Merseyside v Derbyshire
Derbyshire’s fourth match of the season in division two of the BDO Inter County Championships was an away game against Merseyside, never an easy fixture and Saturday’s games didn’t get the county off to the best of starts.
The ladies ‘B’ began brightly with a 3-1 win from Lauren Jackson. Lauren, who had previously won all three of this seasons match awards made it four when she came from 1-0 down to Sarah Kershaw to win 3-1 with an 18.74 average.
The home side levelled through Mary McGovern, a close 3-2 win over Rachel Ayres, but Derbyshire went ahead again in the third when Samantha Clarke, looking dead and buried at 2-0 down, fought back in style to beat Karen O’Connor 3-2. Kelly Dean took the away team’s advantage to 3-1 with a neat 3-0 win against Emma Barlow before finishing doubles deserted the Derbyshire ladies and Esther Owens and Claire Sykes in turn both won 3-0 against Dee Fenn and Nicola Fletcher to put the final score at 3-3.
The men’s ‘B’ game opened up with a 3-0 win for Robert Gorst (Merseyside) against Tim Rippon. Robert Wood, although losing the first leg to Ste Hall looked as though he would level the game when he went 2-1 up, but despite out-scoring his opponent lost the last two legs and went down 3-2.
A 3-2 win for John Clifford over namesake John Glover took the score to 2-1 and a further 3-1 win from Lee Stanley over Raymond Fleming squared the game at two each. Unfortunately the revival ended there as Merseyside took the next three games Peter Harnick beating Brian Snell 3-0, Brian McConnell winning 3-2 against Colin Rich and Marc Lynam completing the trio of wins with his 3-1 success against Paul Williams.
At 5-2 down Derbyshire now had their backs to the wall, but keeping them in the game was Keith Cooper, Keith went 2-0 down to George Bell but he stuck to his task and went on to win 3-2. Robert Smith (27.33) made it three man of the match awards out of four when he in double quick time accounted for Alan Magee with a 3-0 win to reduce the deficit to just one game at 5-4.
Alas for the ‘B’ team Jason Povah (Merseyside) twice came from behind against Tony Cresswell to win 3-2 and with Mike Addison’s straight 3-0 win over Dean Wilkins the home side were in an unassailable 7-4 position.
The last game of the day saw Alan Statham make the result a little more respectable for Derbyshire as he rounded off play with a 3-2 win over Terry Roach after Roach had won the first leg and levelled in the fourth to give a final score of 7-5 to Merseyside.
The ladies ‘A’ encounter saw the first four games shared as Clare New won the first for the hosts, coming back from 2-0 down to Rachel Bird to win 3-2. Jackie Sweet levelled for Derbyshire, a straight 3-0 win against Vicki Evans.
Julie Whelan was the second Merseyside player to give her team the lead when she defeated Dawn Buckley 3-0, only again to see the away team draw level, this time thanks to Sara-Jane Harrison’s 3-1 success over Tracy Morrison.
In the penultimate game Derbyshire took the lead for the first time in the game, Joanne Oldershaw once again chalking up a vital 3-0 win over Sandra James to allow her team mate Jane Densley the opportunity to seal a victory.
Jane, who has been in terrific form this season with three lady of the match awards, quickly made it four when she won 3-1 against Janet Hardman, her 19.26 average earning her the match award and giving her team a valuable 4-2 win, making three out of four wins for the ‘A’ team.
The men’s ‘A’ had a great start winning five of the first six games. Nigel Daniels was first to the oche and got the ball rolling with his 4-2 win over Kevin Lloyd, the following two Derbyshire players, Adrian Asprey and Drew Smith in turn defeated Alan Kilroe and Shawn Kemp 4-1 before Merseyside registered their first winner Robbie Green, who beat Stephen Pashley 4-1.
Paul Bettney got Derbyshire back on track starting a run of three wins when he won 4-1 against Dan Nuttie. David Smith-Hayes added his 4-2 win over David Harnick to the tally to make it 5-1 and with Paul Mellor’s 4-1 win against Philip Bennett, the away team were within one game of a men’s ‘A’ win plus, more importantly an overall win for the weekend.
Game eight saw the home side pull one back through Dave Richards, a very close 4-3 win over Tim Daniels, but the win proved to be just a minor setback as Reece Spurr beat David Hughes 4-2 to put up the magical seventh win for the visitors and give them a 7-2 lead.
With the game lost Merseyside then had their best run of the match, two wins in a row from Lee Hodson and Michael Brooks at the expense of Gary Fenn and Jim Beardmore.
The last game of the weekend saw Richard Hanson (26.84) lay on Derbyshire’s best game of the day, a 4-1 win over Mark Rice in 19,15,18 and 21 darts to earn him the man of the match award, give his team an 8-4 win and the squad an overall 20-16 victory.
Prior to the game Derbyshire were top of the division two promotion table, five points ahead of second placed Sussex, but Sussex lost 19-17 at home to Northamptonshire and drop one place to third, London have moved up into second place having 94 points, ten less than Derbyshire. The win keeps Derbyshire well on course for promotion back to division one.
Full Results (Merseyside names first):Men’s ‘A’:- Kevin Lloyd 2 Nigel Daniels 4, Alan Kilroe 1 Adrian Asprey 4, Shawn Kemp 1 Drew Smith 4, Robbie Green 4 Stephen Pashley 1, Dan Nuttie 1 Paul Bettney 4, David Harnick 2 David Smith-Hayes 4, Philip Bennett 1 Paul Mellor 4, Dave Richards 4 Tim Daniels 3, David Hughes 2 Reece Spurr 4, Lee Hodson 4 Gary Fenn 3, Michael Brooks 4 Jim Beardmore 2, Mark Rice 1 Richard Hanson 4, Men’s ‘B’:- Robert Gorst 3 Tim Rippon 0, Ste Hall 3 Robert Wood 2, John Glover 2 John Clifford 3, Raymond Fleming 1 Lee Stanley 3, Peter Harnick 3 Brian Snell 0, Brian McDonnell 3 Colin Rich 2, Marc Lynam 3 Paul Williams 1, George Bell 2 Keith Cooper 3, Alan Magee 0 Robert Smith 3, Jason Povah 3 Tony Cresswell 2, Mike Addison 3 Dean Wilkins 0, Terry Roach 2 Alan Statham 3, Women’s ‘A’:- Clare New 3 Rachel Bird 2, Vicki Evans 0 Jackie Sweet 3, Julie Whelan 3 Dawn Buckley 0, Tracy Morrison 1 Sara-Jane Harrison 3, Sandra James 0 Joanne Oldershaw 3, Janet Hardman 1 Jane Densley 3, Women’s ‘B’:- Sarah Kershaw 1 Lauren Jackson 3, Mary McGovern 3 Rachel Ayres 2, Karen O’Connor 2 Samantha Clarke 3, Emma Barlow 0 Kelly Dean 3, Esther Owens 3 Dee Fenn 0, Claire Sykes 3 Nicola Fletcher 0.