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Article: Alan Towe - A Look Back In Time - 1st July 2002

Alan Towe - A Look Back In Time - 1st July 2002

West Midlands last game of the 2001/2002; division three fixture list in the BDO Inter Counties Championships could not have been a more important one. Playing at home and lying in bottom but one spot, the Midlander’s opponents were Breconshire, who were bottom. A big win could be the home teams saviour in retaining their division three status.

The women’s ‘B’ got off to a good start, when first Lillian Tonks recorded a 3-1 win against Sue Watkins and then team mate Claire Downing, with an award winning 19.78 average, beat Anne Davies in three straight legs. A 3-0 lead looked to be on the cards when at number three Teresa Johnston won the opening leg against Janthia Williams, however, Williams fought back to snatch a 3-1 win to keep her team in the hunt. Margaret Fellows (West Midlands) had a similar experience in her match with Liz Williams, winning the first leg, but then losing the next three to level the match at three each.

Brecon’s Kathy Goldup (15.82) earned herself the lady of the match award when she beat Jean Tibbetts 3-0 and gave her team the lead for the first time in the match. With seven defeats and one draw in their previous outings, suddenly, West Midlands looked very vulnerable and an eighth loss could not be ruled out. However, on at number six was Teresa Johnson. Teresa had previously won four match awards this season and she was in no mood to let this the final game in the final match slip away from her. She won the game 3-0, her counterpart Wendy Williams not being allowed to reach a double in any of the three legs. Teresa’s win gave the ‘B’ side a share of the spoils as the result was taken to 3-3.

The men’s ‘B’ had a great start as Andrew Milton got the ball rolling with his 3-0 win over Huw Jones. Milton had a relatively quiet opening leg but then took the second in 15 darts with a tremendous 141 outshot. He then wrapped up the proceedings with an eighteen darts winner. Frank Johnson had a similar experience. He won his first against Phil Embury, checking out on 83. He then went two up with a 93 game shot and sealed his win with a single one and double two finish. Man of the match Gary Taylor (27.10) was at number three taking on John Price. Taylor won the first two legs, Price reducing the arrears with a 118 outshot. Two 140’s and 100 gave Taylor the edge in the fourth and double four, not only the leg but also the game, putting the hosts in what appeared to be a comfortable 3-0 lead.

Ron Johnson (West Midlands) twice took the lead against Richie Williams only to see Williams peg him back on each occasion. 100 and 140 to Johnsons 140 gave Williams the advantage and a throw at double top when the Midland man was back on 128. One dart was all that was needed by Williams to clinch his 3-2 win and bring his side back into the game at 3-1 down. It was the West Midlands man in the shape of Fred Parsons who twice cancelled out Jeff Adams lead, but it was to no avail as Adams went on to win 3-2 and reduce the deficit even further to 3-2. Fred’s son, Jamie rounded off the first half in a game against Mike Shipsey. The first two legs were shared, both players winning their respective legs in twenty darts. In another twenty darts leg, Parsons forged ahead and with yet a further twenty darts leg he won the game 3-1 and restored a two games cushion for the home team, going into the break with a 4-2 lead.

The second half proved to be a completely different story, in fact something of a disaster. After twice taking the lead against Lenny Wonnacott, Viv Gould went down 3-2. Steve Penwright’s game against Alan Williams was exactly the same as the visitors drew back to level terms, 4-4. Adrian Hammersley won the opening leg against Richie Adams, only to lose 3-1 and give Breconshire the lead for the first time in the match.

Vic Lloyd put up a brave fight in his tie with Oz Morgan. Twice he came from behind but eventually lost out 3-2 and with a further win for Morgan’s team mate Michael Welsh over Bob Johnston, the away team had guaranteed themselves victory. The final encounter saw David Hackett (West Midlands) beat John Donaghey 3-0 to put the result at 7-5 to the away team.

Sue Smith (West Midlands) found the doubles hard to come by as she pushed Danni Goffe to a decider before conceding a 3-2 defeat. Claire Hobbs chalked up an efficient 3-0 win against Chris Sheen to level at one each only to see Breconshire take the lead again when Annie Davies got the 3-2 verdict over Rose Mycock. Janet Hubbard was on third for the hosts playing against Patti Goldup. Janet went one up and then began her second leg in style with shots of 125 and 132 to give her a great start. She went on to clinch the leg in eighteen darts, checking out on 80. After Goldup had failed on double ten, Hubbard wrapped up the issue with an exit of 57 to win 3-0 with an 18.79 average, which gave her the lady of the match award.

In the penultimate encounter representing west Midlands was Angie Perry. Angie had previously won the last seven consecutive match awards, a regular winner in a somewhat difficult season for her team. She won the first leg against Natalie Evans with a 42 outshot. Evans replied with a 50 finish. The away player then forged ahead, when she finished the third leg on 55. However, Perry squared the match with a 66 game shot, but was unable to finish in the decider and had to watch her opponent claim the game when she found double ten for a 3-2 win.

Trailing 3-2 Ann Jones was on at number six. She lost the opener to Tracy Rogerson (Breconshire), but was quick to respond as she levelled in the second and then went on to win 3-1 and give her team a share of the points in a 3-3 draw.

With the overall score standing at 13-11 in favour of Breconshire, West Midlands men’s ‘A’ desperately needed at least an 8-4 win to secure what could be a retention of their division three status. The match did not get off to a good start. Darren Williams lost 3-1 to Andy Chappell. Then, Martin Tibbetts, by the same scoreline went down to Phill Evans. A man of the match performance from Nick Walters (29.24) in which he beat Chris Hill 3-1 began a West Midlands revival. Further 3-1 wins from Steve Brindley and Avtar Singh over respective opponents Philip Page and Tim Hendra saw the Midland’s team go into a 3-2 lead. Taking the game into the break Adrian Arnold, after trailing 2-1 to Sean Aherne added his 3-2 win to give his team a 4-2 lead.

Brecon drew first blood in the second half when Chris Harris won 3-2 against Frank Johnson. However, Gary Taylor’s 3-1 win over Andrew Bell saw the home side regain their two game’s advantage again. Mike Shipsey proved to be too tough for Joe Biggs and ran out a 3-1 winner to reduce the arrears for the visitors. Mick James kept the pressure on Breconshire when he defeated Alf Reynolds 3-0 and then with a further win from Tom Aldridge against Eddy Thomas the hosts were 7-4 up and in with the chance of an overall win. Unfortunately it was not to be. Ian Jones, for many times the West Midlands saviour, opened up a 2-0 lead over Oz Morgan, he then struggled and allowed Morgan to step in and claim a 3-2 victory, which despite a 7-5 win for the men’s was not enough for an overall success and the end result was a draw.

A draw was not good enough for either team as Breconshire, on 156 points finished bottom of the table and West Midlands, with 161 ended up three points short of Wiltshire and will join Brecon in division four in next seasons campaign.

Warwickshire’s final premier fixture against Lincolnshire produced a real shock. Trina Gulliver who has won every women’s ‘A’ lady of the match award since September 1999, an amazing twenty six consecutive awards, lost out in the final match of the season. Playing against Jayne Allen, Trina in her usual style won 3-0. However, her 25.05 average, which by anyone’s standards was not at all bad, was on the day not good enough. Team mate Clare Bywaters followed Trina to the oche to take on Debra Royal, she won 3-1 with an average of 26.99 to claim the match award and rob Trina of her third successive complete season of match awards.

Not to worry Trina your twenty six consecutive awards will most definitely take some beating.

The Sheldon and District Winter League have completed their programme and congratulations go to St Annes, winners of the premier division, Sheldon Heath Dukes, winners of division one and the British Telecom Club who took the division two title.

Taking the league’s double’s title were Highwood’s Mark Wall and Jim Norris who beat EBAHA representatives Alan Caddick and Kevin Moloney 2-1 in a closely fought final, while Malt Shovel ‘A’ won the Denis Houlders Trophy with a convincing final 4-1 success against Castle Vale Residents ‘C’.

Hobs Meadow, reigning Forest of Arden Winter League champions have lost out on this seasons title by just two legs. Having completed their fixture card, Hobs had to wait for their nearest rivals, Red Arrows to play their last game away to Mackadown Social before they knew their fate. Arrows had a tremendous 8-1 winto give them 32 points from 20 games, the same number as Hobs. However, Arrows had 118 legs for opposed to Hobs 116 and that was the deciding factor.

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