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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

After a brilliant start to the new season in division two of the BDO Inter County Championships which saw West Midlands chalk up three consecutive wins against Staffordshire, Somerset and Sussex they ended the year with an away game against Berkshire and suffered their first defeat without gaining a win for any of their four teams all of them prior to the game were undefeated..
Saturday’s ‘B’ games saw lady of the match Sophie Singh open up with a straight 3-0 win over Jackie Walford, Sophie rounding off her win with a superb 15 darts leg hitting 100,140,100 and 121 before checking out on 40 to give her a tremendous 23.48 average.
Although the lead was erased in the second game when Carole Holdroyd beat Shellbie Simmons 3-1 Heather Wright restored West Midlands advantage when she defeated Debbie Connors in the third with another 3-0 scoreline.
As before West Midlands were unable to improve on their lead and their hosts stepped in to level, Hayley Watts the player to win the fourth 3-0 against Wendy Waine.
For a third time and with a third 3-0 win the West Midlands took the lead, this time it was Jacqueline Maiden who gave them the lead with her win over Chris Ruffell, but the pattern of the match continued to the bitter end as Berkshire drew level for a third and final time when their anchor player Jenny Payne beat Kirsty Shaughnessy 3-1 to put the result at 3-3. Nevertheless the draw makes it two wins and two draws for the West Midlands ladies ‘B’ who are enjoying their best start since the 2005 -2006 season when they also had two wins and two draws in the first four games.
The opening four games of the men’s ‘B’ game all went with the first throw advantage so West Midlands took the lead twice, first through man of the match Sam Hamilton who beat Andy McNeil-Aitken 3-1 in 22,12 and 16 darts which gave him an average of 29.37, and then it was Paul Price in the third game with a 3-2 win over William Foot that took the score to 2-1 to West Midlands after Paul Self had beaten Simon Meredith 3-1 in the second game.
A 3-0 win by Luke Woodland over John Morris squared the game at 2-2 before Berkshire went ahead for the first time in the fifth when Bob Bowers won 3-1 against Richard Platt. Steve Shadwell looked all set to extend that lead when he opened up a 2-0 advantage over Lewis Venes but Venes came back to win the next three legs and the game 3-2 to put the teams level at 3-3 by the midway point.
Sam Guest was the man to put West Midlands ahead for a third time his 3-1 win against Richard Stride giving them a short lived 4-3 advantage as Gary Jones (Berkshire) cancelled it out in the eighth when he beat Danny Coyle 3-1.
The following two games saw Berkshire players James Turner and Roy Barton in turn win the first legs against Douglas Thompson and Robert Smith only to see the West Midlands men bounce back to win the next three legs and seal 3-1 wins to put their team 6-4 up.
Berkshire’s Andy Biddle after winning the first two legs against Glen Cullen was pegged back to 2-2 but Cullen was unable to sustain his comeback and Biddle went on to win 3-2. Then in the final game of the day Eddie Simmonds (Berkshire) beat Scott Baker 3-0 to square the match at 6-6 and also the day at 9-9.
Lisa Astbury won a hard fought game with Carol Bowers 3-2 to put West Midlands ahead in the ladies ‘A’ game but the next two West Midlands players Gemma Barrett and Kath Jenkins despite winning the first leg against their respective Berkshire counterparts Jo Rolls and Ally Judge both lost 3-1 to see the home side move into a 2-1 lead.
It got worse for the visitors as Kim Fellows took the lead twice against Louise Grannell and but for finishing doubles could have wrapped it up in the fourth but after losing that leg Grannell went on to win 3-2 to put the home team 3-1 up and West Midlands in danger of losing their unbeaten record.
Debbie Loon (West Midlands) began her game with Priscilla Cummings with a terrific 15 darts leg in which she hit 100,140,100,81 and checked out on 80 but after such a great start she then lost the next two legs. Debbie levelled at 2-2 in the fourth and then went on to clinch a 3-2 win in the fifth and a match award into the bargain with her 19.80 average.
Only one to play, trailing 3-2 and one down in the final game it didn’t look good but Sarah Roberts winner of many match awards for the Midlanders held her nerve and went on to beat her opponent Lisa Webb 3-1 and give her team a share of the 3-3 draw.
The West Midlands men’s ‘A’ team like their other three teams were unbeaten so far this season but that was about to change. All of the first half games went with the first throw advantage so as a result West Midlands went ahead on three occasions and then had their lead erased each time. Gavin Baker was the man to give West Midlands their first lead when he won 4-3 in a closely fought game with Kevan Merritt. Daniel Woodcraft was Berkshire’s man to wipe out Baker’s lead, a 4-2 win against Gareth Watts. Next winner for the away team was Ian Jones, once again a decisive 4-0 win by Jones over his opponent Geoff Heath. Coming to the home team’s rescue at number four was George McKie who also won 4-0 in his game against Jonathan Platt.
A man in form for the West Midlands this season Shaun Carroll was on at number five and again he didn’t disappoint chalking up his third match award in four games as he accounted for Eddie Simmonds with a 4-3 win and 27.61 average in which he had winning legs of 21,17,17 and 13 darts, but as before the lead was cancelled and the man squaring the game at the halfway point was none other than the former West Midlands star Paul Hogan who won 4-1 against Michael Baker.
After such an evenly fought contest in the first half the second half suddenly went all pear shaped as John Hall for the first time in the game put Berkshire ahead when he beat Matthew Dicken 4-3, Jason Heaven took the score to 5-3 with a 4-1 success against Keith Allman, Kevin Morley made it 6-3 with his 4-3 beating of Nick Fullwell and with a 4-1 win from Terry Stubbs against Lewis Venes the home team were home and dry with a 7-3 lead.
Mark Craddock (West Midlands) came from 1-0 and 3-2 down to Paul Croucher before securing a 4-3 win but the final score was taken to 8-4 for the hosts with a 4-2 win for Paul Snowsill over Mark Rollinson, Rollinson having taken the lead in the first and third legs.
So a first defeat for the men’s ‘A’ but more importantly a first defeat for the West Midlands county who also lose their pole position in the promotion table dropping to second place with 91 points three fewer than new leaders London but still eight ahead of third placed Staffordshire.
Berkshire v West Midlands (23-13):(Berkshire names first): Men’s ‘A’:- Kevan Merritt 3 Gavin Baker 4, Daniel Woodcraft 4 Gareth Watts 2, Geoff Heath 0 Ian Jones 4, Geirge McKie 4 Jonathan Platt 0, Eddie Simmonds 3 Shaun Carroll 4, Paul Hogan 4 Michael Baker 1, John Hall 4 Matthew Dicken 3, Jason Heaver 4 Keith Allman 1, Kevin Morley 4 Nick Fullwell 3, Terry Stubbs 4 Lewis Venes 1, Paul Croucher 3 Mark Craddock 4, Paul Snowsill 4 Mark Rollinson 2, Men’s ‘B’:- Andy McNeil-Aitken 1 Sam Hamilton 3, Paul Self 3 Simon Meredith 1, William Foot 2 Paul Price 3, Luke Woodland 3 John Morris 0, Bob Bowers 3 Richard Platt 1, Steve Shadwell 2 Lewis Venes 3, Richard Stride 1 Sam Guest 3, Gary Jones 3 Danny Coyle 1, James Turner 1 Douglas Thompson 3, Roy Barton 1 Robert Smith 3, Andy Biddle 3 Glen Cullen 2, Eddie Simmonds 3 Scott Baker 0, Women’s ‘A’:- Carol Bowers 2 Lisa Astbury 3, Jo Rolls 3 Gemma Barrett 1, Ally Judge 3 Kath Jenkins 1, Louise Grannell 3 Kim Fellows 2, Priscilla Cummings 2 Debbie Loon 3, Lisa Webb 1 Sarah Roberts 3, Women’s ‘B’:- Jackie Walford 0 Sophie Singh 3, Carole Holroyd 3 Shellbie Simmons 1, Debbie Connors 0 Heather Wright 3, Hayley Watts 3 Wendy Waine 0, Chris Ruffell 0 Jacqueline maiden 3, Jenny Payne 3 Kirsty Shaughnessy 1.
At the time of going to print the Ripley Elite Darts Singles League have completed week ten of their fixture card and leading the way in the premier division is Daz Brown the only unbeaten player in the division with a total of 53 points which is four more than second placed Paul Baker who has played one game more than Brown.
Chris Hill saw his 100% win record go by the way as he lost 3-2 to Ash Wood and is now in third place in the table with 45 points from ten games. Also on 45 points is Dave Allcock but he has played eleven games.
Leading the way in the Sleeping Beauty Division one table is Jack Daykin with 55 points from twelve games but hot on his heels comes second placed Dale Gadsby who despite being four points behind Daykin has only played ten games and has won all ten, the only one of two players in the division not to have lost the other one being sixth placed Chris Bradshaw who has 38 points from only seven games.
George Morrison the General Manager of Riley’s Snooker Bar, Solihull was pleased with the turnout for the latest of their Last Sunday of the Month Knockouts in which the semi finals saw Jamie Robinson beat Lee Bryan 4-1 while from the other side of the draw Martin Partridge go down by the same margin to Ian McFarlane.

Riley^s Knockout winner Ian McFarlane

The final was extended from the best of seven to the best of nine legs of 501 both players producing some top class darts but in the end the 5-3 result went in favour of Ian McFarlane who for his efforts collected £110, Jamie received £70 and there was £20 for each of the losing semi finalists.
Running alongside the main knockout was a first round loser’s event which turned out to be an all Gallett affair with Matt beating his brother Adam 3-0 to clinch the £30 top prize, Adam as runner up received £20.
The Shirley Red Lion Premier League completed their season’s fixtures with a full complement of players for the final games and as the fixtures drew to a close the position at the top of the table was constantly changing. Simon Edwards put himself in pole position with two wins but the title was not to be as Mick Gorst with 3-2 wins over Noreen Harris and Steve Sidwell plus a 3-1 win against Pete Silver put him level on 52 points with Edwards but with a far superior average to take the coveted league championship. Simon Edwards took the runners up spot with Paul Higgins on 50 points finishing third.
At the other end of the table there was a rare win for Stuart Dixon a 3-2 success against Chris Devlin seeing him move away from the foot of the table, Alex Hesketh taking the wooden spoon.
The highest finish of the season was a superb 170 by Julian Harris while the most 180s which was five was shared between Chris Devlin and Pete Silver. The least darts of thirteen was achieved by Mark Gwalchmai, Steve Sidwell and Tom Bent.
The Brierley Hill Monday Night League completed their domestic fixtures and with a final 6-3 win over Portway Dudley Sports ‘C’ were confirmed as champions with a total of 72 points having won 36 of their 40 fixtures. The champions ended the campaign with four more points than runners up Bridge ‘B’ who completed their programme with a 5-4 win away to Tenth Lock.
Brickmakers Arms took the wooden spoon with just six wins throughout the season.
The Aston League staged their doubles knockout which attracted a very encouraging 27 pairs. From the top half of the draw A.Mountford and B.Stephens made the final after having a bye in the preliminary round then winning 2-0 against T.Kelly and A.Whitehouse followed by a 2-1 result against J.Frost and J.Morris jnr before winning their semi final against T.O’Kereke and A.Pritchett 2-0.
From the other half of the draw a 2-0 win over P.Hodgkins and R.Graham took B.Lyssaght and M.McFall into the first round proper then after a 2-1 win over T.Carroll and I.Mathews they beat C.Austin and D.Lacey 2-0 and by the same margin in the semi’s against M.Naylor and W.Naylor they booked their final place.
The final went the full three legs distance with A.Mountford and B.Stephens getting the verdict, B.Lysaght and M.McFall finishing as runners up.
The Cradley Tuesday Night League held their singles finals at The Crown and it was the hosts that provided the champion in the shape of Jason Lowe who had a straight 3-0 win over Steve Siviter (Hawne Lane Tavern) in the final.
In the semi finals Lowe beat J.Sharratt (Crown ‘B’) 2-1 and Siviter won by the same margin against D.Cartwright (White Horse).
Congratulations to Andy Busby who with a close 3-2 verdict defeated Reece Cook in the final of the Tettenhall Wednesday Night League singles knockout.
The doubles title went to John Evans and Wayne Horton who had a final win over Phil Mayo and Alan Bradburn.
As the Hilltop Friendly Tuesday Night League wound down their season champions Old Hop Pole finished with a flourish as they handed out a 7-0 whitewash to their hosts Ivy Bush to give them 62 points from 33 games and a six points advantage over runners up Dewdrop who completed their fixture card with a 4-3 win at New Talbot to put them twelve points to the good on The Vine in third place.
The Small Heath League staged their doubles knockout and clinching the title were M.Cooper and D.Heighway who had a final win over N.Parsonage and R.Fisher.
Cooper and Heighway had beaten I.Jones and C.Austin in the semi’s while Parsonage and Fisher took out M.O’Sullivan and N.Walker.

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