Alan Towe’s The Line On Darts Riley’s BDO Inter County Darts Championships- Division One: Staffordshire v Derbyshire
Saturday’s games saw the ladies give Derbyshire a real fighting chance as they stormed to a 5-1 victory, their first of the season. Jackie Sweet got the ball rolling with a 3-0 win over Maria Pickering, Michelle Phillips doubled the lead when she beat Julie Robinson 3-2 and although Stephanie Emberton pulled one back for the hosts with a 3-2 win against Rachel Bird, Derbyshire rattled off another three straight 3-0 win thanks to Nicola Fletcher, lady of the match Sarah Quinn (17.68) and Rachel Ayres, who in turn defeated Karen Turner, Tracey Eaton and Joanna Ashby.
The men’s ‘B’ were also seeking their first win of the campaign, unfortunately they were unable to emulate the ladies feat. Staffordshire took the opening two games through Dave Moors and Mark Bloor, in turn beating Robert Needham and Doug Walker. Brian Snell stopped the rot with a comfortable 3-0 win over Mark Smallman. Richard Rawding was a little unlucky, for the second consecutive game losing by the odd leg, this time it was Karl Merchant who got the 3-2 result.
Robert Wood (Derbyshire) extended his winning run to six wins from as many games, beating Jason Gilbert 3-2 and at the same time earning himself the man of the match award with a 26.48 average. However, the away team’s joy was short lived as they went from 3-2 down to an unassailable 7-2 disadvantage. Chalking up the wins for the home side were Patrick Kavanagh, Daniel Allsop, David Fairlie and Peter Challinor, who beat respective opponents Frank Davis, John Clifford, Keith Cooper and Steve Pashley.
Ian Hannah reduced the arrears when he won the deciding leg against Steven Shenton and the scoreline was made a little more respectable when Tony Cresswell added his 3-1 win against Russell Mason to the tally. The final score was 8-4 to Staffordshire when Neil Alcock took the last game against Ian Byard 3-2 to give an overall score of 9-9 on the day and still everything to fight for.
Jackie Sweet opened up for the second time of the weekend, her 3-2 win against Colette Duffield made it a great double for her. Jane Densley, winner of the three previous match awards was next to the oche and although on this occasion her 18.90 average was not enough to earn the award for a fourth time, her 3-1 result over Sarah Cope was enough to double Derbyshire’s lead.
At number three was Joanne Oldershaw, who accounted for Michelle Colclough with a neat 3-0 result. Joanne started quietly with a 25 darts leg and then stepped up for a 20 darts second leg. She then romped to her 3-0 win with a 16 darts leg hitting 60, 180, 81, 100, 40 and double top first dart to give her a superb lady of the match average of 24.64.
Stephanie Allerton moved the score along to a match winning 4-0 with her 3-0 win against Deborah Upton and with two further 3-1 wins from Kelly Dean and Tracey Johnson at the expense of Stephanie Thompson and Susan Sherratt, Derbyshire had whitewashed their opponents 6-0 to put the visitors 15-9 ahead.
To complete the weekend was the men’s ‘A’ game which got off to a good start when Melvyn Hopkins won 4-2 against Martin Wheawall. Steve Clews (Staffordshire) levelled the scoreline with a 4-1 win over Alan Evans, only to see the away team forge ahead again, this time through Gary Fenn, who put on a superb display to beat Peter Giorgino 4-1 and record a splendid 28.90 average.
From 3-1 up to 6-3 down, that is how the game went, Mark Bloor beat Adrian Asprey 4-2, Paul Wright had a 4-1 win against Ian Hannah, Edward Brookes won 4-2 in his tie with Darran Sinfield, Trevor Carter had a straight 4-0 success against Paul Bettney and to round off the five consecutive wins for the hosts John Burgess beat Reece Spurr 4-1.
At 6-3 Derbyshire were still in with a chance of a draw Nigel Daniels added a close 4-3 win over Jamie Hughes to assist in that cause, but the result was put beyond their reach when Andy Beardmore won 4-1 against Daniel Thomas giving Staffordshire a 7-3 lead with only two to play.
In the penultimate encounter Dave Smith-Hayes hit two maximums and had winning legs of 17, 2x15 and 13 darts in a 4-2 win against Martin Homer and for the third game on the trot Dave took the man of the match award, his average 29.12.
Taking the final score to 8-4 was Steven Mason, Steve had a 4-1 win over Peter Slater. However, the overall score for the weekend was 19-17 to Derbyshire and although that still leaves them second from bottom on 118 points they have a home tie against West Midlands, who themselves are not out of the woods 125 points and a rearranged away fixture against Gwent, who are in a more comfortable mid table position.