Week two of the Shirley Premier League and after the majority of the players have completed five fixtures Dave Heighway continues to lead the field. Heighway’s latest games saw him beat Steve Devlin 3-1 and then finish all square at two each with Ken Hopton to put him on 15 points, Hopton is also on the same number of points after winning his other game against Lee Holtham 4-0.
Just one point behind the leading duo come’s Mark Gwalchmai who after his 4-0 win over Karl Wilson and 3-1 success against Sean Talbot moves up from seventh place to third in the table. Tom Bent and Phil Thomas are one further point behind Gwalchmai in third and fourth place respectively.
Despite being held to a 2-2 draw by Mark Henderson, Jack Nason recorded a maximum checkout of 170 plus a nine darts game and being as the highest break of 152 was achieved by both Jack Nason and Chris Devlin the £5 prize was not paid out but added to the £5 for the highest finish giving Nason £10.
In the Four Oaks and District League’s first division Old Oscott Arrows matched Royal Sutton Flights in scoring but it was Flights who found the finishing doubles for an 8-1win to keep them top of the table with 16 points. The Boat keep within two points of the leaders following their 6-3 win at St Thomas’s Social Club and four to the good on third in the table Golden Hind who somewhat surprisingly went down 5-4 away to The Boot.
Red Lion stay top of the second division with a 6-3 win over third placed Pint Pot Flights while second in the table Bishop Vesey kept the pressure on the leaders with a 7-2 win against Plough and Arrows.
Boldmere Tap’s only defeat in the first half of the season in division three was against Oscott Social but in the return fixture they had sweet revenge beating the divisional leaders 6-3 to go level on points and average with their opponents at the top of the table.
Congratulations to Lad in the Lane who won their first match in seven when they beat Sutton Sports and Social Club, taking the final four games for the 6-3 result.
M.Archer (The Boat) and D.Quirk (Boldmere Tap) both hit a 180.
Erdington Members Club chalked up an important 7-2 win in division one of the South Birmingham League when they defeated third in the table Banbury Arrows taking their unbeaten run to seven games and keeping intact their four points lead over second in the table Crown at Shard End who went one better with an 8-1 success against The Gate. Crown at Shard End have played one game fewer than the leaders.
Banbury Arrows are now on eight points from their seven games, fourth placed Coleshill Social have the same eight points plus a game in hand, their latest win being 5-4 at The Raven.
In the second division leaders Iron Horse played away against their nearest rivals C’s Arrows and returned with a 7-2 victory to open up a two points lead over their opponents.
The Small Heath League staged their Jim Haveron 3 A-Side Knockout which saw the league’s top two teams East Birmingham Allotment Holders Association and Heartlands Club do battle against each other in the final. It was both teams ‘A’ sides that made the final and it was current league leaders East Birmingham Allotment Holders Association ‘A’, who got the 6-3 verdict,
In the last four games E.B.A.H.A. beat their ‘B’ team 5-3 and by the same margin Heartlands ‘A’ won against their ‘B’ side.
The Shirley and District League are two games into the second half of the season and the latest round of fixtures brought together some of the top teams vying for the title. Top of the table Highwood had an 8-1 win at Sharmans Cross to give them 24 points from 13 games while second placed Dunky’s Boys played away against fourth place Cider House and won 7-2 to keep them within two points of Highwood, Cider House dropping one place to fifth on 20 points. Third in the table Red Lion are on the same 22 points as Dunky’s Boys after their 5-4 win at Drawbridge Bears and despite the defeat Drawbridge replace Cider House in fourth place with the same 20 points but with a slightly better average.
There were five 180’s hit on the night the most notable coming from Matt McCallion (Cider House) moves out on his own at the top of the most 180’s board with four, the other four were hit by Bill Cater (The Lodge), S.Youdon (Shirley Golf Club), Richard Westley (Saracen’s Jesters) and with his second of the season Bob Nixon (Dunky’s Boys).
The top two players in the Winmau Centre Thursday Night Champions League in the Wolverhampton Indoor Community Sports Arena both have three remaining fixtures and there is a fifteen point’s difference between the two.
Champion for the last three consecutive seasons Mick Baker is in his usual spot top of the table, a couple of his latest fixtures produced vital results as he first beat third placed Andy Vellender 5-2, then after a 6-1 win over Chris Fox and a 7-0 success against Gemma Barrett he squared up to his nearest rival Tony Randell who had previously beaten Ashok Sehdev 5-2. The game as expected was very close with Baker just edging Randell with a 4-3 result leaving Randell on 128 points and putting Baker on 143.
The final three games are going to be crucial to both players.
With leader Will Naylor not playing in week twelve of the Erdington Red Lion Double Top League there was an opportunity for second placed Dean Bayliss to reduce the arrears but the night didn’t get off to the best of starts as he finished on the wrong side of a 2-1 result against third in the table John Frost. However Bayliss did recover to add a 2-1 win over Micky Wilde to his tally to put him on 50 points from 23 games, six short of Naylor and he has played two more games than Naylor.
After beating Bayliss John Frost added a 3-0 win over Lee Austin to his count to take him up to 48 points, just two behind Bayliss from the same 23 games.
The Henley and District League’s week twelve fixtures produced a top of the table crunch game with league leaders Studley Cricket Club playing against second in the table Wharf Swifts who were just two points behind their hosts. The outcome of the game was a close 5-4 win for the Cricket Club taking their total from the opening eight games to a perfect 16 points. As a result of the defeat Wharf Swifts drop to third place behind Studley Conservative Club, both teams have 12 points but the Conservative Club’s 8-1 win over bottom of the table Beausale giving them a superior average.
After the Christmas break the Warwickshire Youth teams played a home game against Staffordshire and produced some top form to beat their visitors 9-6 and put them top of the league table.
The Under 18’s had wins from opener and man of the match Mackenzie Nixon, Joe Pitchford-Morris, Ben Liggins and Matthew Cain to give them a 4-3 win. The young ladies team won 2-1 with Courtney Hine taking the match award and Laura Bowley guaranteeing the win.
Rounding off the fixture was the Under 21 games where after going 1-0 down Lewis Bayliss levelled the score and award winner Charlie Symonds put the home team 2 1 up. Staffordshire levelled in the fourth only to see George Ross win the final game to give the Under 21’s a 3-2 win plus an overall 9-6 victory.
The Brierley Hill Friday Night League took a break from league fixtures to play the first round of their League Cup. With a 6-1 result Netherton Cricket Club ‘A’ beat Pensnett Welfare Club ‘A’, the other three games all finished with close 4-3 results the winners being Brickmakers Arms ‘B’, Brickmakers Arms ‘A’ and Netherton Cricket Club ‘B’ who in turn accounted for Miners (Wollescote), Fox Inn ‘B’ (Lye) and Pensnett Welfare Club ‘B’.
The Forest of Arden Winter League have been engaged in the final of their Knockout Cup and clinching the title with a 6-3 result over third in the league Highwood KB were table toppers Journeys End Flights whose Bob Nixon in addition to hitting a maximum also had scores of 3×100 and 140.
The top four teams in the Camp Hill League all played teams in the bottom five in week ten. Top of the table Journeys End Lions had a 4-3 win over Cotterills Lane Club to make it ten wins in as many games and keep them six points ahead of second placed Holy Souls who were 5-2 winners at Emerald Club.
Third in the table Crown Jewels beat their visitors bottom of the table Station Wagon 4-3 to put them on the same 14 points as Holy Souls while Tyseley WMC are a further two points short on 12 after beating Wagon and Horses 6-1.
After only two fixtures in the Silver End Sunday Morning League reigning champions Woodside are already putting up a fight to hold on to the title as they followed up their opening day 8-0 win over Railway with a 6-2 success at Glasscutters.
Other teams making it two wins in the first two games were Dudley Ex Serviceman’s Club, Brickmakers Arms ‘A’, Netherton Cricket Club and Brickmakers Arms ‘B’ who in turn defeated Kings Head (6-2), New Talbot (7-1), The Bell (6-2) and Dudley Sports (6-2).
There were opening day 5-2 wins for Tipton Sports, Dewdrop ‘A’, Waggon and Horses, Ivy Bush, Island Inn over respective opponents Horseley Tavern, The Vine, Hayes Social, Rising Sun and New Talbot in the Hilltop Friendly Tuesday Night League, while Merry–Go-Round ‘A’ and Wonder won 4-3 in turn against Merry-Go-Round ‘B’ and Dewdrop ‘B’.
Although all eight fixtures were played in week twelve of the Sedgley and Gornal Tuesday Night League the results didn’t affect the league table whatsoever and all sixteen teams remained where they were prior to the games. So Old Bulls Head remain in pole position, now on 20 points following their 7-2 home win over Red Cow and Parkes Hall are second on the same 20 points after their 8-1 win over Fellows Club.
After the leading duo comes three teams Ashwood, Coseley Tavern and Gornal Labour Club all on 18 points, Ashwood won 7-2 against Netherton Cricket Club, Coseley had a close 5-4 win at Five Ways and the Labour Club won their game against Club Dudley 7-2.
It looks as though the title for the Stourbridge and District Monday Night League will be a Ten Arches battle to the end as both the ‘A’ and ‘B’ sides are locked together at the top of the table on 70 with the ‘B‘ team way ahead on average. Ten Arches ‘B’ added to their average when in the latest fixture they won 8-1 away to The Swan while their ‘A’ team could only manage a close 5-4 success at Bird (Stourbridge) who are nine places below them and have some 30 points fewer.
After the top two comes third placed Gate ‘B’, their 9-0 win over Kingswinford Snooker Club leaving them eight points adrift of the leading pair on 62 points.
The Yeltz Bar Tuesday Night League kicked off their 2018 season with their first Monthly Air Ambulance Knockout and with a good turn out and high quality field it was a cracking night of darts. The event saw Dan Nicholls emerge as the winner beating Steve Gillam 4-2 in what was a close final, Dan having to produce 11 and 14 darts legs to defeat Steve.
The league thanked all that entered and helped raise the £90 which will go towards this year’s charity pot.
It is with great sadness and regret I have to close this week’s column with the sad news that Joyce Webster has passed away. For many years Joyce not only played but worked tirelessly for many local leagues, a regular contributor to this very column, I never had to chase Joyce for results she was on the phone to me every week making sure the players in her leagues got a mention in the Mail. In addition she also did lots for charity with teams such as the Ace of Clubs Charity Team raising funds for numerous causes.
A truly remarkable lady, Joyce Webster will be sadly missed by all who knew her. Rest in Peace Joyce.