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

Darts News – Alan Towe’s The Line On Darts – Berkshire v Derbyshire

Prior to the latest fixture Derbyshire were second in the division two promotion table and an away game against fourth placed Berkshire was never going to be a walk in the park and so it proved as both teams battled it out for the points in what ended all square at 18-18.

Both days saw mixed fortunes for the two teams, Saturday saw Derbyshire ladies get off to a fine start as they romped into a 3-0 lead, Rachel Ayres began the proceedings with a 3-2 win over Louise Walford and was quickly followed by Louise Rawson (18.37), whose 3-1 success against Chris Ruffell earned her the match award.

Taking the score along to 3-0 was Sara-Jane Harrison with a straight 3-0 win against Debbie Connors before the hosts chalked up their first winner of the game, Jenny Payne beating Rachel Bird 3-1. However, the home cheers were short lived as Dee Fenn added her 3-2 win over Priscilla Cummings to the Derbyshire tally to give them an unassailable 4-0 lead.

The last game went to the hosts, Carole Holroyd winning 3-0 against Lynda Gilbert taking the final score to 4-2 in Derbyshire’s favour.

The men’s ‘B’ side also began with promise as David Allcock kicked off with a man of the match performance when he won 3-1 against Andy Wells with a 27.10 average. Unfortunately then Berkshire got their act together and rattled off three wins in a row thanks to Joe Lacey, Luke Humphries and Eddie Simmonds.

Richard Hanson momentarily reduced the arrears when in the fifth encounter against Brian Smith he won 3-2, only to see the home team go on another winning run, this time winning the next four games through David Hewlett, Richard Stride, Daniel Woodcraft and John Hall to take the score along to 7-2 in Berkshire’s favour, with a win already confirmed after only nine games.

With the game won Derbyshire then recorded their best run of the match, wins form Robert Wood, Christian Bradshaw and Darran Sinfield against respective opponents William Foot, Stephen Greene and James Turner gave a final result of 7-5 to Berkshire.

The ladies did not have such a good start on Sunday as Debbie Shadwell beat Kelly Dean to give the home side the early lead, a lead that didn’t last too long as Joanne Oldershaw beat Hayley Croucher 3-0 and Jackie Sweet (16.30) won 3-2 against Ally Judge, Jackie for the second consecutive match taking the match award.

From there on in it was all Berkshire, however having said that two of the three remaining games went to a deciding leg and but for finishing doubles could easily have gone Derbyshire’s way. Jackie Walford, Jo Rolls and Kate Denton were Berkshire’s last three winners to give the home team a 4-2 victory.

So with only the men’s ‘A’ result to be added to the tally the score read 13-11 to Berkshire, so there was still everything to play for.

Stephen Rose took Berkshire a step nearer an overall win when he beat Paul Mellor 4-2 in the men’s first game. Reece Spurr was taken the full seven legs distance by Paul Croucher before winning 4-3 to level the match. Then for the first time Derbyshire went ahead, Robert Needham was in fine form beating Simon Purvey in a straight four legs game with legs of 17, 16, 21 and 17 darts for a 28.23 average, which saw him narrowly miss out on the match award.

Luke Woodland took the score to 2-2 when he won 4-3 against Drew Smith, only to see the visitors take another two in a row through Stephen Pashley and Tony Cresswell at the expense of Paul Roe and Daniel Woodcraft.

For a second time in the match the home side drew level, a 4-2 win by Gary Jones over Adrian Asprey and a close 4-3 verdict for Kevin Morley against Nigel Daniels restoring parity at 4-4.

With four previous wins, a draw and only one defeat on the opening day of the season away to Suffolk, the Derbyshire men were in no mood to give up their unbeaten run of five games and a 4-3 win from Peter Slater over John Gray once again, for a third time saw them get their noses in front. Davis Smith-Hayes (28.33) had a tremendous 4-2 win over Paul Hogan, especially as he was 2-0 down, he roared back in 18, 21, 14 and 16 darts for his win and his second match award of the season and also confirming at least a share of the points for his team.

Terry Stubbs kept alive Berkshire hopes of sharing the points when he beat John Clifford 4-1 in the penultimate game, but the 7-5 win for Derbyshire was confirmed when anchor man Gary Fenn accounted for Paul Snowsill with a 4-2 result to give Derbyshire men’s ‘A’ a 7-5 win and an overall 18-18 draw.

Despite the draw both teams dropped down the table, Berkshire fell two places to sixth with 141 points, while Derbyshire moved down one place to third with 154 points. A 23-13 win by Somerset over Cleveland has seen them replace their opponents in pole position with 159 points, Cleveland now second one point behind the leaders. So with only two games remaining there is just five points between the top three teams, the race for promotion is still wide open.

Full results:Men’s ‘A’ (Berkshire names first):- Stephen Rose 4 Paul Mellor 2, Paul Croucher 3 Reece Spurr 4, Simon Purvey 0 Robert Needham 4, Luke Woodland 4 Drew Smith 3, Paul Roe 3 Stephen Pashley 4, Daniel Woodcraft 1 Tony Cresswell 4, Gary Jones 4 Adrian Asprey 2, Kevin Morley 4 Nigel Daniels 3, John Gray 3 Peter Slater 4, Paul Hogan 2 David Smith-Hayes 4, Terry Stubbs 4 John Clifford 1, Paul Snowsill 2 Gary Fenn 4, Men’s ‘B’:- Andy Wells 1 David Allcock 3, Joe Lacey 3 Colin Rich 1, Luke Humphries 3 Steven Homer 1, Eddie Simmonds 3 Richard Rawding 2, Brian Smith 2 Richard Hanson 3, David Hewlett 3 Alan Statham 0, Richard Stride 3 Robert Smith 1, Daniel Woodcraft 3 Doug Walker 2, John Hall 3 Michael Smith 1, William Foot 2 Robert Wood 3, Stephen Greene 1 Christian Bradshaw 3, James Turner 1 Darran Sinfield 3, Women’s ‘A’:- Debbie Shadwell 3 Kelly Dean 0, Hayley Croucher 0 Joanne Oldershaw 3, Ally Judge 2 Jackie Sweet 3, Jackie Walford 3 Kirsty Handford 2, Jo Rolls 3 Rachel Ayres 0, Kate Denton 3 Michelle Phillips 2, Women’s ‘B’:- Louise Walford 2 Rachel Ayres 3, Chris Ruffell 1 Louise Rawson 3, Debbie Connors 0 Sara-Jane Harrison 3, Jenny Payne 3 Rachel Bird 1, Priscilla Cummings 2 Dee Fenn 3, Carole Holroyd 3 Lynda Gilbert 0,

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