Isle of Wight v Shropshire

Shropshire had a great start to the weekend in their away game against Isle of Wight in Division Four of the BDO Inter County Championships in fact they had a great weekend full stop!!

Saturday’s ladies ‘B’ game saw the lead change hands three times as Jenna Ball gave Shropshire first advantage when she won 3-2 against Donna Hall after Hall had come from one down to lead 2-1. Game number two was a similar story but in reverse as the home player Debra Collins won the first leg against Rose Jenks then lost the next two but went on to win 3-2 to level the match.

Isle of Wight took the lead in the third when Mandy Weldon beat Suzie Barnham 3-1 but their lead was short lived as Debbie Davies handed her opponent Angie Cotton a 3-0 defeat to once again square the game before Shropshire regained their lead with a 3-1 success for Julie Griffiths over Jackie Gardner, leaving the result hinging on the final game.

Lining up for Isle of Wight was Judi Angus and for Shropshire Caroline Powell, it turned out to be a very short sharp encounter as Caroline Powell romped to a 3-0 win and at the same time clinch her team’s match award for her 14.88 average and crucially give her team mates a 4-2 victory.

The men’s ‘B’ team hadn’t won since their opening day success against Tyne and Wear but began against Isle of Wight very brightly as they raced to a 5-0 lead. Lee Hodgkiss was Shropshire’s opener and began the quintet of wins with a 3-1 success over Brian Meszynski. On at number two was Robert Trumper who opened a 2-0 lead over Stephen Wilkes, was pegged back to 2-2 and then went on to win the deciding leg. Taking the score along to 3-0 was Mike Hampson who had a straight 3-0 win over Mark Breakspear before Martin Riggs made it 4-0 with a man of the match performance against Alex Hall, Riggs winning 3-1 with a 22.57 average.

Andy Gilbert lost his first leg to Jim Stevens then went 2-1 up and although Stevens levelled in the fourth Gilbert won the decider to make it 5-0.

As the first half drew to a close the home side got their first win when Jason Waite won 3-0 against Luke Griffiths.

As the second half got underway the deficit was reduced even further to 5-2 as Billy Meakins won 3-1 against Nathan Storar but then came two very similar games as Shropshire’s Jamie Lewis and Simon Pritchard in turn went one down to Chris Langdon and Leo Hall, but then both Lewis and Pritchard won the following three legs to win 3-1, Pritchard clinching his victory with a superb 100 outshot in the final leg to put the score beyond reach for the hosts as they now trailed 7-2.

The home team got their third winner in the tenth when Paul Francis won 3-2 against Martin East but that proved to be their last winner as Neville Quinton won 3-1 against Mark Whates and Andy Sandiford completed a fantastic 9-3 win for Shropshire with his 3-2 victory over Dale Grove.

Shropshire’s ladies ‘A’ team are fast becoming the division draw specialists as prior to the encounter they had drawn four of their seven games and against Isle of Wight they made it five from eight.

Sophie Fawcett gave Shropshire the perfect start, a straight 3-0 win over Michelle Harradine, then Allison Gallagher, after losing the first leg to Bonnie Bentley went 2-1 up was pegged back to 2-2 ad won the last leg to extend the visiting team’s lead to 2-0 and take the match award for her 3-2 win and 18.69 average.

Brenda Dyer pulled one back for the home side when she came from one down to Sue Lane and win 3-1 but only to see Shropshire go within one more win of victory when Marie Riggs had a straight legs victory over Ann Llewellyn.

Alas the win was not to be as the final two games, both of them finishing with 3-0 scorelines, went to Isle of Wight players Alison Rowe and Dawn Basill who in turn defeated Michele Pritchard and Deana Sheldon.

After beginning the season with four consecutive defeats the men’s ‘A’ team had chalked two wins and a draw in their last three games. They began well against Isle of Wight as Reece Cook-Lucas won 4-3 against Jim Lynott which included a terrific 158 game shot in the fourth leg for the Shropshire man. Andy Jervis took the score along to 2-0 with a 4-2 success over Stephen Harradine and with a further 4-0 win for Richard Parker at the expense of Jason Collins, Shropshire were 3-0 up.

Carl Hiscock was the host’s first winner beating Justin Evans 4-2 and with a 4-1 win for Callum Francis over Clive Lucking Isle of Wight were back in the game at 3-2. Despite the minor setback the visitors were 5-2 up at the midway point after Chris Fox had accounted for Tony Collins with a straight 4-0 result.

The second half, like the first saw Shropshire first out of the blocks as Martin Price went from one up against Sean Morrissey to 3-1 down, then win 4-3. Chris Williams had a no nonsense 4-0 win against Martyn Pegram before the away team’s award winner was declared in the shape of Rob Henderson. Henderson was pulled back to level terms twice by Graeme Dutton. After he had won the first leg in 22 darts he then won the third in 18, he rounded off his 4-2 victory with 20 and 13 darts legs in the fifth and sixth to give him a 27.03 average, his win taking Shropshire into an unassailable 7-2 lead.

A 4-0 win for Mark Edwards over Chris Hill reduced the arrears for Isle of Wight to 7-3 before Derek Coulson’s win over Peter Collins made it 8-3 for Shropshire. The final game of the weekend went to the home side as Darren Andrews won 4-2 against Brian Hickman to give a result of 8-4 to Shropshire and a tremendous overall win of 24-12 their biggest win since they won 26-10 in April 2016 when again their opponents were Isle of Wight.

Despite the big win Shropshire remain eighth in the table on 149 points and with just one remaining fixture at home against second in the division Middlesex it look as though that is where they will finish the season as they are eleven points ahead of next to bottom West of England and eleven behind the team above them Leicestershire.