Alan Towe - Shrewsbury Premier League
After an enforced break of almost nineteen months the Shrewsbury CRF Premier Darts League made a welcome return last Friday night with an encouraging fourteen teams. Although the Rock and Fountain, who previously fielded two teams, are sadly no more the Royal Oak and Charles Darwin have stepped in to replace them.
The opening night of the new season saw no fewer than six players record 26plus single dart averages to dispel any theory of rusty darts.
Leading the way was Compasses player Scott Dockerty who was on first in his team’s 5-3 home win against the Royal Oak. Scott included a maximum in a superb 92.01 three dart average and was backed up by team mates Tony Middleton (23.12) and Jon Mansell (25.91) as the hosts opened up a 3-0 lead without dropping a leg.
Steph Clarke (22.16) replied for the Royal Oak with yet another straight 3-0 victory in what would be the visitors only singles success as James Mansell and Shaun Reade (22.88) recorded further victories for the home team who have given an early indication as to being one of the sides to watch out for this season. The Royal Oak took both pairs to put a respectable look to the final score as they begin life in the Premier league once more.
Baschurch’s Admiral Duncan will be another team who will be there or thereabouts, Mike Coyne setting the standard with his 26.37 average. Adding to Coyne’s win were team mates Keith Allman (25.91, 110f), Terry Nash (23.48) and Dereck Rogers who all won without dropping a leg, all after visitors Woodman had opened up a 2-0 lead through Andre Knox (19.02, 180) and Adam Thackery (24.64) with their 3-0 wins. The Duncan took both pairs matches to run out comfortable 6-2 winners.
Another team enjoying a 6-2 win were league dark horses Mytton who made light work of their away trip to the Dicken in Wem as debutant Shaun Pryce (22.95) impressed with a 15 dart leg plus a 101 finish before Glyn Thomas (26.45) repeated the 101 checkout to put the visitors two up. Adam Jones (22.75) replied for the hosts in what would be the Dickin’s only singles win of the night. Further wins for Myttons Martin Pope (20.58), Ben Morgan (20.59) and Eddie Price (20.24) gave the Habberley outfit the points before Neil Southern and Che Kerin teamed up to take the first pairs that was no more than a consolation for the Dickin. Shaun Pryce fired a maximum as he and Glyn Thomas combined to take the final game of the night.
A contender for game of the night came at the Heathgates who shared the spoils with the Masonic and although the visitors were never behind credit must go to the Heathgates who replied to win every other game, both teams contributing to a cracker of a match as they provided a winning one dart overall average of 24.89.
Josh Davenport (21.98) had put the Masonic one up only for Jason Evans (28.59) to reply in some style for the Heathgates defeating Jim Elsey (21.15) who notched a maximum. Dean Rogers (26.77) also hit a maximum with another high quality performance as the Masonic led again only to see Phil Atter (22.77) edge out Ash Hilditch (22.56) in a last leg decider to level the score once again. Paul Rowley (25.47) needed less than 60 darts to put the Masonic ahead for a third time only for Steve Guyatt (24.05) to triumph over five legs to square the game at five each. It was fitting that both pairs matches were shared with Ian Evans and Phil Atter holding there nerve to take the last leg in the final match to give both sides a share of the points.
The other game of the night to finish in a score draw was at the Inn on the Green where the ‘A’ team had to be content with a point against the Hop and Friar after the hosts had raced into a 3-0 lead through Ben Jarmain (20.59), Paul Evans (22.77, 2x180) and Mike Lewis (22.17). Steve Ritchie (21.20) overcame Graham Hamer (20.75) over five legs to pull one back for the Hop and Friar before Craig Davies (22.99) restored the hosts three game lead. However, the visitors hit back in style, firstly through John Roberts (24.64) in the final singles before taking both pairs matches without conceding a leg to ensure the points were shared.
The Inn on the Green ‘B’ went one better than there ‘A’ side claiming a fine 5-3 victory at the Wheatshaef. Roger Williams (19.25) and Steve Tweddle (17.08) the visitors the ideal start although the Wheatsheaf responded through Sacha Rothwell (21.27) and then Jimmy Carr to level the score. Dave Perks (16.81) restored Inn on the Green’s lead, one they didn’t relinquish as Paul Andrew (19.03, 180) took the final singles match before he teamed up with Steve Tweddle in the final pairs match to claim the points.
Finally, the Brooklands also enjoyed a 5-3 win against Charles Darwin that was ultimately decided in the final pairs match, a scenario that few would have thought possible Brookland’s had stormed into a 4-0 lead and drop ping just one leg in the process. Dan Dean (27.83) and Matt Elsey (23.86) had done most of the damage but Darwin’s Dan Jones (18.79, 180) sparked a revival that saw team mate Rob Paine (22.43) take the final singles match before pairing up with Matt Beck to take the first pairs and reduce the deficit to just one game. However Steve O’Callaghan and Matt Elsey would have the last word taking the final pairs match 2-0 to give the Brooklands the points.
Team of the Week:- Paul Evans (Inn on the Green ‘A’), Dan Dean (Brooklands), Scott Dockerty (Compasses), Jason Evans (Heathgates), Glyn Thomas (Mytton), Sacha Rothwell (Wheatsheaf) and Mike Coyne (Admiral Duncan).