Alan Towe - A Look Back In Time - 1st June 2007
Congratulations and celebrations has most certainly been the theme for the West Midlands County Darts squad after chalking up two vital wins in the space of twenty days in the last two fixtures of their campaign in division three of the Kaliber BDO Inter Counties Championships, to earn them the runners up spot in the division just two points behind champions Nottinghamshire. Nevertheless their efforts were enough to win them promotion and that is really all that matters.
At the beginning of April and in the penultimate game of the season West Midlands played hosts to Bedfordshire. Saturday kicked off with a 5-1 success from the ladies ‘B’, their first win of the season and it could not have come at a better time. Chalking up the victory were Chris Banks, Kim Fellows (18.06, lady of the match), Sarah Robbins, Julie Aston and Claire Ford. The men’s ‘B’ were defending a 100% win record, unfortunately that came to an end but they still maintained an unbeaten run when they finished all square at six each. Winners for the men were Mark Lloyd (30.67, man of the match), Eddie Price, Jack Routledge, Kevin Jones, Chris Plumpton and Viv Gould.
The home side went into Sunday’s games with an 11-7 advantage and required a further eight winners to ensure an overall victory. The ladies got the proceedings underway, Sara Jukes giving them an opening win when she beat Angie King 3-1. Match award winner Kath Jenkins (18.33) added her 3-0 win over Betty Tompkins to the tally, but sadly that was as far as it went as Bedfordshire won the remaining two games to give them a 4-2 result.
The men’s ‘A’ side now needed at least a draw to reach the magical nineteen winners from the weekend to gain the win bonus points. Wins from Stuart Kendrick, Avtar Singh and Peter Wyse saw the state of play all square at the halfway point of the game and when Mark Jones turned on a man of the match display to beat Michael Burgoine 3-0 and average 31.31 to start the second half, followed by an impressive further 3-0 win from Ian Jones (29.47) it was looking good for a men’s team win.
Bedfordshire stormed back with wins from Ryan Tharby and Mick Reed to level the match once more, the scoreline reading 5-5. Richard Foster recorded the critical sixth win when he won 3-2 against Kevin Durrant, Foster having a 140 checkout in the third leg. The final game went to the visitors Ian Kent to put the final score at 6-6 and an overall 19-17 to the West Midlands to keep them in the promotion race.
Just three weeks later and the players were on the oche again, this time making the short journey to take on Leicestershire. Inspired by their first win of the season the ladies ‘B’ were on the ball again as they defeated their counterparts by 4-2. In double quick time West Midlands had opened up a 3-0 lead thanks to Claire Ford, Jacqui Simmons and Julie Aston. Sam Jeffrey and Moira Simons then clawed two games back for the home team to put the pressure on the last two players Norma Needham (Leicestershire) and Sarah Robbins. Both players struggled on a finishing double in the first leg, Robbins eventually finding double ten for the leg. The second was also nip and tuck, but again it was the West Midlands player that got the all important double eighteen to go two up. There was no doubt about the third leg as Sarah Robbins forged ahead and won the leg and the game with a 48 outshot and take the match award in the process with an 18.11 average. The final score 4-2 to the visitors.
The men’s ‘B’ were sore from their previous game where they were only able to draw after winning all previous seven encounters. So they were out for a quick return to winning ways. David Arnold, Mark Lloyd and Dave Robbins them off on the right foot, all three winning 3-2 against respective opponents Mark Stanley, Steve Proudman and Scott Warwick. Despite the good start by the midway point it was level pegging as Colin Murphy, Lydon Hexter and Steven Hopkins had in turn won their games against Colin Wood, Paul Simmons and Kevin Jones.
West Midlands got their noses in front again when Andy Forrester (28.36) dished out a 3-0 defeat to Andy Kent and won himself the team’s match award at the same time. Stuart Lilley levelled for Leicestershire only to see Robert
Carr, Eddie Price, Jack Routledge and Mick Noakes win the final four games to give the away team an 8-4 win and end the season undefeated.
The ladies ‘A’ match was a game of two halves with the home team getting a 2-1 advantage in the first three games thanks to Krissie Long and Teek Newberry, Sara Jukes being the West Midlands winner, then it was a complete reversal as award winner for the sixth time this season, Leanne Jennings beat Cheryl Burrows, Lisa Thompson (Leicestershire) beat Diane Tolley and Claire Hobbs won the final game against Jan Bell to give a result of 3-3.
The final game of the day, the match and the season was the men’s ‘A’, but it did not get off to the best of starts as Ian Hartland, Gary Taylor, Mark Jones and Chris Plumpton lost in turn to Don Proctor, Derek Burrows, Ricky Sudale and Dave Homer giving Leicestershire a 4-0 lead.
Mick James (28.36) was West Midlands first winner, a straight 3-0 success against Andy Hibbert, Mick’s win also earning him the teams match award. Making the scoreline a little more respectable was Nicky Bache. Bache beat John Thompson 3-2, twice having to come from behind for his win but keeping his side in the match at 4-2.
From a West Midlands point of view the second half was a little better but not much and certainly not enough. Mark Rollinson (West Midlands) began the half with a promising 3-0 success over Nigel Dexter and Stuart Kendrick looked to be adding to that win when he opened up a 2-0 lead over Steve Smith only to finish on the wrong side of the final 3-2 result. Things got worse when Lol Frazer lost his game against Martin Whatmough 3-1 to give the home team what appeared to be a more than comfortable 6-3 advantage. Then came the away side’s best run of the match. Peter Wyse lost the first leg to Alex Long and fought back to earn a 3-1 win. In the penultimate encounter Richard Foster took on Hayden Marriott (Leicestershire). It was a very close game with Foster made to fight all the way for his 3-2 win, twice taking the lead before sealing the victory on double eighteen in the final leg.
With the running score now at 6-5 to Leicestershire, the West Midlands must surely have thought the draw was on when representing them in the final game was Ian Jones. So many times Ian Jones has pulled out the stops and rescued the West Midlands in their time of need and why should this time be any different. Unfortunately it was. In the first leg against the darts Jones had thrown just a dozen darts when his opponent Gary Garton shot out on 39. The second leg saw Jones draw level. With scores of 100 and a maximum Ian wrapped up the leg on double ten in sixteen darts. He then kicked off the third leg with his second 180 only to lose the leg in 21 darts after throws at 4- to win the leg. Two tons were not enough in the fourth leg as he left 140 in fifteen darts and Garton checked out on 127 in the same 15 darts.
So the final score was 7-5 to Leicestershire, but the overall 23-16 went to the West Midlands and that was enough to give them the prize they sought from the first game of the season, PROMOTION!!!.
Congratulations and well done to all players and officials on a magnificent season and the best of luck for a similar feat next season.
The Harborne and District Winter League have had their Individual Knockout on the agenda. Taking the honours with a final success against the George’s A.Powell was T.Corbett from Bartley Green F.C. Division one leaders Smethwick Labour Club provided both losing semi finalists, M.Tedstone and G.Johnston.
The league have also been engaged in the play off of their doubles competition. George duo Viv Gould and Eddie Simpson, from a field of 57 pairings became champions with a final 2-0 success against Bartley Green F.C. representative’s Greg Smith and Tony Corbett.
Best darts of the evening came from the semi finals where Gould and Simpson defeated Midland Red’s Tom McGlone and Dave Bourne 2-1, while Smith and Corbett edged out Matt Wakefield and Ade McDermott (Smethwick Labour Club) by the same scoreline.
A 6-2 home win over White Lion and the Dolphin only managing a 4-4 draw away to Red Lion ’A’, has given the Globe the division one title in the Pip Club League on 20 points. The Dolphin and Three Horse Shoes both finished just one point behind the champions.
With a game to play Glascote Club have secured the second division championship, a 7-1 away win at Two Gates Club giving them the title. Their two nearest rivals Two Gates Club and Boot Inn have both completed their programmes.