Darts News – Alan Towe’s The Line On Darts – Sussex v Shropshire
Despite Shropshire not enjoying the best of seasons there was a brighter side to Saturday’s games as the ladies ‘B’ team chalked up a convincing 5-1 victory. Lorna Wheatley got the ball rolling with a lady of the match performance against Sarah Boniface, Lorna winning 3-1 with a 16.13 average. Sussex were quick to respond as Norma Self beat Debbie Davies 3-0 to level the score. From there on in it was all Shropshire as Elaine Banks, despite being taken the full five legs distance beat Teressa Weir 3-2. Likewise Deanna Worrall was also taken to a fifth and deciding leg by Rhonda West but once again came out as the 3-2 winner.
Sue lane made short work of her encounter with Shirley Wells as she won 3-1 and to round off the proceedings Pam Evans handed out a 3-0 whitewash to Julia Suldanha to give Shropshire ladies a fine 5-1 victory.
Sadly that is where the good news finishes. The men’s ‘B’ found themselves losing 6-0 before they were able to register their first winner. Jon Pelling (Sussex) won the opener against an unlucky Simon Pritchard 3-2 before the hosts registered two consecutive 3-0 wins by Dan Grimmett and Greg Upton at the expense of Antony Stoneman and John Breeze.
Darryl Sheldon was another player to lose by the odd leg as he went down 3-2 to Cliff Prior to give the home side a 4-0 lead. Adding to that lead was Reg Harding jnr, who had a 3-0 win against Nigel Sandbrook and chalking up the "cannot lose” sixth winning leg for Sussex was Jordan Langridge with his 3-1 success against Mark Tirrell.
Nathan Storer was the man to stop the rot for Shropshire, in 18, 22 and 24 darts he beat Terry Howse 3-2 and reducing the arrears to 6-2 was Roger Taylor, a 3-0 win over Mark Davis.
Dan Bradford was the man to add the vital seventh win for Sussex, his 14, 20 and 21 darts winning legs enough to beat Danny Humphries 3-2, Humphries taking 18 and 22 darts for his two winners.
Neville Quinton reduced Shropshire’s deficit in style as his 3-0 whitewash of Dan Waller in 21, 22 and 23 darts gave him a 22.77 average and at the end of the day the teams match award.
The final two games both went in the home teams favour Ken Sowerby beating Matt Williams 3-1 and Craig Deeley taking the final score to 9-3 with a 3-2 win against Brian Hickman.
A 9-3 defeat but how unlucky as four of the losing games were 3-2 and with a bit of luck the score could easily have finished at 7-5 in Shropshire’s favour, but that’s why Sussex are top of the table and Shropshire next to bottom, when your lucks out not much goes your way.
Sunday was not a good day for the away team the ladies match saw the home side record a clean sheet, winning 6-0. Hayley Gatford began the rout with a 3-1 win over Pam Jones. Karen Winter doubled the lead when she won 3-0 against Michele Pritchard.
The following three games went the distance with the home team yet again getting the win as per the previous day in the men’s ‘B’ game. Supplying the wins were Sam Harding, Steph Robinson and Laura Macintosh at the expense of Katherine McLean, Wendy Talbot and Mandy Morgan.
Completing the 6-0 win was Kelly Ryan, her 3-0 success against Caroline Laffin leaving the men’s ‘A’ a gigantic task to earn even a draw.
Any hopes of sharing the spoils were quickly dismissed as Rod Hawkins won 4-2 against Mark Jones, Michael Hammond and Andy Derrick had 4-0 win against respective opponents John Cooper and Andy Powell and taking the score to 4-0 for the hosts was Joe Davis, with a 4-2 win over Richard Parker.
Andy Roberts was in top form for Shropshire beating Geoff Taylor in four straight legs with games of 16, 20,21 and 24 for a 24.74 average. It was a short respite however as Craig Stoner won 4-3 against Daniel Astbury and putting Sussex within an ace of victory was Tony Peters who won 4-0 against Danny James.
Delaying what now appeared the inevitable was Steve Ritchie who produced some terrific darts with winning legs of 15, 15, 17 and 19 to beat Paul Eves 4-0 and take the match award with a 29.63 average.
That win however proved to be Shropshire’s last as the home team took the last four games through Dave Creasy, Jason Yates, Gary Blackwood and Darren Wollgar, beating in turn Andi Chatter, Clive Lucking, Eddie Austin and Shane Knight to give Sussex a massive 10-2 win, an overall 26-10 visitors and keep them in pole position in the promotional table with 119 points. Shropshire left languishing next to bottom with 71 points, seven more than Bedfordshire, who are in the bottom spot.