Alan Towe’s The Line On Darts – Yorkshire v Warwickshire
The ladies ‘B’ match began with Lyn Horne giving the home team Yorkshire a winning start when she beat Wendy Adams 3-0 only to see Warwickshire draw level with a 3-1 win from Marian Conway over Ann Chilton in the second. The results continued to go against the darts advantage when in the third game Linda Moorhouse put Yorkshire’s noses in front again when she won 3-2 against Angela Jones after Jones had opened up a 2-0 lead and looked odds on to win but was unable to find her finishing doubles in the final three legs.
The sequence looked as though it would be broken in the fourth game when Rachel Sheard went 1-0 up against Denise Keyte and then pulled back to 2-2 after Keyte had won the second and third legs. However in the end it was Warwickshire’s Denise Keyte who won the deciding leg giving her a lady of the match award average of 18.44.
For a third time Yorkshire took the lead this time through Ann Waslin who came from 1-0 and 2-1 down to Helen Rigg before going on to win 3-2.
With all of the first five game going against the darts it was the all deciding sixth game where the run was broken, Paula Burgess won 3-1 against Lisa Deslandes to seal a 4-2 victory for the hosts.
The first eight legs of the men’s ‘B’ game saw Yorkshire open up a 2-0 lead, Tony Darlow and James Barton both winning 4-0 in turn against Peter Hughes and Paul Deslandes. It took a spirited performance from Warwickshire’s long serving player Mangal Singh to stop the rot as he chalked up a 4-1 win over Jaron Esteve.
Ian Shaw (Warwickshire) lost the first leg to Steve Stacey but then stormed to a 3-1 lead, but a double miss in the fifth proved to be very costly as Stacey went on to win the game 4-3.
The fifth encounter produced Warwickshire’s man of the match as Ian McFarlane won the first leg against Derek Lumley in twenty one darts and although Lumley was quick to respond when he won the second in nineteen McFarlane with top shots of 171 and 133 took the lead again in fifteen darts. For a second time McFarlane hit 133 this time in the fourth leg which he went on to win in eighteen darts and with a third score of 133 and 136 he sealed a 4-1 victory and recorded a 27.25 average.
By the halfway stage the home team had taken a 4-2 lead Jim Gordon finishing the half with a 4-0 win over Tom Ryan.
A win in the first leg for Luke Kennedy (Warwickshire) against Michael Ridge proved to be the onle leg Kennedy would get as Ridge went on to win 4-1 and with a further 4-0 win from Ady Newsholme against Simon Fairbrother Yorkshire were within an ace of victory and guaranteed a least a share of the spoils.
Rob Hawker delayed Yorkshire’s celebrations when he chalked up a 4-1 win over Graham Elvidge but the inevitable happened in the tenth game when Wayne Mills won 4-2 against Anthony West who had won the first two legs.
Graham Hall was on for Warwickshire in the penultimate encounter of the day playing against Mark Lawrence, Hall taking 1-0 and 2-1 leads before Lawrence actually won 4-2. Carl Green looked all set to reduce the arrears in the final game when he came from one down to Graham Harrison and go 3-1 up but again he was unable to find a winning double in the last three legs and lost 4-3 to put the final score at 9-3 to Yorkshire but in fairness the result could have been a little closer.
All of the opening three games in the ladies ‘A’ match ended 3-1 all going to the home side as Dee Bateman, Rachel Brooks and Giffy Khaosoi beat respective opponents Kerry Bambridge, Melanie Hill and Natalie Gilbert.
Donna Pinch was Warwickshire’s first winner when in game four she accounteed for Louise Simmonds with yet another 3-1 scoreline and that was again the margin in the fifth game when Sue Gulliver with winning legs of 23,18 and 18 defeated Lorraine Winstanley and in the process Sue with her superb 24.55 average took the lady of the match award and at the same time kept her team in with a chance of sharing the points.
The away team would not have wished for a better anchor player than Trina Gulliver but despite scores of 140 and 180 she fell 2-0 down to Beau Greaves. Trina fought back to level terms with two 27 darts legs but unusually she was unable to find her finishing double in the deciding leg and Greaves wrapped up her 3-2 win in 25 darts and at the same time her teams 4-2 win.
In their seven previous meetings the men’s ‘A’ have had four draws but on this occasion it looked as though they were in for a heavy defeat as by the midway point they were trailing 5-1.
John Walton was Yorkshire’s first man on and he faced Dean Stewart winner of four match awards last season. After losing the first leg Stewart squared the game in the second, Walton took the next two and although Stewart won the fifth a win for Walton in the sixth was enough for his 4-2 win.
All looked good for Warwickshire when in the second encounter Mark Westgarth who had a 2-0 lead and then trailed 3-2 to Brian Hallas went on to win 4-3 and put the running score at one each.
Westgarth’s win turned out to be the only high spot in the half as Keith Flint beat William Naylor 4-1, former Warwickshire player Mark McGeeney won 4-1 against Richard Foster, David Copley beat Jamie Hughes 4-2 and to take Yorkshire’s lead to 5-1 was Brian Dawson with his close 4-3 success against Tom Aldridge.
The second half got underway and what a fight back by Warwickshire as they completely turned the game around to draw level at six each. Bob Nixon began the half with a 4-2 win over Tom Gregory, Noel Grant added his straight 4-0 win against Chris Gill and Antony Allen reduced the deficit to just one game when he won 4-2 against Garry Thompson.
Game number ten and on the oche were Peter Jacques for Yorkshire and Nigel Heydon for Warwickshire and what a performance from the Warwickshire man. Jacques must have wondered what had hit him as Heydon set off with a thirteen darts leg hitting 140,100,140, 81 and checking out on double twenty first dart, then with two tons he won the second leg in eighteen darts. With 2x140 and 100 Heydon then went three up in fifteen darts and although he never hit a three figure score in the fourth he won it in sixteen darts for a scintilating 4-0 win and an outstanding 32.32 man of the match average to square the match at 5-5.
Mark Carter (Warwickshire) won his first leg against Martin Atkins and then trailed 2-1, then for a second time Carter took the lead when he won the fourth and fifth legs but it was Atkins who took the last two legs for a 4-3 win to leave the result hinging on the final game of the weekend.
Anchor man for Yorkshire was Tony Hull and for Warwickshire Mark Strong and did he live up to his name as he came from behind no fewer than three time before going on to seal a 4-3 win and earn his team a share of the 6-6 result.
The overall result was a 23-13 win for Yorkshire but on the bright side that was a little better than last season’s 24-12 defeat on their home board, plus there is a long way to go as the season has just begun.