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Article: Alan Towe’s The Line On Darts – Nottinghamshire v Derbyshire

Alan Towe’s The Line On Darts – Nottinghamshire v Derbyshire

What a great start to the new season for Derbyshire in division two of the BDO Inter County Championships, following up their opening 23-13 home win over Suffolk with a tremendous 21-15 away victory over neighbouring Nottinghamshire.

Saturday’s games saw the away side open up an 11-7 lead, the ladies began with a 3-2 win by Dee Fenn after her opponent Kaylea Riley had taken a 2-1 lead. Nottinghamshire’s Julie Pitchford and Emma Tomlinson reversed the advantage with their respective wins over Louise Rawson-Lee and Rachel Ayres.

For the second consecutive game Lauren Jackson took Derbyshire’s ‘B’ team lady of the match award, improving on her previous 18.90 with a superb 23.92 in her 3-1 win over Kelly Stevens to level the match at 2-2.

Once again the home side took the lead, this time it was Kirsty Handford who supplied the win, a 3-0 success against Samantha Clarke, only to see Kelly Dean (Derbyshire) win the final game against Tracey Johnson 3-1 to seal a 3-3 draw.

The men’s ‘B’ were hoping to take their 100% win record to two games and they certainly did that although the opening four games were shared. Robert Smith (Derbyshire) was first on and with a 3-2 scoreline accounted for Trevor Ellis. Karl Askew (Nottinghamshire) erased Smith’s win with a 3-0 success against Christian Bradshaw. Dean Wilkins was the man to restore the visitors lead, a 3-1 win over Richard Cooper only to see Melvyn Hopkins square the game when he beat Colin Rich 3-0.

The fifth game saw the home side take the lead for the first time in the game when Mick Pitchford beat Daniel Thomas 3-1 after Thomas had won the first leg. But the hosts joy was short lived as Dale Gadsby started a winning run of five games for the away team. Gadsby had a 3-1 win over Mark Cowley, the same margin by which Paul Baker defeated Christopher Hughes. Tim Rippon was taken the full five legs distance by Wes Deane, but it was the Derbyshire player that was successful in the deciding leg to open up a 5-3 lead.

On at number nine for Derbyshire was Robert Wood, who took on his Nottinghamshire counterpart John Esam. Wood was in terrific form, 2x140 and 100 earned the first leg in 14 darts, 140, 120 and 100 saw him win the second in 16 darts and he sealed a straight 3-0 victory with 140 and 180 in the third which he won in 18 darts, his opponent unable to reach a double in any of the three legs. Wood’s average a superb 31.31.

Wood’s win took Derbyshire within an ace of victory as they then held a 6-3 lead. That vital winning leg came in the very next game when Alan Statham handed out a 3-1 defeat to Ricky Gray.

Graham Cook reduced the arrears for the home team when he won 3-1 against Brian Snell, but with a further 3-1 win for Wayne Pepper (Derbyshire) against Andrew McCracken in the final game of the day the visitors finished as 8-4 winners.

The only disappointment of the weekend came in the ladies ‘A’ match. Rachel Bird (Derbyshire) lost the opener 3-1 to Sara Faulkner, before Derbyshire’s two most reliable winners in the shape of Joanne Oldershaw and Jane Densley stepped up to the oche. Joanne took on, and beat Margaret Bamford 3-0 and was then followed by Jane Densley, who for the second match won herself the lady of the match award when she beat Kirsty Handford 3-0 in 18, 29 and 19 darts to give her a 22.77 average, again like Lauren Jackson for the ‘B’ side, Jane improving on her previous 22.44 average.

From 2-1 up it was then, because of elusive finishing doubles, pretty much all downhill. Helen Harvey, Nicola McNamara and Sarah Brent all taking advantage of Derbyshire’s lack of finishing power to give their team a 4-2 win.

The men’s ‘A’ team got off to a good start and really never looked back. Paul Bettney began a run of three wins when he defeated Peter McConville 4-1. Reece Spurr and Richard Hanson were both taken the full seven legs distance by respective opponents Timothy Broadhurst and Andrew Kerr, but their 4-3 wins added to Bettney’s opener gave Derbyshire a 3-0 lead.

Jason Marriott was Nottinghamshire’s first winner, a 4-0 success against John Clifford, only to see Gary Fenn restore the away teams three games buffer when he won 4-1 against Darren Layden.

Then came the hosts best run of the match when they recorded two in a row thanks to Neil Ward and Paul Harvey to leave them trailing 4-3.

David Smith-Hayes was in an unstoppable mood hitting seven scores of a ton or more plus three maximums in a superb 4-1 victory over Neil Birkin. David took Derbyshire’s match award with a splendid 29.35 average.

Assuring the away team of at the worst a share of the points was Paul Mellor. Mellor recording a 4-2 win over Mark Wilson, the same margin by which long time Derbyshire stalwart Jim Beardmore beat Scott Bennett to guarantee a victory with the score at 7-3.

Nigel Daniels made it 8-3 with a 4-1success against Thomas Allies and with a 4-0 win for Nottinghamshire’s Melvyn Hopkins in the final game against Tony Cresswell, the result was an 8-4 win for Derbyshire’s men’s ‘A’ plus an important 21-15 overall victory to take them up into second place in the promotion table, just two points behind leaders Sussex and leave their opponents, Nottinghamshire languishing at the foot of the table.

Full Results:Men’s ‘A’: Nottinghamshire names first):- Peter McConville 1 Paul Bettney 4, Timothy Broadhurst 3 Reece Spurr 4, Andrew Kerr 3 Richard Hanson 4, Jason Marriott 4 John Clifford 0, Darren Layden 1 Gary Fenn 4, Neil Ward 4 Robert Needham 1, Paul Harvey 4 Drew Smith 2, Neil Birkin 1 David Smith-Hayes 4, Mark Wilson 2 Paul Mellor 4, Scott Bennett 2 Jim Beardmore 4, Thomas Allies 1 Nigel Daniels 4, Melvyn Hopkins 4 Tony Cresswell 0, Men’s ‘B’:- Trevor Ellis 2 Robert Smith 3, Karl Askew 3 Christian Bradshaw 0, Richard Cooper 1 Dean Wilkins 3, Melvyn Hopkins 3 Colin Rich 0, Mick Pitchford 3 Daniel Thomas 1, Mark Cowley 1 Dale Gadsby 3, Christopher Hughes 1 Paul Baker 3, Wes Deane 2 Tim Rippon 3, John Esam 0 Robert Wood 3, Ricky Gray 0 Alan Statham 3, Graham Cook 3 Brian Snell 1, Andrew McCracken 1 Wayne Pepper 3, Women’s ‘A’:- Sara Faulkner 3 Rachel Bird 1, Margaret Bamford 0 Joanne Oldershaw 3, Kirsty Handford 0 Jane Densley 3, Helen Harvey 3 Dawn Buckley 1, Nicola McNamara 3 Jackie Sweet 0, Sarah Brent 3 Sara-Jane Harrison 0, Women’s ‘B’:- Kaylea Riley 2 Dee Fenn 3, Julie Pitchford 3 Louise Rawson-Lee 2, Emma Tomlinson 3 Rachel Ayres 1, Kelly Stevens 1 Lauren Jackson 3, Kirsty Handford 3 Samantha Clarke 0, Tracey Johnson 1 Kelly Dean 3.

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