Lincolnshire v Warwickshire
Warwickshire are not enjoying the best of starts to their new season in the Premier Division of the BDO Inter County Championships with just one win from their opening four games, their worst start since the 2012-2013 season when they lost the first three games and won the fourth at home to Devon.
Warwickshire’s final fixture in 2017 was an away game against Lincolnshire who prior to the encounter were languishing at the foot of the table on 42 points with their opponents some twelve points and four places above them, so a win for Warwickshire was most definitely not out of the question, but sadly it was not to be.
Nevertheless the weekend got off to a great start as the ladies ‘B’ side began with a win from Wendy Adams who after losing the first leg to Bobbi Hughes went on to win 3-1.
Taking the away team’s lead to 2-0 was Melanie Jones who with a 3-1 win over Dawn Armstrong and a 21.82 average earned herself her first lady of the match award for the season. Caroline Pike was taken to a deciding fifth leg by Laura Tye but despite that won the final leg and took Warwickshire’s lead to 3-0.
The win for the visitors was achieved as early as the fourth game when Chloe McKevitt beat Layla Bontoft to put the result beyond the home team’s reach at 4-0.
A 3-2 win from Angela Jones over Julie Lambie moved the score along to 5-0 before Lincolnshire recorded their one and only success a 3-2 win for Heather Lodge over Lisa Deslandes to give a final score of 5-1 to Warwickshire’s ladies ‘B’ team their best win of the season so far.
The men’s ‘B’ team unlike the ladies didn’t have such a good start even though opener Tommy Ryan gave them the first win when he defeated Johnny Baker 4-3, an award winning performance by Ryan recording winning legs of 18,15,17 and 19 darts for a superb 27.04 average.
Luke Kennedy’s 4-1 defeat to Jon Bywater saw the home side draw level at one each and then go ahead as their Lee Williams beat Tommy McGlone 4-2.
James Hykin squared the game at two each when he won 4-2 against Richard Selby only to see Lincolnshire go ahead again in the fifth when Micky Taylor added his 4-0 win over Rob Comben, then with a similar 4-0 result for Adam Ward against Mark Carter the hosts opened up a 4-2 lead at the midway point of the game.
The second half of the match was a different story as Carl Green kicked off with a 4-3 win over Kevin Leadenham, Green fighting back from 3-1 down after winning the first leg to go on and win 4-3. The game was leveled in the eighth when Ian Shaw added his 4-2 win over Pete Goodin and then in the ninth for the first time since the opening game Warwickshire took the lead. Karl Reynolds won the first two legs against Jock Watt with Watt winning the next two to draw level. Reynolds took the lead again in the fifth and although Watt leveled once again it was Reynolds who got the verdict in the final leg to win 4-3.
Taking the score along to 6-4 was Charlie Symons, a 4-2 win over Andy Bingham and although the home team pulled one back in the penultimate game when their Thomas Atkinson beat Mark Strong 4-3, after Strong had taken the lead three times, the final score was taken to 7-5 in favour of Warwickshire when anchorman Ashley Hykin won 4-3 against Neil Ward. Hykin’s game was similar to that of Karl Reynolds at number nine whereby he won the first two legs against Neila Ward then he lost the next two, went ahead again in the fifth, lost the sixth but won the all-important seventh for him and his team’s win, the ‘B’ team’s first win of the campaign.
How quickly fortunes change, and that was exactly the case in Sunday’s games as the ladies ‘A’ recorded the same 5-1 result as their ‘B’ team but unfortunately it was in Lincolnshire’s favour.
Shelley Bontoft-Gash opened up for Lincolnshire with a 3-0 win over Marian Conway before the home team’s new recruit and former Warwickshire player Trina Gulliver squared up to Sue Gulliver. After losing the first leg Sue levelled in the second but it was Trina who went on to win 3-1.
Two further 3-0 wins from Tammy Montgomery and Paula Jacklin against respective opponents Donna Pinch and Kat Spanswick took Lincolnshire into an unassailable 4-0 lead before Warwickshire registered their one and only win supplied by Natalie Gilbert whose 3-0 success against Layla Bontoft gave her the ‘A’ team’s match award for her 20.59 average.
The final game saw Sue Edwards beat Nina Bolt 3-0 to round off the hosts 5-1 victory.
The men’s ‘A’ with two wins and a draw in their first three games were quickly brought down to earth as Lincolnshire stormed into a 4-0 lead when Jon Bywater beat Antony West 4-1, Ross Twell and Adam Beck in turn won 4-2 against Kevin Dowling and Mark Westgarth and Simon Stainton beat Noel Grant 4-1.
It took a man of the match performance from Jamie Hughes to stop the rot. Jamie after winning the first leg against Craig Hall then lost the next three to go within an ace of losing, however he hung on in there and went on to win the last three legs in 13,18 and 18 darts giving him a 27.34 average.
The respite was short lived as Kevin Tomlinson won 4-0 against Ted Evetts, and Mark Foreman beat Anthony Allen 4-1 after Allen had gone one up with a 111 outshot in the first leg.
Dean Stewart was Warwickshire’s second winner playing game eight against Lloyd Pennell, Stewart winning 4-2 after Pennell had twice taken the lead. That however proved to be Warwickshire’s final win as Mark Wilson and Paul Brown both won 4-2 against respective opponents Ian McFarlane and Simon Power to put the home team 8-2 up and with Tom Aldridge losing 4-1 to Shane Lowe and Richard Foster going down 4-0 in the last game of the weekend to Karl Forrington the result was 10-2 to Lincolnshire men’s ‘A’ team.
The overall score for the weekend was 21-15 to Lincolnshire which saw them move up two places from the foot of the table and give them a total of 66 points, still five points short of Warwickshire who are two places above them.
Let’s hope Warwickshire’s fortunes will change for the better in 2018 but they do have a tough opener to the New Year, a home tie against second in the table Lancashire, never an easy game but Warwickshire have beaten them on the last two occasions.
Full Results:Lincolnshire v Warwickshire (21-15)🙁Lincolnshire names first):Men’s ‘A’:- Jon Bywater 4 Antony West 2, Ross Twell 4 Kevin Dowling 2, Adam Beck 4 Mark Westgarth 3, Simon Stainton 4 Noel Grant 1, Craig Hill 3 Jamie Hughes 4, Kevin Tomlinson 4 Ted Evetts 0, Mark Forman 4 Anthony Allen 1, Lloyd Pennell 2 Dean Stewart 4, Mark Wilson 4 Ian McFarlane 2, Paul Brown 4 Simon Power 2, Shane Lowe 4 Tom Aldridge 1, Karl Forrington 4 Richard Foster 0, Men’s ‘B’:- Johnny Baker 3 Tom Ryan 4, Jon Bywater 4 Luke Kennedy 1, Lee Williams 4 Tom McGlone 2, Richard Selby 2 James Hykin 4, Micky Taylor 4 Rob Comben 0, Adam Ward 4 Mark Carter 0, Kevin Leadenham 3 Carl Green 4, Pete Goodin 2 Ian Shaw 4, Jock Watt 3 Karl Reynolds 4, Andy Bingham 2 Charlie Symons 4, Thomas Atkinson 4 Mark Strong 3, Neil Ward 3 Ashley Hykin 4, Women’s ‘A’:- Shelley Bontoft-Gash 3 Marian Conway 0, Trina Gulliver 3 Sue Gulliver 1, Tammy Montgomery 3 Donna Pinch 0, Paula Jacklin 3 Kat Spanswick 0, Layla Bontoft 0 Natalie Gilbert 3, Sue Edwards 3 Nina Bolt 0, Women’s ‘B’:- Bobbi Hughes 1 Wendy Adams 3, Dawn Aarmstrong 1 Melanie Jones 3, Laura Tye 2 Caroline Pike 3, Layla Bontoft 1 Chloe McKivett 3, Julie Lambie 2 Angela Jones 3, Heather Lodge 3 Lisa Deslandes 2.
The Warwickshire youth squad played their first home game of the season when they took on Clwyd in what was a first class encounter with the young Bears winning 9-6.
All three sections were won by the odd game, the Under 18’s with wins from J.Ainsworth, B.Liggins, M.Cain and J.Liggins won 4-3 while the young ladies won 2-1 thanks to S.Emslie and C.Hine. The Under 21’s had wins by C.Symmonds, J.Joyce and T.Mills to give them a 3-2 victory.