Alan Towe - A Look Back In Time - 1st November 2005
The new BDO Inter Counties Championship season has got underway once more, but for the West Midlands, in division three, although not a disastrous start, it was not the curtain raiser they would have wished for as they travelled south to take on Suffolk.
The ladies ‘B’ side got off to a fine start when Teresa Johnston came back from 1-0 down to Mel Notley to win 3-1 and with a straight 3-0 win by Ann Jones over Janice Bullman the new season was already showing lots of promise.
It was then the home side got their act together and it was Roz Scriven who gave them their first win. Playing against Julie Aston Roz won the opening two legs, Julie took the third, but it was the home player who won the fourth and in the process the game 3-1. Isobel Hurren had a similar 3-1 success against Sue Smith to level the scoreline before Pat Antill put the hosts in the lead for the first time in the penultimate game. Pat won the first two legs, only to see Jenni Asto-Hind take the next two to force a decider. The result was never in doubt as Jenni failed to find the big scores and Pat after two visits to the oche chasing a finishing double finally checked out on 8, with her opponent still requiring 96.
The outcome now rested firmly on the final encounter between Bev Craven (Suffolk) and Claire Ford. The Suffolk player won the first leg, West Midlands the following two. Bev Craven kept herself in the game with a win in the fourth, but had to concede defeat in the fifth when Claire Ford forged herself a useful lead to win the leg and the game with a 36 outshot, with Craven way back on 142. Not only did Claire win the game,but also the lady of the match award with her 14.78 average and also earned a 3-3 draw for her team mates.
The men’s ‘B’ had quite a shaky start going 3-0 down in double quick time. Micky Rush started the ball rolling for Suffolk, a 3-2 victory over Steve Penwright after Penwright had gone 2-1 up. Daren Wood added to the home teams tally with another 3-2 win, this time at the expense of Eddie Price and Stephen Warren completed the hat trick of wins when he beat Frank Johnson 3-1.
Seasoned campaigner Jack Routledge put the brakes on Suffolk as he accounted for Gary Flynn in a five legs affair. Flynn won the first, Routledge the second, third and fifth. Mervyn Field stood no messing he defeated Stephen Balls in a minimum three legs, Balls only reaching a finishing double in the last leg. Going into the break Mick Noakes restored an all square position. A 110 game shot gave him the lead over Andrew Barker and although Barker fought back to take a 2-1 lead Noakes won the last two legs to win 3-2 and finish the half at three each.
The second half began better than the first with Andy Forrester beating Stuart Greenhalgh 3-1 to put West Midlands into the lead for the first time in the matach and then Mark Rollinson taking out Peter Chivers with a 3- 2 scoreline to ease the running score to 5-3 in the Midlanders favour.
Peter Hurren reduced the arrears for Suffolk coming back from one down to Eddie Simpson to win 3-1. Hurren’s team mate, Richie George looked as if he would level the score when he went within an ace of victory against Dave Arnold, but Arnold stuck to his task and reversed a 2-0 scoreline to go on and win 3-2 and win the man of the match award with his 23.77 average. Despite a 6-4 advantage West Midlands were still far from home and dry as the penultimate game showed. Anthony Cause rattled off a neat 3-0 win against Martin McCauly to leave the final verdict resting on the last two players. Representing Suffolk was Carl Dockerill and for West Midlands Roy Rutter. Dockerill had the better start winning the first leg with a double top checkout in 22 darts. He then won the second in just 15 darts with a 76 game shot and all of a sudden the draw looked an odds on cert. Rutter clawd his way back into the game, a 32 game shot in the third followed by a 16 finish in the fourth to take the tie to a decider. Dockerill
had first throw and was also first to throw at a finishing double, but nevertheless it was his counterpart, Roy Rutter, who actually got the all important finishing double to win 3-2 and earn a well deserved 7-5 victory for the visitors.
With an overall 10-8 lead West Midlands needed to win half of Sunday’s men’s and women’s games for an outright weekend victory. Angie Perry gave them an encouraging start, a 3-1 win over Harriet Wolton. However, that was the good news the remainder of the women’s match was not so good.
Nicky Doidge (Suffolk) was made to fight all the way for her 3-2 win by Chris Banks as was Jean Prewitt in her tie with Kim Fellows, but nonetheless both won and the hosts had gone into a 2-1 lead. For the rest of the match it was all Suffolk. Sue Talbot, Nicky Bradley and Louise Groves in turn all registered 3-0 wins over Claire Hobbs, Janet Hubbard and Sara Jukes to give Suffolk a convincing 5-1 win.
The downfall of the ladies ‘A’ now meant that the men’s ‘A’ required at least an 8-4 win in order for them to achieve their goal, an overall weekend’s win. Gary Taylor gave the Midland side a 1-0 lead as he accounted for David Ballard-Platt with a last leg winner, but the advantage was short lived as Dennis Poxon beat Ian Hartland 3-2 and Wayne Hammond defeated Peter Wyse, again 3-2, to give Suffolk a 2-1 lead.
Richard Foster squared the match in the fourth game when he produced a man of the performance against Dave Blackburn, Richard winning 3-0 with two fifteen darts legs and an eighteen darts winner to give him a 31.31 average. The last two games of the half both went to the home team, Carl Wilkins and John Rose recording 3-0 wins over respective opponents Viv Gould and Mervyn Field to leave Suffolk well in command with a 4-2 lead.
The first four games of the second half were shared, the results all going with the first throw advantage. Ian Jones (West Midlands) had a 3-1 win over Thomas Howling, then Bobby George (Suffolk) beat Paddy Johnson 3-0. Darrel Thorpe added another wi for the West Midlands with his 3-0 victory against Ian Randles only to see Stephen Bentley (Suffolk) cancel out his win by beating Avtar Singh with a similar 3-0 win.
With two to play Suffolk required just one more winner as they held a 6-4 lead. Suart Kendrick was twice pegged back by Andrew Noy nut eventually won 3-2 to keep the visitors in the match and then a final 3-0 win by Mick James over Lee Hammond put the result at 6-6 and gave the hosts a very close 19-17 win.
Saltley Amateur Gardeners finished their season in group one of the Sheldon and District Summer League on a high as they beat Mackadown Social 5-3 to clinch the group title. Fordbridge Social took the runners up spot with a similar 5-3 win at RAFA, losing the title race by just one point.
Banbury Club are the group two winners on 15 points, two ahead of Stechford Social, while in group three Brook Meadow, who dropped just one point this season, finished on 19 points, a massive seven more than their nearest rivals, Lea Hall Sports and Social. Group four went to Bromford Bridge Members Club, Harvester were second one point adrift of the champions.
Group’s five and six were won respectively by Shard End Social and Old Bill and Bull.
There was heartbreak for Bournbrook Arrows in division two of the South West Birmingham Clubs Summer League. Playing at home against Tascos Brunswick they chalked up a 4-3 win, which their members thought was enough to maintain the second division status. However, Longbridge 26’ers, who lost 4-3 at Tascos Social finished on the same points as Arrows, but three legs of average to the good and just escaped the drop, but pushed Bournbrook Arrows into division three.