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Article: Alan Towe's The Line

Alan Towe's The Line

The newly formed United Kingdom Darts Association received something of a surprise recently with the shock resignation of their CEO Colin Savage. This is what Colin had to say on the matter

“Good evening all

I wish to inform you all that I have resigned as the CEO of the UKDA, and left the Board Of Directors with immediate effect.

Due to a change in personal circumstances and other commitments, I have unfortunately no longer the available time needed to fulfil the role to the best of my abilities.

It has been an honour to have been involved over the last 14 months, I have worked alongside some fantastic people, learned many things from them and i hope they have learned a few things from myself as well.

I honestly believe that the national league game will continue to thrive under the UKDA and that as time progresses; more and more opportunities for players will become available to the system.

I can assure you that the UKDA is in very good hands, a great team willing to put a lot of effort in on behalf of you all.

12 months ago, the players decided how the future of the amateur game in the UK would unfold. I’d urge all to follow that through, even though some may want differently. After such a long enforced break in the game, stability and unity is paramount to getting it all up and running again.

To every National league organisation and their members I sincerely wish you all the very best for the forthcoming season and look forward to seeing some of you at events in the future.

To Johnny and all the UKDA board of directors and management team, a huge thank you for everything you have done and will continue to do for our sport. As I said earlier, it was an honour to be a part of it and play a small role.

Yours in the sport of darts

Colin Savage

On a more reassuring note this was an Open Message from the UKDA Chairman – Mr Johnny Stefano saying

“It has been our privilege and honour once asked by you, the Player, to develop what we believe to be the most cost effective and rewarding system within which you, the player, can enjoy playing Super League and Inter-County team darts. We sincerely believe that once the new National League starts on 18th September that you will start to see how we have delivered on our promises to you.

At the very beginning we came to the table with what we believe to be a fantastic product geared towards the 95% of members that play Inter-County and Super League darts throughout England and Wales. From then we secured significant sponsorship, meaning increased prize monies in the National League (formally the BICC), soon to be announced prize money increases in our marquee events namely “The Super League Team Cup” (formally Champions Cup) and the “UKDA National Singles & Pairs Cups” (formally Gold Cup).

We don’t take our job lightly and let’s not make any bones about it, we the UKDA know we have to deliver for the benefit of all our teams and their playing members. Whilst this will be a challenge, we are already working on some new ways for every player, at whatever level they are within Super League, to have the opportunity to become involved with events and competitions outside of their teams without breaking the bank. We are also conscious that by playing within the old BICC system and the BDO you the player had a clear pathway to move from ‘pub to cap or ‘pub to pro’. We believe we have a duty to ensure every player has an opportunity to develop to achieve their own personal ambitions. Whatever system you feel that your opportunities lie within, it’s all about choices. The UKDA will not put any barriers in place to prevent anyone from following whatever path they want to follow.

Some of those pathways are led by other organisations. Our International pathways are governed by the England Darts Organisation (EDO), Welsh Darts Organisation (WDO) and in Scotland you have the Scottish Darts Association (SDA). It is our intention to support each of these organisations in any way we can to ensure that if you are good enough that your route to, what should be the proudest moment in a darts players career, representing your Country is clear and fair.

For those whose ambitions lie outside of the team game there are the opportunities to play on the darts circuits provided by the WDF, the PDC and now through MAD darts. We fully support any individual wishing to follow any or all these pathways and again we will work with each external organisation in any way we can to ensure that there are no barriers within the UKDA to stop this from happening.

The UKDA are not out to compete with any other organisation, we are here to administer two specific areas of darts that many felt had been long neglected by the previous administrations, namely Inter-County and Super League darts. The opportunity to do this was the initial reason for the UKDA to throw its hat into the ring after the BDO’s unfortunate demise.

Together we represent a body of approximately 10,000 players of all levels across England and Wales, and with you we are now just waiting in anticipation for when we can all get out there playing again in a normal way.

As mentioned above we have been very conscious to offer real benefits to all players in our system and the following is a brief overview of what has been secured for you so far:

Sponsorship including Members Discounts from Darts Corner the UKDA National League title sponsor, Sponsorship from Elite Sports Management for the Premier Division & Ladies Team Event, Sponsorship from AON Contracts Ltd for the Championship Division. Sponsorship from L-style for Division One, A hotel booking scheme which has already seen one team save approx. £1,700 and another £2,700 compared to previous years, Discounts from L-style products, Discounted Gym Membership, Free Entry to the UKDA National Singles, Free Entry to the UKDA National Pairs, Free Entry to the UKDA Super League Team Cup (Winners), Magic Weekend, Shopping rewards – Through Bullseye Rewards, Food and drink discounts – Through Dine plus Much more to come”.

Yours in the sport of darts

Johnny Stefano

UKDA Chairman

Also on a bright note was the statements that the UKDA were delighted to announce another great commercial partnership that will benefit members and the organisation as a whole as they had linked up with Bullseye Exclusive Rewards, a reward scheme where you can save money with discounts and cash-back from thousands of retailers.

Click on the link to sign up and start saving today

In addition there was the announcement of the UKDA’s delight in announcing a brand-new partnership with discount specialists, Dine Club.

With all the up to date news out of the way the latest actual darts match, a friendly between the Irish National Darts Organisation and the United Kingdom Darts Association has taken place

Kicking off the proceedings for the UKDA were three youth players, Tavis Dudeney, Cole Davey and Nathan Care who in turn all lost to Jamie Delaney, Sean McKeon and Adam Dee to put the Irish 3-0 up.

Ian McFarlane was the first adult player for the UKDA, narrowly losing to Dmitriy Zhokov to extend Ireland’s lead to 4-0.

The UKDA’s first winner came in the shape of Lauren Stokoe who produced a great display to beat Lorraine Conlon.

Nottinghamshire’s Paul Harvey recorded a superb 90 plus average which included a tremendous 161 checkout but it was not enough to avoid a 4-2 defeat to Dylan Slevin.

Reducing the arrears to 5-2 was Richie Howson with a 93 plus average as he handed out a straight 4-0 defeat to Paul Radford. With further wins from Jo Clements and Daz Layden against respective opponents Katie O’Dea and Greg Byrne the score at the break was 5-4, still in favour of the Irish squad.

The second half got underway with John Williams Jones stepping up to the oche to take on Martin Heneghan. Williams Jones was in amazing form not only beating Heneghan 4-0 but recording an outstanding average of 111.89 to bring the score to 5-5 after UKDA had trailed 5-1.

Game number eleven saw the Irish take the lead once again as their Robyn Byrne accounted for Somerset’s Sally Smith, Byrne clinching the win with a superb 160 finish.

Surrey’s Aaron Turner was the next UKDA representative, taking on Irish captain Niall Culleton. With some ruthless finishing it was a win for Turner to level the score once again, now standing at 6-6.

It was certainly not unlucky thirteen as for in the thirteenth encounter the UKDA took the lead for the very first time in the game as Louise Pearson (Hertfordshire) chalked up a sixteen darts leg in her 3-1 victory over Ailish Finnan and with further wins from Antony Allen and Andy Alker over respective opponents Keith Geraghty and Conor Heneghan the UKDA were within an ace of winning the tie. And the player sealing that victory was Laura Turner, a 3-0 success over Tania McAreavey taking the score to 10-6.

The Irish side pulled one back in the penultimate game when David Concannon beat Rob Rickwood but the final score was 11-7 to the United Kingdom Darts Association as their captain James Hurrell defeated Ronan Donnelly in the last game of the day.

Although the pandemic has had a gigantic effect on darts and very few, if any league games have been played for around eighteen months, a number of knockouts are now beginning to spring up and as ever the Ripley Elite Darts Singles League are always doing whatever they can to promote darts, their latest venture being their Wednesday Night Post Lockdown Knockout.

A total of thirty-one players turned out for the event in what was a high quality standard of darts throughout with Keith Lodge beating former PDC tour card holder Aden Kirk 5-3 in an excellent final.

England youth international Henry Coates and REDSL founder Daz Brown were the beaten semi-finalists, Coates losing 4-2 to Lodge and Brown going out 4-1 to Kirk. .

As the winner Lodge collected £100, with £50 going to runner-up Kirk while Coates and Brown each picked up £25. The highest checkout on the night was 158 for which the recipient, Colin Rich received £5.

Daz Brown gave thanks to Nick Kirk who helped with the draw and kept the games running smoothly.

Full Results:Last 32:- Henry Coates 4 Lee Stanley 3, Dale Gadsby 4 Christian Bradshaw 3, Tim Rippon 4 Rebecca Hoyland 0, Lee Cropper 4 D J Davy-Jay Knowles 1, Pete Burgoyne 4 Dude Fritchley 0, Keith Lodge 4 Tony Jacklin 1, Mick Chapman – bye, Ian Clarke 4 Tim Ray 0, James Mini Parkin 4 Damian Donoghue 0, Ant Parry 4 Ian Allcock 3, Daz Brown 4 Jim Beardmore 1, Gary Gray 4 Alan Clegg 3, Gary Burch 4 Nick Coates 2, Aden Kirk 4 Josh Wilmot 1, Bill Schooley 4 Colin Rich 3, Andrew Houghton 4 Darran Sinfield 0, Last 16:- Henry Coates 4 Dale Gadsby 3, Lee Cropper 4 Tim Rippon 1, Keith Lodge 4 Pete Burgoyne 3, Ian Clarke 4 Mick Chapman 2, Ant Parry 4 James Parkin 0, Daz Brown 4 Gary Gray 0, Aden Kirk 4 Gary Burch 0, Andy Houghton 4 Bill Schooley 1, Quarter Finals:- Henry Coates 4 Lee Cropper 0, Keith Lodge 4 Ian Clarke 2, Daz Brown 4 Ant Parry 0, Aden Kirk 4 Andy Houghton 3, Semi Finals:- Keith Lodge 4 Henry Coates 2, Aden Kirk 4 Daz Brown 1, Final:- Keith Lodge 5 Aden Kirk 3.

The second REDSL Post-Lockdown Open, with a few late withdrawals saw 29 players compete for the top prize of £100. Once again the standard of play was fantastic with two of the league’s most successful players, former PDC tour card holders Jamie Caven and Darron Brown reaching the final.

After receiving a bye in the first round Daz Brown then chalked up three 4-1 wins beating Mick Chapman, young up and coming star Henry Coates and Pete Burgoyne, while Jamie Caven also recorded three 4-1 wins over Dean Allsopp, Andy Houghton and Dave Fritchley before being taken to a deciding leg in the semi’s where he won 4-3 against Lee Stanley.

The final was extended to the best of nine legs in which the 5-3 scoreline went in favour of Jamie Caven earning him the winners £100. As runner-up Daz Brown collected £50 and there was £20 for losing semi-finalists Pete Burgoyne and Lee Stanley.

Organiser Daz Brown wanted to thank his right-hand man Ant Parry plus Brin and Tracey Johnson and Lee Fitchett for all helping to run the competition and keeping it running smoothly.

Full Results:Last 32:- James Thompson 4 Dale Gadsby 2, Pete Burgoyne 4 Gary Gray 0, Keith Lodge 4 Joanne Oldershaw 2, Damian Donoghue 4 Nick Coates 3, Darron Brown – bye, Mick Chapman 4 Jim Beardmore 3, Ian Clarke 4 Ian Allcock 0, Henry Coates 4 Josh Wilmot 0, David Fritchley 4 Davy-Jay Knowles 2, Andy Tootill – bye, Andrew Houghton 4 Gary Burch 0, Jamie Caven 4 Dean Allsopp 1, Lee Stanley 4 Tony Jacklin 1, Ant Parry 4 Alan Clegg 0, Paul Baker – bye, Lee Cropper 4 Carl Kirk 1, Last 16:- Pete Burgoyne 4 James Thompson 0, Keith Lodge 4 Damian Donoghue 0, Daz Brown 4 Mick Chapman 1, Henry Coates 4 Ian Clarke 0, Dave Fritchley 4 Andy Toothill 0, Jamie Caven 4 Andy Houghton 1, Lee Stanley 4 Ant Parry 0, Paul Baker 4 Lee Cropper 2, Quarter Finals:- Pete Burgoyne 4 Keith Lodge 1, Daz Brown 4 Henry Coates 1, Jamie Caven 4 Dave Fritchley 1, Lee Stanley 4 Paul Baker 2, Semi Finals:- Daz Brown 4 Pete Burgoyne 1, Jamie Caven 4 Lee Stanley 3, Final:- Jamie Caven 5 Daz Brown 3.

The Gilberts Bar, Willenhall, Wolverhapton also laid on a knockout, the first of their scheduled Saturday knockouts in which Richard Hosey, with a final 5-1 result beat Owen Maiden to take the top prize.

In the quarter-finals Maiden had a close 4-3 success over Mark Craddock while Hosey won 4-2 against Chris Hill. In the last four games both players had clear-cut 4-0 victories, Hosey against Rob Thompson and Maiden over Ant Powell.

Quarter-Finals:- Ben Johnson 0 Rob Thompson 4, Chris Hill 2 Richard Hosey 4, Owen Maiden 4 Mark Craddock 3, Ant Powell 4 Jon Blakemore 2, Semi-Finals:- Owen Maiden 4 Ant Powell 0, Richard Hosey 4 Rob Thompson 0, Final:- Richard Hosey 5 Owen Maiden 1.

The Bar63, Soccer Zone, Halesowen have begun a series of Sunday and Tuesday knockouts organised by Richard Dale.

The format of the event is a 13 week competition which is made up of 12 weekly events with a seeded grand-final at week 13. Players pay £5 entry per week in which there are cash prizes paid out to the winner, runner up and losing semi-finalists. There are also ranking points awarded each week which go towards the seeded finals.

To qualify for the grand-final players would be required to compete in at least 6 of the 12 weekly events and the prize pot, which includes £200 from the owners (Ian Clarke and family), will then be over £600 dependent on how many players play in the finals.

In week six of the knockouts the final saw Richard Hosey beat Connor Pickett 4-3 in a very close game with losing semi-finalists Reece Colley, who lost 4-2 to Hosey and Grant Jackson who went out 4-0 to Pickett.

Full Results: Tuesday ‘In The Zone’ Darts Knockout Week 6:-

Round One:- Tom Clarke 3 Danny Williams 0, Grant Jackson 3 Lance Hackett 0, Jack Pritchard 3 Chris Singleton 0, Stuart Charlesworth 3 Vicky Pickford 1, Dan Singleton 1 Warren Pritchard 3, Ricky Clarke 3 Mat Tedstone 1, Nathen Cleary 1 Jon Bird 3, Trevor Brennan 1 Connor Pickett 3, Richard Hosey 3 Gaz Smith 0, Richard Lenton 0 George Willett 3, Josh Wheeler 0 Nick Fulwell 3, Simon Mountford 3 Chris Williams 1, Gav Smith 3 Kev Bambrick 1, Shane Sheridan 2 Cayden Smith 3, Craig Airey 0 Howard Pritchard 3, Reece Colley 3 Sam Aitken 0, Round Two:- Tom Clarke 2 Grant Jackson 3, Jack Pritchard 1 Stuart Charlesworth 3, Warren Pritchard 1 Ricky Clarke 3, Jon Bird 2 Connor Pickett 3, Richard Hosey 3 George Willett 1, Nick Fulwell 3 Simon Mountford 1, Gav Smith 2 Cayden Smith 3, Howard Pritchard 1 Reece Colley 3, Quarter Finals:- Grant Jackson 3 Stuart Charlesworth 1, Ricky Clarke 1 Connor Pickett 3, Richard Hosey 3 Nick Fulwell 2, Cayden Smith 0 Reece Colley 3, Semi Finals:- Grant Jackson 0 Connor Pickett 4, Richard Hosey 4 Reece Colley 2, Final:- Connor Pickett 3 Richard Hosey 4.

Connor Pickett (Runner-Up), Richard Hosey (Winner) and Richards son

To follow up his success in week six Richard Hosey made it two-in-a-row when in week seven, with a straight 5-0 scoreline, he defeated Reece Colley.

The semi-finals saw Hosey beat James Hykin 4-1 while Colley had a notable and somewhat surprising 4-0 win over Nick Fulwell.

Despite the two consecutive wins Richard Hosey lies seventh in the league table on 74 points some 87 points short of leader Trevor Brennan who has a huge 32 points advantage over his nearest rival Nick Fulwell. Reece Colley is placed in the table, his straight legs win over Fulwell seeing him reduce the arrears on his opponent to just six points.

Full Results: Tuesday ‘In The Zone’ Darts Knockout Week 7:-

Round One:- Matt Tedstone 4 Jon Bird 0, James Hykin 4 Gaz Smith 0, Connor Pickett 4 Grant Jackson 1, Cayden Smith 4 Vicky Pickford 3, Simon Mountford 1 Shane Sheridan 4, Nick Fullwell 4 Danny Williams 0, Reece Colley 4 Tom Clarke 2, Round Two:- Gav Smith 3 Richard Hosey 4, Matt Tedstone 4 Geoge Willetts 3, James Hykin 4 Connor Pickett 1, Cayden Smith 4 Lance Hackett 1, Shane Sheridan 4 Chris Williams 1, Richard Lenton 1 Nick Fullwell 4, Reece Colley 4 Trevor Brennan 1, Ricky Clarke 4 Jayden Harper 0, Quarter Finals:- Richard Hosey 4 Matt Tedstone 0, James Hykin 4 Cayden Smith 1, Shane Sheridan 2 Nick Fullwell 4, Reece Colley 4 Ricky Clarke 1, Semi Finals:- Richard Hosey 4 James Hykin 1, Nick Fullwell 0 Reece Colley 4, Final:- Richard Hosey 5 Reece Colley 0.

Reece Colley (Runner-Up) and Richard Hosey (Winer)

On Fathers-Day it was week four of the Sunday ‘In The Zone’ Darts Knockout semi-finals once again produced big scores from all four players, Trevor Brennan securing his place in the final by defeating Connor Pickett 5-0 with Connor unusually unable to hit his doubles. The second of the semis saw Richard Hosey come out on top with a 5-2 win against James Hykin to reach yet another final.

The final was bound to be a tight affair and with both players scoring heavily it would come down to who could hit the doubles first and it was Trevor Brennan who came out on top to win 6-2 to take the top prize

Full Results: Sunday ‘In The Zone’ Darts Knockout Week 4:-

Round One:- Matt Smith 2 James Hykin 4, Lewis Bowen 4 Danny Rodney 1, Round Two:- Reece Colley 1 Richard Hosey 4, Richard Lenton 4 Mat Tedstone 3, Adam Smith 0 Vicky Pickford 4, James Hykin 4 Guy Hackett 0, Connor Pickett 4 Craig Airey 0, Lance Hackett 1 Jayden Harper 4, Trevor Brennan 4 Jordan Weston 0, Shane Sheridan 4 Lewis Bowen 0, Quarter Finals:- Richard Hosey 4 Richard Lenton 0, Vicky Pickford 0 James Hykin 4, Connor Pickett 4 Jayden Harper 0, Shane Sheridan 0 Trevor Brennan 4, Semi Finals:- Richard Hosey 5 James Hykin 3, Connor Pickett 0 Trevor Brennan 5, Final:- Richard Hosey 2 Trevor Brennan 6.

Trevor Brennan (Winner) and Richard Hosey (Runner-Up)

The Midlands has lost a true ambassador for the sport of darts with the passing of Ken Herbert on the 28th June after suffering an on-going respiratory disease, Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis for many years.

86 years old Ken, with the help of his wife Audrey managed the famous Sports Argus Charity Team for 47 years, a team for which I had the privilege of playing in for around ten years. The Argus team raised in excess of £300,000 for local charities, the Birmingham Children’s Hospital and Air Ambulance being two of the top recipients.

Ken was a former secretary of the Warwickshire County Darts Organisation and also life president of the Sheldon and District League.

Ken Herbert will be sorely missed by his wife Audrey, the Sports Argus Team and Midlands darts as a whole.

Rest in Peace Ken Herbert.

Ken Herbert with his wife Audrey

Warwickshire County have further been a county in mourning losing two of their stalwarts in Billy Kernohan and Keith Jennings.

Here are but a few of the comments for each of them,

Billy Kernohan

Neil Pritchard

The County were saddened today to hear of the passing of Billy Kernohan. Billy played a few times in the late 80’s but remained a supporter for many years being seen at many home games. Bill was an absolute gentleman and was a great lover of the game of darts.

We wish to pass on our sincere condolences to all Bill’s family. RIP Bill.

Colin Farrington

Sad to hear this news about bill, played darts for a few seasons together. Top bloke.Rip mate.

Dave Hill

Sad news! He was a top bloke.

Brian Johnson

Great man always got a smile on his face RIP BILLY

Billy Kernohan

Keith Jennings

Neitl Pritchard

Warwickshire were devastated today on the news that their former Official Keith Jennings had passed away. Known to many as Scooby he took over as Ladies Team Manager for a while where he was greatly admired. Also the husband of former player Mo Jennings had suffered with poor health for a number of years which saw him having to leave his County post.

We wish to state our thoughts and prayers are with Mo and all the family today.

RIP Scooby.

Janet Greenhill

Love and hugs to Mo and family at this sad time. R.I.P Scooby .xx

Stav Smith

RIP Scooby. Top top man. Thoughts and prayers to Mo and family you’ve left behind xx ????

Sean Casey-Poole

Great guy Scooby, love to Mo & family xx

Darren Swords

Very sorry to hear this news. Condolences to all his family. RIP buddy x

Kevin Downing

Oh gosh another good one passes away. Scooby was a great guy. Condolences to Mo and all of his family. RIP Scooby.

Keith Jennings

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