Alan Towe^s The Line
It was another bad day at the office for the West Midlands as they played their second of a scheduled nine fixtures in division one of the Riley’s BDO Inter County Championships. West Midlands hopes were high that they would bounce back from the opening day 21-15 home defeat at the hands of Hampshire as they made the short journey to take on Nottinghamshire. Nottinghamshire, newly promoted as champions of the second division, unlike their opponents started the season with a win, chalking up a 20-16 success at home to Staffordshire.
Saturday’s ladies games began with the hosts taking first blood as Kelly Henry, after being pegged back to 2-2 by Kim Fellows, went on to win 3-2. Heather Wright(West Midlands) for the second consecutive game won the lady of the match award, beating Margaret Bamford 3-2 with an 18.04 average.
The home side went ahead again in the third, Karen Staton with yet another five leg game taking the 3-2 result over Samantha Maiden. Making it four five leg games in a row Eleanor Dunn added the scalp of Shellbie Simmons to Nottinghamshire’s tally taking the running score to 3-1 in their favour.
The win was not long coming as in the penultimate encounter Jennifer Whatmough beat Jacqueline Maiden 3-1. Gemma Barrett (West Midlands) made the result a little more respectable when in the final game she won 3-2 against Kelly Stevens giving the home team a 4-2 win.
The men’s ‘B’ have had better starts as they quickly found themselves trailing 4-0. Neil Lawton began the run for Nottinghamshire when he won in three straight legs against Gurpal Singh. Ashley Spencer lost the first leg to Paul Price, but came back fighting to win 3-1 and double the hosts score. Thomas Allies was taken the full distance by Ryan Herrington, Allies winning the opening two legs, Herrington the next two, but there was little doubt in the final leg as Allies checked out on 92 with Herrington way back on 267. Making it 4-0 was Jay Foreman, his 3-2 win over Michael Baker saw all five legs go with the darts advantage. Now with their backs to the wall West Midlands needed to get some winning points on the board and the man to provide that first win was Richard Platt. Playing against Darren Layden, Platt found double twenty with his nineteenth dart with Layden on 58. Platt went two up in 18 darts, his opponent once again without a throw at a finishing double as he required 60. With top scores of 133 and 100 Platt took the lead in the third leg and although Layden hit 140 to leave double ten, the West Midlands man had an outshot of 78 to win 3-0 in 17 darts.
The comeback was short lived as Nottinghamshire came back fighting with a 3-2 win by Graham Cook over Ian Stanton in a game which could have gone either way, but as always missed doubles proved to be very costly.
At 5-1 down there was still hope for the visitors and Lance Hackett provided more hope as he, after losing the first leg to Mark Pearson came back to win 3-1.
As early as the ninth game the home side were assured of at least a share of the spoils as Mick Pitchford with outshots of 115 and 111 beat Gregory Parkes 3-1 and with Trevor Ellis having a straight 3-0 win against Mark Watkiss the vital seventh winning leg had gone to Nottinghamshire. Wayne Pepper added another straight 3-0 win to the score when he beat Glen Cullen, but the final game of the day went to the West Midlands as Jonathon Platt beat Wes Deane 3-1, to give a final score of 8-4 to Nottinghamshire. Last season the West Midlands men’s ‘B’ only lost two of their nine games, winning six and one draw, they have already, in the opening two games lost as many as they did all last season. Let’s hope there’s better things to come.
The ladies ‘A’ opened their game quite brightly as Jackie Crew beat Julie Pipe 3-2. Diane Tolley looked as though she would double that lead when she won the opening two games against Sara Faulkner before luck deserted her and she went down 3-2.
The lead was restored for the away side when Sarah Thornbury beat Lesley Allick. Sarah won the first two legs without her opponent reaching a finishing double and despite her struggling on a double herself in the third leg went on to win it and the game 3-0. Sarah’s 22.10 average won her the lady of the match award. Page 2
West Midlands from 2-1 up saw the roles reversed and Nottinghamshire move into a 3-2 lead. The home teams award winner Helen Harvey (21.56) won 3-1 after her counterpart, Lisa Astbury had won the first leg and then Kirsty Handford, who was 2-0 down to Claire Hobbs, stuck to the task and went on to win 3-2.
The final game was between Nicola McNamara (Nottinghamshire) and Katharine Jenkins. Another game that could easily have gone to either lady as Katharine won the first Nicola the second. The third was all down to doubles as both ladies had their chance to win but it was Katharine Jenkins who actually did win it with a 40 game shot. The fourth game was nip and tuck with the West Midlands player narrowly reaching and finding a double before her opponent to win 3-1 and earn a 6-6 draw for her team.
Similar to their ‘B’ team the West Midlands men’s ‘A’ side also got off to a bad start. Andy Forrester (West Midlands) lost the first two legs against Andrew Kerr, but levelled the game at 2-2. Kerr went ahead again in the fifth only to see Forrester take the penultimate leg to force a decider. With a 40 game shot Kerr won the tie 4-3. Dean Stewart (West Midlands) came up against an in form Derek Shipley, nut nevertheless went 2-0 up, with a 130 finish in the second leg. Shipley then began to turn up the heat, he won the third leg in 19 darts, the fourth in 17, the fifth in 14 and the sixth in 18 for a 4-2 win and also take the man of the match winning average of 29.17.
Timothy Broadhurst took the score along to 3-0 when he handed out a rare defeat to Ian Jones. After going 2-0 up Broadhurst had his lead erased when Jones chalked up two fifteen dart legs with outshots of 107 and 110. Broadhurst went ahead again in 17 darts and then won his game 4-2 on double one after Jones had three failed visits to the oche at finishing doubles.
West Midlands first winner, he came in the shape of Jamie Hughes in the fourth game. After a scintillating opener against Hampshire where he recorded a fabulous 32.85 average, Hughes continued where he had left off. He stormed into a commanding 3-0 lead in 12, 14 and 17 darts, hitting a maximum in the first two legs. Jamie’s opponent Andrew McCracken reduced the arrears with 18 and 19 dart legs, only to see Hughes clinch another great win in 19 darts for a 4-2 victory and a tremendous 30.43 average for his second consecutive match award.
With a further 4-2 win from Nick Fullwell over Neil Ward, suddenly West Midlands were back in the game, now only trailing 3-2. Neil Birkin (Nottinghamshire) faced an out of salts Matthew Dicken. Dicken won the first leg with scores of 100, 140 and 174 in 14 darts, but then unfortunately his usual deadly finishing deserted him and he went down 4-1.
Peter McConville opened a 3-0 lead over Danny Coyle, Coyle storming back to level terms but he was unable to land the finishing touch as he lost the decider and the game 4-3 to give the home team a 5-2 lead. That gap was reduced slightly as Jake Jones beat Paul Harvey 4-2 before the Nottinghamshire men turned the final screw.
Mark Wilson beat Mark Rollinson 4-1, Jay Foreman won 4-3 against Peter Wyse, there was a straight 4-0 win for David McGarry against Martin Angell and rounding off a 9-3 win for the hosts was Brian Kirk who beat Neil Pointon 4-3.
The overall win for Nottinghamshire was 24-12, this being West Midlands heaviest defeat since they lost 26-10 away to Oxfordshire in October 2010. The defeat puts Nottinghamshire top of the division one promotional table on 50 points and leaves West Midlands rooted at the foot of the table on 27 points. However, there is still seven fixtures to be played and anything can happen in those games, as it usually does.
---------------------------------The Barras Social Club, Coventry Street, Coventry, was the setting for this year^s Midland Open and organiser Neil Pritchard was more than a little disappointed at the low number of entries, with just sixty four players taking to the oche. Nevertheless, in no way did the poor turn out detract from the very high standard of play throughout the competition.
The first round provided some eye catching draws, not least the one between reigning champion Colin Osbourne and Wolverhampton’s Wayne Jones. Jones coming out of the clash with a 5-2 win. Oxfordshire’s Dennis Smith went out 5-2 to Paul Boulton, local Warwickshire man Kevin Dowling lost out to Ian Shaw and another Warwickshire player Prakash Jiwa also had first round blues as he went out to fellow county player Scott Rand 5-2.
The last sixteen play off resorted to the longer format of the best of eleven legs and by the quarter finals it was looking good locally as five of the last eight were provided by Warwickshire, Nigel Heydon, Steve Hine, Matt Edgar, Trevor Frost and Scott Rand.
The quarter final games brought together two pairs of Warwickshire players, Nigel Heydon beating Steve Hine 6-3, after Hine had earlier taken out two time champion Wayne Jones and Trevor Frost losing out 6-4 to Scott Rand. The remaining local player Matt Edgar went out of the competition by 6-3 to Jamie Caven and in the other tie between Gaz Cousins and Johnny Haines, the latter had a clear 6-1 victory. The semi finals saw Caven take out Heydon with a 6-4 scoreline, while from the other side of the draw Scott Rand handed out a 6-0 whitewash to his opponent Johnny Haines.
In the best of thirteen legs final Rand stormed into a 5-0 lead winning his legs in 24, 11, 18, 15 and 15 darts. Caven replied with three wins in a row in 13, 21 and 12 darts only to see Rand chalk up another eleven darts leg to go 6-3 up to leave him requiring just one more leg for the title.
Scott Rand then began to miss his finishing doubles and Jamie Caven pulled him back to level terms at 6-6 with legs of 19, 15 and 13 darts to force a thirteenth and deciding leg. Rand held his nerve and went on to win the decider in fifteen darts for a very close and thrilling 7-6 victory.
Scott Rand is now only the second Coventry player to win the title, the other being Steve Beaton in 1995. Despite the poor turn out the day was a huge success with a total of £1800 paid out in prize money.Full Results:Group One:Last 64:- Nigel Heydon 5 Noel Grant 1, John Walton 0 Dave Waring 5, Mark Carter 5 Sam Poland 4, Ivan Bell 5 Matt Sidwell 0, Mark Gordon 1 Colin Fowler 5, Ian Marson 1 Anthony Meek 5, Peter Wright 3 Steve Hine 5, Wayne Jones 5 Colin Osbourne 2, Jamie Atkins 5 Mark Sutton 4, Rob Singleton 5 Bill Smith 4, Lee Martin 3 Jamie Caven 5, Martin Whatmough 4 Martin Brown 5, Max Murray 2 Martin Bowley 5, Chris Graham 0 Matt Edgar 5, Tony Clark 4 James Hurrell 5, Steve Skelton 4 Graham Manning 5, Last 32:- Nigel Heydon 5 Dave Waring 0, Mark Carter 5 Ivan Bell 2, Colin Fowler 5 Anthony Meek 0, Steve Hine 5 Wayne Jones 3, Jamie Atkins 4 Rob Singleton 5, Jamie Caven 5 Martin Brown 2, James Hurrell 5 Graham Manning 2, Group Two:Last 64:- Paul Youmans 5 Andy Reynolds 4, Simon Power 3 Ant West 5, Gaz Cousins 5 Mark Westgarth 1, Richard Graham 1 Jim Hill 5, John Fowler 1 Johnny Haines 5, Steve Sharpe 2 Dave Sanders 5, Tom Ryan 5 Tim Kirby 3, Dave Atkins 2 John Newland 5, Ian McFarlane 5 Mem Martin 0, Kevin Dowling 4 Ian Shaw 5, Trevor Frost 5 Matt Boswell 0, Paul Boulton 5 Dennis Smith 2, Graham Hall 5 Dean Bayliss 0, Antony Allen 5 Matt Padgett 3, Prakash Jiwa 2 Scott Rand 5, Joe Carlo 5 Mark Sidgwick 2, Last 32:- Paul Youmans 0 Ant West 5, Gaz Cousins 5 Jim Hill 2, Johnny Haines 5 Dave Sanders 2, Tom Ryan 3 John Newland 5, Ian McFarlane 5 Ian Shaw 2, Trevor Frost 5 Paul Boulton 0, Graham Hall 3 Antony Allen 5, Scott Rand 5 Joe Carlo 0, Combined Last 16:- Nigel Heydon 6 Mark Carter 0, Colin Fowler 5 Steve Hine 6, Rob Singleton 1 Jamie Caven 6, Matt Edgar 6 James Hurrell 3, Ant West 1 Gaz Cousins 6, Johnny Haines 6 John Newland 4, Ian McFarlane 5 Trevor Frost 6, Antony Allen 1 Scott Rand 6, Quarter Finals:- Nigel Heydon 6 Steve Hine 3, Jamie Caven 6 Matt Edgar 3, Gaz Cousins 1 Johnny Haines 6, Trevor Frost 4 Scott Rand 6, Semi Finals:- Nigel Heydon 4 Jamie Caven 6, Johnny Haines 0 Scott Rand 6, Final:- Jamie Caven 6 Scott Rand 7.
The Sutton and District Summer League rounded their season off with various cup finals plus their singles knockout. Adding his name to the winner’s silverware in the singles knockout was C.Packer, who beat J.Collins 2-1 in a very close final. Losing semi finalists were M.Archer, who lost 2-0 to Packer and B.Godfray, who lost by the same margin to Collins.
There was a narrow 5-4 win for the Leopard in the final of the Alan Slater Shield, and with the same scoreline Heartlands beat Deer’s Leap Stags in the final of the Prestridge Shield.
The Roy Bird Shield final was a much more clear cut affair with Pint Pot Nomads beating White Lion 7-2. The Doubles Knockout was won by J.Collins and T.Kelly with a final 2-0 win over M.Bateman and G.Parry.
Losing out in the last four were, J.Vickers and M.Corfield, who lost to the champions, and M.Pearce and J.Clarke. ---------------------------------