Warwickshire v Northamptonshire
Warwickshire’s final Premier Division fixture of the season in the BDO Inter County Championships was on paper a winnable home tie against Northamptonshire who were newly promoted this season, but it didn’t quite turn out that way.
As the ladies ‘B’ got their game underway it was the visiting team that got the better start as Suzanne Smith beat Marian Conway 3-0 and Faye Mason doubled their lead with her 3-1 win over Helen Rigg after Rigg had won the first leg.
It took a lady of the match performance from Nina Bolt to stop the Northamptonshire charge, Nina winning in three straight legs against Gail Fullthorpe with a tidy 19.78 average.
The away side had their two games buffer restored when Debbie Dexter won 3-0 against Melanie Jones and appeared to be on the way to putting the score beyond Warwickshire’s reach when Sara Rose won the opener against Kat Spanswick but the home player stuck to her guns and battled away for a 3-1 win.
A 3-3 draw was achieved in the final game as Chloe McKivett made short work of Sandra Simmonds with a 3-0 result to give her team their fourth draw of the campaign.
After losing the first leg to Simon Almey James Hykin gave the home team’s ‘B’ side a 1-0 start when he went on to win the tie 4-1. The cheers were short lived however as Northamptonshire then rattled off four wins in a row as Liam Fox beat Simon Fairbrother 4-1 then Ross Macken, Christian Shipley and Lukey Smith in turn won 4-2 against David Hill, Gareth Braham and Adam Paxton.
As in the ladies ‘B’ game it took an award winning game to stop the rot and turning it on for the men’s ‘B’ was Karl Reynolds. Reynolds lost the first leg to Graham Roberts then went 3-1 up in 19,19 and 18 darts. Roberts reduced the arrears in the fifth with a 17 darts leg only to see Karl Reynolds wrap up his 4-2 win in with a great fifteen darts leg and take the team award for his 26.18 average.
Going into the second half Warwickshire were trailing 4-2, that was reduced to 4-3 when Mark Carter accounted for Chuck Scott with a 4-3 scoreline. Carter had gone from 1-0 and 2-1 up to trailing 3-2 before winning the last two legs.
Duane Small (Northamptonshire) won the eighth against Mark Strong 4-0 but by the tenth game it was all square as Carl Green won 4-2 against Paul Shepherd and Tom Martin beat Shane Prowse by the same 4-2 margin.
In the penultimate game Northamptonshire’s Andrew John Regan raced into a 3-0 lead against Jack Wareing and although Wareing pegged him back to 3-3 it was Regan who won the decider to put the away team within one more game of victory.
On at number twelve for Warwickshire was Robert Comben, his opponent Joshua Richardson. Comben won the opening two legs in 23 and 19 darts and with two further wins both in 21 darts he won 4-0 and took the final score to 6-6.
Warwickshire’s ladies ‘A’ were going into the final game of the season without a win after recording four draws and four defeats from their previous eight fixtures. Wendy Adams gave them a great start when she won 3-2 against Rebecca Barrow, Barrow coming from 2-0 down to level terms before Adams won the decider.
A 3-1 win over Caroline Pike by Angela Barrow levelled the score and with a 3-2 success for Jo Johnson over Donna Pinch Northamptonshire had reversed the advantage.
With an impressive five lady of the match awards from the eight games played Sue Gulliver (Warwickshire) was on at number four. Sue won the opening leg against Jacky White and despite White squaring the game in the second Sue Gulliver then won the third and fourth for a 3-1 win and at the same time make it six match awards for the season with her super 21.80 average.
With the game level at two each a 3-1 win for Rebecca Rose over Natalie Gilbert gave the away team the lead once again and with Sharon Tompkins beating Angela Jones 3-0 in the final game the 4-2 result went to Northamptonshire.
After losing the curtain raiser to the season away to the mighty Yorkshire the men’s ‘A’ team then recorded seven consecutive wins and irrespective of the outcome against Northamptonshire had enjoyed a very successful season.
The first half of the match saw all six games go in favour of the first throw advantage with Ricky Evans giving the visitors the early lead when he won 4-3 against Ian McFarlane after McFarlane had fought back magnificently from 3-0 down to 3-3.
Steve Giddings was Warwickshire’s first winner when he beat Jason Lovell 4-1 only to see Northamptonshire forge ahead again for a second time in the third when Joshua Richardson won 4-1 against Dean Stewart.
Andy Tee took the opening leg against Ian Shaw but it was the hosts Shaw who won the following four to win 4-1 and level the game for a second time.
David Walker was Northamptonshire’s third winner, a 4-0 result over Jamie Atkins before Noel Grant took the score to three each at the midway point with his 4-3 win over Mark Stanley after Stanley had gone 2-0 and 3-2 up.
The sequence was broken as early as the first game of the second half when Warwickshire’s in-form player Nigel Heydon handed out a 4-0 defeat to Martin Biggs in winning legs of 16,11,23 and 14 darts for a magnificent man of the match average of 31.31 and at the same time give his team the lead for the first time in the game.
Tom Aldridge added to the score making it 5-3 to the home team when he also won 4-0 against Ben Goodger The next three games all went down to the wire with all three 4-3 results going to the away side. Daniel Wheatley, Tony Littleton and Chris Jones beating respective opponents Kevin Dowling, Antony Allen and Charlie Symons to put not only their men’s ‘A’ team within an ace of victory but also ensuring they got the overall result for the weekend.
The final game of the weekend between Steve Hine (Warwickshire) and Stephen Tompkins swayed one way then the other as Hine went 2-0 up then 3-2 down but with wins in the last two legs got the 4-3 verdict and earned a 6-6 draw for his team.
The overall result was 19-17 to Northamptonshire with Warwickshire finishing the season emulating last season’s placing of fifth in the table on 173 points three fewer than last season.
Full Results:Premier Division:Warwickshire v Northamptonshire (17-19):Warwickshire names first):Men’s ‘A’:- Ian McFarlane 3 Ricky Evans 4, Steve Giddings 4 Jason Lovell 1, Dean Stewart 1 Joshua Richardson 4, Ian Shaw 4 Andy Tee 1, Jamie Atkins 0 David Walker 4, Noel Grant 4 Mark Stanley 3, Nigel Heydon 4 Martin Biggs 0, Tom Aldridge 4 Ben Goodger 0, Kevin Dowling 3 Daniel Wheatley 4, Antony Allen 3 Tony Littleton 4, Charlie Symons 3 Chris Jones 4, Steve Hine 4 Stephen Tompkins 3, Men’s ‘B’:- James Hykin 4 Simon Almey 1, Simon Fairbrother 1 Liam Fox 4, David Hill 2 Ross Macken 4, Gareth Braham 2 Christian Shipley 4, Adam Paxton 2 Lukey Smith 4, Karl Reynolds 4 Graham Roberts 2, Mark Carter 4 Chuck Scott 3, Mark Strong 0 Duane Small 4, Carl Green 4 Paul Shepherd 2, Tom Martin 4 Shane Prowse 2, Jack Wareing 3 Andrew John Regan 4, Robert Comben 4 Joshua Richardson 0, Women’s ‘A’:- Wendy Adams 3 Rebecca Barrow 2, Caroline Pike 1 Angela Barrow 3, Donna Pinch 2 Jo Johnson 3, Sue Gulliver 3 Jacky White 1, Natalie Gilbert 1 Rebecca Rose 3, Angela Jones 0 Sharon Tompkins 3, Women’s ‘B’:- Marian Conway 0 Suzanne Smith 3, Helen Rigg 1 Faye Mason 3, Nina Bolt 3 Gail Fullthorpe 0, Melanie Jones 0 Debbie Dexter 3, Kat Spanswick 3 Sara Rose 1, Chloe McKivett 3 Sandra Simmonds 0.
What a season Warwickshire’s Nigel Heydon has had in the Premier Division of the BDO Inter County Championships, playing nine and winning nine in what is the toughest league in the world. Not only did Nigel win all of his games he also finished top of the men’s ‘A’ average table.
In addition to his achievement Nigel Heydon capped off a fantastic week by being named in the Five Man England team for the Six Nations event in Holland on the 21-23rd June, the other four players being Scott Mitchell, Daniel Day, Paul Milford and Martin Atkins.
Cleveland v Derbyshire
Derbyshire’s final game of the season in division three of the BDO Inter County Championships was a tough away game against Cleveland who were still in the hunt for promotion, nevertheless it was Derbyshire who had the better start to the weekend.
The ladies ‘B’ were given the ideal start when Sara-Jane Harrison opened up with a 3-1 win over Shirley Witten after Witten had won the first leg. As in the first encounter the following four games all went with the first throw advantage as Zoe Holland cancelled out Derbyshire’s lead with a 3-0 win against Dee Fenn before Terri Bellamy put the away side in front once again when she beat Ginny Whittaker 3-0.
For a second time the score was levelled, this time it was Cleveland’s Karen Jones with a 3-1 success against Jennifer McCormick but for a third time it was Derbyshire who took the lead as Dawn Buckley made short work of Rachel Bulmer with a straight 3-0 win.
With a narrow lead of 3-2 the visiting team required a win in the final game to secure victory and that was exactly what Louise Rawson gave them as she accounted for Vanessa Dickinson with a 3-2 scoreline and in the process secured the lady of the match award for her 18.89 average, her third award of the season as she had previously won two for the ‘A’ team.
The final score 4-2 to Derbyshire.
The men’s ‘B’ team could not have wished for a better start as Benjamin Holmes won 3-1 against John Watson, Steve Thompson beat Mathew Kelly 3-2 after Kelly had squared the game in the fourth, Connor Hodgkinson had a 3-1 win against Scott Chatterton and with Scott McCabe coming from 1-0 and 2-1 down against Jonny Gardner to go on to win 3-2 Derbyshire were 4-0 up.
John Elliott (Derbyshire) twice cancelled out Steve Scaife’s lead but eventually went down 3-2 and by the halfway stage the away team’s lead had been reduced to 4-2 after Michael Evans beat Timothy Rippon 3-1 after Rippon had won the first leg.
The running score was taken to 4-3 in the seventh when Cleveland’s Stephen Wray won 3-0 against Paul Williams but a similar 3-0 result for Andrew Houghton over Sean Spayne opened up a 5-3 lead for Derbyshire.
Game number nine between David Bell (Cleveland) and Richard Hughes swayed one way then the other as Spayne won the first then Hughes took the following two. The fourth leg saw Bell draw level, then the decider which could easily have gone either way went to the home player with a winning double seven.
Derbyshire were guaranteed a share of the points in the tenth when man of the match Matt Faulkner beat Anthony Liddell 3-1. Faulkner went one up in 17 darts, lost the second in 21 and then wrapped up his win with two 18 darts legs to give him an award winning average of 26.59.
Andrew Kelly kept the hosts in the hunt for a draw when in the penultimate encounter he won 3-0 against Dean Allsopp. A draw looked to be on the cards when David Greedy went one up against Dan Ford in the final game of the day, however Ford was not discouraged and stuck to the task, he levelled in 18 darts and in 21 and 17 darts won the tie 3-1 and put the 7-5 result in Derbyshire’s favour.
The ladies ‘A’ team had recorded just one win from their previous eight games but were set on their way with a 3-2 success provided by the lady who had made a welcome return to Derbyshire this season Jane Densley.
With three consecutive match awards under her belt Jane had a 3-2 win over Ann Marie Potts who had made her fight all the way as she had cancelled out her lead twice before she won the deciding leg in 21 darts giving her a superb 24.49 average.
Sammi Marshall was on at number two she won the first leg against Amy Thomas but then trailed 2-1. The fourth leg saw Marshall draw level but then lose the decider.
From 1-0 up Derbyshire found themselves 2-1 down in the third when Claire Stainsby added her 3-0 win over Rachel Ayres to Cleveland’s tally but Derbyshire were not behind for long as Rebecca Hoyland, in a tough game against Mandy Stephens went 1-0 up then 2-1 down then went on to win 3-2.
The visitors lead was restored in the fifth when Rachel Bird won 3-0 against Tonlee Bowstead and the 4-2 win secured in the final game when Jackie Sweet beat Carla Boyes 3-1.
The men’s ‘A’ team had a first half they will not wish to remember as the home team raced into a 5-0 lead all begun by a 4-2 win from Peter Frewer over Michael Ryall.
David Hunter made it 2-0 with his 4-1 success over Matt Faulkner then Barry Davies won 4-2 against Ian Allcock after Allcock had gone 2-0 up. Mark Bosuuil made it 4-0 with his 4-1 win against David Fritchley and completing the opening five wins was Allan Edwards who had a 4-2 victory over Tim Daniels after Daniels had levelled in the fourth.
Luke Etherington looked determined to make it a clean sweep for the half when he took the lead no fewer than three times against Richard Hanson, but it was Hanson who stopped the Cleveland charge as he sealed a 4-3 win with 15 and 18 darts in the last two legs after he had already won in 17 and 14 darts in the second and fourth legs to give him a man of the match average of 28.78.
The second half began with more misery as Gary Stephens won 4-0 against Henry Coates before Derbyshire had their best run of the match two wins in a row supplied by Connor Hodgkinson and Sean Lambert who with 4-2 results in turn accounted for Sean Jowers and Ray Hutchinson.
With the score at 6-3 to Cleveland the remaining three games all went to the home team as Graham Palmer beat Dean Allsopp 4-1, Mark Muckian won 4-2 against Stephen Paling and rounding off the 9-3 win for Cleveland was Brian Henderson with his 4-0 win over Lee Stanley.
After a promising start to the campaign with three wins and a draw in the opening four games the season promotion slipped away from Derbyshire in the second half as they chalked up just one win in the last five games. They may have missed out on promotion but should be encouraged by their best set of results since the 2014-2015 season and should take that fact into next season which hopefully will be rewarded with promotion.
Full Results:Division Three:Cleveland v Derbyshire (18-18):Cleveland names first):Men’s ‘A’:- Peter Frewer 4 Michael Ryall 2, David Hunter 4 Matt Faulkner 1, Barry Davies 4 Ian Allcock 2, Mark Bosuttil 4 David Fritchley 1, Allan Edwards 4 Tim Daniels 2, Luke Etherington 3 Richard Hanson 4, Gary Stephens 4 Henry Coates 0, Sean Jowers 2 Connor Hodgkinson 4, Ray Hutchinson 2 Sean Lambert 4, Graham Palmer 4 Dean Allsopp 1, Mark Muckian 4 Stephen Paling 2, Brain Henderson 4 Lee Stanley 0, Men’s ‘B’:- John Watson 1 Benjamin Holmes 3, Mathew Kelly 2 Steve Thompson 3, Scott Chatterton 1 Connor Hodgkinson 3, Jonny Gardner 2 Scott McCabe 3, Steve Scaife 3 John Elliott 2, Michael Evans 3 Timothy Rippon 1, Stephen Wray 3 Paul Williams 0, Sean Spayne 0 Andrew Houghton 3, David Bell 3 Richard Hughes 2, Anthony Luddell 1 Matt Faulkner 3, Andrew Kelly 3 Dean Allsopp 0, David Greedy 1 Dan Ford 3, Women’s ‘A’:- Ann Marie Potts 2 Jane Densley 3, Amy Thomas 3 Sammie Marshall 2, Claire Stainsby 3 Rachel Ayres 0, Mandy Stephens 2 Rebecca Hoyland 3, Tonlee Bowstead 0 Rachel Bird 3, Carla Boyes 1 Jackie Sweet 3, Women’s ‘B’:- Shirley Witten 1 Sara-Jane Harrison 3, Zoe Holland 3 Dee Fenn 0, Ginny Whittaker 0 Terri Bellamy 3, Karen Jones 3 Jennifer McCormick 1, Rachel Bulmer 0 Dawn Buckley 3, Vanessa Dickinson 1 Louise Rawson 3.
Shropshire v Middlesex
Shropshire went into the final game of the season in division four of the BDO Inter County Championships on the back of two consecutive wins having enjoyed a far more successful season than they had last season with three wins and a draw from their previous eight fixtures as opposed to last season’s record of one win and eight defeats.
With their opponents vying for promotion lying second in the table to Clwyd the fixture was always going to be a tough one and that really was how it turned out.
Middlesex opened the ladies ‘B’ game with two 3-2 wins supplied by Katherine Dolman and Coreen Loffler over respective opponents Kirsty Jenks and Jenna Ball. Debbie Davies halted the visitors charge when she handed out a 3-1 defeat to Chloe Quelch but a 3-0 win for Louise Grannell against Rachael Mooney put Middlesex in an unbeatable 3-1 position.
The arrears were reduced in the fifth by lady of the match Caroline Powell. Caroline lost the first leg to Leah Nelson and then despite going 2-1 up she was taken to a deciding leg but won it with her opponent left stranded on 86. Caroline received the match award for her 18.51 average.
The final score was taken to 4-2 in the away team’s favour when Jenny Sallans beat Deana Sheldon 3-0 in the last game.
Mike Hampson was Shropshire’s opener in the men’s ‘B’ match and he gave them the best possible start as he chalked up a straight 3-0 win over Vern Sheppard. Alas that was the only highlight of the first half as Middlesex then claimed the following five games. A 3-1 win from Jamie Davis over Simon Pritchard began the quintet of wins with Ian Bartlett adding his 3-0 success over Andy Sandiford to their account then Dean Gregory and Scott Robertson with their close 3-2 wins in turn over Martin Riggs and Martin East made it 4-1 before Frankie Collopy made it 5-1 at the hallway stage with his 3-0 win over Luke Griffiths.
The second half began similar to the first as Shropshire won the opener, Pete Eley their second winner with a 3-1 scoreline against Tony Cox and with a 24.25 average the man of the match award went to Eley.
A 3-1 win for Adam Finch over Rob Trumper after Trumper had won the first leg took the Middlesex lead to 6-2 and although Jamie Lewis made it 6-3 with his 3-2 win over Luke Nelson the final score was taken to 9-3 as Chris Grannell won 3-1 against Neville Quinton and both Steve Dettmer and Martin Lukeman had 3-0 wins in turn against Lee Hodgkiss and Andy Gilbert.
The ladies ‘A’ have had quite a successful season with two wins, five draws and only one defeat but the Middlesex result was not one to be remembered. The match began with a 3-1 win for Vickie Kiely over Marie Riggs to put Middlesex one up. 3-0 wins from Sindy Stiles, Leanne Palmer and Jennette Wells over their respective opponents Sue Lane, Allison Gallagher and Sophie Fawcett took their lead to an unbeatable and winning 4-0.
Stephanie Clarke winner of five match awards this season for Shropshire won the first leg against Lisa Brosnan but it was Brosnan who finished the 3-1 winner and with a final 3-0 win for Margaret Sutton over Michel Pritchard the 6-0 win for Middlesex was complete.
The men’s ‘A’ match saw the opening three games all go in favour of the first throw advantage as Joshua Burksfield (Middlesex) beat Clive Lucking 4-2 then Rob Henderson levelled for Shropshire with his similar 4-2 win over Mick Seager.
The lead was restored for Middlesex in the third when their Mick Duggan accounted for Brian Hickman with a 4-1 result, then with a 4-2 scoreline Matt Finch beat Keith Allman to open up a 3-1 lead. Nevertheless by the break it was all square at three each as Shropshire’s Andy Jervis and Chris Fox in turn won 4-3 and 4-1 against Tony Field and Bradonn Monk.
For a third time the away side took the lead when in the second half opener Allen Bond won 4-0 against Chris Williams. However with another 4-0 scoreline Derek Coulson (Shropshire) not only defeated Craig De Almeida but also won the man of the match award for his 28.63 average with winning legs of 17,17,21 and 15 darts, this was Coulson’s fifth award of the campaign.
Making it four advantages to the visitors was George Wilkinson who had a 4-1 win against Reece Cook-Lucas only to see Richard Parker cancel out their lead for a fourth time as he won 4-2 against Steve Hyatt.
All square at 5-5 and two to play and in the penultimate game, for the first time in the match the home team took the lead as Martin Price after leading Brian Green 1-0, 2-0 and 3-1 went on to win the encounter 4-3.
The tie finished level at 6-6 when in the final game of the weekend Andy Turnbull (Middlesex) beat Chris Hill 4-1 giving an overall 26-10 win for Middlesex, Shropshire’s worst result of the season but they can take lots of satisfaction from the fact that they had better results this season and they also finished eighth which is their best finishing position since the 2015 – 2016 season when they finished sixth. There should be more confidence throughout the squad going into the 2019 – 2020 season after some fine performances this campaign.
Full Results:Division Four:Shropshire v Middlesex (10-26):Shropshire names first):Men’s ‘A’:- Clive Lucking 2 Joshua Burksfield 4, Rob Henderson 4 Mick Seager 2, Brian Hickman 1 Mick Duggan 4, Keith Allman 2 Matt Finch 4, Andy Jervis 4 Tony Field 3, Chris Fox 4 Bradonn Monk 1, Chris Williams 0 Allen Bond 4,Derek Coulson 4 Craig De Almeida 0, Reece Cook-Lucas 1 George Wilkinson 4, Richard Parker 4 Steve Hyatt 2, Martin Price 4 Brian Green 3, Chris Hill 1 Andy Turnbull 4, Men’s ‘B’:- Mike Hampson 3 Vern Sheppard 0, Simon Pritchard 1 Jamie Davis 3, Andy Sandiford 0 Ian Barlett 3, Martin Riggs 2 Dean Gregory 3, Martin East 2 Scott Robertson 3, Luke Griffiths 0 Frankie Collopy 3, Pete Eley 2 Tony Cox 3, Rob Trumper 1 Adam Finch 3, Jamie Lewis 3 Luke Nelson 2, Neville Quinton 1 Chris Grannell 3, Lee Hodgkiss 0 Steve Dettimer 3, Andy Gilbert 0 Martin Lukeman 3, Women’s ‘A’:- Marie Riggs 1 Vickie Kiely 3, Sue Lane 0 Sindy Stiles 3, Allison Gallagher 0 Leanne Palmer 3, Sophie Singh 0 Jennette Wells 3, Stephanie Clarke 1 Lisa Brosnan 3, Michel Pritchard 0 Margaret Sutton 3, Women’s ‘B’:- Kirsty Jenks 2 Katherine Dolman 3, Jenna Ball 2 Coreen Loffler 3, Debbie Davies 3 Chloe Quelch 1, Rachael Mooney 0 Louise Grannell 3, Caroline Powell 3 Leah Nelson 2, Deana Sheldon 0 Jenny Sallans 3.
By Alan Towe