Alan Towe - A Look Back In Time - 1st November 2006
It may have been close, but nevertheless it was a win. That was how the West Midlands began their 2006 / 2207 campaign in division three of the Kaliber BDO Inter Counties Championships and their home tie against Suffolk.
Playing at the Gilberts Bar, Willenhall, the ladies ‘B’ got the proceedings underway. Barbara Chenery (16.13) gave the visitors first blood as she, with a lady of the match performance against Claire Ford won 3-1. Chris Banks (18.56) levelled the scoreline with a straight 3-0 win over Kirsty Gooderham, which earned her the home teams top lady award. Suffolk forged ahead again when Sylvia Rogers beat Alison Bowen 3-0. In game four Natalie Harrison fought back from 2-0 down against Nicky Doidge to two each, but it was Doidge who won the match 3-2 to put Suffolk 3-1 up.
In the penultimate encounter Isobel Hurrell took the first leg off Diane Tolley (West Midlands), but Diane stuck to the task and replied by winning the following three legs to win 3-1 and reduce the arrears to 3-2, leaving the result hinging on the very last game. Julie Aston was West Midlands final contestant and she faced up to Nel Notley. Both ladies felt the pressure, however, it was Julie Aston who lasted the pace and came up trumps with a clear 3-0 verdict to earn the hosts a share of the spoils with a final 3-3 scoreline.
The men’s ‘B’ got off to a fine start when veteran Jack Routledge got the ball rolling with a 3-0 success against Kelvin Self. Mick Noakes doubled the lead when he beat Carl Brennan 3-1, before Suffolk claimed their first win, which came in the shape of Simon Cassidy, who was pushed all the way for his 3-2 win by Colin Wood.
Ian Hartland (27.33) resumed normal service for the Midlanders with a 3-0 man of the match win over Richie George. Ian ensuring his victory with a fifteen darts third leg in which he hit three tons and checked out with a fabulous 141 game shot. Liam Kelly made it 4-1 with a close 3-2 verdict against Keith Wright and going into the break Wayne Hammond pulled another one back for the away side when he won 3-1 against David Arnold.
The second half saw West Midlands extend their lead to 5-2 when Chris Plumpton added his 3-1 win over Peter Hurren to the tally. Suffolk then strung together two wins in a row, their best spell of the game. Wins were supplied by David Ballard Flatt and Nick Wright, at the expense of Adrian Arnold and Gareth Johnston. Viv Gould’s ensured at least a share of the points when he defeated Stephen Warren 3-0 and with a further 3-1 success from Mark Lloyd over Dennis Poxon the West Midlands had an unbeatable 7-4 advantage over their rivals.
Chris Jones won the first leg of the final game, but it was Andrew Barker (Suffolk) who took the next three to win 3-1 and put the result at 7-5 to the hosts.
It was not a happy start to the season for the ladies ‘A’ team. The first five games all went in favour of the first throw advantage. Louise Groves (Suffolk) won the opener 3-0 against Ann Jones, Leanne Jennings (16.19, West Midlands lady of the match) won the second 3-2 against Nicky Bradley. Roz Scriven put the Suffolk side 2-1 up with another 3-0 win, this time Claire Hobbs was on the receiving end. It was Sara Jukes who squared the match for a second time in the fourth game, a 3-0 win over Harriet Wolton.
For the third time the away team took the lead, this time thanks to Sue Talbot, who accounted for Kath Jenkins in a very close 3-2 game. The last game was the only one to go against the throw advantage, Suffolk’s Jean Prewitt beating Kim Fellows 3-2 after Fellows had opened up a 2-1 lead. The match result 4-2 to the visitors.
A win was now required from the men’s ‘A’ side in order to secure an overall victory. They could not have asked for a better start as Dave Robbins, with a match award winning 30.67 average, beat Dean Barker 3-0. Next player to the oche was “Mr Reliable” Ian Jones. Ian, like his team mate Dave Robbins, put on a superb show, his 30.06 average just short of that of Robbins, but nevertheless good enough to earn him a similar 3-0 win over his
counterpart Les Hammond. Richie Foster, with yet another impressive average of 28.31, beat Andy Meikle 3-1 to push the score along to 3-0 and with a 3-0 win over Daren Wood by Gary Taylor and a 3-2 victory from Avatr Singh over Andrew Noy, West Midlands had opened a commanding 5-0 lead. As the game went into the break Nicky Bloom, with a 3-1 win over Andy Forrester, pulled one back for the visitors to give a 5-1 running total.
Eddie Price chalked up the first important milestone, when he won 3-2 against James Dowitt to increase the lead to 6-1 and guarantee half of the points for not only the men’s ‘A’ but more importantly the overall match. As in the ‘B’ team encounter, games eight and nine went to Suffolk, on this occasion John Rose and Carl Wilkins, who in turn defeated Mick Noakes and Robert Carr.
Despite the minor setback Stuart Kendrick restored order and at the same time the winning game as he handed out a 3-2 defeat to Andrew Barker putting the home team in an unassailable 7-3 lead. It was fortunate that Stuart gained his victory as the last two games both went in favour of Suffolk, Jason Evans and Dave Blackburn both winning 3-1 against respective opponents Mark Rollinson and Peter Wyse.
The final score 7-5 to West Midlands, the weekend’s result 19-17 again to the Midlands side.
Smethwick Labour Club are the new division one champions in the Harborne and District 401 Summer League. A 9-0 whitewash over Bartley Green F.C. including a 180 from M.Tibbetts gave Smethwick the title, but it was so close as Midland Red beat Old Mill 8-1 and just lost out on the championship with a slightly inferior average. T.McGlone hit a maximum for the Reds. The George were also 8-1 winners in their home tie with Quinton Members Club Flights, they also finished the campaign level on points with the champions, their average giving them the third spot. Top players for the George, W.Kernohan, who had a 156 break and D.Simpson with a 180.
Harborne Stores won the second division title with the Raven finishing in the runners up spot after a final 5-4 win against the Pheasant. J.Good recorded a 164 game shot for the Raven, while C.Field hit a maximum for the Pheasant.
The League Cup final saw a fantastic comeback by division one champions Smethwick Labour Club. Trailing 4-0 to league runners up Midland Red they fought back to grab a tremendous 5-4 victory.
In the final of the Consolation Cup, Quinton Members Club had a somewhat comfortable 7-2 success against the Raven.
The singles title went to Midland Red’s Dave Bourne, who in the final defeated the George representative, Eric Greasley 2-0.
Average was the only difference between the two top teams in division one of the Pip Club League as Dolphin and Red Lion ‘A’ both amassed 22 points from 14 games with Dolphin’s legs for being 75 and Red Lion’s 71. Two Gates finished bottom of the pile going through the season without a win to their name.
Tamworth Sports Bar have won the second division title. Hopwas Club have finished as runners up.
Bottom of the table Boot Inn finished on a high as they defeated Red Lion (Polesworth) 5-3, this being only their second success of the season.
Acocks Green British Legion was the setting for the G.U.L.P. Charity League doubles finals, which saw three of the four quarter final games finish with straight 2-0 wins for Colin Wyatt / Matt Cooper, Terry Webster / Tom Webster and Paul Hartland / Jean Forde, who in turn defeated Martin Cooper / Ross Macken, Joe Hall / John Miley and R.Hogan / J.Crawley. Tony Comerford and Mark Birch beat C.Walsh and S.O’Brian 2-1.
Both of the semi’s finished 2-0, the two Webster’s beating Wyatt and Cooper, Comerford and Birch reaching the final by taking out Hartland and Ford. Comerford and Birch went on to win the title 2-0 and become the third different Tigers pairing to win the event in three seasons.