Shropshire v Middlesex
It was never going to be an easy task beating Middlesex even with home advantage and that’s exactly how it turned out to be for Shropshire in their final fixture of the season in division four of the BDO Inter County Championships.
The final game was going to be a season decider as Shropshire had played eight won four and lost four and although promotion was out of the question it would be good to both finish with a win and also to have won the majority of their fixtures.
Saturday saw the ladies ‘B’ get off to a winning start when Shirley Reading won 3-1 against Lisa Kennedy, but the lead was short lived as Julie James won 3-0 against her namesake Julie Griffiths and Leanne Palmer beat Pam Evans with a close 3-2 scoreline to give Middlesex a 2-1 lead.
Caroline Powell levelled for Shropshire when she accounted for Sharon Sadler with another last leg 3-2 win, and it was the hosts who took the lead for a second time in the fifth when Sue Lane with an award winning average of 14.64 and a 3-2 result defeated Karen Tiller.
With four wins so far this season the fifth was not to be as Sue Hinks wrapped up a 3-3 draw for Middlesex when she won 3-0 against Mandy Morgan in the final game.
The men’s ‘B’ with six wins and two draws have had a fantastic season riding high in their particular league table but their final game got a bit of a shaky start and then unfortunately things got worse at the end.
Joshua Burksfield and Chris Moore gave Middlesex the early 2-0 lead, Burksfield winning 3-2 against Mark Jones and Moore beating Paul Boddison 3-1. Les Marson put a halt to the visitors charge when he got the better of Mark Tiller with a 3-2 win plus a man of the match award winning average of 25.49, then levelling the score at 2-2 was John Cornmell who handed out a straight 3-0 defeat to Jamie Sadler. With a similar 3-0 result Ben Stevenson beat Callum Bailey and restored the lead for Middlesex, but it didn’t last long as Neville Quinton rounded off the first half with a 3-2 win against Brian Green to make it all square at 3-3.
Game number seven saw the home team take the lead for the first time in the match as Danny James handed out a 3-1 defeat to Barry Holton only to see for a third time the game levelled this time at 4-4 when Middlesex man Mick Seager beat Richard Parker 3-1. Roy Peacock then began a run of three wins in a row for Middlesex, his 3-0 win over Dave Evans was added to by two 3-1 wins from Mark Sherwood and Steven Hyatt at the expense of Phil Austin and Martin Riggs giving the away team an unassailable 7-4 lead.
The result was taken to a close 7-5 when John Breeze beat Paul Hackett 3-1 in the final game of the day to give Middlesex a 7-5 win and hand Shropshire men’s ‘B’ team their one and only defeat of the season.
The ladies ‘A’ team have not had the best of season’s winning just one game, in their previous outing they beat Isle of Wight 4-2, however they began with promise as Marie Riggs opened up with a 3-2 win over Mandy Pawley beating her 3-2 and in the process winning the match award with a 17.72 average. A 3-0 win by Lisa Brosnan over Leanne Quinton levelled for Middlesex but it was the home team who once again took the lead in the third when Kath McLean beat Coreen Loffler 3-2.
From 2-1 up it then all went downhill for the hosts as Margaret Sutton and Nikki Sutton both won 3-0 in turn against Lorna Wheatley and Debbie Davies and then with a final 3-2 win by Tina Neylon in her game with Michele Pritchard the visitors won the tie 4-2.
The men’s ‘A’ have not had much either this season having won just two games and suffered two 10-2 defeats along the way, unfortunately this was going to be their third such loss.
A 4-1 win over Arthur Smart by Craig Munro set Middlesex off on their winning rout, Munro followed by Tony Andrews who won 4-0 against Eddie Austin and Daniel Wheatley who defeated Neil Powell 4-3.
Glen McGrandle pulled one back for Shropshire in the fourth when he had a straight 4-0 success against Tony Sedgwick but the comeback was not to last as Middlesex from 3-1 up romped into an 8-1 lead. Scott Robertson won 4-1 against John Cooper, Paul Warwick beat Andi Chatter 4-2, Paul Killington added his 4-1 win over Simon Pritchard to the tally before Mick Ward and Allen Bond both won 4-2 in their respective games against Brian Matthews and Scott Towers.
Game ten and Clive Lucking made it three man of the match awards for the season when he handed out a 4-0 whitewash to Alan Hardy, Lucking’s average of 24.74 the highlight of the men’s ‘A’ game.
Roger Taylor was unlucky not to reduce the arrears further when he took Terry Andrews to a deciding leg but narrowly lost 4-3, then rounding off the away team’s 10-2 win was Mark Haggerty with a 4-0 win over Antony Stoneman.
So a mid table finish for Shropshire but they live to fight another day and who knows next season could well be theirs and promotion may be more than a pipedream.
Full Results:Division Four:Shropshire v Middlesex (12-24):(Shropshire names first):Men’s ‘A’:- Arthur Smart 1 Craig Munro 4, Eddie Austin 0 Tony Andrews 4, Neil Powell 3 Daniel Wheatley 4, Glen McGrandle 4 Tony Sedgwick 0, John Cooper 1 Scott Robertson 4, Andi Chatter 2 Paul Warwick 4, Simon Pritchard 1 Paul Killington 4, Brian Matthews 2 Mick Ward 4, Scott Towers 2 Allen Bond 4, Clive Lucking 4 Alan Hardy 0, Roger Taylor 3 Terry Andrews 4, Antony Stoneman 0 Mark Haggerty 4, Men’s ‘B’:- Mark Jones 2 Joshua Burksfield 3, Paul Boddison 1 Chris Moore 3, Les Marson 3 Mark Tiller 2, John Cornmell 3 Jamie Sadler 0, Callum Bailey 0 Ben Stevenson 3, Neville Quinton 3 Brian Green 2, Danny James 3 Barry Holton 1, Richard Parker 1 Mick Seager 3, David Evans 0 Roy Peacock 3, Phil Austin 1 Mark Sherwood 3, Martin Riggs 1 Steven Hyatt 3, John Breeze 3 Paul Hackett 1, Women’s ‘A’:- Marie Riggs 3 Mandy Pawley 2, Leanne Quinton 0 Lisa Brosnan 3, Kath McLean 3 Coreen Loffler 2, Lorna Wheatley 0 Margaret Sutton 3, Debbie Davies 0 Nikki Sutton 3, Michel Pritchard 2 Tina Neylon 3, Women’s ‘B’:- Shirley Reading 3 Lisa Kennedy 1, Julie Griffiths 0 Julie James 3, Pam Evans 2 Leanne Palmer 3, Caroline Powell 3 Sharon Sadler 2, Sue Lane 3 Karen Tiller 2, Mandy Morgan 0 Sue Hinks 3.