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Article: Alan Towe's the Line - 9th April

Alan Towe's the Line - 9th April

West Midlands penultimate fixture in the Premier Division of the BDO Inter County Championships was a tough away game against second in the table Lancashire, not the sort of fixture one would wish for to get back into winning ways after losing the previous three games and it could not have got off to a worse start as the ladies ‘B’ slumped to a 6-0 defeat. Chalking up the win for Lancashire were Anne-Marie Millership (3-0), Sharon Seed (3-2), Maria Ronson (3-1), Debbie Baxter (3-1), Heather Draper (3-0) and Danni-Lea Platt (3-2) who in turn accounted for Shannon Hall, Jacqueline Maiden, Shellbie Simmons, Elizabeth Arnold, Grace Angell and Heather Wright. The men’s ‘B’ had previously only lost two of their seven games but were about to suffer their heaviest defeat of the season so far. On at number one for the West Midlands was Martin Greenwood who in his inaugural game for the county produced a 4-3 win after trailing 2-0 and 3-1 to Tony Clarke. Neil Pointon appeared to be on his way to beating David Place as he won the opening three legs but then lost the last four. Gareth Watts was another player who looked as though he would win when he went 1-0 and 3-1 up against Tony Baker but he lost the last three legs to finish 4-3 down like his team mate Pointon. A 4-1 win for Terry Hey over Paul Price took the hosts lead to 3-1 before the Midlanders got their second win which was provided by Richard Platt when he won 4-3 against Martin Barratt. Taking the score along to 4-2 by the midway point was Steve Green who beat Danny Coyle 4-2. As the second half got underway James Cator extended Lancashire’s lead to 5-2 with a 4-2 win against Shaun Carroll and although Jordan Singh with a maximum 170 game shot in the fourth leg momentarily stopped the home team’s charge when he won 4-3 against Allan Fitzpatrick the hosts romped to an 8-3 lead with further wins from Jordan Brooks, 4-0 against John Mycock, Bradley Brooks who beat Adam Edgar 4-2 and Gary Davey with a 4-1 win over Avtar Singh. On the day the West Midlands kept their best till last as Shane Price recorded his second successive man of the match performance when he beat Mike Adamson 4-0 with a 29.04 average to give a final score of 8-4 to Lancashire. The ladies ‘A’ had lost the previous four games, the last three 5-1 and alas this was going to be another 5-1 defeat making it five in a row and four consecutive 5-1 reversals. The opening three games all finished 3-0 with two of them going to Lancashire’s Joanne Clements and Allyson Smith who accounted for Lisa Badger and Kim Fellows. The third game was a win for West Midlands Sarah Roberts who with her superb 27.33 average and being the sole winner for the visitors won her third match award of the season. Sarah finished her legs in 20,16 and 19 darts. Debbie Loon took the first two legs off Tracey Cunningham but it was the Lancashire player who got the 3-2 result. There were 3-0 scorelines in the last two games as Sue Cusick beat Kath Jenkins and Amy Eden won against Gemma Barrett for a 5-1 win for Lancashire. With four wins under their belts the men’s ‘A’ team have been the most successful for the West Midlands since their promotion to the Premier Division and once again they got off to a fine start as Michael Baker beat Darren Hebb 4-3, Alfie Jacques with top finishes of 102 and 125 won 4-2 against Graham Lalor and taking the score to 3-0 was Glen McGrandle with his 4-2 win over Sam Cromwell after Cromwell had opened up a 2-1 lead. From 3-0 up the lead was reversed with Lancashire winning the next six games but not without a fight as Keith Allman came from 1-0 and 3-1 down to lead 2-1 and draw level at 3-3 before losing 4-3 after leaving himself on double six and Jonathan Platt went two up against Dave Airey, lost the next two then with a 117 finish took a 3-2 lead before he lost 4-3. Andy Johnson had a 4-1 win over Mark Watkiss-Allen to put the score level at the break at 3-3. In the first three games of the second half Dave Adshead beat Paul Wells 4-2, Lee Shewan won by the same margin against Scott Baker and Gary Jackson despite trailing 2-0 and 3-1 to Shane Price went on to win the tie 4-3 and open up a 6-3 lead for Lancashire. The hosts now looked odds on for a win but there was still plenty of fight left in the Midlands side as Mark Craddock made it 6-4 with his 4-2 win against Mick Oversby prior to Ash Khayatt who put up a tremendous fight against Scott Taylor as he went 2-0 and 3-1 down before winning the last three legs for a 4-3 win to keep his team in the hunt for a draw. Anchor man Shaun Carroll now had the West Midlands men’s ‘A’ fate in his hands and he responded magnificently as he defeated Chris O’Connor 4-3 after O’Connor had opened up 1-0, 2-1 and 3-2 leads, Carroll winning the final two legs in 15 and 16 darts to give him a man of the match winning average of 27.70 and take the final score to 6-6. The overall result for the weekend was 25-11 to Lancashire leaving West Midlands on 133 points with just one fixture remaining. The three teams below West Midlands, Hampshire (128 points), Cambridgeshire (109 points) and Devon (106 points) all have a game in hand on West Midlands, it is to be hoped that the early season form was enough to secure their place in the Premier Division next season. Full Results: Lancashire v West Midlands (25-11):(Lancashire names first):Men’s ‘A’:- Darren Hebb 3 Michael Baker 4, Graham Lalor 2 Alfie Jacques 4, Sam Cromwell 2 Glen McGrandle 4, Carl Sneyd 4 Keith Allman 3, Dave Airey 4 Jonathan Platt 3, Andy Johnson 4 Mark Watkiss-Allen 1, Dave Adshead 4 Paul Wells 2, Lee Shewan 4 Scott Baker 2, Gary Jackson 4 Shane Price 3, Mick Oversby 2 Mark Craddock 4, Scott Taylor 3 Ash Khayatt 4, Chris O’Connor 3 Shaun Carroll 4, Men’s ‘B’:- Tony Clarke 3 Martin Greenwood 4, David Place 4 Neil Pointon 3, Tony Baker 4 Gareth Watts 3, Terry Hey 4 Paul Price 1, Martin Barratt 3 Richard Platt 4, Steve Green 4 Danny Coyle 2, James Caton 4 Shaun Carroll 2, Allan Fitzpatrick 3 Jordan Singh 4, Jordan Brooks 4 John Mycock 0, Bradley Brooks 4 Adam Edgar 2, Gary Davey 4 Avtar Singh 1, Mike Adamson 0 Shane Price 4, Women’s ‘A’:- Joanne Clements 3 Lisa Badger 0, Allyson Smith 3 Kim Fellows 0, Gina Jones 0 Sarah Roberts 3, Tracey Cunningham 3 Debbie Loon 2, Sue Cusick 3 Kath Jenkins 0, Amy Eden 3 Gemma Barrett 0, Women’s ‘B’:- Anne-Marie Millership 3 Shannon Hall 0, Sharon Seed 3 Jacqueline Maiden 2, Maria Ronson 3 Shellbie Simmons 1, Debbie Baxter 3 Elizabeth Arnold 1, Heather Draper 3 Grace Angell 0, Danni-Lea Platt 3 Heather Wright 2.
What a climax to the domestic fixtures in the Four Oaks and District League as division one leaders Royal Sutton Flights played away to their nearest rivals The Boat who with a big win could steal the title. The home side raced into a winning 5-1 lead needing just two more games to become champions. It was not to be as Royal Sutton Flights fought back to take the final three games to clinch the title with the same 22 points as their opponents but with three legs of average more. In the second division Bishop Vesey’s 5-4 loss to Old Oscott WMC ended their promotion hopes while Pint Pot Flights produced a season best performance to beat Plough and Arrows 7-2 and replace Red Lion in pole position to become second division champions. Boldmere Tap and Oscott Social headed the third division, level on points, both needing a win in the final game, Oscott Social beat Brookvale Social 6-3 and despite a spirited performance from Sutton Sports and Social Club, Boldmere Tap also won 6-3 and with the superior average won the third division title. Since the league fixtures have been completed cup games were the order of the day, forty two players contested the K & B Installations sponsored Derek Masters Singles Knockout title currently held by R.Hawker (Royal Sutton Flights). Three players from the league champions (Royal Sutton Flights) and one from the first division runners up (The Boat) made it to the quarter finals but at the end of the round all three Royal Sutton Flights players were eliminated including reigning champion Hawker who was beaten by S.Holmes (Bishop Vesey) 2-1. K.Deeley from The Boat was the only first division player to make the semi-finals, he then booked his final place with a 2-0 win against Red Lion’s B.Hughes. The other finalist S.Holmes defeated I.Lloyd (St Thomas’s Social Club) 2-0. K.Deeley went on to beat S.Holmes 3-0 in the final to become the league’s new singles champion. League champions Royal Sutton Flights added the Coronation Cup title to their trophy hoard for the season with a 9-6 win over The Boot in a game that produced 38 scores of a ton or more. Golden Hind outscored second division champions Pint Pot Flights in the Norman Day Cup but it was Pint Pot who got the early 3-0 lead. Golden Hind fought back to go 5-4 up but their opponents battled tenaciously and went on to clinch a close 8-7 win in the final leg of the last game.
The South Birmingham League played off their Doubles Knockout which attracted an encouraging 34 pairs with Neil Parsonage and Martin Heaven taking the honours with a final 2-1 success over Jake Liggins and Mike McFall. Both of the last four games finished with straight 2-0 wins Parsonage and Heaven accounting for Alan Mayell and Bob Jones while Liggins and McFall took out Dave Downes and Nigel Groves.
Studley Cricket Club rounded off their season in the Henley and District League with a 6-3 home win over Wythall Legion to make it fourteen wins in as many games to win the league title with a perfect score of 28 points six more than runners up Wharf Swifts who completed their campaign with a 5-4 win over Studley Conservative Club. [caption id="attachment_31598" align="aligncenter" width="640"]Henley and District League, Red Dragon Darts, Alan Towe Henley and District League Champions Studley Cricket Club[/caption] The Cricket Club made it a fabulous double when with a 7-2 result over Wootton Bears they lifted the League Cup winner’s trophy. The Consolation Cup final saw Studley Conservative Club beat Dorridge, again the scoreline was 7-2. Since sorting out the final league table the league have been kept busy with cup finals the Singles title going to Andy Foulkes who beat Dale Evans in the final. Foulkes then made it a fabulous double when he won the Doubles Knockout with his partner Lionel Deeley, Paul Fackrell and Aidrian Whadcoat were runners up. Fackrell and Whadcoat then also made it a double win by taking the Captain and Secretaries title with a final victory over Dave TaPipbberner and Dale Evans. The Ladies Singles title went to Ruth Gwilliam with Mandy Morgan losing in the final and to round off the five finals Paul Fackrell added to the two titles he had already won by pairing up with Mandy Morgan to win the Mixed Doubles title beating Adrian Whadcoat and Annie Bailey in the final.
The Pairs Cup title for the Forest of Arden Winter League went to Journeys End who beat Kingshurst Knights 9-6 in the final. [caption id="attachment_31308" align="aligncenter" width="640"]Red Dragon Darts, Forest of Arden Winter League, Pairs Forest of Arden Winter League Pairs Cup Winners Journeys End[/caption]
The Camp Hill League have played their Singles Knockout and Ladies Singles Knockout, in the former league leader’s representative Pete Yardley from Journeys End Lions clinched the title with a final win over Neil Parsonage from Cotterills Lane Club. The ladies singles final was a Kingdon family affair with mother Sue taking on daughter Charlie, the title going to Sue.
Doubles and Singles Knockouts were on the agenda for the Brierley Hill Friday Night League with a close 3-2 result in the final against D.Male and A.Apati it was J.Batham and C.Penzer who lifted the Doubles winner’s silverware. Losing semi-finalists were A.Mears and S.Russell who lost 2-0 to Male and Apati plus C.H.Green and R.Nutting who went out to Batham and Penzer, again 2-0. In the Singles Knockout taking the title with a final 3-2 win over Brickmakers Arms ‘A’ representative R.Powers was J.Churchill from Netherton Cricket Club ‘A. Both of the semi-finals finished with a 2-1 scoreline Churchill beating S.Skidmore (Netherton Cricket Club ‘A’) and Powers wining against G.Jackson (Brickmakers Arms ‘B’).
Congratulations to Sam Whittaker (Queens Head) and Adam Wood (Dolphin Wanderers) on winning the Pip Club League’s Doubles Knockout. Sam and Adam took on and beat Mark Jones (Queens Head) and Ian Turner (The Office) in the final. [caption id="attachment_31427" align="aligncenter" width="480"]Pip Club League, Doubles, Darts, Winners, Red Dragon Darts Pip Club League Doubles Winners Sam Whittaker (Queens Head ) & Adam Wood (Dolphin Wanderers)[/caption] Losing semi-finalists were Martin ‘Eddie’ Edwards and Steve Liddle (The Office) and Mark Young and Alan Sutton (Birchmoor Club).
The Royal, Albrigton staged another of their popular knockouts and winning the top prize of £80 was Pat Pace (Gnosall) who beat Andy Pullen (Ledbury) 6-4 in the final, Pullen collecting £40. In the last four games Pace took out Nik Bloor (Telford) in a close 5-4 affair while Pullen beat Craig Capewell (Pelsall), again 5-4, both losing semi-finalists received £10. Losing out in the quarter finals were Andy Gilbert (Telford), Simon Pritchard (Codsall), Dennis Byles (Ironbridge) and Martin East (Kingswinford).
Paul Baker with 125 points won his second Ripley Elite Darts Singles League Premier Division title by six points losing only three of his 26 games, all three close 3-2 results. Baker capped off a fantastic season by winning the most 180s (22) and the least darts which was eleven. Dale Gadsby finished as runner up on 119 points and had the best overall season average of 27.52 plus he had the highest individual average of 32.53. Ian Richardson had his best season to date finishing third, a further twelve points behind Gadsby on 107 with Daz Brown fourth also on 107 points. Brown had the most scores of 100 or more recording 268 in his 130 legs and was the only other player to finish with a 27 plus average. The First Division was won by Scott McCabe who only lost one of his 24 games winning 94 legs and losing just 26 to finish ten points clear of second placed Ricky Hall on 107 points. Scott also had the highest overall average of 22.62. Runner up Ricky Hall was playing his first ever Ripley Elite Darts Singles League season and had an impressive start as he lost just two games all season plus he hit the most scores of 100 or more, 200 in 120 legs. Third place went to James Parkin, six points adrift of Hall but more importantly gaining promotion after missing out a couple of times previously. Young Parkin rounded off a fantastic season winning prizes for the most 180s (14), the least darts which was 12 darts and the highest individual average a superb 27.88. The league continues to attract all of the top local players and no wonder when there is close to £7,000 paid out in prize money.
No darts column would be complete without a mention of the sad passing of World Darts Legend Eric Bristow MBE. I am proud to have been part of Eric’s incredible career during the late 70’ and early 80’s when I negotiated with Mitchells and Butlers Brewery to set up an exhibition team, eventually the Tennents Lager Team, to take on challengers at mainly local clubs, the player with the highest average on the night going forward together with nine similar winners to play against Eric for a top prize of £100 on that night. During that time I got to know Eric very well and found him to be not only a fabulous darts player but also a great man, never one to hide his thoughts or feelings always saying what he felt to be right for his beloved sport. Condolences go to his partner Becky and his family. Rest in Peace Eric no one will ever do for darts what you have done, you brought darts to the fore with your amazing talent and personality   The new season of the Winmau Centre Thursday Night Champions League has got underway again and the early leader is Kristian Wharton with an unbeaten seven games run giving him a total of 39 points and a six points advantage over his nearest rival Adam Quinton who has only played six games so far. Only four of the starting eighteen players have 100% win records the leading duo being two of them plus Rob Harris and Lee Southall who have both only played two games so far. Four times winner and current reigning champion Mick Baker is currently lying in ninth place on 20 points from just five games but there is a long, long way to go before reaching the finishing post.
At the time of going to print the Winmau Centre Monday Night League have played ten games and topping the table with 364 points is Misfits with Above Average a close second on 357 points. Third placed The Untouchables are a further three points adrift but have a 51 points advantage over fourth in the table Bloody Good Shot Sir! Three Men And A Lady are at the foot of the table and are the only team currently without a win.
A reminder that the Winmau Darts Centre in the Wolverhampton Indoor Community Sports Arena will once again be staging their Winmau BDO Wolverhampton Classic and the Winmau BDO Wolverhampton Open over the weekend of the 14th and 15th July with a bigger prize fund totalling a fantastic £11,600. 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.
By Alan Towe Website:

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