Warwickshire’s penultimate fixture in the premier division of the BDO Inter County Championships was an away game against Essex, but unfortunately they were unable to emulate last season’s 20-16 win as the weekend turned out to be a little bit of a disaster with three of the four teams losing in an overall 22-14 defeat.
The ladies ‘B’ got off to a good start when Lisa Whitmore beat Charlotte Halls 3-2, Lisa getting back to level terms in the second leg with a supe 102 game shot. Julie Vickers levelled for the home side in the second encounter when she won 3-2 against Kirsty Haw after Kirsty had taken a 2-1 lead.
Warwickshire forged ahead again in the third, this time it was Kerry Bambridge who put them 2-1 up with a straight 3-0 win over Jenny Powell.
For a fourth time the result went with the darts advantage Amanda Dodd (Essex) beating Lucy Keyte 3-1 before the sequence was broken as Lynn Kelly won 3-0 against Nina Bolt to give Essex the lead for the first time in the game with just one to play, the final game was bewteen Pauline Donat (Essex) and Donna Pinch. Donna had won the Warwickshire’s ladies ‘B’ match award for the previous two games and although she lost the first leg to Donat she went on to win the game 3-1 her 18.77 average giving her a third consecutive lady of the match award. In addition Donna also gave her team a share of the spoils as the result was a draw, their third 3-3 result in a row.
With only two wins in seven games the men’s ‘B’ team were not enjoying the best of season’s and as the game got underway they quickly found themselves trailing 3-0 as Tony Osbourne beat Ian McFarlane 4-2, Shaun Walsh won by the same margin against Stephen Ward and Michael Peel accounted for Antony Allen with a 4-3 result.
Prakash Jiwa was the man to put a halt to the home teams winning run as he with a 4-2 scoreline beat Andy Rice. At number five Warwickshire’s Matthew Edgar took on Michael McCombe and beat him in four straight legs giving him a great 30.36 average and also the man of the match award. The teams went into the halway mark all square at 3-3 as Simon Power despite being pegged back twice to level terms beat Barry Lynn 4-2.
The second half began in a simialr fashion as the first with the hosts taking the lead, Wayne Bloomfield coming back from 1-0 down to Paul Deslandes to win 4-2 and Joe Twinn winning 4-1 against Tom McGlone.
Luke Kennedy momentarilly reduced the arrears when he won 4-3 against Phillip Brewster, the score then went from 5-4 to the home side to a final 8-4 as Andrew Kateley beat Carl Green 4-1, Paul Marsh Won 4-0 against Jimmy Hill and Robert Turner came from 3-1 down against Michael Spencer to win 4-3 to give Essex an overall 11-7 lead on the day.
Sunday if anything was worse than Saturday as Donna Gleed and Sue Waterman put the Essex ‘B’ team 2-0 up when in turn they beat Melanie Hill (3-2) and Denise Keyte (3-1). Stacey Ellis (Essex) then went 1-0 up against Trina Gulliver but the campaigner that she is Trina fought back in style to clinch a 3-1 win and her umpteenth lady of the match award with a superb 23.49 average.
Angela Jones was unable to add to Trina’s win as she went down 3-1 to Wendy Reader and with a further 3-0 win by Steph Hewson over Sue Gulliver Essex were 4-1 up and the match won.
The final scoreline was made a little more respectable when Wendy Adams (Warwickshire) won the last game against Sue Baker 3-2 after Baker had twice taken the lead, giving a result of 4-2 to Essex.
Nigel Heydon gave Warwickshire the best possible start when he won 4-2 against Paul Barham and Jamie Atkins looked all set to double the advantage when he opened up a 2-0 lead over Darren O’Neill but it was not to be as O’Neill fought back and went on to win 4-3.
Warwickshire’s man in form Jamie Hughes was on at number three and he made short work of his opponent Eddie Gosling as he won 4-0 with winning legs of 16, 14, 13 and 16 darts for a tremendous 33.97 average which at the end of the day earned him the match award.
Warwickhire’s 2-1 lead was short lived as Wayne Gleed beat Mark Strong 4-3 after trailing 2-1, Scott Lawrie won 4-2 against Noel Grant, Grant having won the first leg and rounding off the first half Stephen Hardy chalked up a 4-1 win over Tom Aldrdige to give the home side a 4-2 lead.
Mark Carter pulled one back for Warwickshire with his 4-1 win over Alan Collins only to see Essex take the next two games as Darren Peetoom beat Richard Foster 4-3 after Foster had gone 2-1 up and taking the score to 6-3 in favour of Essex was Steve Johnson with a 4-0 success against Bob Nixon.
With just three more games to play Warwickshire rallied and won two in a row, Mark Westgarth defeated Barry Adlam 4-0 and William Naylor after losing the first two legs to Craig Vickers went on to win 4-2 to keep the away team’s hopes alive for a draw.
The last two players of the weekend were Phillip Halls (Essex) and Dean Stewart. Stewart won the opener, Halls replied by taking the following three. Stewart then won the next two to level the score at 3-3 and force a deciding leg. Stewart got the better start in the final leg hitting 2×140’s in his first three throws and was easily first to a finishing double but alas that was where lady luck deserted him, requiring 66 after a dozen darts he had three visits to the oche to win the game but try as he might he couldn’t and in stepped Halls with a 20 checkout to clinch his personal 4-3 win and give his team a very close 7-5 win plus an overall 22-14 victory.
The defeat see’s Warwickshire drop two places in the table to sixth with 152 points, nine behind Cheshire in fifth place and 15 adrift of Lincolnshire who are fourth. Essex have moved up into third place with 186 points.
Full Results:Essex v Warwickshire (22-14):(Essex names first):Men’s ‘A’:- Paul Barham 2 Nigel Heydon 4, Darreen O’Neill 4 Jamie Atkins 3, Eddie Gosling 0 Jamie Hughes 4, Wayne Gleed 4 Mark Strong 3, Scott Lawrie 4 Noel Grant 2, Stephen Hardy 4 Tom Aldridge 1, Alan Collins 1 Mark Carter 4, Darren Peetoom 4 Richard Foster 3, Steve Johnson 4 Bob Nixon 0, Barry Adlam 0 Mark Westgarth 4, Craig Vickers 2 William Naylor 4, Phillip Halls 4 Dean Stewart 3, Men’s ‘B’:- Tony Osborne 4 Ian McFarlane 2, Shaun Walsh 4 Stephen Ward 2, Michael Peel 4 Antony Allen 3, Andy Rice 2 Prakash Jiwa 4, Michael McCombe 0 Matthew Edgar 4, Barry Lynn 2 Simon Power 4, Wayne Bloomfield 4 Paul Deslandes 2, Joe Twinn 4 Tom McGlone 1, Phillip Brewster 3 Luke Kennedy 4, Andrew Kateley 4 Carl Green 1, Paul Marsh 4 Jimmy Hill 0, Robert Turner 4 Michael Spencer 3, Women’s ‘A’:- Donna Gleed 3 Melanie Hill 2, Sue Waterman 3 Denise Keyte 1, Stacey Ellis 1 Trina Gulliver 3, Wendy Reader 3 Angela Jones 1, Steph Hewson 3 Sue Gulliver 0, Sue Baker 2 Wendy Adams 3, Women’s ‘B’:- Charlotte Halls 2 Lisa Whitmore 3, Julie Vickers 3 Kirsty Haw 2, Jenny Powell 0 Kerry Bambridge 3, Amanda Dodd 3 Lucy Keyte 1, Lynn Kelly 3 Nina Bolt 0, Pauline Donat 1 Donna Pinch 3.
Simon Power and Steve Ward of Southam produced some great darts in the Warwickshire play off of the BDO Gold Cup Pairs to progress to the national finals at Lakeside Country Club in July. The pair had some tough encounters along the way with victories over Nuneaton’s Adam Paxton and Dean Sanders and the Brandon pairing of Dave Sanders and Dave Waring before beating Noel Grant and Paul Deslandes of Coventry Bishopsgate.
From the other half of the draw Mark Carter and Ian McFarlane also of Coventry Bishopsgate made their route to the final defeating Antony Allen and Rob Hawker, then Mark Archer and Martin Partridge of Castle Vale before taking out another tough pairing of Mark Westgarth and Mark Strong.
The final was a tense affair with some brilliant darts mixed in with some nervous shots at finishing doubles, but finding the double was Simon Power who continues his great form and his partner Steve Ward who is on a decent run after winning his first County match earlier in the month.