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Article: Alan Towe's The Line Archive

Alan Towe's The Line Archive

On the agenda for the West Midlands Super League has been the singles and doubles knockouts for both men and women. In the men’s event early round casualties included David Platt, Steve James and Lol Frazer. The semi finals produced a strong line up with Ian Jones facing Tom Aldridge and Mark Wellings taking on Steve Parkes.

Both of the semi’s finished in 2-1 results leaving England international Tom Aldridge to face up to former Scottish international Steve Parkes.

Parkes won the first throw advantage, but it was the higher scoring of Aldridge that gave him the slight lead. After fifteen darts Aldridge was down to 81 while Parkes was back on 153. However, it was Steve’s turn to throw and three darts were all he required to produce a fabulous 153 game shot and go one leg up in eighteen darts. Aldridge now needed to win the second leg to stay in the competition. He kicked off with 140, Parkes replied with a similar score. Aldridge then had throws of 70-60 and 60 to leave 171, his counterpart hit 58-78 and a very important 130 to bring him down to a 95 finish. A further three throws saw Aldridge on double four, but by this time Steve Parkes had already had chances to win the title. Two more darts at double two were enough for Steve to clinch a twenty darts leg a 2-0 result plus the West Midlands Super League Men’s Individual title.

Rose Mycock and Gill Cook made up the women’s final, both players reaching the last two without conceding a single leg. So obviously something had to give in the final. Rose was first to the oche and began with 45-92 and 83. Gill also had a good start as she chalked up scores of 95-45 and 60. Rose then opened up a lead and indeed was down to double eight with Gill still requiring 104. Two more darts, making 23 in all and Rose was 1-0 up. Gill now stepped up a gear rattling off scores of 100-40-95-100-41 and 95 to leave double fifteen after only eighteen darts, Rose way behind still requiring 209.

Four more visits to the board and Gill was now down to double one, doubles proving to be a major stumbling block for her. By this time Rose had worked her way down to double twenty. Drawing on all of her experience she calmly stepped up and checked out to secure a 2-0 victory and the ladies crown.

The first round proper of the men’s doubles saw a shock straight two legs defeat for Ian Jones and Dave Pritchard at the hands of the father and son pairing Fred and Jamie Parsons. The Parsons then repeated the result over another fancied duo Kevin and David Platt to book a place in the final. From the other half of the draw emerged one of the firm title favourites Tom Aldridge and Lol Frazer.

Jamie Parsons began the final with 100 and followed up with another ton plus 44. This added to Fred’s 81-60 and 68 left Jamie with a throw for 48 after eighteen darts. Their opponents meanwhile had chalked up cores of 447 to leave 54. They were denied a throw as Parsons junior won the leg in two darts. Both pairs had a slow start to the second leg until the father and son duo hit 140-97 and 100, bringing them down to 68 and leaving their opponents on 140. Two more throws each and Aldridge was now throwing for 41. He hit single one missed double twenty and left double ten. Fred Parsons was now going for double eight and all he needed was one single dart. Double eight first dart for a tremendous and possibly to some a surprising 2-0 win.

In the ladies doubles the two singles finalists Rose Mycock and Gill Cook teamed up and it proved to be a formidable pairing. Val Arnold and Jean Tibbetts provided the opposition in the final and it was they who threw first to get the game underway. However, after seven throws, including a 108 with the seventh throw they still required 92. In contrast Gill and Rose had really got their act together. They had scores of 85-100-60-61-100 and 87 to reach double four after only eighteen darts. Two more darts and they had opened up a one leg lead. The second leg was very much a similar pattern. Val and Jean struggled to produce their normal form while Gill and Rose opened up a lead, in fact quite a substantial lead as they won the leg, game and match with a 33 outshot with their rivals way, way back on 263.

The Belvedere Club, Burton on Trent was the setting for the annual Midland Counties Invitation Knockouts for men and women. West Midlands Dave Platt and Nottinghamshire’s Dave King contested the final of the men’s competition. Winning the throw advantage King set off at a cracking pace hitting 99-140 and 132 to leave a 130 finish after only nine darts. Platt meanwhile was not dragging his feet as he scored 43-140 and 140, which he followed with 100 to set up a 78 finish on his next visit to the oche. However, it was not to be as King, who had hit a further 58 now required 72, which with his next three darts he promptly out to bed and went 1-0 up in fifteen darts.

The second began more slowly both players going to their fourth throws before hitting a three figure score. Platt hit a 140 and King 100, but it was the latter that had the better follow up scores and despite Platt having a throw at a double first he failed and King went two up with a 22 checkout.

The pressure was now on the West Midlands player and although he hit 2x100 plus 81 he was only able to reach 76 as King wrapped up the leg, match and title with double eighteen in a three straight legs victory. As winner King received £500, Platt had £240. There was £50 for each of the losing semi finalists C.Murphy (Leicestershire) and N.Fletcher (Staffordshire). The quarter finalist Alan Bridge, Frazer Hill and Martin Brown (Staffordshire) plus Ian Jones (West Midlands) all collected £25.

The ladies event saw Oxfordshire’s Clare Bywaters take on Sarah Hall from Staffordshire in the final. Sarah got off to a good start when she hit 100-60-45-60-100 and 100 to set up a double eighteen finish. She took a further five darts to actually finish the leg but time was on her side as her opponent was still left on 66 when she checked out.

Clare’s response was immediate, she began with 60 and then had three superb scores of 135-140 and 100 leaving just 66 with Sarah still wanting 230. A score of 44 then a 22 finish and Clare Bywaters was back on level terms. Sarah with the advantage plus scores of 140 should have seen her home and dry for the leg but finishing, as always played its part. She failed and let her counterpart in to try for double eighteen. Her first dart was planted firmly in the double and from 1-0 down Clare Bywaters was now 2-1 ahead and needing just one more leg for the match. She did not have to wait long. In the fourth leg she had top shots of 100-140-80 plus 2x60. She required 16 after eighteen darts. Sarah after the same amount of darts had also played well and was down to 80. Clare missed her doubles, Sarah also missed out on her 80 checkout and left 42. Clare now knew she had to finish and that was exactly what she did to win 3-1 and take the winners cheque of £200.

Sarah collected £100. The losing semi finalist Jane Stubbs (Cheshire) and Trish Roberts (Leicestershire) had £45 and there was £15 for each of the quarter finalist Gill Cook (West Midlands), Helen Tipple (Nottinghamshire), Lynn Reynolds (Staffordshire) and Jill Jodrell (Cheshire).

The former Mercury Ladies Charity team, now known as the Ace of Clubs Charity team are to get back into action on September 23rd. The team are looking for challengers with the proceeds raised going to the hosts choice charity. Anyone interested in booking a date to take on the team should contact Joyce Webster on 0121-604-5081.

Joyce is also in the process of trying to start a new singles league at the Irish Centre, Digbeth, Birmingham. Matches will be played at the club on Sunday evenings and it is hoped it will get underway sometime in September. Anyone interested should again get in touch with Joyce on the above number.

The Sheldon Charity team have added a further £283 to their tally with two more exhibition games. Firstly they took on the Mill House at Yardley where they raised £143. The game was keenly contested with the hosts getting the 9-6 verdict.

Following the Yardley match the next opponents came in the form of the Unicorn team at Chesterfield, a certain John Lowe’s pub. The £140 from this match together with the previous £143 will all go to the leagues two hospital charities.

On the league front the Sheldon Winter League have been playing a couple of their outstanding cups. John Pears was in top form as he won the Presidents ‘Round Robin’ competition with three straight wins against A.Price, P.Goldie and T.Cooke. He then went on to clinch the Jubilee Cup title with a final 2-0 success against fellow committee man Bob Mason.

The league’s Punch Bowl title went to Saltley Amateur Gardeners to add to their already won premier league title.

Round one of the Sheldon and District Summer League’s Mrs F.Richman Trophy saw no fewer than seven players hit a maximum, M.Hicks, R.John, F.Goldbey, B.Salter, W.Mathews, T.Randell and M.Elkin.

The Harborne and District Winter League are rounding off their finals. The individual crown went to Tom McGlone who was in superb form throughout the event, none better than in the final where he beat Mark Hollyoake 2-1. Tom won the first leg in seven darts hitting a 180 in the process. Hollyoake drew level with a 160 break in eight darts and McGlone took the decider in nine darts.

The doubles title went to T.Walton and T.Cahill again with a 2-1 result against J.Cannon and A.Stevens. Bartley Green Social Club won the Skipp Cup. Something of a shock result, beating the Midland Red 9-6. Greenlands grabbed the honours in the Skipp Consolatio Cup, a 12-3 win over Stonehouse Flights.

Midland Red proved to be successful in the Wadsworth Cup, an 8-1 decision against Hillyfields ‘B’, while Ladywood Social chalked up a 9-0 whitewash over Harborne Stores in the final of the Wadsworth Consolation Cup.

Finally congratulations to Alan Mayell who in the Bass Breweries sponsored Minworth Social Individual League recorded a maximum finish of 170. Playing against Tim Ryland, Alan not only had a perfect finish but also a perfect score hitting a 180 in his 3-0 win. Poor Tim must have wondered what had hit him.

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