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Article: Darts News – Alan Towe^s The Line On Darts - Midlands Round Up

Darts News – Alan Towe^s The Line On Darts - Midlands Round Up

With just one win from their opening two games in division two of the BDO Inter County Championships West Midlands went into their fourth fixture desperately needing a win to lift them away from the relegation zone, but it was never going to be an easy game as they were playing away to divisional leaders Derbyshire who had already chalked up four wins in their first four games.

The ladies ‘B’ could not have wished for a better start as Samantha Maiden kicked off with a lady of the match performance beating Dee Fenn in three straight legs with a 19.27 average. It then went a little pear shaped as Derbyshire ladies Nicola Fletcher and Dawn Buckley handed out 3-0 defeats in turn to Claire Hobbs and Jacqueline Maiden, finishing doubles proving to be difficult to come by for the West Midland players.

Sarah Roberts, winner of seven of the nine match awards for the West Midlands ladies ‘B’ last season was on at number four and once again she came up with the goods beating Samantha Clarke with yet another 3-0 result.

The home team forged ahead again in the penultimate game when Kelly Dean won 3-1 against Wendy Waine to leave the result hinging on the final game. West Midlands could not have wished for a better anchor player than Christine Banks who had won the team’s previous three match awards and although she was unable to make it a fourth she did the next best thing by winning 3-0 against Rachel Ayres to put the final score all square at 3-3.

The first half of the men’s ‘B’ game could not have gone any worse as Derbyshire romped to a 6-0 lead. Robert Wood began the onslaught when he won 3-1 against Robert Thompson in the opening tie. The next two games went pretty much the same way as Jim Beardmore and Alan Statham in turn accounted for Mark Allen-Watkiss and Glen Cullen to put the hosts 3-0 up.

John Morris (West Midlands) won the first leg against Paul Williams only to see Williams win the next two. Morris drew level in the fourth but it was the Derbyshire man that won the fifth for a 3-2 win. Robin Woolery made it 5-0 with a 3-0 win over Martin Angell and in the sixth game long serving West Midlands player John  Mycock looked all set to record the away team’s first win when he opened a 2-0 lead on Tony Cresswell but he failed to consolidate his lead and Cresswell went on to win 3-2.

It was game number seven before West did actually register their first winner and it came in the form Mark Craddock. Craddock won the first leg on double four with his sixteenth dart despite his opponent Robert Needham having top shots of 100 and 180. Needham then won the following two legs before Craddock levelled with a 19 darts leg in the fourth. Needham had no chance in the deciding leg as Craddock hit scores of 180, 140 and 165 to leave himself on double eight which he promptly put to bed with his tenth darts to give him an award winning average of 31.58 a 3-2 win and at the same time keep his team in the game with an outside chance of a draw.

That dream was shattered in the very next game as David Allcock beat Justin Evans 3-1 after Evans had won the opening leg, giving Derbyshire an unassailable 7-1 lead.

Avtar Singh momentarily reduced the arrears for West Midlands as he won 3-1 against Dean Wilkins and although Paul Price twice cancelled out the lead of Colin Rich it was the Derbyshire man that won the game 3-2 to take the score to 8-2.

All too late West Midlands then had their best run in the match two wins in a row provided by Gary Watts and Jamie Barrowman. Watts had his 2-0 lead erased by Lee Stanley but won the last leg for a 3-2 win and Barrowman after trailing 2-1 to Robert Smith also won his tie 3-2 to give a final and more respectable 8-4 result in favour of Derbyshire.

The ladies ‘A’ went 2-0 down to two of Derbyshire’s regular award winners Jpoanne Oldershaw and Lauren Jackson. Joanne beat Kath Jenkins 3-0 and Lauren won 3-2 against Kim Fellows. Gemma Barrett cut the hosts lead in half with her 3-1 win against Jackie Sweet and then the lady of West Midlands ‘B’ season so far Lisa Astbury made it four consecutive match awards when she won 3-1 against Jane Densley. Jane who had previously won all four of Derbyshire ladies ‘A’ match awards won the first leg before Astbury took command levelling in 21 darts going ahead in 23 and wrapping up her 3-1 win in 18 hitting a maximum and recording a 22.84 average to put the game at 2-2.

Heather Wright (West Midlands) won the first leg against Sara-Jane Harrison but then lost her way on doubles and was punished by her opponent who went on to win 3-1. The final encounter was between Rachel Bird (Derbyshire) and Debbie Loon, Debbie won the first in 22 darts, Rachel the second in 20. Debbie then took the next two legs for a 3-1 win and give her team a share of the points with a 3-3 draw    

Keith Allman (West Midlands) opened up for the men’s ‘A’ in a game that saw him go one up against Stephen Pashley, 2-1 down and then win 4-2. Keith’s team mate Richard Platt went 3-1 up against Wayne Pepper after trailing 1-0 and then missed his doubles in the last three legs and lost 4-3.

Sean Carrol made it two match awards in a row when he beat Paul Bettney 4-3 in a game that swung one way then the other as Carrol won the first two legs in 15 and 18 darts, Bettney then won the third in 15, Carrol took the fourth in 15 only to see Bettney level the game at 4-4 with 18 and 14 darts games.

Bettney struggled with scoring in the deciding leg not able to manage a single three figure score while Carrol had top shots of 140 and 120, but despite the difference in scoring Carrol took three visits to the oche before he found the all important winning double to give him his close 4-3 win and a 28.22 average.

The 2-1 lead was soon eroded as David Smith-Hayes and Paul Mellor recorded 4-0 wins over their respective opponents Mark Rollinson and Jonathan Platt to give them a slender 3-2 lead. At the halfway stage the score stood at 3-3, Michael Baker (West Midlands) beating Reece Spurr 4-3, Baker coming back from 2-1 down.

Another Baker, this time Gavin gave West Midlands a 4-3 lead as he won 4-1 against yet another Baker, this time Derbyshire’s Paul. The next three games all went the seven legs distance and all finished in favour of the home side. Richard Hanson beat Neil Pointon despite Pointon leading 3-2, Tim Daniels won against Christopher Mason after Mason had been 2-1 and 4-2 up and rounding off the trio of wins Nigel Daniels handed out a somewhat rare defeat to Ian Jones, once again the West Midlands player had held the lead, Jones at one stage being within an ace of victory as he went 3-1 up. Gary Fenn then had a straight 4-0 win over Danny Coyle to give the home team an unbeatable 7-4 lead.

As in many of the previous games the last one of the weekend followed the same pattern with the lead changing hands before a result was achieved. West Midlands Matthew Dicken from 1-0 up against Adrian Asprey trailed 2-1 and then went on to win 4-2 for a 7-5 win to the hosts.

So a third consecutive defeat which leaves West Midlands lying precariously near the foot of the table on 70 point’s, just seven more than bottom placed Wiltshire, however the two teams directly above them Merseyside (72 points) and Suffolk (80 points) have played one game more than West Midlands and their game in hand is a home tie against Nottinghamshire who are also on 80 points, that will be a crucial must win game if they are to have any hope of survival in division two.


On the local scene the Britannia Sports Bar Open was won by Ryan Tipper who collected the winners £150 after beating Joe Sharratt in the final 6-5, Sharratt receiving £100.

Sharratt had a big win in the last four when he took out Ian Jones with a straight 5-0 win, Tipper beating Kevin Bambrick 5-2, each of the losing semi finalists picking up £50 plus there was £5 for the losing quarter finalists Dave Simpson, T.Frost, Lol Frazer and Rob Pierce.

In the 101 Knockout Adam Robson was the winner with a final 3-2 win over Alan Carter.


The South Birmingham League played off their Singles Knockout and winning the event was Chris Millward snr (Crown-Forget-Me-Not) with a final 2-1 win over Raven’s Dave Mortiboys. Both of the semi finals also finished 2-1, Millward beating team mate William Naylor and Mortiboys winning against another Crown-Forget-me-Not player Jim Frost.


The Forest of Arden Winter League have completed the final stages of their Division One Cup. In the semi finals second in the table Olton Crown beat their nearest rivals Journeys End 7-2 and Riley’s Red Arrows won 5-4 against Greville Arrows.

The final was a somewhat surprising 5-4 win for Riley’s Red Arrows who in the league are ten points behind Olton Crown.


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