Glamorgan v West Midlands

After two consecutive seasons in the top flight of darts West Midlands reign has come to an end despite ending their campaign with a creditable 18-18 draw away to Glamorgan who finished fourth in the Premier Division of the BDO Inter County Championships.

The ladies ‘B’ only lost one of their opening seven fixtures recording three wins and two draws but the penultimate game of the season saw them go down 5-1 at home to Lancashire, a score that was repeated in the final fixture away to Glamorgan and yet first blood went to West Midlands as opener Shellbie Simmons beat Jan Robbins 3-2 after Robbins won the first and fourth legs. As Shellbie was the only winner the match award went to her for her 17.65 average.

Sophie Singh looked all set to double the West Midlands lead when she won the first two legs against Eve Watson but Watson in 19,20 and 21 darts won the following three legs for a 3-2 win.

Despite a 116 game shot in the third leg Kath Jenkins lost 3-1 to Donna Thomas and with a further 3-2 win from Joanne Pugh against Stella Sims a win for the West Midlands was beyond their reach.

The actual win came in the fifth for Glamorgan when Sandra Quinn won 3-1 against Heather Wright after Wright had won the first leg and with a similar 3-1 result Sam Bowen made it 5-1 to Glamorgan when she defeated Claire Hobbs.

Mick Baker gave West Midlands a winning start to the men’s ‘B’ game as he won in four straight legs against Ron Morgan but from one up they then trailed 2-1 as Dai Caller beat Scott Hall 4-1 and Sean Fisher won 4-0 against Alex Simmons.

Kevin Bambrick was the man to restore parity as he kicked off his game against Daniel Thomas with a 119 checkout in 18 darts and then went 2-0 up with a further 16 darts leg. Thomas won the third and Bambrick the fourth, the fifth went to Thomas but it was all over in the sixth when Bambrick checked out in 15 darts for a 4-2 victory.

Restoring the away teams lead was Shane Price, Price, like Bambrick began with a big outshot as he won the first leg on 108, he then lost the second leg to Ralph Barnett but won the following two and although his opponent levelled in the sixth Price won 4-3 with a double eight finish in the seventh.

By the break the score was 4-2 to West Midlands after Matthew Dicken added his 4-3 win over Tim Jones who had taken the lead three times.

Jonathan Platt (West Midlands) went ahead twice against Gareth Partridge but it was Partridge who got the eventual 4-3 result.

Neil Pointon was made to fight all the way for his 4-3 win against Hywell Manuel as Manuel with a 127 game shot won the first and levelled in the sixth with a tremendous 167 checkout, but it was Pointon who won the decider in 18 darts to put West Midlands 5-3 up.

Paul Wells had finishes of 116 and 100 against Dan Thompson but it was Thompson who got the 4-3 win to reduce the arrears to 5-4 and with a 4-2 success for Jeff Thomas against Mark Watkiss-Allen Glamorgan were back in the game on level terms at 5-5.

Although Gareth Johnston was pegged back to level terms three times by Dai Powell he went on to seal a 4-3 victory to keep hopes of a win alive for the away side, a win that was confirmed in style by anchor man Trevor Brennon who actually went 1-0 and 2-1 down to Wayne Davies but then won the fourth leg in 18 darts to level at two each then went ahead with a 130 outshot and rounded off a superb 4-2 win with a fantastic 151 game shot to give West Midlands men’s ‘B’ their third win of the campaign 7-5.

Without a win from their opening eight games the ladies ‘A’ team were hoping to end on a high and raising their hopes in the first game was Sarah Roberts. With four previous match awards under her belt Sarah chalked up a straight 3-0 win over Nicky Biddick in 21,18 and 20 darts to make it five match awards with a tremendous 25.47 average.

The West Midlands lead lasted for just one game as Glamorgan’s Chris Savvery beat Gemma Barrett 3-1 but only to see the visiting team take the lead again in the third when Lisa Badger won 3-0 against Claire Crocombe and with another 3-0 win from Kat McLean in the fourth over Michelle Jones the West Midlands were within a whisker of their first win of the campaign.

The fourth straight win of the match went to Glamorgan’s Rhian O’Sullivan when she beat Cheryl Alcock and in the final encounter despite Jacqueline Maiden winning the first leg against Alannah Waters-Evans it was the home player who got the 3-1 result to earn the hosts a share of the spoils.

 The men’s ‘A’ team have not enjoyed the best of season’s with six defeats and only two wins from their first eight games but their final match began well for them as Gavin Baker after leading 1-0 against Richie Edwards then went 3-1 down fought back to win 4-3. Shaun Carroll made it 2-0 with his similar 4-3 win over Clive Langford and again he had to fight for his win as Langford had gone 1-0 and 3-2 up.

Nick Fullwell was in top form as he began his encounter against David Rogers with a 13 darts leg hitting 140,100,100,137 and checked out on double twelve. He then, with top scores of 100,140 and 140 won the second in 14 darts and made it 3-0 when he added another 13 darts leg hitting 140,45,180.96 and finished on double twenty. Rogers recorded his one and only win in the fifth an 18 darts leg before Fullwell wrapped up a superb 4-1 win in 20 darts with a fantastic man of the match average of 33.33.

Glen McGrandle was another player in fine form as he handed out a 4-1 defeat to Leighton Jones, McGrandle recording a 26.51 average to take the score to 4-0 in West Midlands favour.

Game number five saw the home team chalk up their first win when Cavan Phillips beat John Morris 4-2 but by the halfway mark the score was 5-1 to the away team as Scott Baker added a 4-3 win over Wayne Davies to their tally. Baker was taken to a decider after Davies had gone 1-0 and 3-1 up.

As the second half got underway Graham Brooks pulled one back for Glamorgan with a 4-3 win over Shane Price but with 4-2 wins from Matthew Coleman and Owen Maiden over respective opponents Lloyd Browning and Keirion Carter West Midlands, with a 7-2 lead were home and dry.

Jeff Bass (Glamorgan) took a 2-0 lead over Mark Craddock and although Craddock then reversed the lead going 3-2 up it was Bass who won the last two legs for a 4-3 victory.

In the penultimate tie James Richards had a 4-0 win against Matthew Dicken and with Dale Hughes winning 4-2 against Ian Jones in the final game of the weekend the result was a 7-5 win for West Midlands.

The 18-18 draw was not enough for West Midlands to survive in the Premier Division as their 139 points was ten short of the team just above them Northamptonshire and so together with Cheshire they will play next season in division one.

Full Results:Premier Division:Glamorgan v West Midlands (18-18):\Glamorgan names first):Men’s ‘A’:- Richie Edwards 3 Gavin Baker 4, Clive Langford 3 Shaun Carroll 4, David Rogers 1 Nick Fullwell 4, Leigton Jones 1 Glen McGrandle 4, Cavan Phillips 4 John Morris 2, Wayne Davies 3 Scott Baker 4, Graham Brooks 4 Shane Price 3, Lloyd Browning 2 Matthew Coleman 4, Keirion Carter 2 Owen Maiden 4, Jeff Bass 4 Mark Craddock 3, James Richards 4 Matthew Dicken 0, Dale Hughes 4 Ian Jones 2, Men’s ‘B’:- Ron Morgan 0 Mick Baker 4, Dai Caller 4 Scott Hall 1, Sean Fisher 4 Alex Simmons 0, Daniel Thomas 2 Kevin Bambrick 4, Ralph Barnett 3 Shane Price 4, Tim Jones 3 Matthew Dicken 4, Gareth Partridge 4 Jonathan Platt 3, Hywell Manuel 3 Neil Pointon 4, Dan Thompson 4 Paul Wells 3, Jeff Thomas 4 Mark Watkiss-Allen 2, Dai Powell 3 Gareth Johnston 4, Wayne Davies 2 Trevor Brennon 4, Women’s ‘A’:- Nicky Biddick 0 Sarah Roberts 3, Chris Savvery 3 Gemma Barrett 1, Claire Crocombe 0 Lisa Badger 3, Michelle Jones 0 Kat McLean 3, Rhian O’Sullivan 3 Cheryl Alcock 0, Alannah Waters-Evans 3 Jacqueline Maiden 1, Women’s ‘B’:- Jan Robbins 2 Shellbie Simmons 3, Eve Watson 3 Sophie Singh 2, Donna Thomas 3 Kath Jenkins 1, Joanne Pugh 3 Stella Sims 2, Sandra Quinn 3 Heather Wright 1, Sam Bowen 3 Claire Hobbs 1.