Alan Towe's The Line
Warwickshire County Darts Organisation went into their penultimate and final home fixture of the season in the Cosmo Darts Premier Division of the UKDA National League lying sixth in the table with 183 points, and playing at the Hen Lane Social Club, Beacon Road, Coventry, CV6 4DS their final home opponents were neighbouring Staffordshire who were placed ninth on 150 points.
Saturday turned out to be quite a good day for the hosts as the ladies ‘B’; got them off to a winning start, but it was Staffordshire who got the first stripe on the board when their Jenny West won 3-1 against Melanie Jones, however the visitors lead didn’t last long as Marian Conway won by the same 3-1 margin against Erin Wilson to level the score and with a further 3-1 success for Chloe McKivett over Colette Duffield the home side had opened up a 2-1 lead. Lady of the match Hannah Meek was on at number four, she had a straight legs victory over Maria Pickering and clinched the match award with her 19.52 average. The result was taken to the final encounter after the away side’s Sarah Triner beat Angela Jones in the fifth but a straight 3-0 win for Nina Bolt over Julie Robinson sealed a 4-2 victory for Warwickshire.
Like in the ladies ‘B’ game the men’s ‘B’ also lost the opening game when Staffordshire’s Jamie Dunsdon won 4-2 against Scott Hope. Jenson Walker cancelled out Dunsdon’s win when he beat Dave Moors 4-2 but it was the away team that went ahead again in the third when Shaun Gara won 4-3 against Mark Strong only to see the hosts wipe out their lead for a second time when Mark Carter won 4-1 against Shane Beckett. For a third time it was Staffordshire who took the lead, Stuart Livesley adding his 4-3 win over Adam Hancock to their tally to put them 3-2 up. However by the midway point the scoreline was all square as Dave Hill came from 1-0 and 2-1 down against Steven Smith to win 3-2.
As the second half began the home team took the lead for the first time in the game when Pete Hughes had a straight legs 4-0 victory over Karl Merchant before in the eighth game Warwickshire produced their man of the match in the shape of Martin Tonks. Tonks playing against Steve Kirkham had a 4-1 win with winning legs of 16,19,14 and 17 darts giving him a 26.43 average. Assuring the hosts of at the worst a share of the points was Will Naylor, his 4-1 success over Robert Lightfoot taking their lead to 6-3. Sam Price (Warwickshire) went 1-0 down to Nick Walton and after taking a 2-1 lead was pulled back to level terms in the fourth but he then went on to win the following two legs to win 4-2 and at the same time chalk up the seventh and winning game for his team mates. Trevor Carter (Staffordshire) won the opener against Mark Martin in the penultimate game but it was Martin who fought back to take the 4-2 result. The final score was 9-3 to Warwickshire when in the final game of the day Karl Reynolds fought back magnificently to beat Danny Key 4-3 after Key had gone 2-0 and 3-2 up.
After a great day on Saturday, Sunday was not so good as the ladies ‘A’ were held to a 3-3 draw and the men’s ‘A’ lost. It began well for the ladies when Sue Gulliver won the first game against Danielle Pearce 3-0, but then came two in a row for Staffordshire as Emma Pearce beat Donna Pinch 3-1 and Sarah Cope won 3-1 against Wendy Adams. Caroline Pike levelled the game in the fourth when she won 3-2 against Susan Sherratt and with a 3-2 win from lady of the match Tammy Montgomery (19.50) over Michelle Colclough the home team could not lose. Warwickshire could not lose but they did not win as although their Nina Bolt won the first leg against Anne Allsop, she then saw her opponent win the following three legs for a 3-1 victory to put the result all square at three all.
The men’s ‘A’ had a fine start to their game, Tom Martin putting them one up when he beat James Hughes 4-2 and then with three game shots of 100,110 and 106 Kevin Dowling won 4-1 against Rob Galloway to double the home sides score. Steve Moss reduced the arrears for the visitors when he won the third against Matty Washbrooke 4-1 only to see Warwickshire’s two games buffer restored in the fourth when Carl Green added his 4-2 success over Kev Johnson to their account. After going 3-1 up by the break it was level pegging as Jim Moston won 4-1 against Nigel Heydon and Callum Matthews beat Wayne Mynard 4-2.
Staffordshire went ahead for the first time in the seventh, Martin Wheawall winning 4-2 against Noel Grant. Wheawall’s win was promptly cancelled out by Jamie Atkins who was in top form beating Gareth Pass 4-3 in 17,18,15 and 17 darts including a 112 checkout in the third. Atkins win, and superb 31.28 average earning him the Warwickshire men’s ‘A’ team award. Unfortunately for the hosts from there on in it was all Staffordshire as John Burgess won 4-1 against Jack Wareing, Dave Sumner beat Gareth Braham 4-2, Martin Plant had a 4-3 win over Steve Hine and rounding off an 8-4 win for the away team was Andy Beardmore who won 4-1 against Ian Shaw.
The overall result for the weekend was a 20-16 win for Warwickshire but after finishing last season in a lofty runners-up spot in the Cosmo Darts Premier Division of the UKDA National League by their own standards they have not enjoyed such a fulfilling campaign this season, nevertheless a win over neighbouring Staffordshire has left them sixth in the division and within thirteen points of third placed Essex, however their final game is an away fixture against Lincolnshire who are just above them in fifth position with 210 points just four more than Warwickshire.
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