Shropshire v Pembrokeshire
What a great way to end the year as Shropshire romped to a 22-14 win over Pembrokeshire in division four of the BDO Inter County Championships. A win that sees them leap up the promotion table to a lofty fourth place with 73 points just five short of third placed Bedfordshire.
The weekend’s home fixture got off to a great start as the ladies went three up in the first four games. Kirsty Jenks began the proceedings with a 3-0 win over T.Davies and although Tracey Hawkins-Green levelled the match in the second game, further 3-0 wins from Leanne Quinton and Pam Evans over respective opponents Sue Phillips and Angharad Griffiths put Shropshire back in front. Leanne Quinton’s win and 18.02 average earning her the lady of the match award.
Once again Pembrokeshire drew level, this time it was a win by Rhian Griffiths who took the tie to an all or nothing last game for her team mates. That final game saw Caroline Powell (Shropshire) chalk up the fourth 3-0 victory for her team and give them a well deserved 4-2 win.
The men’s ‘B’ were in top form dropping just two legs in the opening four games. Martin Riggs was first on for the home side and he beat Gethin Williams 3-0, John Cornmell made it 2-0 with his 3-2 win over Ben Cloake and with two more 3-0 wins from Andi Chatter and Anthony Stoneman at the expense of Meirion Williams and Barry John, the home side were looking very comfortable at 4-0 up.
Chris Afon-Jones pulled one back for the visitors when he beat Matt Williams 3-1 and with a close 3-2 win over Daniel Petty Daniel Castle reduced the arrears to 4-2.
The second half of the match was all one way traffic in Shropshire’s favour. After an early close 3-2 win by Danny Humphries over Eirwyn Evans, only one leg was dropped by the home team in the remaining five games. Phil Austin, David Evans, Derek Coulson and Scott Pitchford were all 3-0 winners against respective opponents Steve Castle, Curtis Dowden, Darren Owens and Endaf Jones giving Shropshire an unassailable 9-2 lead.
The final game of the day produced Shropshire’s man of the match. John Breeze had a 3-1 win against Mike Harris, his 25.63 average the best of the day, his win giving a terrific result of 10-2 to the home team and an overall 14-4 lead to take into Sunday’s games.
The ladies ‘A’ were still looking for their first win of the season and unfortunately this was not going to provide it. Pembrokeshire went 2-0 up with wins from Lesley Phillips and Julie Davies. Lorna Wheatley (Shropshire) made it two consecutive match awards when she beat Hayley Francis-Owens 3-2 and averaged 16.59.
The away teams two games buffer was restored when Julie Gore won 3-0 against Caroline La-Ffin and despite a 3-1 win for Marie Riggs (Shropshire) over Liz Williams in the penultimate encounter Rhian Griffiths won the final game 3-0 against Suzanne Lane to give the visitors a 4-2 win.
Glen McGrandle was first on for the home team in the men’s ‘A’ game, a confident 4-0 win for him over Richard Jupp. Pembroke’s Robert Coverdale and Paul Kerneys each recorded 4-1 wins in their games against Neville Quinton and Sam Hamilton and with a 4-2 win for Wayne Rees the away team had opened up a 3-1 lead.
At number five John Cooper momentarily stopped the rot for Shropshire as he beat Dean Powell 4-1, only to see two 4-3 wins in a row from James Bevan and Iwan Morgan to take Pembrokeshire’s lead to 5-2. However, Roger Taylor at number eight took on Jordan Saunders and won in four straight legs to ensure an overall victory for the weekend and keep his team in the game although still trailing 5-3.
That position worsened in the very next game when Jonny Clayton won 4-1 against Simon Pritchard, Clayton with a 28.06 average sharing Pembrokeshire’s match award with Paul Kerneys, who had the same 28.06 average.
Three to go and 6-3 down, it was not looking too good for the home team, but nevertheless their last three players, Mark Jones Danny James and Scott Towers stuck to their task and out of the jaws of defeat rescued a 6-6 draw. It was a magnificent fight back by the last three players, who in turn beat Chris Afon-Jones, (4-1), Jason Davies (4-3) and Mike Harris (4-1).
As well as the much needed overall win, the 6-6 draw for the men’s ‘A’ was another significant result as it brought to an end a run of three consecutive defeats and could be just the confidence booster to get them off the ground in the new year.
Full Results;Shropshire names first):Men’s ‘A’:- Glen McGrandle 4 Richard Jupp 0, Neville Quinton 1 Robert Coverdale 4, Sam Hamilton 1 Paul Kerneys 4, Eddie Austin 2 Wayne Rees 4, John Cooper 4 Dean Powell 1, Les Mason 3 James Bevan 4, Clive Lucking 3 Iwan Morgan 4, Roger Taylor 4 Jordan Saunders 0, Simon Pritchard 1 Jonny Clayton 4, Mark Jnes 4 Chris Afon-Jones 1, Danny James 4 Jason Davies 3, Scott Towers 4 Mike Harris 1, Men’s ‘B’:- Martin Riggs 3 Gethin Williams 0, John Cornmell 3 Ben Cloake 2, Andi Chatter 3 Meirion Williams 0, Anthony Stoneman 3 Barry John 0, Matt Williams 1 Chris Afon-Jones 3, Daniel Petty 2 Daniel Castle 3, Danny Humphries 3 Eirwyn Evans 2, Phil Austin 3 Steve Castle 0, David Evans 3 Curtis Dowden 0, Derek Coulson 3 Darren Owens 0, Scott Pitchford 3 Endaf Jones 0, John Breeze 3 Mike Harris 1, Women’s ‘A’:- Michele Pritchard 2 Lesley Phillips 3, Debbie Davies 1 Julie Davies 3, Lorna Wheatley 3 Hayley Francis-Owens 2, Caroline La-Ffin 0 Julie Gore 3, Marie Riggs 3 Liz Williams 1, Suzanne Lane 0 Rhian Griffiths 3, Women’s ‘B’:- Lirsty Jenks 3 T.Davies 0, Janet Vernon 2 Tracey Hawkins-Greene 3, Leanne Quinton 3 Sue Phillips 0, Pam Evans 3 Angharad Griffiths 0, Mandy Morgan 1 Rhian Griffiths 3, Caroline Powell 3 E.Davies 0.