Shropshire v Middlesex

Shropshire went into the final game of the season in division four of the BDO Inter County Championships on the back of two consecutive wins having enjoyed a far more successful season than they had last season with three wins and a draw from their previous eight fixtures as opposed to last season’s record of one win and eight defeats.

With their opponents vying for promotion lying second in the table to Clwyd the fixture was always going to be a tough one and that really was how it turned out.

Middlesex opened the ladies ‘B’ game with two 3-2 wins supplied by Katherine Dolman and Coreen Loffler over respective opponents Kirsty Jenks and Jenna Ball. Debbie Davies halted the visitors charge when she handed out a 3-1 defeat to Chloe Quelch but a 3-0 win for Louise Grannell against Rachael Mooney put Middlesex in an unbeatable 3-1 position.

The arrears were reduced in the fifth by lady of the match Caroline Powell. Caroline lost the first leg to Leah Nelson and then despite going 2-1 up she was taken to a deciding leg but won it with her opponent left stranded on 86. Caroline received the match award for her 18.51 average.

The final score was taken to 4-2 in the away team’s favour when Jenny Sallans beat Deana Sheldon 3-0 in the last game.

Mike Hampson was Shropshire’s opener in the men’s ‘B’ match and he gave them the best possible start as he chalked up a straight 3-0 win over Vern Sheppard. Alas that was the only highlight of the first half as Middlesex then claimed the following five games. A 3-1 win from Jamie Davis over Simon Pritchard began the quintet of wins with Ian Bartlett adding his 3-0 success over Andy Sandiford to their account then Dean Gregory and Scott Robertson with their close 3-2 wins in turn over Martin Riggs and Martin East made it 4-1 before Frankie Collopy made it 5-1 at the hallway stage with his 3-0 win over Luke Griffiths.

The second half began similar to the first as Shropshire won the opener, Pete Eley their second winner with a 3-1 scoreline against Tony Cox and with a 24.25 average the man of the match award went to Eley.

A 3-1 win for Adam Finch over Rob Trumper after Trumper had won the first leg took the Middlesex lead to 6-2 and although Jamie Lewis made it 6-3 with his 3-2 win over Luke Nelson the final score was taken to 9-3 as Chris Grannell won 3-1 against Neville Quinton and both Steve Dettmer and Martin Lukeman had 3-0 wins in turn against Lee Hodgkiss and Andy Gilbert.

The ladies ‘A’ have had quite a successful season with two wins, five draws and only one defeat but the Middlesex result was not one to be remembered. The match began with a 3-1 win for Vickie Kiely over Marie Riggs to put Middlesex one up. 3-0 wins from Sindy Stiles, Leanne Palmer and Jennette Wells over their respective opponents Sue Lane, Allison Gallagher and Sophie Fawcett took their lead to an unbeatable and winning 4-0.

Stephanie Clarke winner of five match awards this season for Shropshire won the first leg against Lisa Brosnan but it was Brosnan who finished the 3-1 winner and with a final 3-0 win for Margaret Sutton over Michel Pritchard the 6-0 win for Middlesex was complete.

The men’s ‘A’ match saw the opening three games all go in favour of the first throw advantage as Joshua Burksfield (Middlesex) beat Clive Lucking 4-2 then Rob Henderson levelled for Shropshire with his similar 4-2 win over Mick Seager.

The lead was restored for Middlesex in the third when their Mick Duggan accounted for Brian Hickman with a 4-1 result, then with a 4-2 scoreline Matt Finch beat Keith Allman to open up a 3-1 lead. Nevertheless by the break it was all square at three each as Shropshire’s Andy Jervis and Chris Fox in turn won 4-3 and 4-1 against Tony Field and Bradonn Monk.

For a third time the away side took the lead when in the second half opener Allen Bond won 4-0 against Chris Williams. However with another 4-0 scoreline Derek Coulson (Shropshire) not only defeated Craig De Almeida but also won the man of the match award for his 28.63 average with winning legs of 17,17,21 and 15 darts, this was Coulson’s fifth award of the campaign.

Making it four advantages to the visitors was George Wilkinson who had a 4-1 win against Reece Cook-Lucas only to see Richard Parker cancel out their lead for a fourth time as he won 4-2 against Steve Hyatt.

All square at 5-5 and two to play and in the penultimate game, for the first time in the match the home team took the lead as Martin Price after leading Brian Green 1-0, 2-0 and 3-1 went on to win the encounter 4-3.

The tie finished level at 6-6 when in the final game of the weekend Andy Turnbull (Middlesex) beat Chris Hill 4-1 giving an overall 26-10 win for Middlesex, Shropshire’s worst result of the season but they can take lots of satisfaction from the fact that they had better results this season and they also finished eighth which is their best finishing position since the 2015 – 2016 season when they finished sixth. There should be more confidence throughout the squad going into the 2019 – 2020 season after some fine performances this campaign.

Full Results:Division Four:Shropshire v Middlesex (10-26):Shropshire names first):Men’s ‘A’:- Clive Lucking 2 Joshua Burksfield 4, Rob Henderson 4 Mick Seager 2, Brian Hickman 1 Mick Duggan 4, Keith Allman 2 Matt Finch 4, Andy Jervis 4 Tony Field 3, Chris Fox 4 Bradonn Monk 1, Chris Williams 0 Allen Bond 4,Derek Coulson 4 Craig De Almeida 0, Reece Cook-Lucas 1 George Wilkinson 4, Richard Parker 4 Steve Hyatt 2, Martin Price 4 Brian Green 3, Chris Hill 1 Andy Turnbull 4, Men’s ‘B’:- Mike Hampson 3 Vern Sheppard 0, Simon Pritchard 1 Jamie Davis 3, Andy Sandiford 0 Ian Barlett 3, Martin Riggs 2 Dean Gregory 3, Martin East 2 Scott Robertson 3, Luke Griffiths 0 Frankie Collopy 3, Pete Eley 2 Tony Cox 3, Rob Trumper 1 Adam Finch 3, Jamie Lewis 3 Luke Nelson 2, Neville Quinton 1 Chris Grannell 3, Lee Hodgkiss 0 Steve Dettimer 3, Andy Gilbert 0 Martin Lukeman 3, Women’s ‘A’:- Marie Riggs 1 Vickie Kiely 3, Sue Lane 0 Sindy Stiles 3, Allison Gallagher 0 Leanne Palmer 3, Sophie Singh 0 Jennette Wells 3, Stephanie Clarke 1 Lisa Brosnan 3, Michel Pritchard 0 Margaret Sutton 3, Women’s ‘B’:- Kirsty Jenks 2 Katherine Dolman 3, Jenna Ball 2 Coreen Loffler 3, Debbie Davies 3 Chloe Quelch 1, Rachael Mooney 0 Louise Grannell 3, Caroline Powell 3 Leah Nelson 2, Deana Sheldon 0 Jenny Sallans 3.