Alan Towe - A Look Back In Time - 1st May 2007
In the seventh of a scheduled nine in division three of the Kaliber BDO Inter Counties Championships West Midlands played a vital away game against fellow promotion candidates Worcestershire. With the hosts second in the promotion table and West Midlands third it was a major fixture that neither side could afford to lose.
The home side got off to a brilliant start when their ladies ‘B’ team romped to a resounding 5-1 victory. Ann Ryder was first off the mark setting the standard for her team mates with an opening 3-1 success against Alison Bowen. Jody Tabberner doubles that advantage when she went one better with a straight 3-0 success over Claire Ford. Kim Fellows looked all set to stop the rot when she opened up a 2-0 lead over Sharron Holloway, but Holloway held fast and fought back to earn a 3-2 win and ensure Worcestershire of at least a share of the spoils.
The result appeared to be wrapped up in the fourth when Deborah Doonan went 2-0 up against Diane Tolley. However, Tolley, an experienced West Midlands player came back to snatch a vital 3-2, West Midlands first of the game. Unfortunately it was to be the first and last win for the visitors as Pam Hemming rattled off a 3-0 win over Sarah Robbins and to round off the match and give the hosts a convincing 5-1 win Helen Cooke beat Jacqui Simmons, again 3-0. Diane Tolley’s 17.26 average together with the fact that she was West Midlands sole winner gave her the match award
Already after only one of the four games of the weekend the West Midlands had their backs to the wall and it was going to be an uphill struggle all the way to get anything out of the fixture. Starting the fight back were the mne’s ‘B’ team who so far have enjoyed a tremendous season with seven consecutive wins. Looking to pteserve their 100% record they got off to a great start winning the opening four games. Colin Wood began the run with his 3-1 win over Shaun Vernall and with a similar victory mark Lloyd defeated Nicholas Hemming to go two up. Kevin Jones made it three when he beat Tony Young in a game that went the full five legs distance. Avtar Singh was on the mark in the fourth game coming from 1-0 down against Michael Lyden, he went on to win 3-1.
It was the fifth game of the first half before the home team, Worcestershire, chalked up their first winner. The win was provided by Phillip Layton, yet another 3-1 verdict as he accounted for Andy Busby, but to round off the half David Arnold with a tremendous 30.06 average and a straight 3-0 scoreline beat Nigel Vernall to earn himself the man of the match award in the process.
The second half began in similar fashion to the first. Chris Plumpton after going 2-0 down beat Paul Bailey 3-2 to put West Midlands within an ace of victory. That victory was not long awaited as Viv Gould added his 3-1 success over Greg Lynch to seal the win, the away side having opened up a commanding 7-1 lead.
Graham Perry began a fight back to reduce the arrears for Worcestershire going 2-0 up against Andy Forrester then completing his 3-0 win with a fine 141 game shot. David Smith took the score along to 7-3 with his 3-1 beating of Dave Robbins and with Mark Luscott and Terence Webster adding their 3-1 and 3-0 wins over respective opponents Jack Routledge and Eddie Price the final score was 7-5 to West Midlands extending their winning run to seven games.
Rachael Dixon chalked up the first win for Worcestershire in the ladies ‘A’ game, a 3-0 success against Julie Aston. Leanne Jennings made it five lady of the match awards in seven games for the West Midlands when she beat Tracey Bishop 3-1, Leanne recording an average of 21.46 per dart. The third game saw the home team forge ahead again, this time through Jackie Crew, who after leading 2-0 against Kath Jenkins was pulled back to level terms and
went on to win the deciding leg after both players had thrown for finishing doubles. Taking the scoreline along to 3-1 was Mandy Morgan, Mandy’s opponent Sara Jukes getting a consolation winning second leg. It was now all Worcestershire and Beattie Powell was the player to record the all important fourth win as she accounted for Claire Hobbes with a 3-1 result, that was also the margin by which Korrin Hopkins beat Ann Jones in the final game to five the hosts a comfortable 5-1 win, the same score line as the previous day’s ladies game.
Trailing 15-9 the men’s ‘A’ now had a mountain to climb as they needed to win by 9-3 if they were to gain even a share of the spoils. They began promisingly as Richard Foster beat Mark Bayliss 3-0 and then Mark Jones came back from two down to win 3-2 against Ian Clements. Peter Wyse made it 3-0 when he took out Steve Watton with a 3-1 verdict and when Mick James and Gary Taylor won by the same margins against their respective counterparts Terence Webster and Steven Riddick it was looking good at 5-0 up. Going into the break was when Worcestershire gained their first winner coming in the shape of Paul Brookes. Brookes took on Ian Hartland and earned himself a 3-0 win.
The second half returned to as you were with West Midlands increasing their advantage, first through Stuart Kendrick. Kendrick was made to fight all by Tommy White who levelled in the second and fourth legs before going down 3-2. Lol Frazer lost the opening leg to Kevin Beard but quickly bounced back to win 3-1 and in the process ensure a West Midlands men’s ‘A’ victory, giving them a 7-1 lead.
With the men’s win assured it was now vital they continued the momentum and strive for an overall win. Mark Rollinson kept those hopes alive when he won 3-1 against Darren Willetts, but there was a setback in the tenth game when Robert Carr was unable to overcome the challenge of Ian Oliver and went lost out 3-1 after winning the first leg.
With the score at 8-2 to the West Midlands there was still a chance of an overall win. Ian Jones was the man who not only thought that but kept the dream alive as he with an award winning 26.56 average beat Robert Hemming 3-1 after losing the first leg.
Unfortunately the win was not to be as Colin Fowler (Worcestershire) made short work of Nicky Bache in the final game and won in three straight legs to give a result of 9-3 to the West Midlands and an overall weekend’s scoreline of an 18-18 draw.
Congratulations go to Harborne and District League match secretary Steve Wenlock and his wife Emma, who on the 11th April gave birth to a 9lbs 7oz boy, who they are to name Kieran Elliott Wenlock. Steve, a regular darts player for Bartley Green F.C. and also a regular contributor to both this column and my Birminggham Evening Mail column informs me that both mother and son are “Doing Well”. Who knows perhaps a player to watch out for the future!!!
The Four Oaks and District League have completed their fixture card and in the final game of the season Midland Red suffered a very close 5-4 home defeat at the hands of the Hardy Spicer team. The game went to the very last leg of the final game before the visitors claimed the points, however, the Red’s still finished in the runners up spot two points behind division one champions Sportsmans Rest.
The division two title went to Deer’s Leap, who beat the Plough 6-3 in their final game to become division champions with Red Lion Flights finishing as runners up.
So with the league formalities all settled all that remained were the various cup competitions. The Dereck Masters Trophy Individual knockout title went to Anvil Nomads man P.Allen, who in the final had a straight 2-0 victory over A.Stainfield, representing league champions Sportsmans Rest.
The Coronation Shield finished with a 9-6 scoreline and was won by league one runners up Midland Red in a high scoring game against champions Sportsmans Rest. R.Hawker hit a maximum for the Red’s.
Hill Social overcame the challenge of the Plough in the final of the Norman Day Cup, beating them 13-2.
The Chairman’s Pairs saw the Sportsmans Rest provide both teams. With a straight 2-0 result it was A.Stainfield and P.Cummings who got the better of team mates A.Whitehouse and T.Kelly.
The Brian Goodman Cup final was battled out between Boot Flights and Red Lion Flights, the close 5-4 verdict went in favour of Red Lion. Sportsmans Rest added to their ever increasing trophy list with a convincing 8-1 win over Barn Social in the Ken Rust Cup final. Sportsmans T.Kelly, A.Whitehouse and J.Morris teamed up in the final of the Ian Cooper Memorial Cup in which Kelly turned in a magnificent performance hitting 2x100, 140, 2x180 and a 117 game shot to help his side to a 2-1 win over Boot Flights trio M.Norton, C.Millward and D.Jarvis jnr.