After winning promotion last season West Midlands began the new campaign in the premier division of the BDO Inter County Championships with an away fixture against Devon. Heather Wright gave the ladies ‘B’ the ideal start when she beat Cat Callard 3-1 and earn herself the match award for her 21.66 average. However from one up West Midlands next and only other winner came in the penultimate encounter when Shannon Hall beat Sarah Brown 3-1, the final score 4-2 to Devon.
Like the ladies ‘B’ the men’s ‘B’ won the opening game when Robert Smith beat Gary Phillips 4-3 after trailing 2-0 and 3-1. Despite winning the first West Midlands were only able to win a further four games supplied by Paul Price, Sam Guest, man of the match Paul Wells (29.06) and anchor man Michael Baker to go down 7-5.
Gemma Barrett gave the ladies ‘A’ side the best possible start with her 3-1 win over Lisa Hughes and although the home team won the second through Maria O’Brien, Sarah Roberts began the new season where she left off by winning the match award for her 3-0 win over Michelle Andrews with a 23.86 average. Sophie Singh made it 3-1 with a 3-2 success against Hayley Brant but the home team took the last two games to put the result at 4-2 to West Midlands.
The men’s ‘A’ team were in top form racing into an 8-3 lead with wins from Nick Fullwell, Glen McGrandle, Dean Mills, Jonathan Platt, Daniel Nicholls, Scott Baker, Liam Kelly and Ash Khayat. Liam Kelly was their top player with a superb 31.85 average, the best premier average of the weekend. Kelly beat Thom Humphrey 4-1 after losing the first leg. He then recorded winning legs of 13,15,15 and 17 darts.
The result was an 8-4 win for West Midlands and the overall score 18-18, not a bad start to life in the premier division.