An 18-18 draw with London in the final division one fixture of the 2016 – 2017 season was enough for West Midlands to clinch promotion to the elite premier division of the BDO Inter County Championships, indisputably the finest darts league in the world.
West Midlands will begin their top flight campaign with an away game against Devon, not an easy fixture as their hosts finished in a respectable mid table position last term, nevertheless with a confidence boosting seven wins, one draw and only one defeat in last season’s games West Midlands could well be this season’s surprise package.
The Shirley Red Lion Premier League staged a play off for the players who finished in the top four of their league, however it was a little disappointing insomuch as the man who finished the season top of the table Paul Higgins was unavailable on the night of the play off. Nevertheless finals night went ahead and after a 3-1 win over Mark Gwalchmai in the semi finals Tom Bent went on to win the final by the same margin against Andy Thomas to be crowned the overall champion.
The Stourbridge and District Monday Night League played off their singles knockout and taking the title with a final straight 2-0 win over John Jackson was Chris Williams. Williams also won his quarter final and semi final games against J.Gaskin and Rob Harris 2-0, Jackson achieving the same results against M.Rollinson and Sam Stanley.
The South Birmingham League have played off the finals of three of their knockouts the first of which was the Captains Cup which produced an exciting final between Robbie Earl and Neil Parsonage. The game went to the wire with Parsonage just getting the 2-1 verdict. Parsonage won his last four encounter against Simon Edwards 2-0 despite Edwards hitting a maximum while Earl beat Nick Walker 2-1.
Sue Kingdon (Organiser) and Captains Cup Winner Neil Parsonage
The Secretary’s Cup final was fought out between Gavin Jones and Dave Clinton with Clinton recording a straight 2-0 win. Clinton won his semi final against Liam Walker 2-0 while Jones was taken to a third leg by Dean Young before winning 2-1.
Neil Parsonage narrowly missed out on a tremendous double as he and his partner Sue Hawkins lost 2-0 to Simon Edwards and Charlie Kingdon in the semi finals of the Mixed Doubles. Making up the final against Edwards and Kingdon were Mike McFall and Sandra Liggins after their 2-1 win over Gary Shergold and Karen Shergold in their last four game.
The final went to a deciding third leg which saw Simon Edwards and Charlie Kingdon clinch the title with a 2-1 result leaving Mike McFall and Sandra Liggins as runners up.
Mixed Doubles Winners Simon Edwards and Charlie Kingdon with Organiser Sue Kingdon (centre).
Mixed Doubles Runners Up Sandra Liggins adn Mike McFall with Organiser Sue Kingdon.
Two cup finals have been on the fixture card for the Kings Norton League the first being the League Cup which brought together the league’s top two teams leaders Hillyfields ‘B’ who have won all twenty five of their league fixtures so far and second in the table West Heath who after twenty five games trail Hillyfields ‘B’ by eight points.
Hillyfields ‘B’ took their league form into the cup taking the title with a convincing 5-2 result.
The second of the league’s finals was the Consolation Cup in which two of the lower placed teams in the table Toby Jug Flights and Kings Norton Ex Serviceman’s Club did battle. The outcome was another 5-2 scoreline with the Ex Serviceman’s Club taking the honours.
The Sutton and District Summer League have completed their division one programme and The Boat clinched the divisional title in the very last fixture of the season. Playing at home Boat played hosts to Golden Hind who prior to the game were in pole position with 16 points, two more than The Boat. The outcome of the match was a 7-2 win for the home team taking them level on points with their opponents but with a far superior average they took the title off their opponents at the final hurdle.
The Fox, who had already won the division three title rounded off their fixture card with a 9-0 win over The Duke to complete their ten match season undefeated, the only team in the league to win all of their fixtures this season.
At the time of going to print the only unanswered question is who will win the division two title as both divisions one and three consisted of six teams and have finished their fixtures but division two with seven teams still have fixtures to play. With two to play Erdington Club top the table with 18 points two more than their nearest rivals Red Lion, however it will be these two teams that will definitely fill both the winners and runners up positions as third placed Boot are some eight points behind the leaders.
The newly formed Sheldon Heath Social Club Dukes In House League staged their very first knockout cup with all of the rounds leading up to the final being a do or die one leg shoot out. The first of the semi finals saw Paul Curry after defeating Lee Molyneux and Rob Hicks account for Steve Groves to book his place in the final while from the other half of the draw Perry Pudge made his way to the final by taking out Phil Ashford and Chris Cotter.
The final was extend to the best of three legs and went the full distance with Paul Curry recording scores of 3×100 and 140 while Perry Pudge hit 140 and 2×100, the 2-1 result going in favour of Paul Curry.
The Pip Club League staged the finals of their Challenge Cups, the division one title going to Bulls Head ‘A’ (Polesworth) after they defeated Globe Trotters in the final, both teams recorded a maximum score Mark Martin finding the three treble twenties for Bulls Head and Wayne Macken for Globe Trotters.
In the division two cup Royal Oak took the honours with a final victory over Globe (Wilnecote).
The Camp Hill League have played their singles knockouts and in the men’s event the honours went to Pete Yardley (Hay Mills Social Club Lions) who accounted for Neil Parsonage from Cotterills Lane Club in the final. Losing semi finalists were James Hinkley (Tyseley WMC) and Matthew Cooper (Cotterills Lane Club)
The ladies knockout was won by Laura Caven (Emerald Club) who beat Jean Forde (Devil’s Club) in the final. Making their exit in the last four were Gloria Lightwood (Devil’s Club) and Jacquie Francis (Station Wagon).
The Tettenhall Wednesday Night League’s singles knockout attracted no fewer than 55 entries and in the semi finals Simon Pritchard (Riley’s) beat Simon New (ECC ‘A’) and Dave Smith (Bull) won against Sam Guest (Whitmore Reans WMC). The two winners will now square up to each other in the final which will be played on presentation night 22nd November.