Cambridgeshire v West Midlands
What a year 2017 has been for the West Midlands Darts Organisation, winning promotion from Division One to the Premier Division of the BDO Inter County Championships and then establishing themselves in the Premier to end the year in a very respectable fourth position in the table.
To round off the year West Midlands had an away fixture against Cambridgeshire and it got off to a fantastic start thanks to the ladies ‘B’ side. On first for the ladies was Shellbie Simmons who made short work of her opponent Hannah Rampley when she won in three straight legs. At number two and doubling the away teams lead was Jacqueline Maiden who also won in just three legs against Casey Hill but in the process made it three consecutive lady of the match awards when she chalked up a superb 22.10 average.
Making it 3-0 with a third 3-0 result was Shannon Hall who accounted for Liz Humphries. Then as early as the fourth game the match was won by the West Midlands as Kath Jenkins added her 3-1 win over Fiona Coker to the tally.
The score looked as though it would be increased to 5-0 when Kim Fellows won the opening two legs against Wendy Ickin but unfortunately finishing doubles proved to be elusive in the following three legs and Ickin won the tie 3-2.
Debbie Melton appeared as though she would add to Cambridgeshire’s account when she twice took the lead against Grace Angell but it was the West Midlands player who won the last two legs for a 3-2 win and a 5-1 success for the team, their first win of the season.
The men’s ‘B’ side were unable to emulate the start that the ladies had as Matthew Dicken lost 4-2 to Iain Styles after he had twice taken the lead and Christopher Williams after coming from 3-1 down to 3-3 against Andrew Hircock lost 4-3.
Paul Wells was made to fight all the way by Matthew Wing for a 4-3 win as Wing won the first leg then Wells took a 3-1 lead only to be pegged back to 3-3 before clinching his win in the final leg. Alfie Jacques was another West Midlands man to be taken the full seven legs distance in another see-saw game which saw Jacques go 2-0 up then his opponent Aaron Baker take a 3-2 lead. However it was Jacques who won the last two legs for another close 4-3 win for the away side to level the game at two each.
Terry Redhead restored Cambridgeshire’s lead when he came from one down to Sam Guest to win 4-1. Paul Price (West Midlands) won the first two legs against namesake Paul Wade only to see Wade win the next three legs and although Price won the sixth Wade wrapped up his win in the final leg to give the hosts a 4-2 lead at the break.
The second half got underway with Robert Smith clinching his second successive man of the match award for the Midlanders. Smith beat Martyn Moore in four straight legs with legs of 21,15,20 and 15 darts for a 28.23 average. Then squaring the game at 4-4 was Adam Edgar who after losing the opening two legs to Paul Wenn went on to win 4-3.
For the first time in the match the West Midlands took the lead in the tenth game when Shane Price beat Gary Robertson 4-1 and with a further 4-3 win for Neil Pointon against Brian Reed West Midlands men’s ‘B’ were in with a chance of recording their second win of the campaign. Alas a win was not to be and they had to be content with a second consecutive draw as home player Connor Arberry with the 4-1 defeat of Richard Platt made it six each.
Sarah Roberts who won five of last season’s match awards made it two in four from the current season when she opened the ladies ‘A’ account with a 3-2 win over Sandra Greatbatch, Sarah coming from one down and then 2-2 to win the game with a 21.55 average. Gemma Barrett made it 2-0 to the West Midlands when she added a straight 3-0 win over Karen Stanhope to the Midlanders tally but from there on in it was all Cambridgeshire. Nadine Bentley after going 1-0 and 2-1 down to Heather Wright went on to win 3-2, Barbara Greatbatch won 3-0 against Sophie Singh, Jane Judges had a 3-1 win over Lisa Badger and Diane Nash gave the home team a 4-2 win with her 3-2 success over Shannon Hall in the final game.
The men’s ‘A’ team had a tremendous start as Nick Fullwell won 4-1 against Tony Holland, Jonathan Platt beat Barry-John Paget 4-3 after losing the first two legs, Ash Khayat had a 4-2 win over Matt David and taking the score along to 4-0 was Liam Kelly who after losing the first leg to Eddie Martin stepped up a gear to take the following four legs in 18,15,16 and 19 darts giving him a top average of 29.92 and his second match award in four games.
Ian Withers was the home team’s first winner when in the fifth game he defeated Dean Mills 4-0 and with the 4-1 defeat of Michael Baker by Chris Sands-Pearce West Midlands advantage was reduced to 4-2 by the midway point of the match.
On first for the West Midlands in the second half was Dan Nicholls who took the score along to 5-2 with a 4-1 win over Ashley Coleman. Gavin Baker lost the first three legs to Stuart Ward and although he pulled back to 3-3 lost the decider and Ward took the 4-3 win
Game number nine was another seven games affair with Glen McGrandle (West Midlands) going 2-0 up only to see John Imrie win the next two to draw level. McGrandle went ahead again in the fifth but for a second time Imrie wiped out his lead to put the score at 3-3. Both players recorded three three figure scores in the decider but it was the Midlands man who found double eight to claim the 4-3 win and ensure at the worst a draw for his team.
Paul Wade kept Cambridgeshire in the hunt when he won 4-1 against Mark Craddock and when Dennis Harbour beat Ian Jones 4-3 in the penultimate encounter the result was then all dependant on the final game of the weekend.
First blood went to Brett Claydon when he won the opening leg against Scott Baker, however Baker fought back to open a 3-1 lead and despite losing the fifth leg he wrapped up a 4-2 win with a superb 101 game shot to give the West Midlands men’s ‘A’ team a 7-5 victory.
The overall result for the weekend was a 20-16 win for West Midlands which consolidated their fourth position in the table giving them a total of 82 points only one short of third placed Glamorgan’s 83.
Full Results: Cambridgeshire v West Midlands (16-20)🙁Cambridgeshire names first):Men’s ‘A’:- Tony Holland 1 Nick Fullwell 4, Barry–John Paget 3 Jonathan Platt 4, Matt David 2 Ash Khayat 4, Eddie Martin 1 Liam Kelly 4, Ian Withers 4 Dean Mills 0, Chris Sands-Pearce 4 Michael Baker 1, Ashley Coleman 1 Daniel Nicholls 4, Stuart Ward 4 Gavin Baker 3, John Imrie 3 Glen McGrandle 4, Paul Wade 4 Mark Craddock 1, Dennis Harbour 4 Ian Jones 3, Brett Claydon 2 Scott Baker 4, Men’s ‘B’:- Ian Styles 4 Matthew Dicken 2, Andrew Hircock 4 Christopher Williams 3, Matthew Wing 3 Paul Wells 4, Aaron Baker 3 Alfie Jacques 4, Terry Redhead 4 Sam Guest 1, Paul Wade 4 Paul Price 3, Martyn Moore 0 Robert Smith 4, Paul Wenn 3 Adam Edgar 4, Carl Dockerill 4 Gareth Watts 1, Gary Robertson 1 Shane Price 4, Brian Reed 3 Neil Ponton 4, Connor Arberry 4 Richard Platt 1, Women’s ‘A’:- Sandra Greatbatch 2 Sarah Roberts 3, Karen Stanhope 0 Gemma Barrett 3, Nadine Bentley 3 Heather Wright 2, Barbara Greatbatch 3 Sophie Singh 0, Jane Judges 3 Lisa Badger 1, Diane Nash 3 Shannon Hall 2, Women’s ‘B’:- Hannah Rampley 0 Shellbie Simmons 3, Casey Hill 0 Jacqueline Maiden 3, Liz Humphries 0 Shannon Hall 3, Fiona Coker 1 Kath Jenkins 3, Wendy Ickin 3 Kim Fellows 2, Debbie Melton 2 Grace Angell 3.