Alan Towe - A Look Back In Time - 1st May 2005
Leabrooks Club was the setting for the most recent fixture for the West Midlands in division three of the Kaliber BDO Inter Counties Championships. Taking on the local Derbyshire team West Midlands were looking to extend their unbeaten run to three games.
The ladies who in previous seasons have been criticised for their lack of results, have been doing well during this current campaign. Both teams have lost just two of their six fixtures.
The ‘B’ side recovered quickly from their early setback when Teresa Johnston lost 3-0 to Jane Densley when Sue Smith beat Barbara McCall and Claire Hobbs won 3-0 against Jane Redfern to put them 2-1 up. Carol Western (Derbyshire) levelled the match when she won her five legs tussle with Ann Jones and the home side then forged ahead again in the penultimate game when Rachel Bird defeated Debbie Hackett 3-2.
3-2 down and one to play, that was the reality for the West Midlands, but fortunately they had no need to worry. Claire Downing represented them in the final game against her counterpart Margaret Blinco. Claire won the opening two legs, only to see Margaret bounce back to square the game at two each and leave the result hinging on the very last leg. It was a nerve ending finish with both players struggling to get any rhythm into their game. However, it was Claire Downing who got the verdict to win 3-2 and give her team a share of the spoils. Claire’s 16.49 average also earned her the lady of the match award.
The men’s ‘B’ were hoping to halt a run of two consecutive defeats. Veteran Jack Routledge got them off to a good start with a straight three legs win over Russell Mason. Stuart Kendrick (27.50) then turned in a man of the match performance to beat Chris Lacey 3-2 after trailing 2-1 and extend the lead to 2-0.
It was the third encounter before Derbyshire chalked up their first win and it came in the shape of Richard Hanson. Hanson squared up to Peter Wyse and although he stormed into a 2-0 lead, Wyse pegged him back to level terms and could easily have won the fifth and final leg but failed on his double and Hanson stepped in to claim his 3-2 victory. Dave B. Smith looked to be on his way to cancel out the West Midlands lead when he opened a 2-0 advantage over Alan Cockayne, but Cockayne stuck to his task and went on to win the game 3-2.
In the penultimate tie of the first half Steve Tingay (Derbyshire) took on another long serving West Midlands man Roy Rutter, who on this occasion found the going a little too tough and went down 3-1. Nevertheless by the halfway mark the visitors had restored their two games buffer when Mick Noakes accounted for Kenny Smith with a 3- 1 win putting the score at 4-2.
Steve Pashley pulled one back for the hosts at the start of the second half when he won 3-1 in his tie with Dave Robbins, but this sparked off a run of three in a row for the away team as Joe Biggs began the match winning run with a 3-2 success against Steve Calladine. Eddie Price followed up with similar five legs win against David Buckley and rounding off the trio of wins was Adrian Arnold who beat Keith Hooper, giving thhe West Midlands an unassailable 7-2 advantage.
The three wins were very timely as the last two games both went to Derbyshire, Mick Chapman and Paul Preston both won 3-1 in their respective games against David Arnold and Frank Johnson to give a final scoreline of 7-5 in favour of West Midlands.
The ladies ‘A’ were attempting to make it three wins in a row after beating Humberside and Clwyd in their two previous outings. The game began with lots of promise as Angie Perry won the first leg against Lorraine Farlam, lost the next two and won the last two to win 3-2 with a 21.83 average, which for the third fixture in a row earned her the lady of the match award. Rebecca Hoyland’s 3-0 win over Sara Jukes squared the match, but it was Chris Banks who, with a 3-1 win over Elaine Marshall put the West Midlands noses in front for a second time.
From there on in it was all Derbyshire. Dawn Buckley took just three legs to beat Janet Hubbard, Tracey Johnson won 3-2 against Kim Fellows, despite Kim hitting a maximum, and to round off a 4-2 Derbyshire victory Joanne Oldershaw took out Kath Jenkins 3-0.
A win was what was now required by the men’s ‘A’ team to ensure an overall win for the weekend and with a run of five unbeaten games they were eager to continue in the same rich vein. Richie Foster opened up and did his part to extend that winning run when he won 3-0 against John Hendy. Chris Hickaman made it 2-0, twice coming from behind against Darren Sullivan to win 3-2.
Derbyshire then moved up a gear and took the following two games, first Gary Fenn beat Paddy Johnson 3-1and by the same margin Alan Evans won against Dave James. Viv Gould got the away team back on course, a 3-2 including a 144 checkout in the decider against Frank Davis, but the running total was level again by the break as Colin Osborne beat Darrell Thorpe 3-1.
Ian Hartland (West Midlands) got the ball rolling in the second half, his 3-0 success over Jonathan Hill giving his side the early lead once more. Lol Frazer was next on, he proved to be 3-1 too good for Mick Haynes and with an award winning performance from Avtar Singh the West Midlands moved to within an ace of victory. Singh played against Mick Haynes, he won the first two legs with 32 outshots and although Haynes clawed one back in the third with a similar 32 game shot, Singh wrapped up a 3-1 win when he checked out on 40 in the fourth to give him a 26.95 average.
With the score at 6-3 the West Midlands looked all set for third overall victory of the season. However, their nerves were tested when Brian Startin had a 3-2 win over Mick James and then Kevin Taylor beat Gary Taylor 3-1 to leave the result dependant upon the final tussle between Jim Beardsmore (Derbyshire) and West Midlands “Mr Reliable” Ian Jones. Beardsmore took the first leg in 20 darts, Jones replied in 18. The Derbyshire man went in front again, this time in 17 darts, but again he was pegged back to level terms to force a fifth and final leg. It was a cracker. Beardsmore, with first throw advantage got off to a slow start hitting 22, 60 and 83. He then got his act together and scored 180 and 138 to leave himself on double nine. Ian Jones had a somewhat better start as he chalked up scores of 140, 100, 100 and 136 to leave 25 after a dozen darts. Three more darts was all he required to wrap up his personal 3-2 win, his teams 7-5 win and an overall 19-17 win for the weekend.
All darts players will join me in passing on our condolences to Lil Roberts, who recently lost her husband Dennis. Dennis, after a short illness passed away in March. He had been an active member of the Warwickshire County Darts Organisation for 22 years and the men’s team manager for 15. In those 22 years Dennis missed just one game and that was the home game against Staffordshire in February, a truly remarkable record, but then again Dennis was a remarkable man. He was a man of precision and a fantastic statistician. In his office at home he had records of every match Warwickshire had played from the teams selected down to the very last average, plus many, many more statistics from various finals and competitions throughout not only the Midlands but the country. On a visit to his home he once showed me his collection of darts memorabilia plus his collection of Darts World magazines, he had every single copy since it’s inauguration, something he was very proud of.
The world of darts has been much the richer for the presence of Dennis Roberts, he will be sadly missed by all who knew him especially the many friends he made throughout his years with the Warwickshire County Darts Organisation.
It was a rearranged fixture between Good Hope Flights and Barn Social that decided the division two title of the Four Oaks and District League. Good Hope were the hosts, but the result was a very close 5-4 in favour of the visitors. It was two points that gave Barn Social the divisional title and left Bromford Lions as runners up.
The league has also been involved in the finals of both the Coronation Shield and Norman Day Cup.
The Coronation Shield title went to division one winners Midland Red, a convincing 12-3 success against Old Oscott Arrows, who finished third in the table behind Yenton Exiles. Another Old Oscott team, this time Old Oscott WMC, were runners up in the Norman Day Cup. They lost the final against Hardy Spicer by a very close 8-7 scoreline.
After completing only eight fixtures Robbie Earl has already opened up a ten points lead in the Brookmeadow Individual League. It was not until the eighth fixture that Robbie dropped his first leg. With seven 3-0 wins under his belt he took on third in the table John Whitehouse, who had lost his previous game against Mark Elkin 3-0. The result was 2-1 to Earl, which maintained his winning run bet ended his run of straight victories.
The Small Heath League have been busy with their Delegates and Ladies Knockout Competitions. In Group One of the Delegates John McCaffrey (Innisfree) beat Brendon Lysaght (Mitre) 2-0. Mitre’s Clive Austin recorded a similar result in the Group Two final against Steve Beddows (Wagon and Horses). The Group Three final went the full three legs distance with Neil Parsonage (Gunmakers Arms) just edging out Paddy O’Sullivan (Victoria Flights).