The second half of May and beginning of June saw lots of knockouts and end of season finals, the C’s Club in Chelmsley Wood laid on two Bank Holiday Monday competitions the first of which attracted some top class players with the final contested between Corey Cadby and Ian McFarlane which was worthy of any stage final and included no fewer than five maximums and a 157 game shot. Cadby hit four of the 180’s and took the title with a 5-1 result while McFarlane who also notched a maximum recorded a fantastic 157 outshot.
Both of the last four games finished with 4-2 scorelines, Cadby taking out Bob Nixon and McFarlane accounting for Wayne Maynard.
The second event on Whitsun Bank Holiday Monday once again attracted many top county players from around the area and throughout the day included many top scores with no one recording more than the eventual winner Nick Fullwell who hit no fewer than five maximums plus a terrific 156 checkout.
Both of the semi-finals finished with a 4-2 result with Fullwell beating Adam Smith-Neale and from the other half of the draw Charlie Symons winning against Warwickshire county team mate Antony Allen to set up a West Midlands versus Warwickshire final.
With the final extended from the best of seven to the best of nine legs it was West Midlands star Nick Fullwell who got the 5-3 result plus the winners £100 with Symons collecting £40.
Other individual achievements saw Adam Smith-Neale hit 4×180, Antony Allen 3×180 and there was two each for Robert Comben and Graham Hall. Logan Crooks and Junior Joyce both hit one maximum. Charlie Symons hit a 180 and 177.
The South Birmingham League played off three of their knockouts the first of which was the Captains Cup. The semi-final games saw Simon Edwards, with a 156 game shot beat Trevor Barrs 2-1 and Paul Moran win 2-0 against Dan Cooper. Edwards continued his fine form into the final in which he won 2-0 against Moran.
The two semi-finals of the Secretaries Cup both finished with close 2-1 scorelines with wins for Phil Jones and Gavin Jones over respective opponents Dave Clinton and Wayne Cooper. With an all Jones final the 2-0 result went in favour of Gavin with Phil runner-up.
The Trebles Knockout went to a deciding leg with the King Koi team of Dave Kingdon, Wayne Yates and Dave Clinton just getting the 2-1 edge on the Jays Vapes team of Wayne Cooper, Jamie Carter and Lee Walker.
The Small Heath League completed all of their domestic fixtures and to no one’s surprise East Birmingham Allotment Holders Association became league champions with a total of 46 points losing just one of their 24 games. In their final fixture E.B.A.H.A. had an 8-1 win over Sheldon Marlborough Arrows who with 26 points finished third in the table 16 points short of runners-up Heartlands Club who had already played their final game and finished four points short of the champion’s.
The Shadow League title went to Emerald Club whose eight points was two better than second placed Wagon and Horses.
With the final league positions all sorted all that remained were the various knockouts the first of which was the Consolation Cup which ended with a very close 5-4 result going in favour of Emerald Club with Wagon and Horses the losing finalists.
The End of Season 501 Knockout saw Neil Parsonage add yet another title to his never ending list. With 3×100,2×140 and a 130 outshot Parsonage won his quarter final game against Marc Fisher 2-0, he then progressed to the final with a similar 2-0 result over Jamie Fisher in the semis where he scored 4×140 and 100.
From the other side of the draw Neil’s East Birmingham Allotment Holders Association team mate Colin Wyatt made his way to the final after beating Clive Austin 2-0 and Nigel Davis 2-1.
Wyatt hit scores of 140 and 3×100 in the final but it was not enough to avoid a straight 2-0 defeat to Neil Parsonage whose top shots were 125 and 3×100.
The final of the League Cup brought together the league’s top two teams, champions East Birmingham Allotment Holders Association and runners-up Heartlands Club.
The result, in what was a very high scoring affair was 6-3 to E.B.A.H.A. to complete a fantastic League and League Cup double for the season.
The Doubles Knockout in the Camp Hill League saw Ken Vaughan and Anthony Vaughan from the Emerald Club lift the title when they beat the White Swan Nomads pairing of Dan Lee and John West in the final, losing semi-finalists were Joe Fox and Liam Fox (Emerald Club) and Dan Lees and Matt Cooper (Sheldon Marlborough Flights).
The Stourbridge and District Monday Night League title went to Brickmakers Arms who rounded off what has been a fantastic season with a 7-2 home win over fifth in the table Ashwood to make it an unbelievable 42 games played and 42 wins giving them a perfect 84 points. Runners-up Ten Arches ‘A’ handed out a 9-0 whitewash to their final opponents Kingswinford Conservative Club ‘B’ to just pip their ‘B’ side to the number two spot as they had the same 76 points but trailed on average, their final game seeing them win 6-3 away to Kingswinford Conservative Club ‘A’.
Hop House won the Shadow League, their 26 points was six more than second placed Stourbridge RBL.
The Stourbridge and District Wednesday Night League played off their doubles knockout and winning the title with a 3-1 result over R,Pierce and J.Wrench were M.Flatman and J.Barrowman.
In the semi-finals Flatman and Barrowman won 2-0 against G.Moreton and M.Harper while Pierce and Wrench were taken to a decider by J.Pickett and C.Pickett.
Old Bulls Head won their final fixture of the season away to Gornal British Legion 6-3 in the Sedgley and Gornal Tuesday Night League to become champions with a total of 48 points from a possible 52, two more than runners-up Gornal Labour Club whose final game saw them beat Red Cow 5-4.
Coseley Tavern despite ending on a low as they lost 5-4 at home to Netherton Cricket Club held on to third place with 36 points two more than fourth in the league Gornal British Legion.
Following their presentation the league staged the finals of their singles and doubles knockouts. The singles title going to Matt Price after beating Tony Davies in the final while Carl Sparrow and Tom Bissell with a final win over Lee Walker and Danny Fear took the doubles title.
The Pip Club League played off their Doubles and Divisional Singles knockouts, taking the title in the former with a final win over Bombay Bob’s Boys team mates Mick Smith and Mark Martin were Sam Whittaker and Adam Wood.
Losing semi-finalists were Globe, Wilnecote pairing Mark Faulkner and Rick Martin plus Mark Young and Alan Sutton from Birchmoor Club.
In the Division One Singles Knockout donning the winners crown was Bombay Bob’s Boys representative Sam Whittaker who defeated Ian Turner (Belgrave Sports and Social Club) in the final.
Losing semi-finalists were Daz Jones (Belgrave Sports and Social Club) and Tez Stubbs (Belgrave Club).
The division two singles knockout title went to Mark Faulkner (Globe, Wilnecote) who had a final win over Dave Aucote (Pip Club).
Losing semi-finalists were Dave Barker (Globe, Wilnecote) and Rosie O’Connr (Wigginton Arms).
The Sheldon and District Winter League have been winding down their season with various cup finals, the latest of these being the Sheldon Shield and Punch Bowl Cup. In the Sheldon Shield Sheldon Dukes made the final with a last four 5-4 win over Willclare Sports and Social and meeting them in the final was Mackadown Social after their 6-3 success over Lyndon Old Boys in the semis. The title went to Mackadown who with a 5-2 result defeated Sheldon Dukes in the final.
The semi-finals of the Punch Bowl Cup saw East Birmingham Allotment Holders Association win 6-3 against Langley Hall Sports and Social and Dunky’s Boys beat Sheldon Marlborough 7-2. Dunky’s then went on to beat E.B.A.H.A. 6-3 in the final to make it two years running they have won the League title, League Cup and Punch Bowl Cup plus their Ian Spencer took the Singles title and the Doubles knockout was won by Simon Edwards and Jason Jennings again from Dunky’s, the first time any team has achieved a clean sweep for two consecutive years.
The Ripley Elite Darts Singles League is in its ninth season and each season the numbers and quality in the league continues to grow. The current summer season is at the midway point of its campaign with 62 players contesting two top class divisions, 30 in the Premier Division and 32 in Division One.
The Premier Division boasts one current PDC tour card holder three ex tour card holders and five other players who have played PDC at some stage or other. The remaining twenty two players are all of county standard with 90 plus average’s the norm on their typical weekly stats.
Ten weeks into the season and Kyle Anderson and Darron Brown are currently sharing the top spot with 62 points each. With ten wins and one draw Brown is the only undefeated player in the division and has the added advantage of having played two games fewer than the world’s top 32 ranked player Anderson.
Colin Osborne has made a welcome return to the REDSL this season and after a steady start is now in full flow winning 9 of his 12 games to place him third in the table just two points short of the two players above him. Seven points behind Osborne with a game in hand is Jamie Caven after chalking up eight wins from his eleven games.
Other top county stars bidding for top honours this season are Paul Baker, Chris Hill, Lee Arkwright and Daz Webster together with PDC development tour players James Thompson, Pete Burgoyne, Ian Richardson, Keith Lodge, Wayne Pepper and Dale Gadsby.
Currently having hit the most maximums is Kyle Anderson who has found the three treble twenties on no fewer than 30 occasions giving him a clear lead of sixteen on his nearest rival Colin Osborne who has the highest possible finish of 170. Jamie Caven holds the top average of 33.89 per dart and 6 players currently have recorded an eleven darts leg Daz Sinfield, James Thompson, Daz Webster, Kyle Anderson, Ian Allcock and Colin Osborne.
Division One attracted a new batch of seven players this season Ryan O’Connor, Jack Kerr, Luke Pilgrim, Joe Burke, Sammie Marshall, Marie Leahy and Alfie Osborne. With three current development tour players plus a host of past and present male and female county players the Division One title race is set to be the closest it has ever been.
At the time of going to print Ryan O’Connor leads the way with eleven wins in his thirteen games and returning to the league in second place is Ash Spencer who has won all but one of his twelve games leaving him three points shy of O’Connor with a game in hand.
The only unbeaten player in the division is third placed Rob Lamb who with thirteen straight wins is level on 62 points with second placed Spencer.
Mark Whitelam and John Rice make up the top five players all of which are automatic promotion places this season. Others hoping to prevail either via automatic promotion or via the new play-off system are Tony Jacklin, Ty Ward, Paul Wragg, Jack Kerr, Andy Houghton, Luke Pilgrim, Kev Wragg, Jack Garwood, Gary Burch and Wes Smith.
With a total of nine Ty Ward is the front runner with the most 180’s while Wes Smith has the best game shot of 167. Andy Houghton has the top individual average of 27.05 per dart and also the least darts which was a superb twelve darts leg
I was saddened to hear this week of the passing of a long standing and dear friend of mine John Walters. John played in many of the Black Country leagues and was a founder member of the Sedgley and Gornal Tuesday Night League actually donating a trophy to the league which has been played for under the name of Team Knockout however it is being proposed it be renamed and in future called the John Walters Trophy.
John was not only recognized for his darting prowess as he had previously been a local councilor and also mayor of Dudley.
Sincere condolences go out to John’s family and friends he will be sadly missed.
By Alan Towe