Pembrokeshire v Shropshire

With three defeats in as many games in division four of the BDO Inter County Championships Shropshire’s fourth encounter was an away game against Pembrokeshire, a team only seven points and two places above them, so a win would almost certainly see Shropshire move up out of the bottom two places.

Saturday got off to a fantastic start as the women’s ‘B’ side stormed into a winning 4-0 lead without dropping a single leg. Allison Gallagher opened up with her straight win over Helen Jones, Allison was followed by Cheryl Owen and Cally Jones who in turn accounted for Mair Carpenter and Sue Phillips.

Chalking up the vital fourth match winning game was Julie Griffiths who not only beat Avril Evans 3-0 but her 19.52 average also earned her the team’s match award.

Georgina Jolly registered Pembrokeshire’s first win of the game when she beat Caroline Powell 3-1 and taking the final score to 4-2 to Shropshire was Rhian Evans with her close 3-2 win over Sue Lane.

The men’s ‘B’ team also had a good start despite Neville Quinton losing 3-1 in the first to Lee Williams as Andy Gilbert then beat Eirwyn Evans 3-1 to level the score and Martin Riggs gave Shropshire a 2-1 lead when he defeated Ben Farr 3-1.

Steven Smith (Pembrokeshire) levelled the game for a second time with his 3-0 win against Paul Bromley but with a 3-2 win over Kelvin Hughes by Chris Fox followed by a 3-1 success for Adam Thackaray against Ryan Jones the away team had taken a 4-2 lead at the halfway stage.

As the second half began Roger James pulled one back for the hosts as he won 3-0 against Rob Harris but a man of the match show from Andi Chatter (23.54) in which he won the first leg against Cellan Jones, lost the next two but wrapped up his win when he won the final two legs for a 4-2 victory to get the away side back on winning ways.

Extending Shropshire’s advantage to 6-3 was Steve Davis who got the 3-2 result over Rhys Jones despite being pegged back to level terms twice. The tenth game also went the full five legs with Jason Davies reducing the deficit for the home team to 6-4 when he beat Andre Knox 3-2.

The winning game came for Shropshire in the penultimate encounter when Rob Trumper accounted for Gareth Powell with a straight 3-0 win before the final score was taken to 7-5 for the visitors when Ben Cloake (Pembrokeshire) won the final game of the day against Dan Boot 3-0, the overall score for the day 11-7 to Shropshire.

Hoping to continue the good fortune from the previous day the ladies ‘A’ could not have wished for a better start as Stephanie Clarke opened up with a straight 3-0 win over Julie Gore, Stephanie’s 21.17 average giving her the ‘A’ team’s match award.

Unfortunately the ‘A’ team were unable to emulate the ‘B’s’ performance as the home side then won the next four games. Lesley Phillips and Rhian Griffiths in turn both won 3-0 against Sophie Fawcett and Becky Harris, Tracey Hawkins-Green came from 1-0 and 2-1 down to win 3-2 against Marie Riggs and confirming a Pembrokeshire was Natalie Alker with her 3-0 success against Michele Pritchard.

The last game saw Kat McLean (Shropshire) twice take the lead against Hayley Francis-Owen and on both occasions be pegged back to level terms, however she held her nerve and went on to win 3-2 to take the result to 4-2 in favour of the hosts.

A 7-5 defeat by the men’s ‘A’ side would give Shropshire an overall draw but after the first half even that was looking very unlikely as they trailed 5-1 at the break.

Opening for Shropshire was Nathan Storar who won the first leg against James Williams but lost the next three and although he reduced the arrears in the fifth he went on to lose 4-2. Both Andi Chatter and Simon Pritchard took their opponents Lewy Williams and Micky Rees to a deciding leg however both lost their seventh legs and went down 4-3.

There was a little respite in the fourth encounter when Brian Hickman (Shropshire) came from one down to Daniel Castle to go on and win 4-1 but that was the one and only shining light of the half as Scott Meyrick lost 4-2 to Iwan Morgan and Tim Eley went down 4-0 to Nathan Burdett.

There was little to cheer for the visitors as the second half got underway as their Kevin Harris lost 4-1 to Harvey Boswell and with a 4-1 win by Steve Alker over Jamie Barrowman Pembrokeshire’s men’s ‘A’ team had won the tie as early as the eighth game.

Phil Gooch took the score along to 8-1 when he beat Richard Parker 4-2 before Shropshire found their man of the match in the form of Danny James. James won the first against Darren Owens then went 2-1 down he recovered to win the following two legs only to see Owens take him to a deciding leg when he won the sixth. The final leg could have gone to either player as both struggled on a finishing double but it was James with a 5 finish that clinched the 4-3 win and his award for a 21.71 average.

The win from James proved to be Shropshire’s last as Stephen Castle and Jeffrey Maynard in turn won 4-0 and 4-1 against Pete Eley and Neil Powell to give the home team a resounding 10-2 win and an overall 21-15 victory.

This fourth defeat sees Shropshire still lying next to bottom of the table with 57 points, eleven more than bottom team Isle of Wight but more importantly twelve short of the team above them Bedfordshire, the gap getting bigger and the fight to get out of the bottom two tougher, but Bedfordshire are Shropshire’s next opponents who they will take on at home in the first fixture of 2018, a new year with new hopes.

Full Results: Pembrokeshire v Shropshire (21-15)🙁Pembrokeshire names first):Men’s ‘A’:- James Williams 4 Nathan Storar 2, Lewy Williams 4 Andi Chatter 3, Micky Rees 4 Simon Pritchard 3, Daniel Castle 1 Brian Hickman 4, Iwan Morgan 4 Scott Meyrick 2, Nathan Burdett 4 Tim Eley 0, Harvey Boswell 4 Kevin Harris 1, Steve Alker 4 Jamie Barrowman 1, Phil Gooch 4 Richard Parker 2, Darren Owens 3 Danny James 4, Stephen Castle 4 Pete Eley 0, Jeffrey Maynard 4 Neil Powell 1, Men’s ‘B’:- Lee Williams 3 Neville Quinton 1, Eirwyn Evans 1 Andy Gilbert 3, Ben Farr 1 Martin Riggs 3, Steven Smith 3 Paul Bromley 0, Kelvin Hughes 2 Chris Fox 3, Ryan Jones 1 Adam Thackaray 3, Roger James 3 Rob Harris 0, Cellan Jones 2 Andi Chatter 3, Rhys Jones 2 Steve Davis 3, Jason Davies 3 Andre Knox 2, Gareth Powell 0 Rob Trumper 3, Ben Cloake 3 Dan Boot 0, Women’s ‘A’:- Julie Gore 0 Stephanie Clarke 3, Lesley Phillips 3 Sophie Fawcett 0, Rhian Griffiths 3 Becky Harris 0, Tracey Hawkins-Green 3 Marie Riggs 2, Natalie Alker 3 Michele Pritchard 0, Hayley Francis-Owen 2 Kat McLean 3, Women’s ‘B’:- Helen Jones 0 Allison Gallagher 3, Mair Carpenter 0 Cheryl Owen 3, Sue Phillips 0 Cally Jones 3, Avril Evans 0 Julie Griffiths 3, Georgina Jolly 3 Caroline Powell 1, Rhian Evans 3 Sue Lane 2.