The Bishopsgate Club, Coventry was the setting for Christmas Open Singles and Doubles knockouts at the end of December and with everyone involved in Christmas and the New Year celebrations it was very encouraging to see the singles event attracted 84 entries and the doubles 41 and in addition both of the competitions produced some top class darts throughout.
The first of the singles quarter finals saw Andre Luis beat Kevin Painter in a very close game 4-3 while West Midlands player mark Craddock had a more comfortable 4-1 success against Andy Kent. The last two games going into the semi-finals saw Warwickshire players matched against each other with with Nigel Heydon beating Mike McFall 4-0 and in form Ted Evetts winning 4-2 against Jamie Hughes.
There were straight 4-0 wins in both of the semi-finals Mark Craddock taking out Andre Luis and Ted Evetts beating another in form Warwickshire player Nigel Heydon.
The best of nine legs final went the full distance with Evetts getting the very close 5-4 verdict to earn him the title and the top prize of £400 with Craddock receiving £200 as runner up.
There was £80 for each of the losing semi-finalists Luis and Heydon with £20 going to Kevin Painter, Andy Kent, Mike McFall and Jamie Hughes for reaching the quarter finals.
The semi-finals of the doubles knockout saw Lee and John Russell beat Antony Allen and Steve Giddings 4-2 to set up a final against West Midlands duo Ian Jones and Mark Craddock who had taken out Trevor Ellacott and Paul Clowery in their last four game.
The final was the best of seven legs and like the singles knockout went to the final leg with Jones and Craddock getting the 4-3 result plus the winners £240, Lee and John Russell received £120 as losing finalists.
Losing semi-finalists Antony Allen and Steve Giddings plus Trevor Ellacott and Paul Clowery received £60 and there was £20 for the pairs who went out in the last eight namely Mark Carter and Ian McFarlane, Jamie Hughes and James Hurrell, Simon Power and Wayne Bowes, Jack Wareing and Nigel Heydon.
A final 6-3 win over Delph Bell in the Brierley Hill Monday Night League confirmed Dudley Ex Serviceman’s Club ‘A’ as champions with 60 points, four more than runners up Bulls Head (Netherton) who rounded off their campaign with a 7-2 victory at Dudley Sports ‘B’.
Limes Club moved off the foot of the table in the very last game of the season as they won 6-3 away to King William who win the wooden spoon as they dropped to the bottom spot.
The league ended their season with the final of their League Cup with the title going to Ashwood after beating Netherton Cricket Club ‘A’ 4-1 in the ultimate game
Just one outstanding fixture remains to be played in the Camp Hill League between White Swan Nomads and Journeys End Lions however the result is immaterial as White Swan have won the title with 28 points from 15 games with Sheldon Marlborough Flights taking the runners up spot with 26 points from a completed season’s sixteen games. Journeys End Flights will finish fourth irrespective of the result from their outstanding fixture as they are six points behind third placed Tyseley WMC.
The 25 preliminary round losers in the singles knockout qualified for the consolation singles knockout which was played off at the Emerald Club, of the 25 qualifiers only 18 turned out to contest the title
The final two players were Paul Evans (Sedgemere Devil’s Club) and Ashley Pearson (Wagon and Horses) who went on to win the title with Evans runner up.
The actual Consolation Cup final was played off at Journeys End and competing for the title were North Star who finished the season next to bottom of the table and Tyseley WMC. North Star found their third placed finishers a little too much to handle and it was Tyseley who won the game.
The League Cup final was staged at North Star and turned out to be a thrilling game contested by the league’s champions and runners up. Champions White Swan Nomads were first to find their finishing doubles and so league runners up Sheldon Marlborough Flights had to content themselves with second place once again.
The league ended the season with their Captains and Secretaries knockouts. In the Captains Cup final Pete Yardley of the Journeys End Lions beat Nathan Prentice from Tyseley WMC. Simon Edwards (Journeys End Lions) took the Secretaries Cup title with a final win over Joe Fox from the Emerald Club.
The Netherton Thursday Night League played off the final of their Andy Bastable Shadow Cup and the 5-2 result and title went to Townsend Social Club with Riddins Tavern runners up.
In the semi-finals play-off of their Captains Cup Carl Hadlington (White Horse) had a clear cut 2-0 win over Trevor Male (Bulls Head) while Simon Purcell (Riddins Tavern) was taken to a deciding leg by Johnny Green (Fairfield) before winning 2-1.
In the final Colin Hadlington produced another straight 2-0 win to clinch the title with Simon Purcell runner up.
Taking the title for the Silver End Sunday Morning League’s Doubles Knockout with a final win over R.Tipper & A.Whyte (Brickmakers Arms ‘A’) were M.Rowley & R.Colley (Woodside). Losing in the last four games were J.Pickett & C.Pickett (Netherton Cricket Club), H.Wakefield & D.Cooper (Brickmakers Arms ‘B’).
In the Singles Knockout with a 5-3 result it was A.Whyte who lifted the winner’s silverware with C.Davies runner up.
In the last four games Brickmakers Arms representative Whyte beat J.Rollinson (Woodside) 4-3 while Davies had a more comfortable 4-0 success over his Netherton Cricket Club team mate J.Churchill.
Losing quarter finalists were S.Quarry, M.Rowley, M.Watson and B.Lewis.
Doubles finals have been on the fixture card for the Hilltop Friendly Tuesday Night League and in a very close all Vine final Scott Norman and Martin Steventon beat reigning champions Duffy Bowen and Graham Parker 3-2.
Losing semi-finalists were S.Cliff and K.Follows plus Mark Watkiss and Craig Jones.
In the league’s Delegates Knockout there is a new name on the winners silverware that of fourteen years old Cameron Gill who took the title and become champion with a final victory over Nathan Whitney.
Congratulations to Riley’s ‘C’ team Paul Bromley, Jimmy Handley and Joe Cook on winning the division one 3 A-Side knockout in the Wolverhampton Tuesday Night League, they beat Sunbeam trio Allan Davies, Jamie Daly and Richard Bradshaw in the final.
Justin Evans was in top form in the league’s Averages Knockout as he won the title with a final win over Jamie Daly. The division two winner was Wayne Horton with Steve Potts the losing finalist.
The Rowley Monday Night League have completed their league fixtures and the new champions despite a final 7-2 defeat to George is The Bell. Bell finished two points to the good on runners up George who had held pole position for the majority of the season.
Ex Serviceman’s ‘A’ just pipped Cradley Sports and Social Club to third place on average, both teams finishing the season on 52 points, four short of The Bell.
Just prior to Christmas the Royal, Albrighton staged the latest of their ever popular knockouts and taking the top prize of £140 was Darlaston’s Justin Evans who after beating West Midlands County player Mark Craddock (Cannock) in the semis went on to win 6-3 against Richard Hosey (Birmingham) in the final. Hosey beat Dave Bayton (Telford) in the last four games.
Hosey received £70 as runner up and there was £25 for each of the losing semi-finalists Craddock and Bayton.
With 20 of the scheduled 34 games completed in the West Midlands Men’s Super League Allen’s Sports and Social Club ‘A’ have opened up a commanding 17 points lead over their nearest rivals Woodside Inn and Yeltz Bar.
The 9th Ripley Elite Darts Single League Christmas Open attracted the required 64 players that guaranteed the £1000 pay out. A great field of top class players meant there was always going to be some early casualties for players fancied to take the title and top prize, players of the calibre of PDC players Aden Kirk, Jamie Caven, Colin Osborne and James Richardson plus other fancied players Wayne Pepper, Daz Layden, Chris Lacey and tournament organiser Daz Brown, all biting the dust before reaching the money rounds.
Matt Padgett who has played in most of the REDSL Christmas Opens and is normally involved in the latter stages managed to hold off the challenge of PDC professional Daz Johnson in a first class final beating him 6-4 to take the title and top prize of £500 with Johnson receiving £200 as runner up.
The quarter finals saw Padgett win 4-2 against Steve Soar while Johnson took out Tony Darlow with a closer 4-3 result. Moving into the semi-finals, which were raised to the best of nine legs Padgett was the 5-3 winner against Dean Allsopp and Johnson booked his final place with a 5-2 success over Paul Harvey.
Losing semi-finalists Dean Allsopp and Paul Harvey received £100 each and there was £25 for Connor Hodgkinson, Steve Soar, Tony Darlow and Andy Hibbert who all made their exit in the quarter finals.
Once again it was a great day of darts with a fantastic standard of play throughout. A big vote of thanks goes to tournament director Nick Kirk who did a fantastic job making sure the games kept flowing straight through to the final.
Full Results:Quarter Finals:- Dean Allsopp 4 Connor Hodgkinson 3, Matt Padgett 4 Steve Soar 2, Daz Johnson 4 Tony Darlow 3, Paul Harvey 4 Andy Hibbert 2, Semi-Finals:- Matt Padgett 5 Dean Allsopp 3, Daz Johnson 5 Paul Harvey 2, Final:- Matt Padgett 6 Daz Johnson 4.
After chalking up four consecutive title wins in the ECC Sports and Social Club Thursday Night Champions League (formerly the Winmau Thursday Champions League) Mick Baker who was late starting the new season has not got off to a very good start as in his opening week’s games he lost his first game to 4-3 to Robert Pierce, he then won 6-1 against Sam Aitkens and suffered another close 4-3 defeat this time to Chris Williams.
In the latest round of fixtures before going into print Baker had another mixed bag of results as he opened up with a 5-2 win over Gemma Barrett and then had two 4-3 defeats at the hands of Jordan Ward and Andy Vellender.
With a 6-1 win over Liam Baker followed by a 4-3 success against Chris Williams Chris Fox has moved up into pole position replacing Andy Vellender who after losing 4-3 to Sam Aitkens bounced back to win 6-1 against Gemma Barrett and 4-3 against Mick Baker to give him a total of 73 points from 16 games, four short of Fox but with two games in hand.
Chris Williams is still in the frame for the title in third place as he has only played fifteen games and although seven points off the top his three games in hand could net him 15 points however he did his title chances no good at all when before losing to Chris Fox he had lost 4-3 to Jordan Ward, nevertheless he did recover from the two losses when in his third game he beat Sam Aitkens 6-1.
With all of the players having more than a third of the season remaining there will probably be lots more surprises and shock results before the eventual champion is crowned
By Alan Towe