Salopian darts ended an eventful 2021 with an encouraging draw away at table topping Black Country in the Darts for Windows Division Three of the UKDA National League.

Indeed, it’s a testament to how well the Salopian darters played that there was disappointment that they didn’t emerge victorious from there weekend at Tipton.

 The key to Salopian’s success was the winning start that Salopian made in all four disciplines of the of the weekend’s matches. Tammy Walmsley (13.30, women’s ‘B’), Allison Gallacher (14.05, women’s ‘A’), Sacha Rothwell (22.38, men’s ‘B’) and Rob Paine (22.26, men’s ‘A’) all winning their respective opening matches with just two legs being conceded in all four matches.

From that platform Salopian flourished despite a 4-2 reversal in the women’s ‘B’where Julie Griffiths (15.95) secured the lady of the match ahead of Tammy Walmsley while Cheryl Owen (12.56) and Cally Jones (12.98) both losing in last leg deciders having had darts to win.

The men’s ‘B’ side secured an impressive 6-6 draw after four successive wins midway through the match which produced first Salopian wins for Steve O Callaghan (19.63), Dan James (24.86) and Kacey Jones (23.23) whilst Andy Gilbert (23.86) completed the quartet of wins with an impressive 3-0 victory. Paul Rowley, third on was the other winner with a man of the match average of 25.05 that ensured the men’s ‘B’ side never trailed in their match despite an overnight score of 10-8 in favour of the Black Country.

The overall lead was soon wiped after the ladies ‘A’ side took the first three matches without conceding a leg.  Evonne Taylor (15.18) and lady of the match Steph Clarke (19.78) backing up Allison’s opening match success. It took a brilliant performance from Chez Allcock (22.43) to give the Black Country there first point on Sunday which was doubled after the unfortunate Lisa Wills (12.79) lost for the second successive game in the deciding leg having had darts to win.  Sarah Roberts (19.07) took the final match 3-1 to ensure that Salopian ladies ‘A’ ran out 4-2 winners which left the overall match all square at 12 each.

After Robert Paine had put the Salopian men’s ‘A’ ahead, arguably the game of the day saw the Black Country level up through Reece Colley (32.85) who defeated John Roberts (29.19) in a match that took 18 darts or less in each leg.  Once again Salopian took the lead, this time thanks to Scott Dockerty (24.44) but only for the Black Country to level up once more through Trevor Brennon (26.03) before the pattern was repeated once more as Jon Mansell (27.26) starred again for Salopian before Owen Maiden (31.31) replied for the Black Country in some style.  For the fourth time in the match Salopian forged ahead through Daniel Astbury (28.63) but crucially James Carter (23.14) won the next and daylight appeared as Ash Hilditch (22.74) won the ninth to open up a three point lead for Salopian with three games to play. Joe Higgins (25.53) went all the way to a deciding leg before being denied by Dan Nicholls (25.98), the Black Country then took the final two games conceding just one leg and recording 23 plus averages to salvage an 18-18 overall draw.

Salopian had stood toe to toe with the Black Country and had answered a number of questions whilst putting their opponents under pressure forcing them to chase the game, a big first for them this season.