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Article: Alan Towe^s The Line

Alan Towe^s The Line

What better way could West Midlands have hoped to finish their 2012 division one programme in the Riley’s BDO Inter County Championship than with a win, not just a win but their first in three games, actually their first of the current season.

Prior to their home game with Gwent, West Midlands were languishing at the foot of the table on 27 point’s, their opponents were in a lofty third place on 45 points, so the encounter was never going to be an easy task for the hosts.

The ladies ‘B’ side were seeking their first win of the campaign after one draw and one defeat. The honours from the first four games were shared with the outcome being decided on the player with the first throw advantage. Susan Bailey put Gwent 1-0 up with a 3-1 win over Doreen Kaye, only to see her team mate, Cheryl Jones win the first leg against Gemma Barrett (West Midlands) then go down 3-1. Alison Bonas put the visitors ahead again in the third game with a straight 3-0 victory over Samantha Maiden, but yet again the lead was erased when Heather Wright beat Sarah Adams 3-1. Heather, with her 15.12 average went on to lift the lady of the match award.

For the third time in the game the away team forged ahead, this time it was Natalie Tucker who gave them their lead with a 3-0 win against Jacqueline Maiden, then for the first time in the match and at a crucial stage in the game the sequence was broken. Natalie Pyatt was the player to break the run, her 3-1 win over Kirsty Haw giving Gwent a 4-2 victory.

Viv Gould kicked off proceedings for the men’s ‘B’ side and despite twice going behind to Phil Woods he went on to win 3-2. Andy Bates replied for Gwent with a similar 3-2 win in his game with Paul Price before Lyndon Gore put Gwent ahead for the first time in game three when he beat Mark Watkiss 3-2. The visitors went further ahead when Brian Barne won his tie with Ian Stanton 3-1.

Trailing 3-1 West Midlands needed a win to put them back in the game, Michael Baker was the man to do that as he, after falling behind twice to Russell Fletcher went on to win 3-2. The cheers were short lived however as Steve Challenger restored Gwent’s two game advantage with a clear 3-0 victory over Gurpal Singh. Once again the gap between the two teams was reduced, this time it was Glen Cullen’s 3-0 win against Darron Crawford to move the running score along to 4-3.

With West Midlands first maximum of the match Jonathon Platt won the opening leg against Mike Nixey, he then lost the next two but levelled in the fourth. Finishing doubles cost Platt the game, after hitting 140 and 134 to leave double sixteen he failed on his next visit to the oche and let Nixey check out on 56 for a 3-2 win.

Game number nine swung one way then the other as Lance Hackett won the first leg for the hosts and Viv Smith the following two. Hackett won the fourth and fifth for a 3-2 win leaving West Midlands trailing 5-4.

In the tenth encounter Martin Angell, who was in superb form against Geoff Dyer. Angell won the opener in 20 darts, Dyer won the second in 15. Angell went ahead again in 17 darts and then rounded off a tremendous 3-1 win in thirteen darts hitting 80, 140, 140 and 105 to leave double eighteen. With Dyer failing to find a three figure score in the leg he was way back on 242, Angell checked out on double eighteen first dart. Angell’s 29.18 average earned him the match award and brought West Midlands back on level terms.

The match was now delicately balanced at 5-5 with only two games to play. The penultimate encounter was between Kevin Jones (West Midlands) and Geoff Bladen. Bladen won the first, Jones the second. Bladen then won the next two legs for a 3-1 win.

Gwent looked to all intent and purposes as though they would clinch a 7-5 victory when Jarrod Powell opened up a 2-0 lead against Doug Thompson, putting them within an ace of the win. However, Powell lost his way in the third leg and Thompson came up trumps with a 23 darts win. Despite a maximum in the fourth Powell again failed to capitalise and lost that also and the game then went to the fifth and final leg of the day. After 21 darts both players were left on double top, with Thompson to throw, he checked out on his second dart for a 3-2 win and earned the home side a share of the spoils with a 6-6 result.

Sarah Thornbury (West Midlands) was the ladies ‘A’ side opener and although she fought back from one down to 2-1 up she eventually lost out 3-2 to Jan Robbins. Lisa Astbury restored parity when she accounted for Mo Collier with another five legs game. Jackie Crew gave the home team the lead in the third, a 3-1 win over Elaine Powell and it looked as if that lead would be extended when Katharine Jenkins went within an ace of victory winning the first two legs against Linda Rogers-Pickett, but she failed to notch that vital third leg and the Gwent player went on to win 3-2. Claire Hobbs (West Midlands), after falling 2-0 behind to Amanda Rosser clawed her way back to 2-2 only to lose out in the last leg and once again the result was dependant upon the outcome of the final game.

Long serving West Midland player Diane Tolley was on at number six taking on Gwent’s Chris Savvery. Savvery won the first leg in 19 darts, Tolley then started the second leg with a top score of 180 followed by 100 and 140. She won the leg with her fourteenth dart and a 36 checkout. Savvery then went into a 2-1 lead after scores of 100, 140, 95 and 85, going on to win the leg in 20 darts.

Keeping her calm Diane Tolley won the fourth on double twenty after Savvery had left herself double eight. The final leg was worthy of any ladies final, Tolley hit another 180 followed by 100, 100 and 81 to leave 40. Savvery had scores of 85, 100, 100 and 90 to leave 126. Diane Tolley took just two more darts, fourteen in all to win the leg and the game 3-2 and run away with the lady of the match award with a superb 24.87 average. The final score all square at three each.

What was needed from the men’s ‘A’ side was an 8-4 win to guarantee an overall victory and they got off to a very promising start. Peter Wyse led the charge beating his counterpart Christopher Jones 4-0. For the third consecutive fixture Jamie Hughes laid on a man of the match performance, his latest conquest being a 4-2 win over Stephen Cake. Scores of 125, 180 and 140 gave Hughes a throw at 56, which he put to bed with two darts for an amazing eleven darts leg in the opener. Twelve darts is all he had in the second as Cake checked out on 120 after top scores of 2x100 and 140.

Another 180 in the third leg saw Hughes go 2-1 up in 18 darts and with another 18 darts leg he stretched his lead to 3-1. A 20 darts leg kept Stephen Cake in the tie, but only just as Jamie Hughes hit his third maximum in the fifth leg, which he won in 17 darts.

Stephens had first throw in the sixth leg and got going with scores of 60, 100, 100, 85 and 120 to leave double eighteen. Meanwhile, Jamie Hughes hit 96, another 180, his fourth in the game, 105 and 56 leaving him with a throw for 56. Taking the full three darts at 56 he won 4-2 with a magnificent 31.07 average and the West Midlands man of the match award. Jamie’s averages in the three games played so far this season have been 32.85, 30.43 and 31.07, all of them match award winners.

Gwent pulled one back in the third game Peter Johns beating Matthew Dicken 4-3 in a very close game which could easily have gone either way. Jake Jones got the hosts back on track with a smart 4-1 win over Carl Lloyd and then taking the running score along to 4-1 was Dean Stewart with his straight 4-0 win against Sam Cankett. The good run continued when Andy Forrester added his 4-1 win against Nick Kenny to the tally to give an impressive lead of 5-1.

Gwent then pulled another game back when Martyn Freeman beat Neil Pointon 4-2, which started another run of West Midland wins. Mark Rollinson won 4-1 against Paul Cosslett to ensure a share of the point’s, Nick Fullwell beat Jesse Heal 4-0 to guarantee an ‘A’ team win and the always impressive Ian Jones beat Adrian Rees 4-1 to clinch an overall West Midlands win with the score at 8-2.

The penultimate game saw Gwent’s man of the match Phil Daniels (26.71) record a 4-1 win over Danny Coyle and with Steve Swallow beating Richard Platt 4-2 in the final game of the weekend the result was an 8-4 win for the West Midlands men’s ‘A’, plus the all important overall victory by 19-17, which lifts them two places off the foot of the table, a great end to 2012, well done to all players and officials.


To round off their season the Small Heath League have been playing off a couple of cup finals. First the League Cup, which went to the wire with Emerald Club just nipping a 5-4 win over Custard House.

The final of the Upside Down Cup was a different affair with division one champions Scanlons taking on the first division’s wooden spoon winners Wagon and Horses. The result was an emphatic 8-1 success for Scanlons.

The End of Season 501 Knockout Competition was won by Emerald Club’s Peter Yardley. Yardley took on and beat fellow Emerald player Neil Parsonage in the final. Losing semi finalists were Joe Fox, another Emerald Club player and Nathan Wykes, representing Midland Darts Centre.


The Tamworth League have played off their Three Tuns Trophy. In the semi’s the Sports Bar ‘180’ beat Wigginton 4-1, while league leaders Three Horse Shoes had a clear cut 4-0 success over Mile Oak Rovers.

The final was another 4-0 whitewash, Three Horse Shoes winning the title with Sports Bar ‘180’ runners up.


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The Secretaries competition winner was again supplied by Crown Arrows, this time it was Ada Radbourne who beat Mitch O’Donnell (Roosters) in the final.

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