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Article: Darts News - Alan Towe’s The Line On Darts

Darts News - Alan Towe’s The Line On Darts

West Midlands went into their final fixture in the Riley’s BDO Inter County Championships knowing that a win was vital if they were to have any chance of retaining their division one status. As the table stood prior to the season’s finale any of the bottom five teams were liable to get relegated, Derbyshire were bottom on 137 points, Staffordshire had 141, West Midlands were on 142, County Durham 144 and Dorset on 148, just eleven points separating all five of them.

The final fixtures had Staffordshire playing away to fourth in the table Hampshire, who were on 163 points, County Durham also had a tough away game against divisional leaders Gwent on 177 points and Dorset had a home tie with fifth placed Cornwall.

The real relegation decider was obviously going to be between the other two remaining candidates Derbyshire and West Midlands, who were to play each other in a last ditch do or die battle for survival, Derbyshire most certainly having the edge with home advantage.

Saturdays games got underway and it was not a good start for West Midlands. The ladies ‘B’, for the second consecutive game finished on the wrong side of a 5- 1 result. Rachel Bird opened up for the hosts with a straight 3-0 win over Doreen Kaye and with a 3-2 win from Sarah Quinn over Claire Hobbs the West Midlands already had their back’s to the wall. On at number three for the visitors was Shellbie Simmons, she struggled in the first leg to find any rhythm and went one down after 33 darts. With a top shot of 120 in the second leg she squared the game and then went 2-1 up with a 26 darts leg. The fourth leg was much of the same, another 26 darts giving her a 3-1 win and her average of 16.30, plus the fact that she was the sole winner giving her the lady of the match award.

Samantha Maiden (West Midlands) won the opening leg against Lynda Gilbert, but then lost her way on finishing doubles and eventually lost out 3-1, giving Derbyshire a 3-1 lead. Nicola Fletcher (Derbyshire) gave her team the points when she beat Heather Wright 3-1, Heathers having a consolation win in the second leg and rounding off the 5-1 result was Rachel Ayres, who twice came from behind against Kim Fellows to win 3-2 and in the process take the hosts match award with her 15.79 average.

So it was not a very good season for the ladies ‘B’, their record reading played nine, won none, drawn four and lost five.

The men’s ‘B’ really should have been riding on a high after winning the three matches leading up to the final encounter, but sadly the confidence didn’t show in the final result. First on for Derbyshire was Darran Sinfield and for West Midlands, Jordan Singh, Sinfield opened up a 2-0 lead and although Singh pulled one back in the third, three tons in the fourth saw the home player clinch a 3-1 win. Avtar Singh went one up against John Clifford only to see Clifford win the next two. Although Singh levelled in the fourth it was John Clifford who took the decider for a 3-2 win and a 2-0 lead for his team.

Glen Cullen was West Midlands first winner, but he was made to fight all the way. His opponent, Paul Jones won the first leg in 22 darts, Cullen the next in 21. Jones then went ahead again in 19 darts, Cullen adding another 22 darts leg to his tally to level the game. Glen Cullen took the initiative in the last leg when his counterpart failed to find any high scores, the first throw plus two tons giving Cullen a throw for double twenty, which he put away first dart leaving his opponent way back on 182.

Cullen’s win sparked off a series of five straight wins for the West Midlands, the next player on being Nick Fullwell, who with a 180, 2x140, 125, 121 and 3x100’s beat Robert Needham 3-2, who at one stage was 2-1 up. West Midlands then went into the lead for the first time in the game when Jonathon Platt, with eight three figure scores plus a maximum won 3-1 against Tony Cresswell, Platt averaging 27.21.

Taking the game to the halfway stage was Doug Thompson (West Midlands), who made short work of his task against Doug Walker. Thompson opened up with a 17 darts leg and followed that with a 16 darts game, before he produced the best leg of the encounter a twelve darts leg in which he hit 140, 134, 135 and checked out on 92 to give him a fantastic man of the match winning average of 33.40.

Taking the away teams lead to 5-2 was another three legs winner Richard Platt. Platt went 1-0 up against Alan Evans in 24 darts before recording and equalling the fastest leg of the day, another twelve darts affair. Scores for Platt were, 100, 96, 180 and a tremendous 125 outshot. He then rounded off his win with a 24 darts leg.

2-0 down to 5-2 up, that was how West Midlands game had gone so far, but then the rot set in and it all went disastrously wrong. Peter Slater (Derbyshire) beat Paul Price 3-2, the same scoreline by which Paul Bettney won against Mark Watkiss to bring the score along to 5-4, still in West Midlands favour.

Then came two 3-1 wins for Derbyshire, Robert Wood and Ricky Gray in turn defeating Christopher Stanley and Ian Stanton to set up a final encounter between Reece Spurr and Gary Watts (West Midlands) which would decide the outcome of the match.

A nineteen darts leg gave Gary Watts the early lead, but Reece Spur replied with 20 and 24 darts games to go 2-1 up. Watts levelled in 20 darts, but lost the next leg in 24 and the game 3-2 to give Derbyshire a 7-5 win and an overall lead after the first day of 12-6 leaving West Midlands with something of a mountain to climb.

The first ladies ‘A’ game saw Derbyshire’s Jane Densley hand out a 3-1 defeat to Sarah Thornbury, but that situation was quickly transformed as West Midlands chalked up a hat trick of wins. Gemma Barrett began the run with her 3-0 success against Joanne Oldershaw, Gemma was followed by Katharine Jenksins, who beat Dawn Buckley 3-1 and completing the trio was Jackie Crew, who not only won 3-1 in her game against Tracey Johnson but earned herself the match award with her 18.21average.

At 3-1 up West Midlands ladies looked all set to record their first and only victory of the season, alas it was not to be, Jackie Sweet won 3-0 against Diane Tolley and putting the final score all level at 3-3 was Stephanie Allerton, who had a 3-1 win over Lisa Astbury.

Trailing overall by 15-9 the men’s ‘A’ now required a 9-3 win to share the points and after the opening three games that was looking extremely doubtful. For the home side there were wins from Keith Cooper, Frank Davis and John Grace against respective opponents Peter Wyse, Nick Fullwell and Mark Rollinson. Michael Baker broke the ice for the West Midlands, a 4-1 win against Ian Hannah after Hannah had won the first leg. Dean Stewart added his 4-2 win over Melvyn Hopkins to the visitors tally, but the thought of even sharing the points was put beyond reach when Richard Rawding got the better of Doug Thompson with a 4-1 scoreline.

The away side then strung together three consecutive wins, John Roberts kicking it off with his 4-2 success against David Smith-Hayes. Roberts was followed by Jamie Hughes, who took on Nigel Daniels. The game included three ton plus finishes, Daniels checking out the third leg on156 and Hughes having a 102 finish in the second and a 106 game shot in the fourth, the more important 4-3 win went to Hughes to take the score along to 4-4. Then for the first time in the game the West Midlands got their noses in front, Neil Pointon recording a straight 4-0 win against Adrian Asprey. It took a man of the match performance from Gary Fenn to square the match, Gary beating Danny Coyle 4-3, highlights of the game were when Coyle checked out on 106 to make the score 3-3 and Fenn win the fourth leg in twelve darts with scores of 140, 100, 140 and a 121 finish.

Derbyshire’s lead was short lived as Andy Forrester got the better of Steve Pashley with a 4-1 result to leave the outcome resting on the final game between Matthew Padgett and Ian Jones (West Midlands). The home player had no chance in the opening two legs as Jones chalked up winning legs of 14 and 15 darts hitting top scores of 180, 2x140, 121 and 2x100 in the two legs.

Padgett reduced the deficit in the third only to see Jones bounce back with another 14 darts leg including another maximum. The fifth leg was another cracker Padgett hitting 134, 58, 100 and 139 to leave 70 after twelve darts. Jones meanwhile had scores of 140, 100, 140 and 93 to leave himself on double fourteen, a double he didn’t get a throw at as the Derby man wrapped up the leg in 15 darts with a 70 finish.

Padgett, apart from a 140 failed to find the big scores in the sixth leg, while Jones after 15 darts required 60, which he neatly disposed of to clinch a 4-2 win, a 7-5 win for his team plus a man of the match award for his tremendous 31.57 average.

Unfortunately for the West Midlands the men’s ‘A’ win was not enough to avoid an overall 20-16 defeat, which gave them a total points of 158 and saw them drop to the foot of the table. Derbyshire’s win lifted them off the bottom spot but not high enough to avoid relegation as they wound up their season with 160 points, the same amount as Staffordshire, whose draw with Hampshire saved them from the drop.

So it’s division two for both West Midlands and Derbyshire next season, let’s hope we see a quick return to division one for both teams.


The Ripley Elite Darts Singles League staged their annual May Bank Holiday Competition at the Billiard Hall, Somercotes, Derbyshire and attracted a total of 51 players from not only the local county but also from Nottinghamshire, Leicestershire and even Yorkshire.

Reigning champion Darron Brown was again amongst the favourites for the title but unfortunately he lost out in the quarter finals to a rejuvenated Wayne Pepper by 4-2. Also making their exit in the last eight were Aden Kirk, Pete Slater and Rich Cooper.

The first of the semi finals was a mouth watering tie between Derbyshire county ‘A’ team colleagues Gary Fenn and Nigel Daniels. Despite trailing 4-2 Fenn fought back in style to go on and win the tie 5-4. The other semi final saw Nottinghamshire’s Wayne Pepper, who the previous day had won his county’s Gold Cup singles play off, take on Chesterfield’s Kev Rimmer. Pepper went on to win the game 5-3.

It was a fitting final made up of the day’s top two players and in the extended best of eleven legs game the advantage swung one way then the other, but eventually it was the Ripley Elite player Gary Fenn who was victorious with a very close 6-5 result to give him the £270 top prize, Pepper received £135.

The hosting club sponsored a free to enter first round loser’s competition in which Ady Asprey beat Daz Sinfield 5-4 in the final.

Thanks go to Dawn Buckley for running the competition and club owner Steve Heenan for sponsoring the event, the next of which will be staged in August.

Full Results:Preliminary Round:- Steve Darcy 4 v 1 Stuart Sutton, Daz Brown 4 v 0 Ken Norton, Paul Baker 4 v 1 Ryan Goffin, Ian Richardson 4 v 1 Tom Webster, Jordan Beresord 4 v 3 Rich Hassall,Lee Stanley 4 v 0 Stuart Barrowcliffe, Brian Kirk 4 v 0 Martyn Cutbush,Wayne Pepper 4 v 0 Richard Morkowski, Dave Allcock 4 v 3 Ady Asprey, Alan Evans 4 v 2 Daz Sinfield, Aden Kirk 4 v 3 Ant Parry,Daz Sullivan 4 v 1 Karl Marsden, Tony Palfreyman 4 v 3 Duncan Rhodes,Frank Davis 4 v 0 Daz Allsopp, Richard Cooper 4 v 0 Neil Beresford, Nigel Daniels 4 v 0 Ian Scobbie, Ash Spencer 4 v 0 Ben Connell, Chris Bradshaw 4 v 0 Wes Smith, Paul Redfearn 4 v 0 Jo Oldershaw, 1st Round :- Mick Chapman 4 v 0 Glen Orrell, Pete Slater 4 v 0 Paul Holman, Kev Rimmer 4 v 0 Alan Statham, Dick Hickton 4 v 3 Steve Darcy, Daz Brown 4 v 2 Paul Baker, Ian Richardson 4 v 0 Jordan Berrisford, Brian Kirk 4 v 2 Lee Stanley, Wayne Pepper 4 v 1 Dave Allcock, Reece Spurr 4 v 0 Terry Gainey, Gary Fenn 4 v 1 Dan Daykin, Paul Bettney 4 v 3 Carl Britten, Aden Kirk 4 v 2 Alan Evans, Tony Palfreyman 4 v 2 Daz Sullivan, Richard Cooper 4 v 0 Frank Davis, Nigel Daniels 4 v 2 Ash Spencer, Paul Redfearn 4 v 0 Chris Bradshaw, Last 16:- Gary Fenn 4 v 2 Reece Spurr, Aden Kirk 4 v 2 Paul Bettney, Richard Cooper 4 v 2 Tony Palfreyman,Nigel Daniels 4 v 3 Paul Redfearn, Pete Slater 4 v 3 Mick Chapman, Kev Rimmer 4 v 0 Dick Hickton, Daz Brown 4 v 1 Ian Richardson,Wayne Pepper 4 v 2 Brian Kirk, Quarter Finals:- Gary Fenn 4 v 1 Aden Kirk, Nigel Daniels 4 v 1 Rich Cooper, Kev Rimmer 4 v 2 Pete Slater, Wayne Pepper 4 v 2 Daz Brown, Semi Finals:- Gary Fenn 5 v 4 Nigel Daniels, Wayne Pepper 5 v 3 Kev Rimmer, Final:- Gary Fenn 6 v 5 Wayne Pepper.


The Sheldon and District Winter League wound down their season with various cup finals. In the League Cup the premier division runners up Old Bill and Bull got the better of champions Saltley Amateur Gardeners with a 6-3 result, and with the same scoreline Banbury Club took the division one title with Sheldon Social runners up. The division two final was a close 5-4 verdict with George V just edging out Small Heath Amateur Gardeners.

The Punchbowl semi finals saw 5-4 wins for EBAHA and Crown at Shard End over respective opponents Riley’s Arrows and Sheldon Dukes. The final was more clear cut with Crown at Shard End chalking up a title winning 7-2 scoreline.

7-2 was also the margin by which Langley Hall Sports and Social defeated Small Heath Amateur Gardeners in the last four of the Sheldon Shield and joining them in the final were Old Bill and Bull, who won 5-4 against Banbury Club. Langley Hall recorded another 7-2 score in the final leaving Old Bill and Bull as runners up.

The M & B Cup is a "Round Robin” competition for the three teams that finish bottom of each division, however Ridgemere Social didn’t turn up for the play off and so it was a straight match between Holy Souls and Ivy Leaf, which saw Holy Souls record a massive 8-1 win.

The season was rounded off with the Jubilee Trophy, a competition for team representatives and members of the management committee. The title went to chairman Alan Mayell, who had a final victory over fellow committee member and league match secretary David Sutton.

Losing semi finalists were, Clarke Horsley (George V), who lost out to Alan Mayell and Tony Dixon (Shirley RBL Flights).


The South Birmingham League played off their their Knockout Cup, with Riley’s Kings taking the title with a final 5-1 success against Mackadown Social. Riley’s had a 5-4 win in the semi’s against Raven Flights, while Mackadown had a more convincing 7-2 win over Banbury Flights.

The last four play off for the Jimmy Walker Cup saw The Digby Hotel sail through to the finals with a straight 5-0 win over Toby Jug. The Raven made their way to the final round with a 5-2 win against Coleshill Social.

Despite a maximum from M.Partridge in the final, the Digby Hotel narrowly lost out by 5-4, The Raven lifting the silverware.


The annual Dougie Bowen Memoreial Trophy was played at the Raven, Hodge Hill, Birmingham, the eventual winner turning out to be Wayne Mynard, who had straight 4-0 win over Dave Mortiboys in the final. In the last four shoot out Mynard beat Robbie Earl 4-3 and Mortiboys won 3-1 against Sean O’Donnell.


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