Warwickshire v Lincolnshire
In the premier division of the BDO Inter County Championships, Warwickshire’s fourth fixture of the season was a home tie with Lincolnshire. After losing out in the previous fixture at Cheshire the home side were keen to quickly return to winning ways but Saturday’s ‘B’ game gave a return of mixed fortunes.
The ladies had a darts player’s nightmare of missed doubles, which proved very costly as they had lost the game before they recorded their first winner.
Julie Lambie was Lincolnshire’s first winner when she beat Donna Pinch 3-1. Sharon Magan added her 3-0 win over Marian Conway to the tally before Lindsey Wingell made it 3-0 with her 3-2 win over Edwina Holdsworth. Edwina looked all set to walk off the stage a winner as she won the opening two legs, but those missed doubles saw her lose 3-2.
Laura Tye gave the away side a commanding 4-0 lead when she won 3-1 against Lisa Whitmore before the home team finally got their first win on the board, Caroline Pike beating Natalie Weston 3-1, and making the scoreline a little more respectable was Wendy Adams, who had a straight 3-0 win over Dawn Barnard to end the match at 4-2 in Lincolnshire’s favour. Wendy’s win and her 18.79 average gave her, her third lady of the match award for the season’s four games played so far.
The men’s ‘B’ began with a win for Luke Kennedy, a double quick 4-0 win over Martin Richards with a 29.47 average. Carl Abbiss squared the match with his 4-3 win over Tom McGlone before Antony Allen and William Naylor added their respective 4-0 and 4-1 wins over Steve Hamill and Ashley Preston to give the hosts a 3-1 lead.
Graham McFarlane (Lincolnshire) momentarily stopped the charge as he got the better of Dane Vickers with a 4-1 result and although McFarlane’s team mate Jon Bywater went 2-0 and 3-1 up against Matthew Edgar it was Edgar who won the last three legs to finish the 4-3 winner.
In game seven Richard Selby (Lincolnshire) found Ashley Hykin far too hot to handle as Hykin romped to a 4-0 win in 17, 15, 18 and 13 darts hitting no fewer than thirteen scores of 100 or more plus a maximum to clinch the match award with a superb 31.81 average.
The following two games both went the full seven legs distance and both finished with a 4-3 win for the away side, Adam Ward and Andy Bingham in turn beating Paul Deslandes and Michael Spencer to leave their team trailing by just one game at 5-4.
Prakash Jiwa gave the home team a little more breathing space as he won 4-1 against Rob Hewson to ensure at the worst a draw, but with two to play a win was still on the cards. Shaun Wilson put the pressure on the last two players of the day when he beat Stephen Ward 4-2, taking the tally to 6-5 in Warwickshire’s favour and one to play.
The match looked to all to be going to a 6-6 draw when Michael Connerton (Lincolnshire) in 18 and 21 darts went 2-0 up against Carl Green and although Green pulled one back in the third in 22 darts Connerton restored his two games buffer with double eight for a 25 darts leg, but then the tide turned, Green in 18 darts and a 105 checkout won the fifth with Connerton left on 105. The sixth leg saw Green draw level at 3-3 with a 15 darts leg and a 116 outshot and again Connerton way back on 242, the game then going to the final leg of the game and the day.
With top shots of 125, 85 and 100 Green forged ahead as Connerton struggled to find the big scores and with another fine finish of 86, Connerton still requiring 220, Green sealed a tremendous 4-3 win and a 7-5 success for his team.
The ladies ‘A’, like the ‘B’ didn’t have the best of starts as Sue Gulliver lost 3-2 to Tammy Montgomery in a game that could easily have gone either way. Then Angela Jones, after leading 2-0 against Dawn Armstrong lost 3-2 to put the hoem side 2-0 down..
Denise Keyte went one down to Heather Lodge, but the Warwickshire player fought back to earn a 3-1 win before the ever reliable Trina Gulliver added her straight 3-0 win against Layla Bontoft to the running score to level the game at 2-2, Trina making it four match awards for the current season with a 23.12 average.
The penultimate game saw the home team take the lead for the first time in the match when Kat Spanswick beat Shelley Bontofy-Gash 3-1, unfortunately the ‘A’ side were unable to record their first win of the campaign as Paula Jacklin beat Melanie Hill 3-1 to put the score all square at 3-3.
The opening game of the men’s ‘A’ saw a rare defeat for Tom Aldridge as Dean Baker beat him 4-1. The next two Warwickshire players Noel Grant and Jamie Atkins both had to come from behind as Grant beat Shane Lowe 4-2 and Atkins won 4-3 against John Hollis.
The lead however was short lived as Lincolnshire came bouncing back in the form of Chris Fidler and Michael Stocks, who in turn won 4-2 against Ian McFarlane and 4-3 against Dave Harris giving their team a 3-2 lead, which by the halfway stage had been erased and the score taken to 3-3 when Mark Carter won 4-3 against Gary Blades, Blades drawing level three times with Carter before losing the last leg, which Carter won in 14 darts leaving his opponent way back on 280.
The second half was a different story as Warwickshire stormed into a 7-3 lead with four consecutive wins started by Mark Strong when he won 4-1 against Lester Wilkinson. Rob Hawkins followed up Strong’s win with a 4-2 success against Sam Hewson before the home side’s man of the match Mark Westgarth (30.36) took the stage. Westgarth despite having a superb game with a 4-0 win in 19, 16, 17 and 14 darts was pushed all the way by his opponent Mark Blackwell, who in three of the four games left himself on a finishing double.
With the score at 6-3 to Warwickshire the home crowd didn’t have to wait too long before the match winning game was chalked up, Kevin Dowling’s 4-1 win over Jock Watt taking the running score to 7-3.
Simon Stainton, after trailing 2-0 and 3-1 to Dean Stewart went on to win 4-3 to add another stripe to the visitors tally, but a final 4-1 win by Jamie Hughes over Lloyd Pennell gave a result of 8-4 to Warwickshire and for the weekend a 20-16 victory. This was Warwickshire’s fourth result in as many games ending with an 8-4 scoreline, three of them being wins and just one defeat.
Played four won two lost two, that’s now the record so far for Warwickshire, but they ended the year on a winning note which is what counts and the points gained took them up the table one place to fourth where they finished last season’s campaign and with 81 points they are only two behind third placed Essex. For Lincolnshire it was not a good result as they dropped one place and are now in the unenviable bottom place with 63 points the same number as both Kent and Glamorgan.
Full Results:Premier:Division:Warwickshire v Lincolnshire (20-16):(Warwickshire names first):Men’s ‘A’:- Tom Aldridge 1 Dean Baker 4, Noel Grant 4 Shane Lowe 2, Jamie Atkins 4 John Hollis 3, Ian McFarlane 2 Chris Fidler 4, Dave Harris 3 Michael Stocks 4, Mark Carter 4 Gary Blades 3, Mark Strong 4 Lester Wilkinson 1, Rob Hawker 4 Sam Hewson 2, Mark Westgarth 4 Jock Watt 1, Dean Stewart 3 Simon Stainton 4, Jamie Hughes 4 Lloyd Pennell 1, Men’s ‘B’:- Luke Kennedy 4 Martin Richards 0, Tom McGlone 3 Carl Abbiss 4, Antony Allen 4 Steve Hamill 0, William Naylor 4 Ashley Preston 1, Dane Vickers 1 Graham McFarlane 4, Matthew Edgar 4 Jon Bywater 3, Ashley Hykin 4 Richard Selby 0, Paul Deslandes 3 Adam Ward 4, Michael Spencer 3 Andy Bingham 4, Prakash Jiwa 4 Rob Hewson 1, Stephen Ward 2 Shaun Wilson 4, Carl Green 4 Michael Connerton 3, Women’s ‘A’:- Sue Gulliver 2 Tammy Montgomery 3, Angela Jones 2 Dawn Armstrong 3, Denise Keyte 3 Heather Lodge 1, Trina Gulliver 3 Layla Bontoft 0, Kat Spanswick 3 Shelley Bontoft-Gash 1, Melanie Hill 1 Paula Jacklin 3, Women’s ‘B’:- Donna Pinch 1 Julie Lambie 3, Marian Conway 0 Sharon Magan 3, Edwina Holdsworth 2 Lindsey Wingell 3, Lisa Whitmore 1 Laura Tye 3, Caroline Pike 3 Natalie Weston 1, Wendy Adams 3 Dawn Barnard 0.