Alan Towe's The Line - A Look Back to 1st April 2016
What a great season West Midlands are having in division two of the BDO Inter County Championships having won seven and lost just one of their eight games and making that eight wins in their latest fixture away to Cumbria, they are now in a top two place with only one game to play and are looking good for promotion to division one.
The weekend’s game at Cumbria got off to a slow start as the ladies ‘B’ lost the opening two games 3-1 when Lydia Kerr and Lesley Pattinson in turn defeated Claire Hobbs and Shellbie Simmons, but then the Midlands side got their act together as Jacqueline Maiden came from one down against Ann Scholey to win 3-1, Heather Wright beat Hilary Kirkbridge 3-1 and Kirsty Shaughnessy won 3-0 against Christine Stockdale.
The final ladies game was a five legs thriller with advantage going one way then the other as Roxanne Litherland (Cumbria) won the first leg then Samantha Maiden took the next two. Litherland came fighting back to win the fourth but lost out as Samantha Maiden sealed a personal 3-2 win and a team win of 4-2 in the final leg at the same time with a 19.08 average earning herself the team’s match award.
Paul Wells lost West Midlands opening game 3-1 to Scott Tippett and although they levelled when Neil Pointon beat Ron McCoubrey 3-0 Cumbria were back in front in the third when their Darren Armstrong beat Daniel Nicholls 3-2. Neil Linford with a 3-0 win over Paul Price gave the home side a 3-1 lead but with a 3-2 win from Mark Rollinson over Lee Tyrer and a 3-1 success by Ashe Khayat against Derek Forster West Midlands were back in the game at 3-3.
The home side forged ahead again in the seventh game when Brian Fawcett after losing his 2-0 lead when John Mycock battled back to level the game but then won the decider for a close 3-2 victory and with John Murray beating Gareth Watts 3-1 Cumbria were 5-3 up.
Robert Smith (West Midlands) was on at number nine against his namesake Wayne Smith, Robert went 2-0 up in 18 and 17 darts, Wayne’s response was a 19 darts leg in the third, but a 15 darts fourth leg with a 106 checkout gave the West Midlands man not only the 3-1 verdict but also his second consecutive man of the match award for his 28.08 average.
Taking the score along to 5-5 was Richard Platt who levelled the game for the Midlands team with a straight 3-0 win over Gerald Stockdale, Platt winning the first leg with a 107 outshot.
Kenneth Park got the better of a 3-1 scoreline against Danny Coyle to put Cumbria within one game of winning the match but a share of the points was salvaged by West Midlands man Mark Allen-Watkiss as he beat Colin Hargrave 3-2, Mark winning the first two legs, Colin the next two and Allen-Watkiss getting the result after Hargrave missed his doubles. The final score 6-6 to make it four wins and four draws for the season so far.
The ladies ‘A’ like the men’s ‘B’ were unbeaten with three wins and four draws and they got off to a brilliant start when they stormed into a 3-0 lead Lisa Astbury opening with a 3-1 win over Stacey Thame after Thame had won the first leg. Sophie Singh made it 2-0 with her straight 3-0 win over Val Hargrave and adding the third win was West Midlands in form player Sarah Roberts who took her lady of the match awards for the season to six, making it three consecutive wins with her 20.16 average and 3-1 win over Mary Paine.
Michelle McGimpsey was Cumbria’s first winner but she was pushed all the way for her 3-2 win by Kath Jenkins and then with a further 3-0 win from Janice Wilson (Cumbria) over Gemma Barrett the home team were back in the game at 3-2.
Debbie Loon (West Midlands) with scores of 100 and 140 won the first leg against Sas Bode and then went 2-0 up before Bode won the third with a 158 checkout. However it proved to be just a minor delay in a 3-1 win for Loon to give West Midlands a 4-2 win.
All that was required from the men’s ‘A’ team was five winners for an overall victory for the weekend but despite Cumbria’s lowly position in the promotion table they were not going to give up those wins easily and their first two players emphasised that point when opener Andrew Foster after going behind 1-0 and 3-2 to Gareth Watts continued to battle on for a 4-3 win and Steven Jackson who lost the first leg to John Morris added his 4-1 win.
Cumbria’s third man on Sean Miles looked all set to increase their lead when he won the opening two legs against Keith Allman but Allman stepped up a gear and went on to win 4-2. Again in the fourth game it was the home player that got the better start as Terence Houghton took 1-0 and 2-1 leads against Matthew Dicken before Dicken won the last three legs for a 4-2 win.
West Midlands took the lead for the first time in the fifth when Sam Guest beat David Turnbull 4-2, Guest going 1-0 up then 2-1 down before winning the game. It was all square at the sixth when David Carr won 4-3 against Nick Fullwell, Fullwell forcing a decider when he checked out on 143 in the penultimate leg.
The second half began with a man of the match performance from West Midlands Mark Craddock his second of the campaign in which he took a 1-0 lead against Michael Sowerby, went 2-1 down and then won 4-2 with a 29.56 average. Michael Baker opened up 1-0, 2-1 and 3-2 leads over Alan Armstrong but in the end it was Armstrong who won 4-3 to take the running score to 4-4.
Again in the ninth game it was the home player that took the early lead Trevor Watters going two up against Shaun Carroll but the new England International Carroll came back in style with legs of 19,13,19 and 18 darts for a 4-2 win.
Lewis Venes was another player who had to fight his way back into the game in his encounter with Ricky Winder as Winder won the first and then levelled in the sixth to force a seventh leg, a leg which was won by Venes to put his team 6-4 up.
Despite the lead and with two to play the West Midlands men’s ‘A’ team were unable to wrap up a victory as Andy Goodfellow beat Avtar Singh 4-2 and in the final game of the weekend there was a surprising 4-1 win for Richard Hall over Ian Jones who many, many times has won vital games for the West Midlands, but unfortunately on this occasion he was unable to and the final score was 6-6.
With both men’s teams finishing all square and the two ladies teams winning the overall result was a 20-16 win for the West Midlands which keeps them in second place in the table and takes them another step closer to promotion to division one as they are now eleven points clear of third placed Berkshire and only four points behind leaders London who they play next in what will be the final game of the season.
Full results:Cumbria v West Midlands (16-20):(Cumbria names first): Men’s ‘A’:- Andrew Foster 4 Gareth Watts 3, Steven Jackson 4 John Morris 1, Sean Miles 2 Keith Allman 4, Terence Houghton 2 Matthew Dicken 4, David Turnbull 2 Sam Guest 4, David Carr 4 Nick Fullwell 3, Michael Sowerby 2 Mark Craddock 4, Alan Armstrong 4 Michael Baker 3, Trevor Watters 2 Shaun Carroll 4, Ricky Winder 3 Lewis Venes 4, Andy Goodfellow 4 Avtar Singh 2, Richard Hall 4 Ian Jones 1, Men’s ‘B’:- Scott Tippett 3 Paul Wells 1, Rob McCoubrey 0 Neil Pointon 3, Darren Armstrong 3 Daniel Nicholls 2, Neil Linford 3 Paul Price 0, Lee Tyrer 2 Mark Rollinson 3, Derek Forster 1 Ashe Khayat 3, Brian Fawcett 3 John Mycock 2, John Murray 3 Gareth Watts 1, Wayne Smith 1 Robert Smith 3, Gerald Stockdale 0 Richard Platt 3, Kenneth Park 3 Danny Coyle 1, Colin Hargrave 2 Mark Allen-Watkiss 3, Women’s ‘A’:- Stacey Thame 1 Lisa Astbury 3, Val Hargrave 0 Sophie Singh 3, Mary Paine 1 Sarah Roberts 3, Michelle McGimpsey 3 Kath Jenkins 2, Janice Wilson 3 Gemma Barrett 0, Sas Bode 1 Debbie Loon 3, Women’s ‘B’:- Lydia Kerr 3 Claire Hobbs 1, Lesley Pattinson 3 Shellbie Simmons 1, Ann Scholey 1 Jacqueline Maiden 3, Hilary Kirkbride 1 Heather Wright 3, Christine Stockdale 0 Kirsty Shaughnessy 3, Roxanne Litherland 2 Samantha Maiden 3.
Riley’s Sports Bar, Solihull staged the latest of their ever increasingly popular Last Sunday in the Month Open’s and taking the top prize of £110 was Nick Fullwell who beat fellow West Midlands County player Ian Jones 6-4 in a thrilling final, Jones as runners up received £70.
In the last four games Fullwell won 5-2 against Graham Hall while Jones had a slightly closer 5-3 verdict against Neil Parsonage. The losing semi finalists each received £20.
The winner of the Plate Competition was Dean Saunders who had a straight 3-0 victory in the final against Neil Clarke, Saunders collected £40 and Clarke £20.
The South Birmingham and Forest of Arden Leagues staged a charity game at the Sheldon Marlborough Cricket Club, both leagues submitted a select side of fourteen players and although the result was a 10-4 win for the South Birmingham League the result was inconsequential as the biggest winner was the charity the event was in aid of which was the Harry Moseley “Help Harry Help Others” charity for which a fantastic amount of £550 was raised.
In addition to the main event there was also a doubles game which saw Noreen Harris and Jack Sidwell win 2-1 against Jake and Ben Liggins. The youth game between Joe Partridge and Alex Edwards was won 1-0 by Edwards.
Another night is planned whereby the two leagues will join forces and take on the Gulp Charity team at the Crown, Olton, again the proceeds will go to the Harry Moseley Charity.
With the domestic issues all settled the Forest of Arden Winter League have been playing off their various cup finals first the Divisional Cup in which the division one game saw leaders Olton Crown win 6-3 against next to bottom of the table Greville Arrows. The division two final brought together the top two teams the outcome a somewhat surprisingly one sided 9-0 result in favour of leaders Highwood KB with Sheldon Marlborough Flights runners up.
The men’s doubles knockout was won by Jason Jennings and Andy Howell who took the title with a final 2-1 win over John Sidwell and Bob Nixon.
Jennings and Howell had beaten Julian Harris and Dave Howlett 2-1 in the semis while Sidwell and Nixon won by the same scoreline against Dave Duncan and Jim Norris.
Noreen Harris and Courtney Burns won the final of the ladies doubles with a 2-1 result against Sue Kingdon and Charlie Kingdon. Both of the semi finals finished with a 2-0 scoreline as Harris and Burns beat Kath Depper and Laura Vann while the two Kingdon's defeated Diane Hudson and Machela Walker.
In the final of the Presidents Cup Journeys End from division one beat second division leaders Highwood KB 6-3 to take the title while in the final of the Consolation Cup there was another division one victory over division two opponents when Crown Arrows won 5-4 against Highwood Arms.
The Royal, Albrighton staged the third of their open knockouts which are gaining more and more support with every event. Taking the top prize of £110 was Wolverhampton league player John Evans who beat Montgomery and Radnor county player Mark Jones 6-4 in the final. Jones who won against Shropshire county player Matt Williams in the semi’s collected £50. Another Shropshire county man Clive Lucking lost to Evans in the semis.
There was a dramatic end to the Four Oaks and District League season as Boldmere St Mikes, unbeaten in the first fourteen matches lost 7-2 at home to third placed Golden Hind, their defeat seeing them surrender the first division title to The Beehive who beat Old Oscott WMC by the same 7-2 margin to become the new champions.
In the second division Bishop Vesey after going 4-3 up against The Lions lost the final two games and the match to extinguish any hopes they had of finishing top of the table.
Golden Hind Arrows playing against Erdington Arrows trailed 4-2 but went on to win the last three games to ensure they took the title with 28 points, four more than runners up Bishop Vesey..
The Shirley Red Lion Premier League have completed their fifth season and the new champion is Mick Gorst. There were mixed results for Gorst as he rounded off his fixture card he lost 3-1 to third placed Steve Sidwell then finished in style with a 3-0 success against fourth placed Paul Higgins.
Runner up Mick Bown won his last game of the season against Steve Heeks 3-1 to give him a total of 51 points four fewer than Gorst. Sidwell took the third place from Higgins by one single leg as both players ended the campaign with 50 points.
After all the domestic fixtures were completed the league staged their doubles knockout which saw Clive Thomas and Julian Harris take the title with a final win over Mick Bown and Mark Cater.
The Camp Hill League played off their singles competition and adding yet another title to his ever increasing total was Neil Parsonage from Cotterills Lane Club. Parsonage beat Hay Mills Lions representative Simon Edwards in the final, Lions being well represented as their Peter Yardley and Richard Hogan both progressed to the last four.