Alan Towe’s The Line On Darts – Shropshire
Shropshire’s away game against high riding Gloucestershire in division four of the BDO Inter County Championships was one that was never going to be easy as their hosts were second in the table and with Shropshire only having one win from the previous five games it was always going to be an uphill battle for them.
Nevertheless the ladies ‘B’, fresh from their 5-1 win over Bedfordshire were in fine form and brimming with confidence. Suzanne Lane (Shropshire) got the ball rolling with her 3-1 win over Lin Smith after Smith had won the first leg, Caroline Powell doubled the lead with a similar game as Lane’s her opponent Jo Goodwin going one up before Caroline went on to win 3-1.
Game number three saw the advantage sway one way then the other as Sophie Fawcett (Shropshire) won the first leg lost the next two to Emma Clutterbuck and then won the tie 3-1 with wins in the last two legs.
Shropshire’s win was confirmed in the fourth game when lady of the match Grace Angell (18.65) beat Karen Brown 3-2, Angell winning the first then going 2-1 down and sealing her 3-2 win in the fifth.
Gloucestershire won their first game in the penultimate encounter when Kirsty Dixon beat namesake Kirsty Jenks 3-2 after Jenks had forfeited 1-0 and 2-1 leads.
The last game went to Shropshire’s Lynne Watton a 3-0 win over Jen Bevan to give Shropshire ladies ‘B’ their second consecutive 5-1 victory.
The opening three games of the men’s ‘B’ match all went with the first throw advantage Martin Angell giving Shropshire the opening win when he beat Liam Devries 3-0. Mark Johncock levelled for Gloucestershire with a 3-1 success against Jacob Perrins only to see the away team go ahead again in the third when Nathan Storar chalked up a second 3-0 win for the visitors when he defeated Kevin Devries.
From 2-1 up Shropshire with 3-1 wins from Brian Hickman and Matt Williams over respective opponents Mark Turley and Keith Philburn forged a 4-1 lead but their advantage didn’t last long as Andy Reid won 3-2 against Martin Riggs after Riggs had opened up a 2-0 lead, Gary Brown beat Rob Trumper 3-0 and John King levelled the score at 4-4 when he beat Louis Burley 3-1.
Giving the visiting team the lead for a third time was Eddie Austin when he came from one down to James Atkins to beat him 3-1, but once again the home team came back and a 3-1 win by Rob Long over Nigel Sandbrook made it 5-5.
It was not until the penultimate game that Gloucestershire had the lead for the first time John Raynsford putting them 6-5 up with a 3-0 win over Peter Trott to leave the outcome of the match resting on the final game of the day.
Ian Beasley looked to be heading the home side into a 7-5 win when he began with a confident 16 darts winning leg against Andre Knox. Knox was first to a finishing double in the second leg and after both players were guilty of missing their doubles it was Knox who eventually found his with an 8 outshot to level the game. With Beasley still requiring 81, a 76 game shot in the third saw Knox go 2-1 up and then a 20 finish in the fourth saw him win the tie 3-1, Beasley left nursing 126.
The final score left both teams all square at 6-6.
Sunday’s games confirmed it was definitely a weekend for Shropshire ladies as the ‘A’ team, like the ‘B’ recorded their second victory of the campaign. Katharine McLean set them off on the right foot when she opened up with a 3-1 win over Kirsty Dixon, Katharine followed by Mandy Morgan whose straight 3-0 win over Louise Bayliss together with her superb 21.17 average earning her, her first match award of the season.
Gloucestershire pulled one back in the third when Elaine Powel beat Michele Pritchard 3-1 but it proved to be just a momentary pause in events as Stephanie Clarke and Marie Riggs in turn won 3-0 against Jane Smith and Maria Lock to put their team in an invincible 4-1 lead.
The final game went to the hosts Vicky Fairbrother won 3-0 against Julie Griffiths to give a 4-2 result in Shropshire’s favour.
In the men’s ‘A’ game it was the home side that were first to settle down as Ben Green and Kieran Smith put the hosts 2-0 up with 4-2 wins over respective opponents Neil Christopher Powell and Andrew Chatter.
Danny James broke the ice for Shropshire, a 4-1 success against Keith Lawrence only to see Chris Jackson restore Gloucestershire’s two game buffer when he won 4-3 in a very close encounter with Ian Pallett. Clive Lucking was Shropshire’s second winner when again the scoreline won 4-3 in his tie with Scott Richards. At the midway point the home side had opened up a 4-2 lead after Mark Blandford adding his 4-0 win over John Cooper to their tally.
The second half didn’t get any better for the away side as Gloucestershire took the first three games Shaun Hughes winning 4-2 against John Cornmell, Mark Chiswell beating Peter Eley 4-1 and chalking up the all important seventh game for the hosts was Aaron Dyer with a 4-2 win against Roger Taylor.
Kevein Harris pulled one back for Shropshire going 2-0 up against Matt Jackson then trailing 3-2 before he won the last two legs for a 4-3 victory and then for the first time in the game the visitors won two in a row Richard Parker in a battle royal with Ben Fishwick which saw Parker go one up then Fishwick win the next two. Parker then went ahead again winning the following two legs for a 3-2 lead but his opponent was still not done as with a win in the sixth he took the game to a deciding leg which was won by Parker in 19 darts to give him an award winning average of 26.58.
The final game went to Joe Griffiths (Gloucestershire), a 4-0 result against Derek Coulson for an 8-4 home win but the overall score was a terrific 19-17 to Shropshire their second win of the campaign.
Full Results:Gloucestershire v Shropshire (17-19):Gloucestershire names first):Men’s ‘A’:- Ben Green 4 Neil Christopher Powell 2, Kieran Smith 4 Andrew Chatter 2, Keith Lawrence 1 Danny James 4, Chris Jackson 4 Ian Pallett 3, Scott Richards 3 Clive Lucking 4, Mark Blandford 4 John Cooper 0, Shaun Hughes 4 John Cornmell 2, Mark Chiswell 4 Peter Eley 1, Aaron Dyer 4 Roger Taylor 2, Matt Jackson 3 Kevin Harris 4, Ben Fishwick 3 Richard Parker 4, Joe Griffiths 4 Derek Coulson 0, Men’s’ ‘B’:- Liam Devries 0 Martin Angell 3, Mark Johncock 3 Jacob Perrins 1, Kevin Devries 0 Mathan Storar 3, Mark Turley 1 Brian Hickman 3, Keith Philburn 1 Matt Williams 3, Andy Reid 3 Martin Riggs 2, Gary Brown 3 Robert Trumper 0, John King 3 Louuis Burley 1, James Arkins 1 Eddie Austin 3, Rob Long 3 Nigel Sandbrook 1, John Raynsford 3 Peter Trott 0, Ian Beasley 1 Andre Knox 3, Women’s ‘A’:- Kirsty Dixon 1 Katharine McLean 3, Louise Bayliss 0 Mandy Morgan 3, Elaine Powell 3 Michel Pritchard 1, Jane Smith 0 Stephanie Clarke 3, Maria Lock 0 Marie Riggs 3, Vicky Fairbrother 3 Julie Griffiths 0, Women’s ‘B’:- Lin Smith 1 Suzanne Lane 3, Jo Goodwin 1 Caroline Powell 3, Emma Clutterbuck 2 Sophie Fawcett 3, Karen Brown 2 Grace Angell 3, Kirsty Dixon 3 Kirsty Jenks 2, Jen Bevan 0 Lynne Watton 3.
Shropshire v Breconshire
Prior to the fixture Shropshire were two places off the foot of the table while their visitors were three places above them in a mid table position and five points to the good. Saturday’s games gave Breconshire hopes of an overall victory and left Shropshire chasing the game.
The ladies ‘B’ had a win in their opener as Grace Angell came from one down to win 3-1 against Donna Hilton. Sadly it then was a downhill track until the final game as Kaye Hales beat Caroline Powell 3-1, Jane Smith won 3-2 against Sophie Fawcett, Carol Bufton had a 3-0 success against Kirsty Jenks, then giving Breconshire a 4-1 winning lead was Sharon Hill with her 3-1 win over Lynne Watton.
The final game went to the home team a straight 3-0 win from Suzanne Lane over Janthia Layton, Suzanne taking the match award with her 15.34 average.
It was not a good start for the men’s ‘B’ as their opponents stormed into a 4-0 lead, three of those going to a deciding leg, all of them could easily have gone to the home team if only they could have found their finishing doubles, nevertheless it was a massive deficit to claw back.
Steve Perry kicked off with a 3-1 win for Breconshire when he beat Neil Christopher Powell. Christopher Gough, Dave Williams and Andrew Rough in turn defeated Nathan Storar, Louis Burley and Martin Angell, all of the games by 3-2.
Shropshire chalked up their first stripe in the fifth when Derek Couson accounted for Ben Watkins with a 3-1 result and reducing the arrears to 4-2 was Andre Knox who opened up a 2-0 lead over Tim Boulter then saw his opponent draw level at two each before he won the deciding leg in 17 darts, his 24.52 average earning him the team’s match award.
Mark Davies took the away team into a 5-2 lead with a 3-0 win over Paul Bromley and although Brian Hickman looked all set to pull another one back for Shropshire when he went 2-0 up against Ian Evans the Brecon man took full advantage of Hickman’s missed doubles and went on to win 3-2.
At 6-2 down the home team then produced their best run of the match as Brian Matthews began a run of three wins when he won 3-0 against Paul Jenkins and was followed by Paul Boddison who won 3-1 against Andrew Kerry, then with a 3-2 success for Martin Riggs over Andrew Dudley Shropshire had come from the dead and were in with an outside chance of 6-6 draw.
A draw was not to be, Stephen Hales won the first against Nigel Sandbrook and although Sandbrook levelled in the second it was the Breconshire man who won the next two for a 3-1 win and a 7-5 victory for his team.
After poor results on Saturday, Sunday was another day and one that got off to a brighter start as Marie Riggs got the ladies ‘A’ off to a wining start when she won 3-0 against Helen Thomas-Evans, then doubling their lead was Julie Griffiths with her 3-1 success against Natalie Evans.
The away team won the third, a five legs affair between Mandy Morgan (Shropshire) and Joy Toghill which could easily have gone either way but the 3-2 result went in Toghill’s favour.
A lady of the match show from Stephanie Clarke restored Shropshire’s two games lead, Stephanie winning 3-1 against Louisa Fox and claiming the award with her 22.00 average.
With a share of the points now assured it was not long before the actual win was guaranteed as in the very next game Katharine McClean, who came from 1-0 and 2-1 down to Dianne Caffrey went on to win 3-2 and put her team 4-1 up.
Michele Pritchard won the first leg of the final encounter against Emmylou Owen, but the 3-1 result went to the away player to put the final score at 4-2 to the hosts.
John Cooper gave the home side the early advantage when he opened with a 4-3 win over Richie Williams, Williams having been the 1-0 and 2-1 leader. Shaun Davies (Breconshire) put the game back to square one with his 4-2 win over Neville Quinton.
Shropshire’s lead was restored with a 4-1 win from Kevin Harris who in the second leg recorded a great 137 game shot against Christopher Austin-Hill. Eddie Austin took the lead to 3-1 when he beat Mark Layton 4-1 and despite a setback in the fifth when John Cornmell lost 4-3 to Mark Davies the home team were 4-2 up at the halfway mark when Richard Parker made short work of his opponent Stuart Nicholls with a straight 4-0 win in14,15,19 and 17 darts for a man of the match award winning average of 30.83.
A 2-0 and 3-1 lead was not enough to clinch a win for Roger Taylor as Richard Langlois won the tie 4-3 to bring Breconshire back to within one game of Shropshire, the score at 4-3 and although Matt Williams (Shropshire) beat his namesake Jason Williams 4-2 the visitors trailed by just one game again by the ninth when their Danny Dyer won 4-2 against Peter Eley.
A defeat in the opening leg by Martin Ashton did nothing to deter Clive Lucking as he went on to win 4-2 at put Shropshire into an unbeatable 6-4 position and chalking up the all important seventh win for the home team was Danny James whose 4-2 win over Dave Randall put the result beyond the visitors reach.
The final game of the weekend was a vital one insomuch as it would decide either an overall draw or a win for Shropshire and when Breconshire’s Mike Rowland opened up a 2-0 lead over Andrew Chatter the draw appeared to be inevitable. However, Chatter produced a great 101 finish in the third for a 15 darts leg and then followed that with 16 and 15 darts legs to come from two down to lead 3-2 and leave the outcome resting delicately on the very last leg of the fixture.
Rowlands had first throw advantage and registered scores of 100,100,100,30 and 96 to leave 75, meanwhile Chatter had hit 100,81,140,100 and checked out on 80 in two darts for a 14 darts leg to seal a tremendous 4-2 win, give his team a final victory of 8-4 and at the same time record an overall success of 19-17 for the weekend which saw Shropshire move up the table into fifth place and above their visitors on average as they both had 132 points.
Full Results:Shropshire v Breconshire (19-17):Shropshire names first):Men’s ‘A’:- John Cooper 4 Richie Williams 3, Neville Quinton 2 Shaun Davies 4, Kevin Harris 4 Christopher Austin-Hill 1, Eddie Austin 4 Mark Layton 1, John Cornmell 3 Mark Davies 4, Richard Parker 4 Stuart Nicholls 0, Roger Taylor 3 Richard Langlois 4, Matt Williams 4 Jason Williams 2, Peter Eley 2 Danny Dyer 4, Clive Lucking 4 Martin Ashton 2, Danny James 4 Dave Randall 2, Andrew Chatter 4 Mike Rowlands 2, Men’s ‘B’:- Neil Christopher Powell 1 Steve Perry 3, Nathan Storar 2 Christopher Gough 3, Louis Burley 2 Dave Williams 3, Martin Angell 2 Andrew Rough 3, Derek Coulson 3 Ben Watkins 1, Andre Knox 3 Tim Boulton 2, Paul Bromley 0 Mark Davies 3, Brian Hickman 2 Ian Evans 3, Brian Matthews 3 Paul Jenkins 0, Paul Boddison 3 Andrew Kerry 1, Martin Riggs 3 Andrew Dudley 2, Nigel Sandbrook 1 Stephen Hales 3, Women’s ‘A’:- Marie Riggs 3 Helen Thomas-Evans 0, Julie Griffiths 3 Natalie Evans 1, Mandy Morgan 2 Joy Toghill 3, Stephanie Clarke 3 Louisa Fox 1, Katharine McLean 3 Dianne Caffrey 2, Michele Pritchard 1 Emmylou Owen 3, Women’s ‘B’:- Grace Angell 3 Donna Hilton 1, Caroline Powell 1 Kaye Hales 3, Sophie Fawcett 2 Jane Smith 3, Kirsty Jenks 0 Carol Bufton 3, Lynne Watton 1 Sharon Hill 3, Suzanne Lane 3 Janthia Layton 0.