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Article: Alan Towe - A Look Back In Time - 1st November 2004

Alan Towe - A Look Back In Time - 1st November 2004

West Midlands promotional aspirations did not get the kick start that had been hoped for when in their curtain raiser in the BDO Inter Counties Championships versus Merseyside they went down 17-19 at home at Gilberts Bar.

Claire Hobbs (15.23) got the new season underway in the best possible style as she raced to a 3-1 win over Sue Bonner and earned herself the lady of the match award in the process. The lead however was short lived as Kim Williams and Tracey Morrison, in turn defeated Teresa Johnston 3-1 and Jenni Aston-Hind 3-0-.

Ann Jones squared the match for the hosts as she came from 2-0 down to beat Karen Manion 3-2. Once again Merseyside went ahead, this time through Viv Cullimore. Sue Smith won the first leg convincingly, checking out on 89, but Cullimore bounced back to win 3-1, leaving the result hinging on the final game. Sandra Boardman looked all set to hand the visitors a 4-2 win when she took what appeared to be a commanding 2-0 lead over Kim Fellows. Nevertheless, Kim stuck to her task and eased to a 3-2 victory to give West Midlands a share of the spoils at three each.

The men’s ‘B’ looked as though they would open their account with a win, when after losing the first game to Robbie Gorst, who after trailing 2-1to Dave Pugh won 3-2, West Midlands never fell behind again. Alan Cockayne, Darryl Thorp and Eddie Price had respective victories over Allen Whittaker, Eddie Ainsworth and Alan Jennion. But, the 3-1 lead was quickly erased when Peter Dalling and Dave Farrington in turn accounted for Martin Tibbetts and Steve Lynch with 3-0 and 3-1 results.

Man of the match Frank Johnson (26.84) started the second half with a straight 3-0 win over Jay Joynson only to see Mick Kelly (Merseyside) hand out a 3-1 defeat to Joe Biggs to square the match for the third time. Avtar Singh quickly came to the rescue to restore the home side’s advantage when he won 3-1 against Mick Littler and with a further 3-2 win from Brendan Cowen over Wally Chadwick and the running total standing at 6-4 to the West Midlands, a win looked inevitable.

Viv Gould (West Midlands) was unable to get the better of Mick Graves as Graves ambled to a 3-0 win to take the match to a deciding game. Contesting the decider were Mervyn Field for the home side and Paul Denard. Field won the first leg after both players had had throws at a finishing double, but then Denard took over and won the following three legs to seal a 3-1 win and earn a 6-6 draw for his team mates.

So with Saturday’s games both finishing dead level, Sunday’s ladies ‘A’ match did little to change that. It was a case of advantage switching from one to the other. Merseyside secured the first win when Julie Whelan beat Sara Jukes 3-1. West Midlands then registered two in a row thanks to Kath Jenkins (18.26 lady of the match) 3- 1win over Michelle Jacob and Angie Perry’s 3-2 success against Mary McGovern. From 2-1 down Merseyside then emulated West Midlands with their two in a row from Sue Alexander and Karen Marsden at the expense of Claire Downing and Janet Hubbard. West Midlands saviour came in the form of Claire Hobbs. Playing against Pat Moody in the final game, with the team trailing 3-2, everything depended on Claire’s result. The Merseyside player drew first blood despite Claire having had chances to win the leg. Undeterred Claire fought back to win the second leg and then with complete composure won the following two to win 3-1 and grab a share of the spoils for the hosts.

Three matches played, three draws and the overall verdict totally dependant on the final men’s ‘A’ match. First on the scoreboard was Merseyside, a 3-0 win for Mick Brooks over Gary Taylor. However, the result was repeated in favour of West Midlands when Paddy Johnson beat Ian Gleeson 3-0 and those two games set the pattern for the remainder of the first half with the wins going in favour of the throw advantage on each occasion. Hugh Morrison lost the first two legs to Ian Jones and quite surprisingly Jones on this occasion was unable to capitalise on his advantage and lost 3-2. A man of the match performance from Darren Williams moved the scoreline along to 2-2 when he beat Alan Kilroe in three straight legs and chalk up a tremendous 32.67 average. Williams had winning legs of 13, 17 and 16 darts leaving Kilroe incapable of reaching a finishing double in any leg. Next it was the turn of Merseyside’s John Cunningham. He lost the opener to Dave Evans, who checked out on 94 in 18 darts. Then Evans could easily have gone two up but for doubles. He failed and Cunningham stepped in with double four to win the leg. Cunningham then found his rhythm and clinched a 3-1 win with further legs of 17 and 19 darts. Nevertheless for the third time in the half and going into the break the running score was

levelled. This time it was down to Richie Foster. Foster in 22, 23 and 21 darts took out Peter Dalling, who was left without a throw at a finishing double in all three legs.

As the second half got underway West Midlands took the lead for the first time in the match. A timely 3-2 victory over Phil Brooks, who had taken the first leg with a 130 outshot. At this point, 4-3 up, the West Midlands luck changed dramatically. Eddie Price and Adrian Arnold both lost 3-1 to respective opponents Andrew Howarth and Paul Cairnson and giving the Merseysiders an unassailable 6-4 lead was Robert Alexander who won 3-0 against Peter Wyse.

Ian Hartland had a topsy turvy game against Steve McNally as he won the first leg, lost the next two, won the penultimate leg, but then lost the fifth and final one giving the away side their all important seventh leg and not only the men’s ‘A’ win but also the overall weekend win.

The last game went Mick James (West Midlands). James started with a twelve darts leg including a 113 checkout. He lost the second to Gary Carvell, then he bounced back to win the third in eighteen darts and another three figure finish, this time 126. The fourth leg could have gone either way, however, with a 20 game shot James sealed a 3-1 win and put the result at 7-5 to Merseyside.

An unfortunate start to their second consecutive campaign in the third division for the Midlands outfit, but all is not lost, this is only the first of nine fixtures and the belief is still there that division two beckons next season.

An unusual event occurred in the South West Birmingham Clubs League recently when in division three Tascos Flights entertained Bournbrook Flights. The match was delicately poised at three each with the decider to be fought out between Margaret Ball (Tascos Flights) and Carol Twigg. First there was one problem to overcome, Carol did not have any darts. So she borrowed a set from her friend Sheila Crowe. Despite the obvious disadvantage Carol then went on to win her game 2-0 and the match for her team mates 4-3. Well done Carol.

In the league’s Mixed Doubles Knockout staged at Stirchley United WMC, the crown went to Sue Hodder and Kevin Beard, who defeated Kerry McCurry in the final.

Losing semi finalists were Cynthia Goddard and Mick Rose plus Sue and Mat Reynolds.

That was the good news for Carol. The bad news was, on the night of the divisional cup finals she was officiating at one final while her husband, Colin was at another. Part way through the final Colin received a call from his daughter Claire saying that a van had pulled up outside their home and the occupants had stolen the roof off her MGF sports car and driven off. Throughout my many years of darts I have regularly seen double top stop a game but never before have I seen or heard of a car roof top stopping a game.

Back to the darts. The division one final was between Yardley Wood and Greenlands, which went to the very last leg of the last game. Clinching a 4-3 victory for Greenlands was Kevin Cahill with his 2-1 success over R. Wood.

The second division title went to Stirchley Wanderers, who had a comfortable 6-1 success against Tascos Social and division three provided no major shocks as Solihull Municiple beat Shenley Lane 5-2.

On the league front the division three title was not decided until the final match of the season. Bournbrook Arrows were top with 21 points, with Solihull Municiple second just one point behind and the two teams had to play each other. Roy Orton put the leaders 1-0 up, only to see Municiple win the next three games to go within an ace of not only a 4-3 win but also the divisional title. Roy Orton reduced the arrears to 3-2 and with a further win from Steve Carr it was all down to the last encounter between Vernon Witherford (Bournbrook) and John Walsh. Witherford got the 2-1 verdict to the rapturous applause of his team mates.

Gordon Clinton has revamped the Brookmeadow Individual League and turned it into possibly a unique setup now known as the Brookmeadow Individual Knockout League. Each week the sixteen players take part in a knockout, the winning eight players then play in a further ’A’ knockout and the losers in a ’B’ knockout. Points are then awarded for finishing positions in the two knockouts, with the highest points going to the ’A’ players, e.g ‘A’ winner 10 points (‘B’ 6), ‘A’ runner up 8 points (‘B’ 4), ‘A’ semi finalists 6 points (‘B’ 2) and ‘A’ quarter finalists 4 points (‘B’ 1).

A fascinating idea, well done Gordon and the best of luck with your new venture.

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Alan Towe - A Look Back In Time - 1st October 2004

Gordon Clinton has revamped the Brookmeadow Individual League and turned it into possibly a unique setup now known as the Brookmeadow Individual Knockout League. Each week the sixteen players take ...

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Well I think it’s fair to say that the West Midlands have not got their new season in division three of the Kaliber BDO Inter Counties Championships off to the best of starts. In their tough openin...

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