to win 3-2 against Jas Thandi. Wes Deane reduced the arrears for Nottinghamshire as he won 3-2 against Dave Pugh after Pugh had twice cancelled out his lead. Going into the break the home team lead was increased to 4-2 as Martin McCauley added his 3-1 win over Mick Pitchford to the tally.
The score was moved along to 5-2 as Frank Johnson defeated Rob Nock 3-1, but then Nottinghamshire put together their best run of the match, two wins from Tom Allies and Mick McMackin. Tom had a 3-1 win over Ian Hartland and Mick, who came from 2-1 down to Stuart Kendrick to win 3-2.
With the match delicately balanced at 5-4 in West Midlands advantage, the tenth game was vital to both teams. Lee Jones made the game his, a 3-0 verdict over Dave Osborne to assure the Midlanders of, at the worst a share of the spoils. Stuart Glover (Nottinghamshire) made sure that a result would not be reached until the final game had been played when in the penultimate encounter he beat Mervyn Field 3-2 to take the running total to 6-5 in favour of the hosts.
The final game was now the difference between a win or a draw. Lol Frazer stepped up to the oche for the home team and Rob Trownson for Nottinghamshire. Lol won the first leg in 21 darts, Rob squared the game in 18. Both players hit a couple of tons in the third but the vital double four went to Lol Frazer. Trownson hit another two tons in the fourth leg, while Frazer notched a 140 and a 100 and checked out on single twenty double twenty for a 3-1 win and a 7-5 victory for his team mates, their first of the season.
Sunday’s ladies ‘A’ game began in a similar fashion to the ‘B’ game the previous day, West Midlands beginning the encounter with a lady of the match performance to go 1-0 up, then losing the second game and finally finishing all square at three each. Sara Jukes was the team’s top player as she handed out a 3-0 defeat to Margaret Shipley and registered her award winning 18.56 average. Susan Page-Looker then won by the same margin against Teresa Johnston to level the score before Kath Jenkins edged West Midlands in front when she came from 2-1 down to Karen Etches to win 3-2 and with a further straight legs win from Angie Perry over Julie Freshney the hosts were within one game of winning the match.
With the running standing at 13-11 in favour of the home team a draw was all that was reqired from the men’s ‘A;’ to secure the overall victory. Paddy Johnson recorded the first of those six games when he beat Dave King 3-1 in the opening game after King had won the first leg. Three legs were all that Paul Harvey required to beat Adrian Arnold (West Midlands) and Paul’s team mate, Pete Dallman registered the same result against Richie Foster to put Nott’s 3-1 up.
Viv Gould began the home team’s fight back, a straight 3-0 win over Dave McGarry and when Daryl Thorpe added yet another 3-0 win to the tally over Reg Barton, West Midlands had their noses in front again at 3-2. Closing the first half Gary Taylor moved the scoreline along to 4-2 with a fighting 3-2 success over Andy Kerr.
Six games to play and only two wins required for the essential overall win, it all looked very good. However, the odds were reduced slightly in the seventh game with Peter Wyse losing 3-1 to Neil Birkin and more so when in the very next encounter Mark Dewsbury won the first leg against Dave Evans. As if spurred on by this loss Evans responded in tremendous style. He won the second leg in sixteen darts on double four, then went one better by taking the third in fifteen darts with a 134 checkout and finally won the game 3-1 with another super finish of 136 and an eighteen darts leg. Chris Hickman carried on where Evans had left off as he produced a 116 outshot in the first leg against Jay Foreman. Chris suffered a minor setback when he lost the second leg but took the third in 18 darts and decided the game with a superb thirteen darts leg to earn him the man of the match award with a fantastic 31.00 average.
The last three games all went to the West Midlands. Mr reliable, Ian Jones stormed to a 3-0 win over Steve Kirk as did Avtar Singh against Jim Broadhurst. The, in the last game of the weekend Mick James, despite trailing twice against Derek Shipley went on to win 3-2 to put the final score at 9-3, not only the ‘A’ teams first win of the campaign but also the county’s first win.
With their first win now under their belt, perhaps the West Midlands will carry on the good work and claw back the points they lost in the first two fixtures and go on to claim a promotion spot.
The Gilberts Bar was also the setting for the West Midlands Super League Singles Knockouts. In the men’s competition the title went to Mark Rollinson, who had a final success over county player Richie Foster. Rollinson had recorded previous wins over Adrian Arnold, Steve Penwright, Martin Steventon and Bob Johnson, while Foster had taken out, Darryl Thorpe, Ian Jones, Peter Wyse, Eric Cartwright and David Arnold.
Claiming the women’s crown was Angie Perry. On her way to the final Angie beat Sara Jukes, Janet Hubbard, Ann Bowen and Julie Aston, while her final opponent, Chris Banks accounted for Teresa Johnston, Michelle Pritchard and Jenny Aston-Hind.
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.
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.