Shropshire v Leicestershire

In their latest division four fixture in the BDO Inter County Championships Shropshire, with a home tie, missed the opportunity to move up one place in the table when they took on the team just above them Leicestershire and fell to their fourth consecutive defeat.

The ladies ‘B’ game saw Leicestershire get off to a good start when their Angie Sheffield won 3-0 against Julie Griffiths after Griffiths had missed her finishing doubles. Caroline Powell levelled the score with a similar straight 3-0 win over Melanie Bell, Caroline taking the team’s match award for her 15.82 average. The away side then chalked up another two 3-0 wins when Kirsty White beat Rose Jenks and Mem Martin won against Jenna Ball.

In the penultimate game Rachael Mooney (Shropshire) won the opening leg against Claire Clough but then fell 2-1 behind, however Mooney hung on in there and with wins in the last two legs won the game 3-2 to keep her team still in the hunt for a draw.

Unfortunately the final scoreline was 4-2 to Leicestershire as their Julie Booth beat Suzie Barnham 3-0.

The men’s ‘B’ won on the opening day of the season at Tyne and Wear and have since lost all four fixtures and against Leicestershire that run was regretfully extended to five losing games.

In the opening game Chris Fox (Shropshire) went two down to Martin Edwards and although he pulled back to 2-2 he then lost the deciding leg to give a 3-2 result to Edwards and taking the visitors lead to 2-0 was Jakob Selby-Rivas who won 3-0 against John Stanley. Charlie Abbott was well on his way to increasing the away team’s lead to 3-0 when he went 2-0 up against Martin East but East fought back magnificently to win the next three legs and the game 3-2.

From 2-1 up Leicestershire stormed to a winning lead of 8-2 as Mick Hibbert began a run of six wins when he won 3-1 against Rob Trumper. Samuel Whittaker made it 4-1 with his 3-0 win over Colin Hill and with two further 3-1wins from Carl Charnock and Adam Wood against Mike Hampson and Matt Williams just one more win was required to give the visitors their victory. Leicestershire didn’t have to wait long for that all-important seventh winner as in game eight Alan Warrington added his 3-0 result over Simon Pritchard to their account.

Dave Parkinson took the score along to 8-1 when he beat Nathan Storar 3-2 after Storar came from one down to lead 2-1 all before the home side had their best run of the game when they won three in a row. Chris Hill put Shropshire’s second stripe on the board, a straight 3-0 success over Paul Broughton and he was followed by another Chris, this time Williams who accounted for Steve Smith with a 3-1 result. The final score after Shropshire were at one stage 8-1 down was taken to a more respectable 8-4 to Leicestershire when Lee Hodgkiss (Shropshire) won 3-1 against Scott Warwick.

The ladies ‘A’ had only had one defeat in their previous five outings and took that figure to six against Leicestershire as they finished all square at three each.

After a promising start when Sophie Fawcett gave Shropshire a 1-0 lead with her straight 3-0 win over Kelly Welsh, two 3-0 wins from Krissie Long and Samantha Harris over respective opponents Marie Riggs and Sue Lane reversed the advantage to a 2-1 lead for Leicestershire.

Michele Pritchard (Shropshire) was pushed all the way by Teek Newberry but after being pegged back to level terms twice it was the home player that got the 3-2 verdict to level the match at two each.

The tie was taken to a last match decider after Liz Brunt (Leicestershire) had restored the visitors lead with her 3-0 win over Debbie Davies and it then appeared that Hayley Trigg was on her way to making it a winning scoreline when she went one up against Allison Gallagher but the hosts player was in no mood to lose and battled on to win the game 3-1, take the match award for her 18.54 average and earn her team mates a 3-3 draw.

Fresh from their 8-4 win over Bedfordshire the men’s ‘A’ team had the ideal start when Dan Astbury after trailing 1-0 and 3-1 went on to beat Andy Hibbert 4-3. Justin Evans was on his way to doubling the home team’s lead when he won the first two legs against Ricky Sudale with 120 and 86 checkouts but the experienced Sudale then won the next four legs to restore parity at one each.

Two 4-1 wins from Derek Allsopp and Rick Varney against in turn Pete Eley and Clive Lucking took Leicestershire’s lead to 3-1 and although Rob Henderson reduced the deficit to 3-2 when he beat Michael Feasey in four straight legs the away side were 4-2 up at the midway point with a further 4-1 win from Jason Lole over Andy Jervis.

The second half began with more promise as Derek Coulson for the third consecutive fixture and fourth for the season won the man of the match award. Coulson actually lost the first leg to Mike Sheahan in 18 darts but then levelled in 21, went ahead with another 21 darts leg and then rounded off a super 4-1 win with 16 and 13 darts legs to give him a terrific 28.01 average.

Making it 4-4 in the eighth was Keith Allman. With two 21 darts legs Allman opened up a 2-0 lead over Adam Wood, he then lost the next two legs, both in 18 darts but went on to win 4-2 in 14 and 21 darts.

Game number nine swayed one way then the other as Darren Tyler (Leicestershire) won the first against Richard Parker, then Parker in 19 and 18 darts went 2-1 up. Tyler levelled in the fourth in 18 darts only to see Parker forge ahead again in the fifth with a 19 darts leg. The last two legs of the game were both executed in 19 darts, both going to Tyler to give him a narrow 4-3 win.

Reece Cook-Lucas got off to a cracking start when he won the first leg against Peter Wills with a superb 154 checkout. However from one up the Shropshire man then found himself trailing 3-1, nevertheless he kept his nerve and went on to win the next three legs and clinch a 4-3 win to take the score to 5-5.

The penultimate game was similar to the one previous between Cook-Lucas and Peter Wills only the result was different as this time it went to the away player Craig Allen. Allen went one up against Martin Price, lost the next three and then won the last three in another seven legs thriller.

Anchor man for Shropshire was Sam Hamilton who raced into a 3-0 lead against Lee Saville and despite Saville winning the fourth Hamilton wrapped up a 4-1 win in the fifth in 17 darts.

The final score for the men’s ‘A’ was 6-6 giving an overall result for the weekend of 21-15 to Leicestershire. The defeat sees Shropshire remain seventh in the table on 100 points but their lead over next to bottom West of England has been reduced from five to three points as they lost 19-17 to Breconshire the team Shropshire play next.


Breconshire v Shropshire

After a run of four consecutive defeats in division four of the BDO Inter County Championships Shropshire had the daunting task of playing away to Breconshire who were second in the promotional table.

The home team had a fine start to the weekend as their ladies ‘B’ team after losing the opening game when Caroline Powell (Shropshire) handed out a straight 3-0 defeat to Mindi Saez then romped to a 5-1 victory.

Helen Thomas-Evans squared the game when she won 3-0 against Jenna Ball and with another 3-0 scoreline from Louisa Fox over Rachael Mooney Breconshire were 2-1 up.

Suzie Barnham (Shropshire) took the first leg off Sue Price and then made it two each in the fourth but then lost the final leg and went down 3-2.

A 3-0 win for Stacy Camden over Julie Griffiths gave the home team an unbeatable 4-1 lead and rounding off the 5-1 win was Joanne Smith who came from one down against Rose Jenks to win 3-1.

The men’s ‘B’ match was a game of two halves as the home team got the better of the first and the visitors the second.

Darren Evans put the hosts one up with his 3-1 win over Neville Quinton after Quinton won the first leg. Lee Marsh doubled the lead with a 3-2 win over Robert Trumper and taking the score to 3-0 was Ray Procope who beat Nathan Storar 3-2, Storar going 1-0 up and with a 104 finish in the fourth took the game to a decider.

John Brandon was on his way to making it 4-0 when he went one up against Andy Gilbert and then levelled the game in the fourth but it was Gilbert who won the fifth and final leg for a 3-2 result.

Two more 3-2 wins for Breconshire provided by Jason Parnell and Richie Williams against respective opponents Simon Pritchard and Mike Hampson opened up a massive 5-1 lead for the home side at the break.

As the second half got underway Chris Fox gave Shropshire the tonic they needed as he won in straight legs against Ian Evans. Chris Hill had to come from behind twice against Andrew Kerry after Kerry had won the first leg with a 150 games shot and then went 2-1 up in the third. Nevertheless Hill hung on in there and for a second consecutive fixture won the man of the match award as he wrapped up a 3-2 win in 15 and 17 darts to give him a superb 28.61 average.

For a third successive game Shropshire had a Chris on the oche, this time it was Chris Williams and like the two who played before him he also won as he beat Ralph Heaven-Richards 3-0 to take the running score along to a much closer 5-4 to Breconshire.

Martin East (Shropshire) had leads of 1-0 and 2-1 against John Donaghey but was unable to capitalise and saw Donaghey go on to win the tie 3-2.

Martin Riggs (Shropshire) was pegged back to level terms twice by Zak Turner but won the deciding leg in 13 darts to put the onus on the last two players to sort out the final score.

Representing the home team was Jason Williams and for the visitors Lee Hodgkiss. Williams won the opener but Hodgkiss took the next three for 3-1 win to earn his team a 6-6 draw in what was a fantastic comeback from 5-1 down.

The opening three games of the ladies ‘A’ match all went against the first throw advantage as Kaye Hales putting the hosts one up with her 3-0 win over Marie Riggs before Sue Lane levelled the score with her 3-1 success against Joy Toghill.

Breconshire’s lead was restored by Natalie Evans when she added her 3-1 win over Sophie Fawcett to their account and with a 3-0 win for Emmylou Owen against Allison Gallagher the home team were with an ace of winning the match.

Anchor player for Shropshire was winner of four of the previous six match awards Stephanie Clarke and for a fifth time she produced the goods as she stormed to a 3-0 win over Sharon Hill and took the award for her 20.04 average and also importantly kept her team mates still in the game with a chance of earning a draw.

After the first four games a draw seemed very unlikely but a draw is how the game finished as Michele Pritchard after losing the first leg to Jan Layton went on to win 3-1 to give a final score of 3-3, like men’s ‘B’ an excellent come back.

The opening three games of the men’s ‘A’ match all went with the darts as Justin Evans put Shropshire one up with a 4-1 win over Christopher Austin-Hill and then Mark Layton’s 4-1 win over Mike Hampson brought Breconshire level. A 4-3 win for Chris Williams over Graham Jenkins got the away team’s noses in front once again then a 4-2 success for Reece Cook-Lucas against Kevin Holvey saw Shropshire take a 3-1 lead.

A 4-0 win for Mark Salmon over Andy Jervis reduced the arrears for the home team but by the halfway stage Shropshire were 4-2 up as four times award winner Derek Coulson added his 4-0 win against Wayne Glover to their tally.

The second half began where the first had left off as Shropshire went further ahead with a 4-2 win from Richard Parker at the expense of Adam Smith and were then assured of a share of the spoils as Chris Hill made it 6-2 when he won 4-2 against Stephen Davidson.

The win was not long awaited as in form Martin Price handed out a 4-0 whitewash to Aled Goode in 20,20,21 and 16 darts to win him the man of the match award for his 26.03 average.

Clive Lucking had a ding dong battle with Martin Ashton in the tenth game as Ashton went 1-0 and then 2-1 up before Lucking responded with 17 and 18 darts wins in the fourth and fifth legs. Ashton drew level in the sixth with a 17 darts leg only to see Shropshire’s Lucking take the seventh for his 4-3 win.

The visitors lead was taken to 9-2 in the penultimate tie when Rob Henderson won 4-3 against Lee Williams after Henderson who had gone from 1-0 and 3-1 up was then forced to play a decider.

The final game of the weekend went to Breconshire, a 4-1 win for Richard Langlois over Brian Hickman to give Shropshire’s men’s ‘A’ team their biggest win of the season 9-3 but also an outstanding 19-17 overall victory over a team that before the fixture were some six places above them and had 34 points more.