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Article: Alan Towe’s The Line On Darts

Alan Towe’s The Line On Darts

Sean O^Donnell, Matt Gallett, Ian JonesThe Langley Sports and Social Club was the setting for the Langley Open which saw a quality field of thirty two players battle it out for a prize pot of £500.

The early rounds provided some top class matches and the quarter finals saw Matt Gallett beat Richie Nixon 4-0, Ian McFarlane win by the same margin against Tom Martin, and there were 4-1 wins for both Ian Jones and Tony Randell, who in turn accounted for Tony Kennedy and Steve Bromley. The Randell / Bromley match being the highlight of the last eight play off’s, a game that featured no fewer than twenty scores of a ton or more.

The semi’s continued with more classic darts as in the first Tony Randell finished on the wrong side of a 4-2 result against Ian Jones, with a total of three maximums in the game. The second of the last four play off’s was a see saw encounter between fellow Warwickshire county players Ian McFarlane and Matt Gallett. The tie went to the seventh and deciding leg, the close 4-3 verdict going in favour of Gallett as he booked his final spot with a 94 checkout.

The final saw reigning champion and West Midland county player Ian Jones take a 3-2 lead after some high scoring from both players. Then Matt Gallett stepped on the gas, which saw him reel off four straight winning legs including a bull finish to clinch a 6-3 victory and the top prize of £300.

The Plate play off was won by Darren Tudor when he beat Josh Bromley 3-2 in a very close final. Losing semi finalists were Stuart Spence and Aaron Nixon. Thanks go to Sean O’Donnell and TD Events for the stage set up and Lee Beech for marking the finals, also a big thank you to Jamie Carter for making it all possible and Langley Sports and Social for their hospitality.


And so another winter season of the Ripley Elite Darts Singles League comes to an end, but it was oh so close with many players having higher places to play for in the final games on the fixture card. The Premier Division title went to Phil Henshaw, who had a fantastically consistent season averaging in excess of 27 in his 120 legs. Phil finished four points clear of runner up Daz Brown in the closest run in to the division since the league’s inception.

Although Henshaw had the title wrapped up, Brown required a final win over young Aden Kirk to secure second place. The outcome, after a very nervy affair was a narrow 3-2 victory for Daz Brown, leaving Kirk to finish third, his best finishing position so far in the league, and he will undoubtedly be among the favourites for league honours in the forthcoming summer season.

Ash Spencer and Gary Fenn both finished on 76 points, the fourth place going to Spencer due to the fact that he beat Fenn in their game at the beginning of the season. Spencer, who only lost three of his twenty four games will be hoping for a higher place finish in the summer league.

Sixth in the table was Belper’s Paul Baker, another player to have had a consistent season, his average rarely dropping below 24 and ending with an overall average of 25.37.

At the other end of the table Ash Fisher had to beat fellow relegation candidate Colin Rich to secure his premier division status, something he did with a 3-2 scoreline. Rich will be joining Matt Allsopp, Kev Wragg and Martyn Cutbush in next winter season’s division one.

Well done to the premier league’s only female player Jo Odershaw, who finished above five male players in the table, winning seven of her games and averaging over the season 23.24.

In a record breaking season an amazing 181 scores of 180 were recorded, Phil Henshaw’s 22 the most for any individual. Henshaw also chalked up the league’s highest ever average of 33.85 per dart, he also shared the highest finish of 161 with Ian Byard. Crowning an incredible season was the magnificent achievement of a nine darts leg by Daz Brown.

Rich Palmer dominated division one winning all twenty two of his games, dropping just 8 out of the 110 legs he played. Palmer’s lucky number for the season must surely have been ELEVEN as he scored the most maximums in division one, which was eleven and he had the least darts, which once again was eleven. Added to all that Palmer’s best average of the season was a winning 30.83, he should prove to be a definite force in the summer league. The highest finish of 150 went to Wes Smith.

Joining Palmer in the premier division next winter will be runner up Wayne Howe, third placed Dave Allcock, who has made an amazing recovery and come back after suffering a heart attack last year, and league newcomer Lee Stanley, who finished fourth in division one.

Organiser Daz Brown wishes to thank Brin Johnson and Ant Parry, without their help there would be no Ripley Elite Darts Singles League and also the main sponsors Steve Heenan and Dez Cooper for there continued support. I would add to that Daz Brown himself, who works tirelessly to keep the league going from strength to strength.


Once again the Tipton Sports and Social Club hosted the annual Tipton Open, the men’s competition attracting a total of 93 players, all out in an effort to win the top prize of £500.

Numerous top names turned out to play in the Easter Monday competition, players of the quality such as Ian Jones, Wayne Jones, Jamie Hughes, Tom Aldridge, Tony Randell and Nigel Heydon to mention but a few. So an afternoon of top notch darts was the expectation and expectations were definitely realised.

Obviously many of the top names fell by the wayside on route to the finals, but nevertheless the quarter finals had some intriguing draws. The first of which was John Roberts against Wayne Jones, the latter winning through. Next on were fellow West Midland County players Ian Jones and Jamie Hughes, on this occasion it was Hughes who got the edge. Nigel Heydon then lost his battle with Luke Woodhouse and filling the final place in the last four was Dean Stewart , who accounted for Richard Platt.

The first of the semi’s was an all England International tussle between former West Midland player Wayne Jones and current West Midland player Jamie Hughes. Hughes, a player who has recently been "On Fire” for the county proved his worth and battled his way to the final. In the other semi final it was Luke Woodhouse who got the better of Dean Stewart to book his final place.

With the first throw advantage Jamie Hughes drew first blood in the final, top scores of 120 and 135 and a 36 game shot in 17 darts with Luke Woodhouse, who had hit three tons, left nursing 60. The following three legs were neck and neck all the way with Woodhouse securing all three in 17, 17 and 21 darts, with Hughes without a throw for 20, 12 and 16, the games were that close.

At 3-1 down in the best of nine legs final Hughes needed a win to keep him in the hunt. Kicking off the fifth leg with 100 and then a maximum Hughes gained the lead he needed to relieve the pressure, and when he got down to 116 he calmly checked out with his next three darts for an 18 darts leg with Woodhouse way back on 190.

Despite hitting another maximum, with what turned out to be his last throw in the sixth leg, and leaving 55, Hughes had to watch Woodhouse follow up a score of 100 with a 100 finish to go 4-2 up in 18 darts, putting him within an ace of victory.

The title agony was stretched out for Woodhouse as Jamie Hughes, with the third consecutive 18 darts leg reduced the arrears to 4-3, but it was the very next leg that saw him lose the game. Although Hughes had the more three figure scores in the eighth leg hitting 100, 121 and 100 to the 100 Woodhouse scored, first throw advantage and steady scores of 85, 94 and 92 gave him a throw for double eight to clinch the title, and with his sixteenth dart he did just that for a 5-3 success and a £500 payday.

For his efforts Hughes collected £230 and there was £115 for Wayne Jones and Dean Stewart as losing semi finalists, plus £50 for losing quarter finalists John Roberts, Ian Jones, Nigel Heydon and Richard Platt.

The women’s title plus the £60 that went with it went to Gemma Barrett, while runner up Sarah Thorberry picked up £40. Losing semi finalists Sophie Pinches and Shellbie Simmons each received £20.


The Mile Oak Rovers hosted a mixed doubles knockout in aid of Cancer Research in memory of Mike Lenton. Members of the Tamworth and District Ladies League and Tamworth Darts League were invited and a total of 27 teams entered.

The event was run on the night by Ian Rust and Dave Tallis of the Mile Oak Rovers, the trophies were kindly donated by Geggy Wright from the Globe Inn darts team. Winners of the event were Donna Whitmore and Lee Kirkham, with Victoria Jackson and Mark Tomlinson runners up.

Losing out in the semi finals were, Steve Taft and Laura Cotterill and Lyn Gilbert and Dave Owen. Going out in the last eight were, Claire Evans and Tim Evans, Phil Jones and Emily Jones, Darren Massey and Rachel Twigg, Jayne Holmes and Tim Holmes.


On the local league front, in the Four Oaks and District League Sutton Sports reversed their first half 7-2 result against The Nomads to clinch the division one title. With a repeat of their first half 8-1 win against Anvil Nomads Old Oscott Arrows take the runners up spot.

The Leopard, with a convincing 9-0 win over Erdington Arrows have won the division two title, while Drakes Drum hopes of taking the runners up spot were sunk by Deer’s Leap Stags, who beat them 7-2 to take second place with the same 24 points as Leopard, but with an inferior average.

Third division winner The Beehive finished the season on a high beating Boldmere Oak 8-1, winning the title by six clear points from the Brookvale.


Taking the honours in the The South Birmingham League doubles competition were Mohammed Anwar and Mark Birch, who beat S.Winters and C.Winters in the final. Losing semi finalists were Stuart Hazlett & Tony Comerford plus Will Naylor & Matt Gallett.


Congratulations to Bob Mills and Terry Stubbs (J.W.Belgrave) who with a final win over Mick Smith and Paul Webb (Belgrave Club) lifted the doubles title in the Pip Club League. Losing semi finalists were, Mark Martin and Phil Turner (Dolphin) and Mark Stringer and Steve Liddell (Bulls Head, Polesworth).


Winning the Camp Hill League Doubles Knockout were the Midland Darts Centre pairing of Peter Yardley and Arturus Bogucianskas. The duo beat the Crown Arrows team of Tom Humphries and Ben Watkins in the final.

Losing semi finalists were W.Hart & Kevin Maloney (Custard House) and Dave Logan & Nark Richards (Scruffy Ringers).


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