Alan Towe’s The Line On Darts – Warwickshire v Lincolnshire
Warwickshire’s final fixture in the premier division of the BDO Inter County Championships for 2016 didn’t end with the result they would have wished for as they lost their home tie with Lincolnshire. This was a game that the home side would have expected to win as prior to the fixture they were riding high fourth in the table and their opponents seated in a much lower position.
The ladies ‘B’ game saw all six of the games go with the first throw advantage Lincolnshire taking first blood when Laura Tye beat Denise Keyte 3-1. Cancelling out Tye’s lead was Caroline Pike who won her game against Sharon Magan in style as her 3-1 win, after going 1-0 down earned her the lady of the match award for her 18.04 average.
The visitors went ahead again in the third when Dawn Armstrong won 3-1 against Kat Spanswick only to see Nina Bolt level at 2-2 when she chalked up a straight 3-0 win against Rosie Pilkington.
Heather Lodge was the third player to give Lincolnshire the lead and also their third 3-1 winner when she defeated Helen Rigg.
Chloe McKivett was Warwickshire’s anchor player, she won the first leg against Julie Lambie but then went 2-1 down before securing not only her 3-2 win but also a share of the spoils for her team as for the second successive fixture they finished all square at 3-3.
The men’s ‘B’ side were coming off the back of two consecutive wins and so they were not short of confidence, however that didn’t appear so in the first half of the game as by the end of the half they were trailing 4-2.
Anthony West was first on for the home team and he certainly didn’t lack confidence as he kicked off with a 13 darts leg against Jock Watt and followed up with 14,18 and 19 darts legs to seal a fabulous 4-0 win and at the same time secure the match award with a tremendous 31.31 average.
James Hykin (Warwickshire) opened up a 2-1 lead over his opponent Richard Selby only to see Selby take the next three legs for a 4-2 win. Mark Wilson was another Lincolnshire player to fall 2-1 down in his tie with Ian Shaw and like Selby went on to win the game 4-2. Taking the away teams lead to 3-1 was Gary Blades who won 4-0 against Simon Fairbrother and despite Graham Hall beating Dan Whitlam 4-3 to reduce the arrears to 3-2 a 4-3 win by Thomas Lovely over Ian McFarlane gave Lincolnshire their 4-2 lead at the break.
The second half began with Warwickshire’s best run of the match when they won two in a row, Simon Power after going 1-0 and 2-1 down to Johnny Baker fighting back to win the last three legs for a 4-3 victory and Carl Green recording a 4-1 win over Ross Twell to level the score at four each.
Lincolnshire went ahead again in the ninth when Jon Bywater won against Tom Ryan after Ryan had trailed 2-0 turned it around to lead 3-2 and finally go down 4-3
The running score was levelled again in the tenth when Rob Hawker beat Lester Wilkinson. Wilkinson won the first leg, Hawker cancelling it out with a 124 finish in the second and then taking the next three legs in 17, 15 and 18 darts for a 4-1 win.
The onus was put on the last two players of the day when Andy Bingham (Lincolnshire) won 4-0 against Andrew Foulkes in the penultimate game and it was Foulkes team mate Lee Price who clinched a 7-5 win for the away team when he came from 2-0 down to Luke Kennedy to win 4-3.
The away team’s Layla Bontoft won the first leg against Donna Pinch but that was all she won as Pinch went on to win 3-1. The second encounter was the game of the match between Warwickshire’s Trina Gulliver and Shelley Bontoft-Gash both players recording their team’s top average. Bontoft-Gash won the first leg in 15 darts only to see Gulliver, who is back to top form, take the next two in 16 and 19 darts. Although the Lincolnshire player levelled in the fourth in 21 darts it was Trina Gulliver who took the fifth in 20 darts for a 3-2 win and the match award for her superb 25.53 average, Bontoft-Nash averaged 23.42.
Sue Edwards with a 3-1 win over Melanie Hill reduced the arrears to 2-1 and with a 3-0 win by Tammy Montgomery over Marian Conway Lincolnshire were back on level terms.
Despite Heather Lodge (Lincolnshire) twice taking the lead against Kerry Bambridge it was Bambridge who got the 3-2 verdict to ensure Warwickshire with a 3-2 lead got something out of the game.
With the result hinging on the final game the visitors were thankful that their last player Paula Jacklin was in fine form as she with a 20-67 average not only took the team’s match award but beat Sue Gulliver 3-1 and gave her team a share of the 3-3 result, this being Warwickshire ladies ‘A’ team’s third consecutive draw.
With two wins in their last two outings the men’s ‘A’ were on a roll and Antony Allen continued that form as he kicked off the game with a 4-2 win over Gary Blades. Craig Hill replied for the visitors with a 4-0 success against Mark Carter to level the score but not for long as man of the match Ted Evetts chalked up a tremendous 4-3 win over Lloyd Pennell to put Warwickshire ahead for a second time. Evetts began with a winning 112 game shot in the first leg but then found himself trailing 2-1 as Pennell rattled off 17 and 18 darts legs. Evetts levelled in the fourth with a superb 14 darts leg only to see his opponent take the lead again when he won the fifth in 15 darts.
The score was all square again in the sixth when Evetts recorded a 17 darts leg to take the game to a decider. With the first throw advantage Pennell hit scores of 140,100,85,80 and 96 to leave double ten after 15 darts, Ted Evetts meanwhile had put scores on the board of 96,140,133 and 101 to leave himself on 31 after only twelve darts and on his next visit to the oche wrapped up a terrific win and a fantastic 32.41 average.
Nigel Heydon (Warwickshire) took the score nicely along to 3-1 when he accounted for Adam Beck with a 4-1 result, but it was the away team’s Mick Taylor and Karl Forrington who in turn beat Bob Nixon 4-2 and Noel Grant 4-1 to level the running score at 6-6 by the halfway stage.
Lincolnshire were first off the mark in the second half with Rob Hewson beating Richard Foster 4-1 and despite a 4-3 win from Mark Westgarth over Chris Fidler it was the visitors who went ahead again in the ninth when Simon Stainton beat Mark Strong 4-0.
The 5-4 advantage to Lincolnshire was quickly erased as Dean Stewart won 4-3 against Mark Blackwell and when Jamie Hughes got the better of Mark Wilson with a 4-1 result Warwickshire were in an unbeatable position with one to go.
The final game of the weekend saw Lincolnshire find their man of the match Adam Ward wining 4-0 against Tom Aldridge in 15,20,17 and 18 darts for a 28.63 average to take the final score to 6-6.
The overall result was a 19-17 win for Lincolnshire which puts them just three points above bottom of the table Essex while Warwickshire drop one place to fifth on 76 points, two behind fourth placed Cheshire and just three adrift of third in the table Nottinghamshire..
Full Results:- Premier Division: v Lincolnshire (17-19):(Warwickshire names first):Men’s ‘A’:- Antony Allen 4 Gary Blades 2, Mark Carter 0 Craig Hill 4, Ted Evetts 4 Lloyd Pennell 3, Nigel Heydon 4 Adam Beck 1, Bob Nixon 2 Micky Taylor 4, Noel Grant 1 Karl Forrington 4, Richard Foster 1 Rob Hewson 4, Mark Westgarth 4 Chris Fidler 3, Mark Strong 0 Simon Stainton 4, Dean Stewart 4 Mark Blackwell 3, Jamie Hughes 4 Mark Wilson 1, Tom Aldridge 0 Adam Ward 4, Men’s ‘B’:- Anthony West 4 Kock Watt 0, James Hykin 2 Richard Selby 4, Ian Shaw 2 Mark Wilson 4, Simon Fairbrother 0 Gary Blades 4, Graham Hall 4 Dan Whitlam3, Ian McFarlane 3 Thomas Lovely 4, Simon Power 4 Johnny Baker 3, Carl Green 4 Ross Twell 1, Tom Ryan 3 Jon Bywater 4, Rob Hawker 4 Lester Wilkinson 1, Andrew Foulkes 0 Andy Bingham 4, Luke Kennedy 3 Lee Price 4, Women’s ‘A’:- Donna Pinch 3 Layla Bontoft 1, Trina Gulliver 3 Shelley Bontoft-Gash 2, Melanie Hill 1 Sue Edwards 3, marian Conway 0 Tammy Montgomery 3, Kerry Bambridge 3 Heather Lodge 2, Sue Gulliver 1 Paula Jacklin 3, Women’s ‘B’:- Denise Keyte 1 Laura Tye 3, Caroline Pike 3 Sharon Magan 1, Kat Spanswick 1 Dawn Armstrong 3, Nina Bolt 3 Rosie Pilkington 0, Helen Rigg 1 Heather Lodge 3, Chloe McKivett 3 Julie Lambie 2.