Derbyshire v Buckinghamshire
Derbyshire County Darts Organisation despite having home advantage were always s going to find their fixture against high riding Buckinghamshire a tough hurdle in Division Three of the BDO Inter County Championships. However the ladies ‘B’ got the weekend off to a good start as they recorded their third win in eight.
What better start to the game could Derbyshire have had other than Rachel Bird coming from one down to Kerry O’Connor and go on to not only win 3-1 but also take the team match award for her fine 21.47 average. Jennifer McCormick took the first two legs against Lesley Gibbs and although Gibbs won the next two it was McCormick who won the decider to put the hosts two up. Rose Mort took the score along to 3-0 with her 3-1 win over Dawn Seaman before Buckinghamshire got their first stripe on the board provided by Janet Weedon as she won 3-1 against Holly Wright.
Carol Western (Derbyshire) after losing the first leg to Felicia Blay won the second and third legs but then went down 3-2 after Blay won the last two legs to leave the result all down to the last game.
With a slender 3-2 lead and only one more game to play Derbyshire required a win, and a win is what they got as Sara-Jane Harrison raced to a straight 3-0 victory over Geraldine Johnson to give the home side a triumphant 4-2 result.
With four wins and a draw from their previous seven games the men’s ‘B’ have had a reasonably good season but their tie with Buckinghamshire didn’t go too well.
Although James Parkin had the first throw against him and lost the first two legs to Paul Stefanovic he held his nerve and went on to win 3-2. Andrew Houghton won the opening leg against Karl Deacon but it was the latter Buckinghamshire man that got the 3-1 result, and then giving the visitors the lead for the first time was Jack Neary who beat Paul Williams 3-0.
The away side looked as though they were about to extend their lead when Simon Parrott went two up against Benjamin Holmes but once again the home player stood firm and ran out the 3-2 winner to level the score at two each.
Gary Barker was unable to add to his first leg win against Derek Pratley and lost 3-1, then Dean Allsopp, who actually opened up a two legs lead over John Tarbox was unable to capitalise on his advantage and lost 3-2 to see Buckinghamshire go 4-2 up at the halfway stage.
As the second half began the away team stretched their lead to 5-2 when Paul Tubb beat Connor Hodgkinson 3-2, Hodgkinson levelling at two each after trailing 2-0.
Dan Ford (Derbyshire) went 2-0 up against Alan Syphas and although Syphas took him to a deciding leg it was Ford who won it. David Fritchley was another player to go 2-0 up in his game with Robert Dell, Dell won the third leg but a win in the fourth saw Fritchley home and dry with a 3-1 win to take the running score along to 5-4.
Buckinghamshire moved to within one win of victory when Craig Cox beat Andrew Gillott 3-1 and then secured that victory when Ron Grant won by the same 3-1 margin over Richard Hughes.
The final score was 7-5 to Buckinghamshire after Derbyshire’s Matt Faulkner won the final game of the day against Liam Maughan 3-1, Faulkner also taking the match award for his 25.25 average.
The ladies ‘A’ have won just one of their fixtures so far this season so the return to Derbyshire colours for Jane Densley has been a welcome one as she almost guarantees a win for the county every time she takes the oche.
Drawn out first Jane was matched against Sarah Louise Mallott who in double quick time Jane disposed of with a straight 3-0 result. However it was not just a win for Jane Densley but also her third consecutive lady of the match award for her superb 23.86 average.
Rebecca Hoyland added to Jane’s win when she accounted for Ann Wakefield with a 3-2 scoreline after her opponent had gone 1-0 and 2-1 up.
Unfortunately from 2-0 up Derbyshire went 4-2 down as Sammie Marshall lost 3-0 to Fallon Sherrock, Rachel Ayres and Jackie Sweet lost 3-1 to respective opponents Karen Leather and Kirsty Gibbs and then rounding off the away team’s 4-2 win was Jane Sobey (Buckinghamshire) beat Louise Rawson 3-2, Rawson wining the first and fourth legs.
Derbyshire’s Michael Ryall made Adam Mould fight all the way for his 4-3 win in the opening men’s ‘A’ game as he cancelled out his lead no fewer than three times before Mould won the deciding leg. Gary Fenn was quick to cancel out Mould’s win as he defeated Damien Fyffe 4-1. Richard Hanson took Stephen Reed to deciding leg before losing out 4-3 and with Ian Allcock losing 4-2 against Mat Caste after winning the first two legs, Buckinghamshire were 3-1 up.
Nigel Daniels stopped the visitors run as he went on to win 4-2 against Jamie Major after Major had won the opening leg. Then levelling the score at the midway point was team captain Lee Stanley who after losing the first leg to Jon Woodbridge never looked back as he stormed to a 4-1 win.
Derbyshire went ahead for the first time in the game in the seventh when Steven Soar battled his way to a 4-3 win over Mark Boardman after Boardman had gone 2-0 up and then 3-2 up.
Extending the home team’s lead to 5-3 was their man of the match Stephen Paling, Paling went 3-0 up in 16,22 and 16 darts against Steven McLeod and despite losing the fourth leg in 15 darts he then won the fifth in 20 to secure a 4-1 win and the award for his 27.02 average.
A win looked definitely on the cards when in the tenth game Henry Coates won his tussle with Clive Wilford which went to a deciding leg before Coates got his 4-3 win to put Derbyshire 6-3 up. Nevertheless the win never materialised but it was oh so close as Robert Hawker opened leads of 2-0 and 2-1 against Stuart Dutton and lost 4-2, Sean Lambert came from two down to level and then from 3-2 down to square the game for a second time before losing 4-3. Then in the final game of the weekend Tim Daniels went 2-0 up against Terry Davis, lost the next two legs, then went 3-2 up with a 116 checkout but lost the last two legs. All of the last three players suffered on finishing doubles, just one more of those doubles would have been the difference between what was a draw and what could have been a win.
With just one more fixture to play, an away tie against third in the division Cleveland, Derbyshire must now resign themselves to the fact that next season they will be playing their third term in division three as they are some fourteen points adrift of their latest opponents and second in the table Buckinghamshire.