Alan Towe’s The Line On Darts – Warwickshire v Essex
In what was going to be their final home fixture of the season the ladies ‘B’ had an uncomfortable start as Essex players Pauline Donat and Lynn Kelly in turn both won 3-0 against Nina Bolt and Lisa Deslandes. However the score was brought back to level terms when Marian Conway beat Jenny Powell 3-1 and Denise Keyte won 3-0 against Julie Vickers.
The away team went ahead again in the penultimate encounter when Carol Pinfold won 3-0 against Helen Rigg to leave the result hinging on the final game.
Playing for Warwickshire was Angela Jones and Essex Wendy Reader, it was Reader who put the first stripe on the board only to see Angela Jones turn up the heat and level in 21 go ahead in 22 and win the game 3-1 in 19 darts giving her a lady of the match award winning average of 21.85 and at the same time earning her team a share of the spoils with a final 3-3 scoreline.
The men’s ‘B’ like the ladies also lost the first game as Ritchie Edhouse beat Simon Power 4-0 but the advantage was quickly turned around as Carl Green after leading 3-1 and being pegged back to 3-3 by Lennie Holmes won the decider in 15 darts, Green also had a 107 checkout in the third leg of his 4-3 win. Then taking Warwickshire into a 2-1 lead was Peter Hughes, he lost the first leg to Jamie Peetoom but went on to seal a 4-1 victory.
Scott Lawrie was the Essex man to restore parity when he won 4-0 against Luke Kennedy and the visitors then went ahead for a second time when Barry Adlam beat Tom Ryan 4-1, Ryan’s winning leg seeing him checkout on 103.
By the midway point of the game the away team had opened up a 4-2 lead as Mick McCombe despite having to come from behind twice against Prakash Jiwa went on to win 4-2.
The deficit was increased to 5-2 as the second half began Wayne Bloomfield beating Rob Hawker 4-3 but then Warwickshire put together their best run of the match when they chalked up three consecutove wins started by long serving Mangal Singh who after trailing 2-0 to Craig Vickers went on to win 4-3. Following Mangal was Ted Evetts, a striaght 4-0 win for Ted over Shaun Walsh then completing the trio of wins was man of the match Matthew Edgar. Edgar won the first leg against Phillip Brewster in 16 darts, he lost the second in 15 then produced two winning 18 darts legs including a 130 finish in the third, he then went on to win 4-1 with a 20 darts last leg giving him a 27.64 average and his second award of the season.
After coming from 5-2 down to 5-5 the home team were unable to sustain their comeback as Andrew Kateley beat Ian Shaw 4-2, Shaw levelling in the fourth aftr going 2-0 down and completing a 7-5 win for Essex was Barry Lynn who also found himself trailing 2-0 but went on to beat James Hykin 4-2.
With only one remaining fixture the ladies ‘A’ have only one win to their credit so far this season and that is as good as its been since the 2008 / 2009 season when they were undefeated throughout with five wins and four draws and after only the first four games it was obvious they were not going to better that tally as Essex romped to a 4-0 lead. First on for the away team was Nicky Mynard who beat Donna Pinch 3-1 the same scoreline by which Sue Baker defeated Melanie Hill. The next two games finished with 3-0 margins Stacey Ellis and Lauren Bloomfield in turn accounting for Wendy Adams and Sue Gulliver.
With the game already lost if anyone was going to stop the rot it was always going to be Trina Gulliver and that is exactly what she did as she won in three straight legs against Donna Gleed in 21, 19 and 17 darts for yet another award winning performance her sixth of the season with another fine 26.37 average.
The final score was made a little more respectable when Kerry Bambridge won her game against Steph Hewson, she went 2-0 up was pulled back to 2-2 and won the last leg to give a final score of 4-2 to Essex.
The men’s ‘A’ team have not had a bad season as they have won five and only lost two of their previous seven games but they too had a bit of a shaky start as Noel Grant gave them the early lead with his 4-1 win over Wayne Gleed but they then lost the next two as Darren Peetoom beat Richard Foster 4-2 and with a similar score Paul Marsh won against Mark Storng.
At number four was Tom Aldridge who was made to fight for his 4-2 win over Alan Collins as Collins went 1-0 and 2-1 up, William Naylor opened up a 3-0 lead over Darren O’Neill and O’Neill fought back to 3-2 before Naylor clinched his 4-2 win to restore the home teams advantage at 3-2.
To complete the first half of the game Warwickshire opened up a 4-2 lead with an award winning performance from Dean Stewart. Stewart, playing against Paul Barham won the first leg in 20 darts, he was then pegged back to 1-1 when Barham won the second in 17 darts. Stewart then went on to win the tie 4-1 as he recorded winning legs of 18, 13 and 17 darts to give him a superb 29.40 average and his fourth man of the match award of the season.
The lead was stretched to 5-2 as the second half got underway Jamie Hughes beating Michael Peel 4-2 with a 28.51 average but then it all went a little downhill as Essex rattled off three wins to draw level at 5-5. Steve Johnson’s 4-1 win over Bob Nixon began the visitors run of three, Phillip Halls added his 4-1 win over Mark Carter to the tally and levelling the game was Stephen Hardy who won 4-2 against Jamie Atkins.
With the score all level and only two to play the result was then hanging in the balance, however the advantage swayed Warwickshire’s way as Antony Allen beat Eddie Gosling 4-2, Allen completing his win with a 112 game shot.
The final encounter of the weekend was a cracker with Mark Westgarth (Warwickshire) taking on Robert Turner, Westgarth recording no fewer than 7x140,137 and 13x100 compared to Turner’s 180,3x140 and 8x100.
Westgarth won the first leg in 19 darts he then doubled his lead with a terrific eleven darts leg hitting 140,140,140 and checking out on 81 in two darts. Turner replied with two wins in 22 and 15 darts only to see the Warwickshire man go 3-2 up in 18. Robert Turner took the game to a seventh and final leg when he won the penultimate leg in 20 darts but he was left stranded on 68 when Mark Westgarth clinched his 4-3 win with a final 18 darts leg to give his team a 7-5 victory and a 28.52 average.
Although Warwickshire lost by the narrowest of margins 19-17 they actually moved up one place in the table to fourth with a total of 154 points replacing Cambridgeshire who are now three points behind them.
Full results:Warwickshire v Essex (17-19):(Warwickshire names first):Men’s ‘A’:- Noel Grant 4 Wayne Gleed 1, Richard Foster 2 Darren Peetoon 4, Mark Strong 2 Paul Marsh 4, Tom Aldridge 4 Alan Collins 2, William Naylor 4 Darren O’Neill 2, Dean Stewart 4 Paul Barham 1, Jamie Hughes 4 Michael Peel 2, Bob Nixon 1 Steve Johnson 4, Mark Carter 1 Phillip Halls 4, Jamie Atkins 2 Stephen Hardy 4, Antony Allen 4 Eddie Gosling 2, Mark Westgarth 4 Robert Turner 3, Men’s ‘B’:- Simon Power 0 Ritchie Edhouse 4, Carl Green 4 Lennie Holmes 3, Peter Hughes 4 Jamie Peetoom 1, Luke Kennedy 0 Scott Lawrie 4, Tom Ryan 1 Barry Adlam 4, Prakash Jiwa 2 Mick McCombe 4, Rob Hawker 3 Wayne Bloomfield 4, Mangal Singh 4 Craig Vickers 3, Ted Evetts 4 Shaun Walsh 0, Matthew Edgar 4 Phillip Brewster 1, Ian Shaw 2 Andrew Kateley 4, James Hykin 2 Barry Lynn 4, Women’s ‘A’:- Donna Pinch 1 Nicky Mynard 3, Melanie Hill 1 Sue Baker 3, Wendy Adams 0 Stacey Ellis 3, Sue Gulliver 0 Lauren Bloomfield 3, Trina Gulliver 3 Donna Gleed 0, Kerry Bambridge 3 Stephanie Hewson 2, Women’s ‘B’:- Nina Bolt 0 Pauline Donat 3, Lisa Deslandes 0 Lynn Kelly 3, Marian Conway 3 Jenny Powell 1, Denise Keyte 3 Julie Vickers 0, Helen Rigg 0 Carol Pinfold 3, Angela Jones 3 Wendy Reader 1.