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

Darts News – Alan Towe’s The Line On Darts

Despite having two wins from their opening two fixtures in division two of the Riley’s BDO Inter County Championships, West Midlands trip to the south west was always going to be a tough one when they were facing up to high riding Somerset.

The encounter turned out to be a game of two halves, Saturday going in favour of the West Midlands and Sunday it was the turn of the hosts. Having said that the ladies ‘B’ didn’t get the best of start as Lynne Whiffen beat Jacqueline Maiden 3-1 and both Barbara Dyke and Natalie Wadham each in turn recorded 3-0 wins over Claire Hobbs and Kim Fellows to put Somerset 3-0 up. However, then the tide began to turn as lady of the match Shellbie Simmons after going one down to Val Griffiths fought back to earn a 3-1 win and the match award with her 16.70 average Adding to the West Midlands tally was Heather Wright, she had a straight 3-0 win against Marianne Bisset to give her team mate Samantha Maiden a fighting chance to earn a draw in the final game. And earn a draw is exactly what Samantha did. Playing against Kay Bisset she was made to fight all the way for her win, twice coming from behind before winning the last two legs to seal her 3-2 victory and a share of the points in a final 3-3 draw.

The men’s ‘B’ side saw the opening four players all lose the first leg as Sean Carrol kicked off the proceedings against Somerset’s Gary Morse. Carrol came back to win 3-1 after trailing 1-0, as did Mark Craddock (West Midlands), who beat Alan Veale. Peter Wyse twice fell behind to the hosts Darren Godfrey, but stuck to his task and went on to snatch a 4-3 win. Making it 4-0 to the West Midlands was Paul Price. Price lost the opening leg to Darren White in 15 darts, but went on to win the tie 3-1 with winning legs of 20, 16 and 20 darts for a match award winning average of 27.72.

Jamie Barrowman opened up a 2-0 lead against Paul Harrison and although the home player fought back to level terms it was Barrowman who won the decider for a close 3-2 win.

As early as the sixth game West Midlands were assured of taking home at least a share of the spoils as Richard Platt came out of his game against Les Lester with a 3-1 verdict to take the scoreline along to 6-0 in the visitors favour.

Matt Chantrey stopped the rot for Somerset, he went two up against Martin Angell and although Angell squared at two each it was Chantrey who got the final leg for a 3-2 win. The win however was just a minor setback for the away team as Karl Hughes secured the win with his three legs victory over Nathan Gill. Jordan Singh moved the score along to 8-1 when he beat David Thyer 3-2 after Thyer had opened a 2-0 lead.

Despite twice taking the lead over Benjamin Witcombe, Avatar Singh was unable to push home his advantage and finally lost 3-2. Nevertheless, the final score was taken to 10-2 for the West Midlands when first Robert Thompson beat Russell Joyner 3-2, Joyner levelling the game in both the second and fourth legs. Then to wind up the proceedings Gary Watts won 3-0 against Tom Lonsdale.

Sunday was Somerset’s day, trailing overall 13-5 from the previous day the ladies reduced those arrears considerably. Kate Hulme beat Kath Jenkins 3-0, Sally Dart (and can she throw one!) won 3-1 against Jackie Crew, Becky Gould added her 3-0 success over Diane Tolley to the tally and wrapping up the points in only the fourth game was Marie Gearney, who had to come from 2-0 down against Lisa Astbury to win 3-2.

Sarah Roberts was not only West Midlands first winner, but their only winner, her superb 23.86 average giving her the match award as she defeated Donna Gullock in 20, 21 and 22 darts.

Karen Littler was the home team’s final player, she made the result 5-1 with a 3-0 win over Gemma Barrett.

The first five games of the men’s ‘A’ match all went with the first throw advantage. Mark Rollinson (West Midlands) was trailing 2-0 and 3-1 before sealing a 4-3 win. Marcus Knapman was the man to restore parity when he beat Mark Watkiss Allen with a straight 4-0 result. For the second time West Midlands took the lead, this time thanks to Michael Baker, who went 2-0 up with a great 156 finish in the second leg, was pegged back to level terms by Steve Werrett and then went on to win 4-2. Ryan Palmer was Somerset’s second winner, another straight 4-0 for the home side, this time it was Neil Pointon on the receiving end.

Putting the West Midlands in front for the third time was man of the match Nick Fullwell. Nick went 2-0 up against Neil Raikes in 19 and 17 dart’s, Reikes won the third only to see Fullwell restore his two games buffer with an 18 darts leg.

Raikes came back again to make the score 3-2 before Fullwell produced his fastest leg of the game, a sixteen darts leg hitting a maximum, 140 and checking out on double four with his sixteenth dart for a 4-2 win and a 27.25 average.

At this point the pattern changed and making that change was Matthew Dicken, his 4-1 win against George Gardner giving the away team a 4-2 lead at the midway point of the match. Extending that lead was Ian Jones, another consistent game from Jones in which he beat Gordon Fitzpatrick 4-1 in games of 18, 16 and 2x19 dart legs, hit two maximums and averaged 27.15.

So at 5-2 the West Midlands men’s ‘A’ side looked all set to record their third consecutive win, but then it all went wrong. Dave Weston (Somerset) beat Glen Cullen 4-1, Mark Stock and Dean Baker had respective 4-2 wins against Andrew Forrester and Ian Stanton, Steve Johnson handed out a 4-0 defeat to John Roberts and chalking up the all important seventh winning game was David Burrill with a 4- 1success against Gavin Baker to give a final score of 7-5 to the home team. Despite the disappointment of the men’s ‘A’ losing their 100% win record and ladies ‘B’ following up their two wins with a draw, the outcome of the fixture was a very pleasing 19-17 win for the West Midlands to put them on 68 just one point behind their opponents Somerset, who lead the table on 69, Derbyshire are second with the same 68 points as West Midlands and Cleveland fourth a further one point adrift. So three games played and just two points separating the top four teams, should be quite a season!!!


The Brandon Club, Main Street, Coventry was the setting for the second Brandon Open Singles competition paying out a total of £900. The competition was originally organised for local players only with a maximum of 64. From a total of 59 confirmed entries only 48 of them actually turned up on the day. For this very reason the organisers are looking to throw further knockouts (of which it is planned there will be four each year) open.

Nevertheless despite the disappointment of the entries the standard of play was of the highest calibre throughout the competition.

Unfortunately reigning champion Prakash Jiwa was unable to defend his title and so there would definitely be a new name engraved on the trophy for the 2013 competition. As is usual in all competitions players expected to go the full distance fell by the wayside, players such as Colin Osbourne, whose exit was in the last thirty two when he lost 4-2 to Dan Green and last year’s runner up Nigel Heydon, who lost 4-3 to fellow Warwickshire county player Ian McFarlane in the quarter finals.

The first of the semi finals was contested by Martin Bowley and Mark Westgarth. Westgarth stormed into a 3-0 lead with winning legs of 17, 22 and 15 darts, hitting scores in his third leg of 100, 140, 100 and 81 to leave 80, which he checked out on with his next three darts.

Bowley pulled one back in the fourth leg, a 56 game shot to win in 17 darts. Westgarth then went within an ace of victory with a further 17 darts leg and immediately guaranteed his final spot with another 15 darts leg for a 5-1 win.

The second of the last four play off’s brought together Ian McFarlane and Scott Rand. Finishing doubles cost McFarlane dearly as he had chances to win four legs in his straight 5-0 defeat. Rand won his five legs in 15, 18, 17, 18 and 20 darts.

The final was an extended best of eleven legs and once again, as in his semi final game Mark Westgarth raced into a 3-0 lead with some fantastic darts. The first leg saw Westgarth score 180, 60, 60, 138 and finish on 62 in 15 darts. He then went one better producing a 14 dart leg with scores of 180, 140, 100, 57 and 24 game shot. Making up his three legs lead was a 16 darter, with top shots of 2x100 and yet another maximum, his third in three legs, one in each.

It was the fourth leg before Scott Rand chalked up his first strike, an 18 darts leg before Westgarth moved to a 4-1 lead with a 22 darts leg. Rand then began a serious comeback, beginning with a 14 darts leg in which he hit 58, 180, 68, 134 and finished on 61. He then moved to within one leg of his opponent with a 15 darts leg and a 117 checkout. A top score of 134 plus a 100 outshot restored parity at 4-4, before Rand, for the very first time in the match, in the ninth leg took the lead. Both players were now showing signs of nerves and the big three figure scores became elusive to both of them as Rand hit just 100 and Westgarth 140 in the leg, but the one dart 32 finish was what counted and that went to Rand to give him a 5-4 advantage.

Westgarth hit 140 and 100 in the tenth leg to Rand’s 180, but Westgarth was still left requiring 106 when Rand checked out on 70 with his fifteenth dart to claim the top prize of £400. As runner up Westgarth received £180. There was £70 each for the losing semi finalists, £25 for the losing quarter finalists and £10 for losers reaching the last sixteen.

All in all it was a well organised, well run competition with some tremendous games throughout the day, a competition well worth looking out for should it turn into an open competition next time round. Watch this space!!

Full results:Preliminary Round:- Colin Osbourne – bye, Chris Gallagher 2 Dan Green 4, Will Naylor 4 Scott Moran 0, Carl Green – bye, Neil Pritchard – bye, Matt Pouncett 0 Martin Bowley 4, Rich Ludlow 4 Trevor Frost 3, Ray Davies – bye, Andrew Collett – bye, Mark Flood 0 Mark Strong 4, Kenny McDonald 0 Kevin Bambrick 4, Mark Westgarth – bye, Dave Gerard – bye, Roger Heydon 0 Mike McFall 4, Dave Sanders 4 Sam Poland 2, Steve Beverley – bye, Terry Jones – bye, Nigel Heydon 4 Lance Hackett 1, Rob Perrott 0 Tom Ryan 4, Mark Carter – bye, Russ Smith – bye, Ricky Frisby 0 Jimmy Hill 4, Ian McFarlane 4 Kevin Woodward 1, Mark Sidgwick – bye, Michael Spencer – bye, Bill Smith 3 Steve Ward 4, Ray Gilder 0 Dan Murray 4, Ted Evetts – bye, Rich Dennis – bye, Paul Parsons 4 Neil Cooper 0, Joe Carlo 1 Luke Kennedy 4, Scott Rand – bye, Last 32:- Colin Osbourne 2 Dan Green 4, Will Naylor 4 Carl Green 1, Neil Pritchard 0 Martin Bowley 4, Rich Ludlow 4 Ray Davies 0, Andrew Collett 3 Mark Strong 4, Kevin Bambrick 3 Mark Westgarth 4, Dave Gerard 0 Mike McFall 4, Dave Sanders 4 Steve Beverley 0, Terry Jones 1 Nigel Heydon 4, Tom Ryan 3 Mark Carter 4, Russ Smith 0 Jimmy Hill 4, Ian McFarlane 4 Mark Sidgwick 3, Michael Spencer 1 Steve Ward 4, Dan Murray 1 Ted Evetts 4, Rich Dennis 2 Paul Parsons 4, Luke Kennedy 1 Scott Rand 4, Last 16:- Dan Green 1 Will Naylor 4, Martin Bowley 4 Rich Ludlow 0, Mark Strong 3 Mark Westgarth 4, Mike McFall 4 Dave Sanders 2, Nigel Heydon 4 Mark Carter 2, Jimmy Hill 1 Ian McFarlane 4, Steve Ward 4 Ted Evetts 0, Paul Parsons 0 Scott Rand 4, Quarter Finals:- Will Naylor 2 Martin Bowley 4, Mark Westgarth 4 Mike McFall 2, Nigel Heydon 3 Ian McFarlane 4, Steve Ward 2 Scott Rand 4, Semi Finals:- Martin Bowley 1 Mark Westgarth 5, Ian McFarlane 0 Scott Rand 5, Final:- Mark Westgarth 4 Scott Rand 6.


Noel Grant took the honours when defeating Dean Stewart in the Memorial Singles for Dennis Roberts, the Warwickshire countys former manager. Grant was in superb form all night and reached the semi final point where he saw off the challenge of the in form Mark Westgarth by 4 legs to 0. There was also a 4-0 scoreline in the other semi final where Stewart defeated Jamie Atkins, one leg very close to an elusive 9 darter with the two maximums scored. In the final Stewart roared into a 2-0 lead only for Grant to hit back with the next four to take the crown for the very first time.


The 12 hour darts Marathon held at the Highwood pub Birmingham in aid of the Tiny Babies Appeal at the Birmingham Women^s Hospital raised a fantastic £700. Kath Depper would like to thank everyone involved. Well done to all.


The Wolverhampton Tuesday Night League have completed their league fixtures and it was a clean sweep for the Village as the ‘A’ side won the division one title and the ‘B’ team took the division two title. Runners up in division one were Otter and Vixen ‘B’, who were six points off the top and the Bull just ousted Riley’s ‘A’ on average to take the division two runners up prize.


The Tettenhall Wednesday Night League is another league to have completed its programme. The league was very closely contested and could not have been any closer as Wednesfield FC took the title with 48 points, the same number as runners up Riley’s ‘B’, who were just one leg of average worse off than the champions.


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Darts News – Alan Towe’s The Line On Darts – Warwickshire v Cheshire

In their home tie against Cheshire in the premier division of the Riley’s BDO Inter County Championships, Warwickshire were unable to add to their previous win and lost the game 19-17. The result h...

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Darts News – Alan Towe’s The Line On Darts – Warwickshire v Cheshire

In their home tie against Cheshire in the premier division of the Riley’s BDO Inter County Championships, Warwickshire were unable to add to their previous win and lost the game 19-17. The result h...

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