West Midlands went into their penultimate fixture playing away against County Durham in division one of the BDO Inter County Championships second in the promotion table, just four points adrift of divisional leaders Hampshire and more importantly seven ahead of promotion rivals London who were third in the table.
Kim Fellows opened up for the ladies ‘B’ team and went one up against Karol Dagga and had it not been for elusive finishing doubles could Fellows have won the tie but as it was it was Dagga who put the home team one up with her 3-2 result.
Shellbie Simmons restored parity for the Midlands team when she beat Sandra Cairns 3-1 and with a straight 3-0 win for Heather Wright over Liz Tait West Midlands had turned the game around and were leading 2-1.
On at number four for the away side was Shannon Hall who with her 3-1 win over Tania Weldon not only assured her team of at the worst a draw but also earned herself her second consecutive match award for her 16.26 average.
The result was left hinging on the final game after Dawn Winn beat Elizabeth Arnold 3-0 in the fifth encounter and lining up for the West Midlands in the vital final game was Jacqueline Maiden who faced up to Sharon Storey. The first leg went to Storey but that was going to be the only leg she won as Maiden took the next three legs to secure a personal win of 3-1 and a team win 0f 4-2.
With four wins in their previous five games the men’s ‘B’ side were on a high but their game didn’t have the best of starts as David Price (County Durham) beat Mark Allen-Watkiss 3-0 and Lee Wright won 3-1 against Danny Coyle to put the hosts 20 up. Neil Pointon pulled one back in style for the West Midlands when he handed Paul Johnson a straight 3-0 defeat, Pointon averaging 27.83, but it was the home side that quickly restored their two games advantage when Robert Howe won 3-2 against Mark Rollinson.
Matthew Dicken (West Midlands) twice had his lead cancelled out by Martin Farmer before going on to clinch a 3-2 win in 17 darts and with a superb performance from Mark Craddock to win 3-0 against Gary Miller with a 27.83 average, the West Midlands were on level terms at 3-3.
Dean Mills took the first leg against Robert Douthwaite but it was the home team’s Douthwaite who got the 3-1 result to give County Durham the lead once more before their opponents recorded their best run of the match, three wins in a row all started by Daniel Nicholls when he won 3-1 against Stephen Annan after Annan had won the opening leg. Michael Baker gave West Midlands the lead for the first time in the game when he defeated Gerry Hall in straight legs and with a 3-2 win for Paul Price against Dean Scott, Price coming from 1-0 and 2-1 down, things were looking much better as a draw was now guaranteed.
The second last game saw Mark Hampton (West Midlands) twice go ahead against John Teal but the 3-2 scoreline finally went to Teal to leave the result hinging on the final game of the day.
Anchor man for the West Midlands was Paul Wells and for County Durham Darren Melderis, it was a clean sweep for Wells as he won 3-0 with his opponent unable to reach an outshot in any of the three legs. The win from Wells giving the West Midlands a hard fought but well deserved 7-5 victory
The West Midlands match award went to both Neil Pointon and Mark Craddock as both of them recorded identical 27.83 averages.
In the first of the ladies ‘A’ games Lisa Badger (West Midlands) was made to fight all the way by Linda Ithurralde for her 3-2 win as Ithurralde levelled in both the second and fourth legs. Angela McDonald wiped out Badger’s win when she beat Kath Jenkins 3-0 and although Sophie Singh came from 1-0 down to 2-1 up in her game against Jennifer Summerson, she eventually lost 3-2.
And London Gemma Barret chalked up West Midlands second win cancelling out County Durham’s lead when she defeated Margaret Stewart 3-1.
A win for West Midlands in the penultimate game was never in doubt as it was in the safe hands of Sarah Roberts who raced to a 3-0 victory over Allison Wells with a terrific 23.48 average to seal her fourth lady of the match award for the season.
Debbie Loon levelled in the second leg against Clare Stewart but it was the home team’s Stewart who went on to win 3-1 and take the final score to three each.
The men’s ‘A’ team have enjoyed a great season so far with five wins in seven games and in this latest fixture the game followed the same pattern throughout whereby the hosts would win one game and West Midlands would follow up by winning two. So it was Leo Middleton who gave the home team first blood with his 4-2 win against Gavin Baker, then man of the match Scott Baker with his 4-2 win over Keith Gowland levelled the game at 1-1, he chalked up wining legs of 14,15,18 and 18 darts in which he checked out on 101 in the second and sealed his win in the sixth with a superb 155 finish giving him a 28.15 average and the match award. Adding to Baker’s win was Glen McGrandle who beat Paddy Lenagh 4-0.
Craig Anderson provided the hosts second win in game four when he got the better of Sam Guest with a 4-2 result. It was then time for another couple of wins for the visitors and they were provided by Ian Jones and Ashe Khayat who in turn won 4-2 against Paul Clark and Davy Gill
Reducing the arrears for County Durham and recording their third win was Raymond Foreman who won his game with Jonathan Platt 4-0.
Another two in a row and another two 4-2 wins were supplied for West Midlands by Gareth Watts and Daniel Nicholls who beat respective opponents Kevin Naunton and Ian Adamson to open up a 6-3 lead.
In an attempt to keep the home team in the hunt for a draw John Dalton got the better of John Morris with a 4-2 scoreline only to see Shaun Carroll confirm a West Midlands win when he won 4-1 against Carl Hamilton before Nick Fullwell took the final score to 8-4 in West Midlands favour when he beat Steve Hayers 4-2.
The overall score for the weekend was a 22-14 win for West Midlands while their promotion rivals, leaders Hampshire won their home tie with Gwent 27-9 and London, who also played at home, beat Cornwall 23-13 to leave Hampshire top of the table on 197 points, West Midlands second with 179 and London third just one point behind West Midlands with 178.
By the time this article goes to print West Midlands will have hosted London in the final game of the season, a game which will now decide who will join Hampshire in the premier division next season.
Full Results:Division One:County Durham v West Midlands (14-22)🙁County Durham names first):Men’s ‘A’:- Leo Middleton 4 Gavin Baker 2, Keith Gowland 2 Scott Baker 4, Paddy Lenagh 0 Glen McGrandle 4, Craig Anderson 4 Sam Guest 2, Paul Clark 2 Ian Jones 4, Davy Gill 2 Ashe Khayat 4, Raymond Foreman 4 Jonathan Platt 0, Kevin Naunton 2 Gareth Watts 4, Ian Adamson 2 Daniel Nicholls 4, John Dalton 4 John Morris 2, Carl Hamilton 1 Shaun Carroll 4, Steve Hayers 2 Nick Fullwell 4, Men’s ‘B’:- David Price 3 Marl Allen-Watkiss 0, Lee Wright 3 Danny Coyle 1, Paul Johnson 0 Neil Pointon 3, Robert Howe 3 Mark Rollinson 2, Martin Farmer 2 Matthew Dicken 3, Gary Miller 0 Mark Craddock 3, Robert Douthwaite 3 Dean Mills 1, Stephen Annan 1 Daniel Nicholls 3, Gerry Hall 0 Michael Baker 3, Dean Scott 2 Paul Price 3, John Teal 3 Mark Hampton 2, Darren Melderis 0 Paul Wells 3, Women’s ‘A’:- Linda Ithurralde 2 Lisa Badger 3, Angela McDonald 3 Kath Jenkins 0, Jennifer Summerson 3 Sophie Singh 2, Margaret Stewart 1 Gemma Barrett 3, Allison Wells 0 Sarah Roberts 3, Clare Stewart 3 Debbie Loon 1, Women’s ‘B’:- Karrol Dagga 3 Kim Fellows 2, Sandra Cairns 1 Shellbie Simmons 3, Liz Tait 0 Heather Wright 3, Tania Weldon 1 Shannon Hall 3, Dawn Winn 3 Elizabeth Arnold 0, Sharon Storey 1 Jacqueline Maiden 3.
The Ripley Elite Darts Singles League have completed their winter season and taking the title for the premier division was PDC Tour Card Holder Daz Brown with a total of 106 points from his 23 games. Paul Baker finished as runner up eight points short of Brown and just three to the good on Chris Hill and Dale Gadsby who in turn finished third and fourth, Gadsby also hitting the most number of maximums for the season which was 14.
The highest finish for the division was 170 achieved by Ash Wood while eleven darts was the fastest leg recorded by Chris Hill, Gary Fenn, Dale Gadsby, Paul Baker and Pete Slater. Daz Brown had the highest average 31.56.
The division one title went to Loz Barnes who with 110 points finished seven ahead of second placed Alan Clegg who in turn was four points to the good on third placed Paul Wood.
Nine maximums was the highest for the season hit by both Tony Jacklin and Loz Barnes while the highest finish of 160 went to Wayne Jepson and Shaun Wood. Paul Wood had the least darts of twelve and Loz Barnes the best average of 26.71.
Winning promotion to the premier division were Loz Barnes, Alan Clegg, Paul Wood, Ant Allsopp and Alan Evans.
The league have now got their summer season underway and able to boast three PDC Tour Card Holders amongst the thirty premier division contenders, they are Kyle Anderson, Aden Kirk and Daz Brown which makes this season the strongest premier division in the seven years history of the league
The Four Oaks and District League title was not decided until the very last match of the season when the league’s top two teams fought it out for the division one title. Prior to the fixture The Boat topped the table with a two points lead over Boldmere St Mikes and had home advantage in the final game. As expected it was a very close game with The Boat eventually winning the tie 5-4 to finish the season with 32 points four more than Boldmere St Mikes who for the third consecutive season finished as runners up.
In the second division St Thomas’s Social Club held their nerve after losing their previous two league matches to beat Erdington Club 6-3 and clinch the title by just four legs of average as second placed The Boot beat Rosey Mac’s 7-2 to put them on the same 24 points as St Thomas’s.
The league have also played off their K & B Installations sponsored Derek Masters Singles Knockout which turned out to be a high scoring night of darts.
The first semi final saw R.Hawker (Boldmere St Mikes) win 2-1 against team mate S.Paling which saw Hawker drop his first leg of the knockout and in the second semi N.Clarke (The Boat) lost 2-0 to W.Naylor (Golden Hind), Clarke hitting his second maximum.
Despite hitting his second maximum of the night Naylor lost the final 3-1 to last season’s runner up Hawker.
The South Birmingham League attracted an encouraging 41 pairs to their doubles knockout and taking the title with a 2-0 result were Jim Frost and Luis Barberan who defeated Neil Parsonage and Martin Heaven in the final.
Doubles Winners Luis Barberan and Jim Frost with Sue Kingdon (Organiser)
Both of the finalists had 2-0 wins in the quarter finals Frost and Barberan accounting for Bill Cadby and Ben Liggins while Parsonage and Heaven beat Dan White and Dave Mortiboys. Then in the semi finals both went to a deciding leg as the eventual winners won against Mark Birch and Mohamed Anwar and the runners up defeated Alan Whitehouse and Ashley Luckman.
Doubles Runners Up Neil Parsonage and Martin Heaven with centre Sue Kingdon (Organiser)
In the finals of the division one Divisional Cup the league’s top two teams squared up to each other with leaders Erdington Members Club beating second placed Mackadown Social 5-4 in a very close game.
Division One Cup Winners Erdington Members Club
Division two leaders The Gate were also successful as they won their divisional title with a 6-3 result against Banbury Flights
The Forest of Arden Winter League played off their doubles knockout and with a close final result of 2-1 it was Kevin White and Kenny Brush who beat Simon Edwards and Alex Edwards to take the title.
Doubles Winners Kenny Brush and Kevin White with Sue Kingdon (Organiser)
Both of the finalists were also taken to a deciding leg in the semis as White and Brush beat Rob Jelley and Derek Williams while the two Edwards won against Andy Howell and Steve Whatmore.
The winner of the league’s Secretary’s Shield was Simon Edward with Pete Shipley runner up.
Secretary’s Shield Sue Kingdon (Organiser), Simon Edwards (Winner) and Trevor Edwards (Treasurer)
In the Presidents Cup Journeys End made it a fantastic double when with a 6-3 win over Greville Arrows they added the title to their division one title.
Presidents Cup Winners Journeys End
The Consolation Cup final turned out to be somewhat of a shock result as Inn on the Green who were third in division two lost 6-3 to Chelmsley Town who finished bottom of division two with just one win in their nine games played.
Consolation Cup Winners Chelmsley Town
The Royal, Albrighton staged another of their increasingly popular knockouts and taking the top prize of £140 was Oakengates man Andy Roberts who had a 6-3 win in the final against Gnosall’s Pat Pace who collected £60 as runner up.
Left Andy Roberts (Winner) and Pat Pace (Runner Up)
In the semi finals Roberts won 5-3 against Ryan Perks (Telford) while Pace had a straight 5-0 win against Steve Ritchie (Shifnal), both losing semi finalists receiving £20. Losing in the last eight were Simon Pritchard, Dave Bayton, Andre Knox and Scott Meyrick.
In the Plate Knockout Matt Padgett (Ilkeston) won the final with a close 3-2 result against Mark Jones (Telford) and in turn collected £30 and £15.
Plate Knockout, Left Mark Jones (Runner Up) and Matt Padgett (Winner)