Shropshire v Somerset

A home tie against Somerset was Shropshire’s curtain raiser in division four of the BDO Inter County season and with a new venue to play from The Royal, Albrighton hopes were high that the county could achieve greater things this campaign but as it turned out it was not the best of starts.

Saturday’s ladies ‘B’ game saw Somerst take the opening two results when Kay Bissett and Natalie Wadham in turn beat Sharon Harris 3-0 and Sue Lane 3-1.

Caroline Powell was Shropshire’s first winner as she turned in a match award winning performance against Christine Blackmore winning 3-0 with an 18.56 average. Sadly Caroline’s win was followed by two 3-1 results both going in Somerset’s favour as Becky Knapman and Kara Gunter in turn defeated Cally Jones and Julie Griffiths.

Allison Gallagher made the scoreline a little more respectable when in the final game she won 3-1 against Hollie Whiteman to give a final score of 4-2 to Somerset.

Brian Hickman gave the men’s ‘B’ team the ideal start when he recorded a 3-1 win over Martin Loaring and although with the same result Somerset’s Ashley Hunt beat Paul Bromley to level the score Shropshire went ahead for a second time in the third game thanks to a man of the match performance from Peter Eley who with a 3-0 win over Marcus Knapman took the award with a 24.64 average. Louis Burley moved Shropshire’s advantage nicely along to 3-1 when he accounted for Paul Harsant with a 3-2 win in a five legs thriller.

Despite the encouraging start Shropshire’s run came to a bitter end after the fourth game as their opponents then won five in a row. Rusell Joyner and Terry Hayes chalked up 3-0 wins over their respective opponents Matt Williams and Simon Mountford to level the score at three each by the halfway stage. The second half began with a 3-1 win for Lee Burnham against Karl Noakes before another 3-0 winning margin for the away side, this time supplied by Matt Prosser against Andy Gilbert and with a close 3-2 verdict for Dave Hamer over Dave Bayton Somerset were by the ninth game already assured of at least a draw as their lead was now 6-3.

Scott Meyrick pulled one back for the home team when he beat Adam McNally 3-1 and with a 3-2 success for Jimmy Handley in the penultimate game against Mike Church there was still an opportunity for Shropshire to steal a draw.

Despite his best efforts Neil Powell (Shropshire) was unable to stop Gary Morse winning 3-1 to give the visitors a rather close 7-5 win.

The results for the first five ladies ‘A’ games all went with the first throw advantage, Donna Gullock putting Somerset one up with her 3-1 win over Michele Pritchard only to see Marie Riggs level for Shropshire with her straight 3-0 success against Sally Dart.

The away team went ahead for a second time in the third when Kate Hulme beat Stephanie Clarke in a hard fought 3-2 affair, but once again the hosts replied, this time through Kat McLean who was in terrific form as she beat Tracey Stiling convincingly with a 3-0 result and a tremendous 25.91 average, the best average ever recorded by a female Shropshire county player.

With the score standing delicately at 2-2 the trend continued with Somerset taking the lead for a third time, on this occasion thanks to a 3-0 win from Becky Taylor over Sophie Fawcett. It was not until the final game that the win sequence was broken, Somerset’s Karen Littler winning 3-0 against Becky Harris to give her team a 4-2 win.

The men’s ‘A’ team suddenly found themselves trailing 2-0 as Jody Matthews beat Nathan Storar in the opener and Mark Stock followed up with a 4-2 win over John Stanley. Kevin Harris stopped the rot when he beat Russell Lippett 4-2 and with three 3-1 wins from Jamie Barrowman, Simon Pritchard and Danny James who beat respective opponents Sam Luscombe, Leigh Taylor and Neil Raikes Shropshire were 4-2 up at the midway point of the game. Danny James win saw him record a 24.72 average which at the end of the day earned him the man of the match award.

The second half began where the first had finished with the hosts adding another win to their tally as Derek Coulson had a straight 4-0 win against Lee Gregory to open up a 5-2 lead. The winning run for the home team stopped in the eighth when Dean Baker (Somerset) won 4-2 against Andi Chatter. A close 4-3 win for Steve Hoddinott plus a 4-2 win from Dean Lewer against Neville Quinton completed Somerset’s fight back to draw level at 5-5 with just two more games to play.

Richard Parker took Shropshire within an ace of victory and an assured draw at the worst when he won the eleventh game against Justin Hood 4-2, and a draw it would be as Sean Flynn lost the final game against Ryan Palmer 4-0 to see the game finish at six each.

The overall weekend result was a 21-15 win for Somerset.

Full Results:Shropshire v Somerset (15-21)🙁Shropshire names first):Men’s ‘A’:- Nathan Storar 1 Jody Matthews 4, John Stanley 2 Mark Stock 4, Kevin Harris 4 Russell Lippett 2, Jamie Barrowman 4 Sam Luscombe 1, Simon Pritchard 4 Leigh Taylor 1, Danny James 4 Neil Raikes 1, Derek Coulson 4 Lee Gregory 0, Andi Chatter 2 Dean Baker 4, Tim Eley 3 Steve Hoddinott 4, Neville Quinton 2 Dean Lewer 4, Richard Parker 4 Justin Hood 2, Sean Flynn 0 Ryan Palmer 4, Men’s ‘B’:- Brian Hickman 3 Martin Loaring 1, Paul Bromley 1 Ashley Hunt 3, Peter Eley 3 Marcus Knapman 0, Louis Burley 3 Paul Harsant 2, Matt Williams 0 Russell Joyner 3, Simon Mountford 0 Terry Hayes 3, Karl Noakes 1 Lee Burnham 3, Andy Gilbert 0 Matt Prosser 3, Dave Bayton 2 Dave Hamer 3, Scott Meyrick 3 Adam McNally 1, Jimmy Handley 3 Mike Church 2, Neil Powell 1 Gary Morse 3, Women’s ‘A’:- Michele Pritchard 1 Donna Gullock 3, Marie Riggs 3 Sally Dart 0, Stephanie Clarke 2 Kate Hulme 3, Kat McLean 3 Tracey Stiling 0, Sophie Fawcett 0 Becky Taylor 3, Becky Harris 0 Karen Littler 3, Women’s ‘B’:- Sharon Harris 0 Kay Bisset 3, Sue Lane 2 Natalie Wadham 3, Caroline Powell 3 Christine Blackmore 0, Cally Jones 1 Becky Knapman 3, Julie Griffiths 1 Kara Gunter 3, Allison Gallagher 3 Hollie Whiteman 1.