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Article: Alan Towe's the Line

Alan Towe's the Line

On the back of four consecutive defeats West Midlands completed their first season in darts top flight in the premier division of the BDO Inter County Championships with a home tie against Glamorgan. Following their 6-0 defeat away to Lancashire the ladies ‘B’ team were hoping to finish on a high and giving them the ideal start was Heather Wright who after losing out in the opening leg to Paula Clemett roared back to go on and win 3-1. Grace Angell took the lead twice against Eve Watson but it was the Glamorgan player who got the 3-2 verdict to level the game. The home team went ahead again in the third thanks to a win from Shellbie Simmons who had a carbon copy of Heather Wright’s opener as she lost the first leg to Alannah Waters and then went on to win 3-1. Assuring West Midlands of at least a share of the points was Shannon Hall who despite being pegged back to level terms twice by Michelle Jones won the tie 3-2 and at the same time earned herself her second lady of the match award for her 20.64 average. Elizabeth Arnold won the first and third legs against Sue Powell before losing out 3-2 to leave the result hinging on the final game between Jacqueline Maiden (West Midlands) and Sandra Quinn. The first two legs went to Jacqueline Maiden with her opponent unable to reach a finishing double in either leg. The third leg could easily have gone to either player as both had numerous throws for their finishing doubles but it was Jacqueline Maiden with a double one checkout that took the leg and the game 3-0 to give the ladies ‘B’ a 4-2 victory only their second win of the season. With two wins, three draws and three defeats the men’s ‘B’ side had become something of draw specialists. The opening five games all went with the first throw advantage as Dai Powell won the first against Matthew Dicken 4-3 to give Glamorgan the early lead. Paul Wells was quick to cancel out Glamorgan’s lead as he with winning legs of 14,19,16 and 21 darts beat Cavan Phillips 4-1 to level the game and win himself the man of the match award for his 28.33 average. Glamorgan went ahead again in the third this time through David Neads who with a 4-2 result defeated Jordan Singh. West Midlands second win came from Robert Smith, the result once again 4-1 as he accounted for Ron Morgan, only to see the visitors take the lead for a third time when Ray Johnson won 4-3 against Neil Pointon. By the midway point of the game the away team had opened up a 4-2 lead with Chris Thomas adding his 4-2 win over Danny Coyle to their tally. The second half of the game began with a little more promise for the West Midlands as Avtar Singh beat Clayton Williams 4-2, Singh winning the first two legs, losing the next two and winning the final two. The away team’s two games buffer was restored in game eight as their Jeff Bass beat Shane Price 4-1 before the hosts had their best run of the game, two consecutive wins provided by Martin Greenwood and Adam Edgar. Greenwood saw his opponent Lee Richards storm into a 2-0 lead in 21 and 17 darts but unfazed by this Greenwood kept his nerve and took the following four legs for a 4-2 win. Edgar was pulled back to one each after winning the opening leg against Wayne (Sid) Davies but with wins in the next three legs he got the 4-1 verdict and squared the game at five each. Glamorgan moved to within one game of winning when James Richard won the penultimate encounter against Jonathan Platt 4-1, leaving Richard Platt (West Midlands) and Jeff Thomas to decide the eventual result. The outcome was never in question as Platt romped to a straight 4-0 win in 20,17,19 and 19 darts with his opponent only reaching a finishing double in two of the four legs. Platt’s win took the final score to 6-6, his team’s fourth draw in nine games. After a promising start to the season whereby the ladies ‘A’ team recorded two draws and one win in the first three games it all then went a little pear shaped as they lost the next fixture 4-2 and followed that with four 5-1 defeats. The Glamorgan game was no going to be a good one as the visitors raced into a 5-0 lead with Joanne Pugh winning 3-1 against Kim Fellows after Kim had won the first leg, Debbie Loon lost 3-0 to Rhian O’Sullivan, Gemma Barrett went down 3-2 to Donna Thomas, Lisa Badge lost 3-0 to Claire Crocombe and with a 3-2 win for Sam Bowen against Kath Jenkins Glamorgan were 5-0 up. On the final day of the season the West Midlands ladies ‘A’ team kept their best till last as Sarah Roberts made it four match awards for the campaign when she beat Nicky Biddick 3-2 after Biddick had gone 1-0 and 3-1 uo. Sarah took the award as the sole winner and also for her very creditable 20.02 average. The men’s ‘A’ team had won half of their previous eight fixtures and got off to a great start against Glamorgan as their opener Glen McGrandle beat Lloyd Browning 4-0, Ian Jones won by the same 4-0 margin against Daniel Thomas, Daniel Nicholls beat Dai Caller 4-2 and taking the hosts lead to 4-0 was Gavin Baker who was in top form as he defeated Wayne Davies 4-1 with winning legs of 19,14,18 and 23 darts for an award winning average of 28.11 his first award of the season. The visiting team pulled one back in the fifth when Tim Jones beat Ash Khayatt 4-0 but looked as though they would trail 5-1 at the break when Michael Baker went 3-0 up against Graham Brooks, however Brooks held on and went on to win 4-3 even though Baker could have sealed his win in both the sixth and seventh legs. The first game of the second half saw Glamorgan’s deficit reduced to 4-3 when Richie Edwards won 4-2 against Keith Allman but West Midlands moved to within one game of a draw when Scott Baker added his 4-3 win over Dale Hughes after Hughes had gone from 1-0 down to lead 3-1. Game number nine and West Midlands had been in front all of the way but before the end of the game that was going to change dramatically as Clive Langford won 4-1 against Robert Smith, Keiron Carter beat Alfie Jacques 4-2 and with a similar 4-2 win for David Rogers over Shaun Carroll in the penultimate game the away team had taken the lead for the first time in the match. With the first throw advantage Mark Craddock (West Midlands) won the first leg in 19 darts against Shaun Dibbs, Dibbs reply was an 18 darts leg. Craddock in 21 darts went ahead for a second time in the third but again Dibbs levelled, this time in 19 darts. For a third time Craddock took the lead when he checked out in 22 darts in the fourth leg and for a third time Dibbs cancelled out his lead when he found double two with his twenty second dart. After eleven games the result was now all down to the final leg of the game and the weekend. Craddock recorded top shots of 121,100 and 121, Dibbs was struggling to find any big score at all until his sixth visit to the oche when he produced a maximum to leave him on double twelve. Requiring 78 Craddock missed his doubles and left double ten, Dibbs made no mistake finding double twelve with his first dart for a very close but nevertheless important 4-3 win to give his team a 7-5 victory. The overall result for the weekend was a 25-11 win for Glamorgan which left West Midlands eighth in the table nine points to the good on bottom team Cambridgeshire and four ahead of next to bottom Devon, the two bottom teams will play in division one next season while West Midlands live to fight another day as they retained their position in the premier division albeit by just four points. Full Results: West Midlands v Glamorgan (25-11):(West Midlands names first):Men’s ‘A’:- Glen McGrandle 4 Lloyd Browning 0, Ian Jones 4 Daniel Thomas 0, Daniel Nicholls 4 Dai Caller 2, Gavin Baker 4 Wayne Davies 1, Ash Khayatt 0 Tim Jones 4, Michael Baker 3 Graham Brooks 4, Keith Allman 2 Richie Edwards 4, Scott Baker 4 Dale Hughes 3, Robert Smith 1 Clive Langford 4, Alfie Jacques 2 Keiron Carter 4, Shaun Carroll 2 David Rogers 4, Mark Craddock 3 Shaun Dibbs 4, Men’s ‘B’:- Matthew Dicken 3 Dai Powell 4, Paul Wells 4 Cavan Phillips 1, Jordan Singh 2 David Neads 4, Robert Smith 4 Ron Morgan 1, Neil Pointon 3 Ray Johnson 4, Danny Coyle 2 Chris Thomas 4, Avtar Singh 4 Clayton Williams 2, Shane Price 1 Jeff Bass 4, Martin Greenwood 4 Lee Richards 2, Adam Edgar 4 Wayne Davies 1, Jonathan Platt 1 James Richards 4, Richard Platt 4 Jeff Thomas 0, Women’s ‘A’:- Kim Fellows 1 Joanne Pugh 3, Debbie Loon 0 Rhian O’Sullivan 3, Gemma Barrett 2 Donna Thomas 3, Lisa Badger 0 Claire Crocombe 3, Kath Jenkins 2 Sam Bowen 3, Sarah Roberts 3 Nicky Biddick 2, Women’s ‘B’:- Heather Wright 3 Paula Clemett 1, Grace Angell 2 Eve Watson 3, Shellbie Simmons 3 Alannnah Waters 1, Shannon Hall 3 Michelle Jones 2, Elizabeth Arnold 2 Sue Powell 3, Jacqueline Maiden 3 Sandra Quinn 0.
After completing all but one of his fixtures in the Sheldon Premier League Dave Fisher had to go to London to work and was unable to play his final fixture against Phil Thomas. If the game had gone ahead and Thomas had won 4-0 he would have won the league title but as it was Fisher had to be withdrawn from the league and all of his results deducted, so without a single dart being thrown the league concluded their season and the outcome of all the adjustments was that Paul Higgins won the league title with 69 points just two more than Phil Thomas who finished as runner up. Thomas in turn was only one point to the good on third placed Tom Bent. With no fixtures to play a knockout was organised and after the early rounds the last four games saw Luke Symmons beat Ken Hopton 5-3 and Mark Gwalchmai win 5-2 against Tom Bent. In the final Gwalchmai handed out a 6-0 whitewash to Symmons to take the top prize. The Consolation Competition final was an all Thomas affair as after Chris Thomas beat Mick Bown 3-0 in the semis and Andy Thomas won 3-2 against Steve Harper, the two Thomas’s then squared up to each other for the title. The final went the full five legs distance with Andy just getting the edge on Chris for the win.
The Forest of Arden Winter League have played off various cup finals and in the Rose Bowl final there was sweet revenge for league runners up Journeys End as they defeated their local rivals and league champions Journeys End Flights 5-4 with a D.Wilson hitting a maximum for the winners, John Sidwell and Bob Nixon both hit a 180 for Flights. The Rose Bowl Consolation final was again a close 5-4 result with Kingshurst Knights getting the verdict over Highwood Arms. The Andy Howell Blind Pairs Knockout, a memorial competition for Andy who played for Journeys End for many years the semi-finals saw a 3-1 win for Simon Edwards and Mo Bown over Pete Kingdon and Darren Wilson while Luis Barberan and Steve Whatmore beat Courtney Burns and Sue Hawkins 3-0. The final result was 3-1 with the title going to Barberan and Whatmore with Edwards and Burns runners up.  
Journeys End Lions made it a league and cup double when they won the Camp Hill League’s League Cup beating Cotterills Lane Club 5-2 in the final. The Consolation Cup title went to Tyseley WMC, Station Wagon finished as runners up after narrowly losing the final 4-3. The Captains and Secretaries knockouts were held at the Emerald Club, in the former Pete Yardley beat Liam Fox to take the title while Mick Tilley won the Secretaries with a final win over Derek Rivitt. Tyseley WMC was the setting for the Consolation Singles and saw a firm favourite Matt Cooper taken out in the preliminary round by league chairman Derek Rivitt. The final was contested by Stuart Ollerenshaw and Simon Edwards and although Edwards found the big scores it was Ollerenshaw who got the 2-1 verdict.
Members of the Erdington Red Lion Double Top League have played all 52 of their fixtures and taking the title with 129 points was Will Naylor who finished sixteen points ahead of runner up Dean Bayliss. What a season Naylor has had as not only did he clinch the main title but he also had the highest finish of 154, least darts which was 7 and in addition to all that hit the most tons, a total of 97. The highest break of 160 was recorded by both Dean Bayliss and John Frost while Frost also shared the most 180’s with Matthew Cain, both players hitting no fewer than 4.
The C’s Club, Chelmsley Wood, Birmingham staged a knockout in which there was top quality and high scoring throughout, the semi-finals saw Jake Webster hit a 180 in his 3-2 win over Daniel Lee, Lee also notching a maximum while in the other semi Neil Parsonage hit two maximums in his 3-2 win over Mark Birch who also hit two 180’s. Carrying on with top score in the final Parsonage hit another two maximums to win 4-1 against Webster who hit one 180. In the first round losers Plate Competition Chris Millward beat Richard Mills 3-1 in the final, Millward having taken out Adam Gallett 3-1 in the semis while Mills had beaten Gary Shergold 3-2.
Tony Hamilton and his wife Kim have been running the annual Craig Beesley Memorial Knockout for the last 15 years in memory of a friend who sadly passed away 16 years ago. Proceeds from the event were originally donated to the Birmingham Children's Hospital but for the past few years have gone to Fisher House based at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Birmingham. The latest of the knockouts was staged at Avenue Lodge, Weoley Castle and attracted 32 players, in the semi-finals Brian Harding beat John Best 2-1 and by the same margin Tony Hamilton won against Richard Mann. The final was a high scoring affair with Harding hitting 3x140,123,2x100 and recording a 14 darts leg, but with a total of six tons it was Tony Hamilton who won the game and the title 2-1. The night together with the raffle raised a terrific amount of £269.10.
The two top teams in the Pip Club League met in the final of the Division One Divisional Cup after in the semis The Office had beaten Dolphin Wanderers and Queens Head defeated Belgrave Club. The final produced a win for Queen Head. In the Division two semi-finals there were wins for Red Lion and Pip Club at the expense of Old Liberal House and Wigginton Arms. The final went in favour of Pip Club. In the Division One Challenge the league’s top two teams Queens Head and The Office faced up to each other. The result was a win for The Office, both teams chalked up a maximum Steve Ross for Queens Head and Daz Jones for The Office.
With the domestic fixture done and dusted the Sheldon and District Winter League have been winding down their season with various knockouts, two of which have been the singles and doubles knockouts. Dunky’s Boys supplied two of the last four players in the singles with Bob Nixon beating Terry Webster (East Birmingham Allotment Holders Association) 2-1 while his team mate John Sidwell lost out 2-0 to Greville Arms representative Luis Barberan. The final saw Nixon once again win 2-0 with Barberan runner up. As in the singles Dunky’s Boys again had two in the last four of the doubles and again only one made it to the final as Andy Hutchings and Pete Yardley beat Brad Evans and Matt Morgan (Pavillions) 2-0 and Jason Jennings and Simon Edwards lost 2-0 to Noel Hall and Shaun Hoccom (Maggies). The final went the full three legs distance with Hutchings and Yardley taking the title leaving Hall and Hoccom runners up.
Winmau Darts Centre at Wolverhampton Indoor Community Sports Stadium Don’t miss out on what will be a fantastic weekend of darts, a final reminder that over the weekend of the 14th and 15th July, with a bigger prize fund totalling a fantastic £11,600 the Winmau Darts Centre in the Wolverhampton Indoor Community Sports Arena, Racecourse Road, Dunstall, Wolverhampton, West Midlands, WV6 0QU will once again be staging their Winmau BDO Wolverhampton Classic and the Winmau BDO Wolverhampton Open. Both knockouts will carry BDO category ‘B’ ranking points with the winner being entered into the 2018 Winmau World Masters and the 2019 Lakeside Play Offs Cost of entry is £25 each day with prize money being paid out in both competitions down to the last 64 players. To enter players should visit As a run up to this outstanding weekend of darts there will be a warm up knockout at the arena on Friday 13th July for which players can enter on the day.
At the time of going to print and after playing 17 fixtures Jordan Ward leads the Winmau Centre Thursday Night Champions League with a total of 79 points, three more than second placed Sam Aitkens who has played one game more than Ward. With seven points available from each game Adam Quinton in third place is ten points behind Ward but with three games in hand while reigning champion and winner of the title for the past four seasons Mick Baker is currently placed sixth on 54 points with a massive seven games in hand which could net him 49 more points to give him a total of 103.
Again as reports go to print the lead of the Winmau Centre Monday Night League changes as former leaders Misfits lose pole position after going down 25-23 to fourth in the table Bloody Good Shot Sir!, this being Misfits only second defeat in fourteen games. On 495 points Misfits are now 19 short of new leaders Above Average who had the league’s biggest possible win 48-0 in week fourteen against Make Mine A Double. The Untouchables remain in third place, a 33-15 win over Keep It In The Family giving them 494 points, just one short of Misfits but 20 behind the leaders.
By Alan Towe Website:

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