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Article: Alan Towe - A Look Back In Time - 1st June 2001

Alan Towe - A Look Back In Time - 1st June 2001

In division two of the BDO Inter Counties Championship the penultimate fixture of the season brought together two teams, Humberside and West Midlands in a crucial fight against relegation at Humberside’s home venue the Cavalier Club.

Both teams desperate for points the ladies ‘B’ got the match underway. Wendy Dearing gave the hosts the perfect start when she defeated Val Arnold in three straight legs. Seasoned campaigner, Rose Mycock (West Midlands) won the first leg against Janet Stocks only to see her counterpart win the following three legs after Rose had struggled on her doubles.

Frances Allen looked to be well on the way to reducing the arrears when she opened up a 2-0 lead over Maxine Joyce. However, once again the Humberside player came back from behind to snatch a vital win, giving her team a 3-0 lead. The situation got worse for the Midlanders when Jane Nicholson fought back from a 1-0 deficit to Janet Hubbard to win 3-1 and put the result beyond the West Midlands reach.

The one ray of sunshine the visitors could glean from the match came in the fifth game when, on this occasion it was the West Midlands player, Claire Downing (12.72) who after trailing 1-0 to Sue Jackson, kept her nerve and went on to win 3-1. With the final 3-0 result going to Sylvia Boynton (Humberside), the home team wrapped up a comfortable 5-1 win. Rose Sanders was the West Midlands player on the receiving end in the final game.

In the previous seven fixtures the men’s ‘B’ team had lost only one game and that was against top of the promotion table Buckinghamshire. So with them perched at the top of the table and Humberside at the bottom the odds, if anything were firmly in favour of the away team.

Proceedings began with the favourites taking the first two games. Roger Kinsella was twice pegged back to level terms, but eventually ran out 3-2 winner against Dennis Richardson. Then, Jamie Parsons dropped the opening leg to Steve Fisher and finished as a 3-1 winner. Jamie’s dad, Fred, was not so fortunate. In his tie with Jim Lowthorpe doubles let him down and he he ended up on the wrong side of a 3-0 result. Paul Epton squared the match for the home side with another straight three legs victory, on this occasion it was Peter Hadley who was on the receiving end. Ron Johnson got the West Midlands back on track when he accounted for George Beckett with a 3-0 scoreline. Paul Johnson made it 4-2 as a result of his 3-1 successs against Graham Russell.

Derek Rhodes, player number seven for Humberside, reduced the arrears with a 3-0 win over Clive Francis. In spite the scoreline the tie was a very closely fought affair. Vic Lloyd was another 3-0 winner as he beat Richard Plummer to restore the West Midlands two games cushion once more.

The West Midlands man of the match, Paddy Johnson (25.05), was on at number nine. A 3-0 win over Pete Robinson moved the running score along to 6-3 and in the process assured his team of, at the worst a share of the spoils.

With every game now a decider for the home team Kev Mooney came up with a straight 3-0 win over Derek Johnson, with Johnson failing to reach a double in any of the legs. Mooney’s win proved to be just a minor setback as Frank Johnson supplied his own 3-0 win against Humberside’s Ian Swales to push the scoreline along to 7-4. The last game of the day was between Paul Clixby (Humberside) and Joe Biggs. Biggs won the opener in seventeen darts only to lose the lead when his counterpart took the next two legs in 23 and 24 darts. Helped by a maximum Biggs levelled in 21 darts and then went on to seal a 3-2 win plus an overall 8-4 victory in 30 dart’s after struggling with finishing doubles.

After the ladies ‘B’ had lost their first four games the ‘A’ team had a slightly better start. Unfortunately the result turned out to be exactly the same, a 5-1 defeat. Maureen Herrington won the first game against Claire Downing 3-0. Levelling the score was this seasons “Ms Consistency” Gill Cook. A 3-0 win against Ivy Borrill made it FOUR consecutive lady of the match awards for Gill and her fifth in eight games, not bad by anyone’s standards. It is a great pity that some of Gill’s team mates have not been able to produce the same sort of results that she has this season. Should that have been possible the county could well have been running for promotion as opposed to fighting off relegation.

Janice Wilcock put Humberside back in the driving seat with her 3-1 success against Angela Barnet and team mate Michele Britton, with a 2-0 lead over Sue Smith looked all set to make it 3-1. Then, Sue staged a fight back and won the next two legs. However, she was unable to continue the winning run and Britton stepped in to win the deciding leg for a 3-2 win.

Maxine Joyce was quick to chalk up the match winning leg when, with a 3-0 scoreline she defeated Ann Jones. Christine Readhead, leaving her counterpart, Claire Hobbs without a throw at a finishing double supplied a further straight victory to give Humberside another 5-1 win.

A massive 9-3 win was now required from the West Midlands men’s ‘A’ to give them a much needed overall victory. The match did not begin too well. Mike Lowthorpe dropped just one leg as he defeated Ian Hartland 3-1. Despite Mick James levelling the score with his 3-0 verdict over Dave Brooks Humberside then began to turn on the power. Pete Leake’s 3-1 victory over Steve Penwright was followed by a further win for the hosts a 3-0 affair by Syd Smaller against Jonathan Platt.

Nick Walters (West Midlands) pulled back to level terms from a 2-0 deficit against John Ingram, but was unable to stop Ingram in the deciding leg as he checked out on double ten after Walters had missed his outshot on 74. Ingram’s win killing any chance the away team had of an overall win, the home side opening up a 4-1 advantage. Piling on the misery was Vijay Kumar. Kumar won the opening leg against Steve Brindley, the he lost the next two as Brindley won both in eighteen darts, with outshots of 106 and 90. Hitting 140 and 3x100 Kumar won the fourth leg in sixteen darts, his opponent without a throw for 66. The Humberside representative then, with another sixteen darts leg won the decider and the game 3-2.

The second half was very similar to the first. Humberside won the first through Steve Rhodes, who beat Dave Robbins 3-0. West Midlands then won the next, this time it was Tom Aldridge, who with a 3-1 result got the better of Craig Harrison. Still following the first half pattern the next three games all went to the home team. Mick Lidgett defeated Gary Taylor 3-2, after Taylor had twice taken the lead. Dave Ladley required just three legs to take out Adrian Arnold and Barry Noble despite being pegged back to two each after leading 2-0, won the fifth leg against Avtar Singh to put Humberside 9-2 ahead.

Rob Kerrison had a superb start in the final game against Ian Jones. Hitting 60-125-180 and 100 he then hit double eighteen for a 13 darts leg. Never say die Jones was quick to respond as he levelled in 15 darts with a 118 checkout. The third leg was nip and tuck all the way. Kerrison had the first throw advantage but it was Jones who was first to a double and he made no mistake as he went 2-1 up with another 15 darts leg. A 137 quickly followed by a 180 was enough for Jones to open up a considerable lead as Kerrison struggled hitting 36 and 85. Jones shot out with his eighteenth dart to win the game 3-1 and in the process the man of the match with a 28.20 average. However, the 9-3 result was in Humberside’s favour and although it has eased their relegation worries it has made West Midlands worse. Now with 131 points they are next to bottom, eleven points ahead of Gwent but ten adrift of their nearest relegation contenders Humberside.

The “Ace of Clubs” Charity team have been busy doing what they do best, raising cash for worthy causes. Playing at the Caledonian, Kings Heath, Birmingham, the team took on the Caledonian Corks, a match which raised a fabulous total of £202 which was donated to the Acorns Children’s Hospice, Selly Oak.

The match itself saw the charity side win 9-6 thanks to some steady throwing from, Brian Johnson (2), Carl Lucas (2), Paul James, Brian Andrews, John Lucas, Mo Jennings and Paul Collier. Replying for the hosts were D.Cockayne, H.Holmes, M.Dunn, M.Dalton, Brenda and R.Foxson.

The next port of call was the Fairfield Football Club. Again the charity team won, this time 9-3, their winners being Brian Johnson, John Lucas, Brian Andrews, Joyce Webster, Vicki Byrne, Carl Lucas, Lesley Newcombe, Angie Bourne and John Warner. S.Parry, J.Hodgkss and J.Peplow won for the football club.

As a result of the match the Air Ambulance will benefit to the tune of £ 83.

The third fund raising event was staged at Olton RBL and came about at the request of Chris Stokes for his 18th birthday. Three top charity teams, the Ace of Clubs, the Gulp team and the Sheldon and District League Charity team, got together and played a knockout the winner of which was Paul James with Mick O’Sullivan the runner up.

After the knockout Andy Smith, Colin Fowler and Steve Dwyer took on all-comers. The evening realised a grand total of £250 which was split 50-50, half going to the Princess Diana Birmingham Children’s Hospital and the balance to a Horse Sanctuary.

Before a large appreciative audience at the Lea Hall RBL, Jim Norris, representing Olton RBL lifted the much sought after Sheldon and District Darts League Individual title.

Finalist Robbie Earl, from Brook Meadow, did not drop a single leg on his way to the final. But unfortunately starting doubles proved to be his downfall at the last hurdle. Nevertheless Norris was still made to draw on his many years of experience to clinch the title.

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