Darts News – Alan Towe’s The Line On Darts – Shropshire v Hertfordshire
Despite home advantage Hertfordshire was never going to be an easy fixture for Shropshire as they had 31 points and three places between them in the division three table in the Riley’s BDO Inter County Championships.
Saturday’s games could not have got much worse as the ladies went down 5-1, last on Lorna Wheatley their solitary winner with a 15.17 average.
The men’s ‘B’ side lost the opening game when Daniel Wood beat Rob Harris 3-0 and although the lead was cancelled out when Roger Taylor (Shropshire) beat Peter Shore 3-2, the visitors claimed the next three games with wins from man of the match Wayne Dawson (26.37), Martin Kingsley and Daniel Varney.
Shropshire’s man of the match Andi Chatter (24.29) stopped the rot when he handed out a 3-1 defeat to Paul Oliver and with a similar 3-1 win from Richard Parker against John Creed, Shropshire were back in the match and only trailing by 4-3.
The following two games could easily have gone either way as Hertfordshire’s Andreas Hajimina and Harry Etherington both won by the odd leg against respective opponents Scott Pitchford and Phil Austin. At 6-3 down all hopes then faded as the away side added another two 3-1 wins to their tally, Dan Finch and John Blair in turn defeating Andy Powell and Nathan Storar to put the score beyond the home teams reach at 8-3.
Shane Knight (Shropshire) won the last game of the day against Leigh Purkis 3-2 to give a final score of 8-4 to the visitors.
Trailing 13-5 the two ‘A’ teams had a mountain to climb, but nevertheless they stuck to their task and put up a spirited performance. The ladies opened up a 2-0 lead when Pam Jones and Mandy Morgan accounted for Kathy Ovens and Linda Reed. The away team responded quickly, Gemma Sherdel (19.34) beating Michele Pritchard 3-1 and taking the match award in the process and Jane Phillips wining 3-0 against Deanne Worrall to level the match at two each.
The penultimate game saw a fine performance from Leanne Loveridge, a 3-1 win over Louise Pearson with a lady of the match average of 19.44 to put the home side within an ace of victory. That win proved to be elusive as Janet Driscol beat Pam Evans 3-0 to give Hertfordshire a share of the points in a 3-3 draw.
The men’s ‘A’ match was a game of two halves, the first seeing them win just one game when after trailing 1-0 to a Tony Tarry opener, Steven Ritchie won 4-3 against Lee Marlow. The away side then turned the screw and won the remaining four games of the half. Chalking up those wins were Robin Wigg, Tony Cox, Mark Elliot and Stee Hartley putting Hertfordshire into what appeared to be a commanding 5-1 lead.
But the saying goes "It’s not over until the fat lady sings” and never was that saying more appropriate and the ‘A’ team lived up to that name and staged an incredible fight back to snatch a 7-5 victory. Andy Richardson started the ball rolling with his 4-1 win over Jason Neville, Dan Astbury added his 4-3 win against James Donnelly, then two 4-0 wins from Clive Lucking and Darryl Sheldon against their counterparts Lee White and Andy Mackinnon to move the score along to 5-5.
Danny James kept the game alive for Shropshire when he won 4-2 against Adam Pinnuck, giving team mate Eddie Austin a chance to steal the points. Not only did Austin take that opportunity with open arms, but achieved his 4-2 win against Jason Sutton in style with a match award winning average of 26.97 to earn his team and the county a very impressive 7-5 after what appeared to be a lost cause.
A great effort but unfortunately the overall result was a 21-15 for Hertfordshire to leave Shropshire 13 points above bottom team Bedfordshire and nine behind the next team to them in the table Buckinghamshire. However, Shropshire satiny is far from being decided as in their last two fixtures they play teams in the bottom half of the table, Worcestershire (away) and Cumbria(home), while Buckinghamshire take on bottom team Bedfordshire (away) and in their final game of the season play fourth in the Merseyside) home).
Full results (Shropshire names first):Men’s ‘A’:- Simon Pritchard 2 Tony Tarry 4, Steven Ritchie 4 Lee Marlow 3, Mark Jones 1 Robin Wigg 4, Neville Quinton 1 Tony Cox 4, Andi Chatter 1 Mark Elliot 4, Brian Hickman 1 Stee Hartley 4, Andy Richardson 4 Jason Neville 1, Dan Astbury 4 James Donnelly 3, Clive Lucking 4 Lee White 0, Darryl Sheldon 4 Andy Mackinnon 0, Danny James 4 Adam Pinnuck 2, Eddie Austin 4 Jason Sutton 2. Men’s ‘B’:- Rob Harris 0 Daniel Wood 3, Roger Taylor 3 Peter Shore 2, Danny Humphries 0 Wayne Dawson 3, Kevin Harris 2 Martin Kingsley 3, John Breeze 2 Daniel Varney 3, Andi Chatter 3 Paul Oliver 1, Richard Parker 3 John Creed 1, Scott Pitchford 2 Andreas Hajimin 3, Phil Austin 2 Harry Etherington 3, Andy Powell 1 Dan Finch 3, Nathan Storar 1 John Blair 3, Shane Knight 3 Leigh Purkis 2, Women’s ‘A’:- Pam Jones 3 Kathy Ovens 1, Mandy Morgan 3 Linda Reed 2, Michele Pritchard 1 Gemma Sherdel 3, Deanna Worrall 0 Jane Phillips 3, Leanne Loveridge 3 Louise Pearson 1, Pam Evans – Janet Driscol 3, Women’s ‘B’:- Katharine McLean 2 Janet Ginger 3, Wendy Talbot 1 Joanne Kitchen 3, Caroline Powell 2 Lisa Wetton 3, Debbie Davies 2 Rita Brownless 3, Caroline La-Ffin 1 Stacie Pinnuck 3, Lorna Wheatley 3 Sue Jordan 2.