Alan Towe - A Look Back In Time - 1st January 2007
With a win and a draw in their two opening fixtures in division three of the Kaliber BDO Inter Counties Champions, West Midlands were looking to keep their promotion aspirations on course when they took on Wiltshire in a home tie at the Gilberts Bar, Willenhall, West Midlands.
The ladies ‘B’ were still chasing their first win of the campaign began as though that may achieve it. Claire Ford opened with a match award winning 17.06 average and a 301 success against Carol Rich. The lead soon cancelled out as Olive Wilmore (Wiltshire), who twice came from behind against Diane Tolley won the tussle 3-2. Although the lead was short lived it was just as quickly replaced, this time thanks to a 3-1 win from Ann Jones as she accounted for her counterpart Ally Thomson. The following two games both appeared to be going in West Midlands favour as Allison Bowen took a 1-0 lead against Freda Squires, only to see Squires hit back by taking the following three legs and the game 3-1. Jacqui Simmons (West Midlands) went one better when she opened up a 2-0 lead over Jan Murphy, but once again the Wiltshire player hung on in there to claim a 3-2 win and take the running scoreline along to 3-2 in the visitors favour, the first time in the match they had got their noses in front. For the hosts to get anything out of the match it now required Kim Fellows to come up with a win over Jill Little in the final game.
Kim won the first, but lost the next two. The game was levelled in the fourth and with a double seven game shot in the fifth, Kim Fellows rescued a share of the spoils when it appeared at one stage the game was there for the taking by the Midlands team.
The men’s ‘B’ team had got the season off to a fine start with two consecutive 7-5 wins, and were obviously going to do their best to stretch that record to three wins. Robert Carr got the proceedings underway and in the best possible manner, a 3-1 win over Saun Higginson. Veteran campaigner Jack Routledge doubled thatadvantage when he beat George Smith with a similar 3-1 result. Taking the score nicely along to 3-0 and yet another 3-1 verdict was Nicky Bache, who accounted for Mervyn Dobson.
It was the third game before Wiltshire chalked up their first winner he was in the form of Steve Goddard. Steve went two up against Viv Gould and although the West Midlands man reduced the arrears in the third, lost the next and went down 3-1. Order was soon restored as Mark Lloyd (West Midlands) kept up the 3-1 trend in his beating of Richard Ettwell. At the halfway mark the score was taken along to 5-1 in the home teams favour when Chris Jones required just three legs in his win over Trevor Higginson.
If the first half was good the second was brilliant. Mick Noakes set the pattern when he got the last session of the day off with a straight 3-0 victory over Paul Blewitt. Mick saw his efforts emulated by team mate Colin Wood, who handed out his 3-0 punishment to Chris Mabberley and assuring a third victory for the ‘B’ side in the process.
Ian Hartland added his 3-1 win over Tony Clarke to the tally and it was increased further when Liam Kelly, despite being taken to a deciding leg by Ron Ashton won 3-2, his 130 outshot in the third leg plus a 25.34 average also earned him the teams match award. Two to go and 9-1 up a very favourable position and the winning margin was made even better when the last two players, Chris Plumpton and David Arnold each won 3-0 against respective opponents Craig Lloyd and Paul Webb to put the final result at 11-1 to the West Midlands, the ‘B’ teams best win of the season so far.
Two matches to play and the hosts required just five winning games to gain an overall victory, a very satisfactory position. Two of those games were achieved in the opening two games of the ladies ‘A’ match. Julie Aston was first to the oche, her 3-1 success over Jo Little was added to when Chris Banks defeated Ann Paget 3-0. Wiltshire got themselves back into the game when Carol Bowers beat Claire Hobbs 3-0 and Tina Rowlands won 3-1 against Sara Jukes to level the score at 2-2 with two to play.
Raising the tempo and putting the West Midlands back in the driving seat was Leanne Jennings. Leanne dropped the first leg to Sue Hanscombe, however, she then returned a lady of the match winning performance to win 3-1 and record a 21.01 average and ensure a share of the spoils. Obviously Kath Jenkins was not happy with her team mates having to share the
points as she in double quick time took out Karen Hutton in three straight legs for a final 4-2 win for the ladies, hopefully their first of many to the end of the season.
It may have been a case of requiring one more game for the weekend’s overall win, but the men’s ‘A’ side had a 100% win record in their two previous game and this together with pride were at stake.
There was a setback in the first game when Dave Robbins was edged out 3-2 by Juan Hopkins. Nevertheless, Ian “Mr Consistency” Jones was at his usual best when he levelled the score beating Paul Cook 3-2 after trailing 2-1. Another long standing and loyal West Midlands man, Lol Frazer was on next, he too turned on a great display as he beat Richie Jones 3-1. Jones won the first leg but Frazer responded with a sixteen darts leveller. To go 2-1 up Frazer turned on the style with scores of 100, 140 and 140 before checking out on 121 for a magnificent twelve darts leg. With further scores of 100 and 140 he won the fourth leg and the game 3-1, plus with a tremendous 30.12 average he took the ‘A’ team’s match award.
There was another minor setback in game four as Gary Taylor lost out 3-1 to Michael Cummins, but the scoreline moved on to 4-2 to the home team as Mark Rollinson beat Bob Phillips 3-1 and Richard Foster won by the odd leg against Martin Richell as they went into the break.
If ever there was ever a game of two halves, then this match was it. Wiltshire won the first two games through Steve Willard and Paul Boulton, who at the expense of Eddie Price and Stuart Kendrick in turn won 3-0 and 3-2 to square the match at 4-4. Advantage again went to West Midlands when Peter Wyse beat Barry Cadd 3-1, but from there on in it was all Wiltshire. James Forty beat Avatr Singh 3-2 after Singh had stormed into a 2-0 lead, Darren Lodge won 3-1 against Mick James and in the all deciding final encounter Bob Bowers won 3-1 against Andy Forrester to give the away side a 7-5 victory. In spite of this the all important overall result of 23-13 went to the West Midlands and maintained their unbeaten record.
On the local league front the G.U.L.P. Charity League have played off their mixed doubles and ladies singles competitions. In the doubles Tigers duo Ross Macken and Emma Harris retained their title with a very close final 2-1 victory over team mates Matt Cooper and Noreen Harris.
The singles crown was lifted by Lion’s Dawn Duffy after narrowly overcoming the challenge of Helen Davis (Tigers) in the final, the scoreline 2-1.
As the number of fixtures remaining in the Brook Meadow Individual League fast come to an end Ian McFarlane still holds on to the number one spot and is six points ahead of his nearest rival former champion Mark Birch. Both players suffered setbacks in their most recent fixtures, McFarlane surprisingly going down 2-1 to tenth placed Bill Cadby and Birch despite hitting a maximum lost out by the same margin in his tie with Jay Murray, who lies in seventeenth position in the table. However, the title does look as though it will go to one of the two top contenders.
Finals night in the Pip Club League saw Dolphin’s Mark Martin take the division one singles title. Martin lifted the title with 2-1 win over runner up and team mate Wynn Ashton. The division two crown went to Bob Mills from the Glascote. A 2-0 margin over Neil Warner (Tamworth Sports Bar) gave Mills the final verdict. The doubles knockout was won by brothers Simon and Adrian Caswell (Three Horse Shoes), who proved to be too strong for the Dolphin duo Sid Bradley and Matt Wilkinson as they strolled to a two straight legs victory.
League fixtures took a back seat in the Four Oaks and District League as the second round of the Brian Goodman Cup and the first round of the Ken Rust Cup were played off. In the Brian Goodman Cup four of the five games resulted in 5-4 wins. Red Lion Flights, Boot Flights and Old Oscott WMC in turn getting the better of Hardy Spicer, Old Oscott Arrows and Anvil Nomads. Only Midland Red broke the sequence as they won handsomely by 8-1 at home to Deer’s Leap.
The Ken Rust Cup saw the Plough record an 8-1 win at home to the Acorn, while not far behind them was Sportsmans Rest who beat Bromford Lions 7-2, and to complete the round Boldmere Sports took out Hill Social by the narrowest of margins 5-4. Barn Social had a bye.