Lionel Smith was a legendary Staffordshire (UK) darts player who is fondly remembered by many who played, and followed the game, in its first glorious era. Lionel was still playing county darts for Staffordshire (A) at the grand old age of seventy-five.
Lionel, born in July of 1928, lived to the ripe old age of 91, was an influence on generations of Staffordshire players latterly including the two Marks, Frost and Hylton.
Although his success at the elite level was limited to a couple of last 32 defeats, in the World Masters & British Professional Championships, though he claimed the British Internationals title in 1981.
His defeats, at the above events, were at the hands of ‘Big Cliff’ Lazerenko and Dave Whitcombe who could both be said to be at the peak of their powers the time.
Perhaps his most famed achievement was in winning the Bronze Bully in on the darts TV show Bullseye. This involved a professional (or highly regarded) player attempting to score more than 301 in nine darts. If they managed this the money was doubled and given to charity. Lionel scored 365 in his nine darts during the 1986-7 run of the show. He was also (comically) introduced as Eric Bristow’s Grandad!
Smith’s high standards of play, and conduct, over so many years endeared him to many. In 2012 Hylton paid tribute to his former mentor:
“Despite passing away in 2001 Lionel has often been in my thoughts since I joined the PDC. It was he who really encouraged me to take darts seriously and apply myself. Lionel represented England and twice reached the last 32 of the English Professional Darts Championships during the 1980’s golden era, he was defeated by Dave Whitcomb & Cliff Lazarenko respectively.”
“I played with Lionel for The Thorn Club in the early 1990’s, he was a gentleman and a darting great.”
For a number of years, after Lionel’s death, the Staffordshire Open was known as The Lionel Smith Open in tribute. Hylton continued:
“It gave me great pleasure to win the Staffordshire Open on many occasions and it would be lovely to think that it could once again carry the name of my friend Lionel Smith.”
Further evidence of Smith’s influence can be seen when even Martin Adams cites Lionel as an inspiration, this time because Lionel was still representing Staffordshire County A in 2001 at the age of 75!
I’ll leave it to three-time World Champion, fifty-eight at the time, to sum up Lionel Smith. Adams was quoted as saying:
“I’ll keep playing as long as possible. I look at a guy called Lionel Smith, who played top county darts for Staffordshire at the age of 75. If Lionel can do it, I can do it……”
Unsung Heroes aims to give credit to those who missed darts great golden era’s or who have been undervalued or slipped under the radar, with the passing of the years. We add a new hero every month and hop to build an outstanding archive of those who have contributed to our game.
(Lionel Smith’s edition first appeared in issue number 560 of Darts World magazine.)
Darts World’s regular look at those players whose career or contribution to the sport of darts may have been overlooked, under-credited or faded with time.
During a recent interview with Darts World magazine, three-time World Champion Glen Durrant raised an eyebrow or two when he stated that a certain player was in fact “a far better player than me”.
Although Durrant added that it was some time ago that he had battled with Chris Thompson, it was still a very generous compliment. So, who is ‘The Hitman’?
The story starts at the 1985 Yorkshire Boys Club Championships in Hunslet. Thompson, then aged just 13, was persuaded to enter and emerged as the champion, without dropping a leg!
A very talented young player, at the age of 16 and already standing over 6 feet tall, Thompson ventured into the pub leagues in York. He soon claimed the York individual title, beating a host of top local players including Barry Noble and Stuart Holden, earning himself an invitation to the Yorkshire Super League in the process.
After a couple of successful seasons, Mick Nixon, captain of Humberside, recruited Thompson to his county squad. This proved excellent experience for Thompson as he had the opportunity to play alongside high quality players such as Vijay Kumar and John Pickering. After a further season in the Yorkshire Super League, Thompson was then invited to join the full Yorkshire squad and he lent on his fellow player and friend, Stuart Holden, for advice:
“By this time Stuart Holden had become a close friend and advisor. He thought that it was too early for me to join Yorkshire and encouraged me to remain with Humberside. I took this advice and ended up playing over 50 games for Humberside. After a few more invites from Yorkshire, Stuart eventually advised me that the time was right for me to join the “big boys” at Yorkshire”.
Following six consecutive wins in the Yorkshire B Team, Thompson was promoted to the Yorkshire A-Team, a huge landmark in his career. He eventually went on to play over a hundred matches for Yorkshire and was made captain of a team that included the likes of John ‘Boy‘ Walton, Scott Waites, Martin Atkins and Garry Thompson, under the famed management of Peter Senior.
Thompson’s next career milestone was qualifying for the News of the World Grand Finals, beating Lancashire’s Paul Williams in the final qualifier, thus making his television debut.
In 2000 Thompson claimed the Yorkshire Classic beating John Walton in the final, whilst he also struck up a very successful pairs partnership with Martin Atkins, with whom he remains close, both as a player and a friend.
Whilst progressing in the BDO, Thompson had kept a close eye on the PDC circuit and in 2007 he ultimately decided that the prize money available was too enticing to ignore:
“I decided to leave the BDO circuit and concentrate on the PDC, this was the best move I ever made”.
In his second season in the PDC, Thompson reached the quarter-finals of the UK Open, losing out 10-5 to Vincent Van Der Voort. This proved a springboard to further success as he went on to reach eight pro-tour semi-finals, including “the most memorable day” of his darting career in Las Vegas. On that day he defeated Gary Mawson, Kirk Shepherd, Mark Walsh, Terry Jenkins, and Andy Hamilton.
In the quarter final the invincible Phil Taylor awaited. Thompson states that he “played the game of my life” in beating the ‘The Power’ 6-5, with an average of over 114 before losing to Simon Whitlock in the semi-final. The next day Taylor took his revenge beating Thompson 6-0, costing him a place at the World Matchplay.
Later that year ‘The Hitman’ reached the World Championships for the first time. His first-round opponent at the Alexandra Palace was Darts World columnist Colin Osborne who showed his experience in defeating the York man 3-1.
Subsequently, Thompson’s form dipped and he struggled, eventually losing his tour card. Sadly, efforts to try and win a new tour card were unsuccessful and he took the difficult decision to quit his career within the PDC.
‘The Hitman’ still plays locally once a week at his local pub The Green Tree in York and says:
“I really enjoy the social aspect of the local league again.
However, my will to win has never deserted me, and my opponent, whoever they are, will always get 100% from me, I have always played to win no matter what the circumstances.
People always ask me if I miss the darts and my response is always “a bit, but I miss the friends I have made, and the crack we had, a lot more”.
JR Lott with Chris Thompson
Originally published in Darts World Magazine (569) April 2020
Readers will be aware of the difficulties recently, and ongoing, experienced within the British Darts Organisation. We at Darts World have been reporting regularly on the matter and on the response from other organisations. Twice so far it has appeared that a new grouping would be formed but nothing quite materialised. In the meantime the WDF seemed to be stepping in to ramp up their own organisation. The Covid-19 Virus has limited that possibility for this year. Today we have received a press release from a new group known as Tri-Nations Darts. They have put forward a proposal for the future of grassroots darts within England, Scotland and Wales. The full statement is reproduced below. We wish them every success:
“A Path for the Future” Though no-one can know how long the Covid 19 crisis will last or how seriously the affects will have on our lives generally and or in darts specifically. However, the newly appointed executive of Tri-Nations Darts felt that the following statement of intent was appropriate at this time.
As we are all aware there has been considerable uncertainty concerning the future of the BDO these past few months and it’s a situation that worsened with the recent abdication of the majority of their directors. Without dwelling on the well-publicised reasons for this continuing uncertainty, members interests have clearly not been best served with the ongoing lack of transparency or information, more so since the publication of their latest accounts, during which even our own auditors questioned the company’s ability to continue as a going concern, a point perhaps endorsed further by these resignations.
As a direct consequence to the auditors alarming warnings, the Tri-Nations have been working these past few weeks to put together an alternative proposal which will hopefully provide a viable and sustainable future for grass roots darts in Britain.
This proposal has been very accurately costed to ensure all members can have that future free from the threats of possible litigation and significantly, free from the damaging consequences that all the recent adverse publicity has caused. If the members so choose, it will also allow us all to move forward together and when doing so protect the core events that we have all spent so many years enjoying and supporting. Without making any unrealistic promises we all feel – as a new entity, that the new beginning this proposal could provide will also hopefully afford all members of Tri Nations Darts to negotiate and explore fresh contracts and sponsorship possibilities and do so unsullied by the damaging reputation that currently dominates our side of darts.
We obviously accept these potential opportunities can only be explored if and once the proposal is accepted by a majority of the three country’s current county members, and once the level of support has been ascertained, we will at the earliest opportunity and “national crisis permitting” then organise a meeting to openly discuss everything in more detail.
In the meanwhile we do ensure everyone that we will update everyone with any progress and do so in the hope that everything if accepted it could mean everything is in place for the new season – September/October 2020.
Tommy Thompson (On Behalf of the Directors of The Tri-Nations Darts Ltd)
London started the New Year looking to stay in contention for promotion to the Premier Division. The first fixture of the decade saw them welcome league leaders Cheshire to the capital, as they sought to bounce back from a loss at Dorset in their previous match.
The Ladies B got London off to the ideal start with a 4-2 sectional win. Tammy Mackenzie (19.72) made sure the match award would be handed out in the opening contest of the weekend’s action with a solid showing. After trading the first two legs she dominated the third, and although the fourth could have gone either way she found the outer segment when it mattered to get the hosts up and running. Lynne Biondini (13.45) was soon two behind. She avoided the clean sweep but never got a chance in the fourth to send it to a decider. Joanne Deamer (19.25) lost the opening leg but from then on she found her form and promptly rattled off three straight legs, denying her opponent a dart at the double in any of them thanks to some heavy scoring.
Carly Townsend (19.34) was quickly two adrift, before a sustained burst on the big trebles secured leg three. She had a chance to break in the fourth, but couldn’t quite do so and the sides were level again. London then ended the session with two important wins. Jane Biggs (17.88) seized the initiative from the off, as she raced into a two leg lead with minimum fuss. The loss of leg three didn’t have any negative effect and the fourth leg proved to be a carbon copy of legs one and two. The match winning double ensured that Biggs kept her unbeaten record for the season. The last match of the opening stanza was the only one that went the full trip. The opening leg took some winning, but Nikki Patten (14.68) soon put that behind her and cracked in a lovely 80 finish to take the lead in leg three. The fourth went with throw, and the fifth did likewise which gave London a two point lead going into the second session.
The Men’s B then took centre stage and produced a brilliant team performance. John Hind (24.14) wasn’t at the oche for very long at all. The first two legs were quickly in the bag, and a second break of the match in the third was capitalized on as Hind sealed the deal one leg later. Danny Brown (22.54) started well, but then struggled in legs two and three to get a look in despite firing in a maximum in the second. He was able to sustain the scoring and an immediate break back in the fourth was the turning point. He held in leg five and broke again to finish it off in the sixth. John McDermott (23.65) was donning the famous black shirt for the first time. A 61 finish was enough to take the second leg in 15 darts, but he lost the next two to be on the brink of defeat. He dug in well, breaking the throw in leg five before smacking home a great 74 checkout to make it a one leg shootout. He didn’t have the throw however, and that was to prove decisive.
The narrow loss was to be the only one in the first six games of the session, as London went on a three game winning streak. Matt Crowley (24.74) scored well, and was clinical on the doubles as he took the point in minimum time. Another whitewash soon followed, Matt Wood (24.74) matched the average of his team mate and was never in much danger. The win came in some style as Wood banged in an impressive 110 to immediately follow two scores of 100 and above to saunter to the point. Chris Holt (24.29) had to work hard for his win. He flew out of the traps, starting with a maximum on his first visit and ending the leg just 9 darts later with a sublime 100 takeout. Only one of the next four legs went Holt’s way and it seemed that the fine opening would not yield its reward. He broke throw in the sixth and survived match darts in the finale before finding the outer ring when it mattered most.
A rare reverse on the day came in the seventh match. Shane Wilson (23.99) had no answer to some quality finishing. He was on the receiving end of a 75, 148 (to cap another 12 darter) and 61 in three legs on the bounce, the latter clinching the point for the visitors. London then kicked on with the next three points all going to the Capital’s finest.
George Killington (24.69) traded the first two legs of an even encounter, but was more assured at the business end as he completed the task at hand in leg five. Gene Hill (26.03) claimed the match award on the back of some solid scoring on the big trebles. He was equally efficient when it came to concluding each leg and did so without the need to go beyond the minimum four legs.
Matt Edes (23.06) fired home a nice 75 finish as the first three legs all went against the head. The pattern continued, as Edes produced a 14 darter to leave it all square with three to play. The first hold of the match saw him go one away, and he ended the match in grand fashion, knocking over 73 to break his opponent for the third time. Cheshire did get a third point in the penultimate match. Wayne Brown (20.84) saw the first five legs all go with throw. The only break came in the sixth which garnered the point. London rounded off the day with a win in seven legs. Matt Winzar (23.63) was embroiled in a see-saw battle, but throw was his in the last and he made full use of it to give London a superb 9-3 win in the section and send them into day two with a commanding 13-5 advantage.
Sunday’s play began with honours even in the Ladies A. Steph Stutley (20.31) carried on the momentum from the previous day with a comfortable win in straight legs. Mandy Solomons (20.25) started brilliantly to take leg one, and although losing the next three, on another day could easily have come away with the point in what was a very even contest. Cheshire then took the lead on the day, Debs Watling (16.63) not quite at her best as she was seen off in minimum time.
Joanne Deamer (16.48) was making her second appearance of the weekend. Holding throw wasn’t easy, neither player making use of being first to the oche as legs one through four all went against the head. The fifth could have done so too, as the winning double was proving very elusive. With both looking at the “Madhouse”, it was Deamer who struck the winning dart. The last two games of the session also went the duration. Shaz Deboo Costello (17.30)
looked to be in control as she broke in leg three for the advantage. She missed match darts in the fourth and that as to prove costly as more match darts went begging before Cheshire edged it. Tammy Mackenzie (20.70) was also taking to the stage on consecutive days, in a game where the player going first was in total command in each of the five legs. Mackenzie cracked in a quality 80 finish in leg three and her scoring gave her the platform to square the section and take the match award in the process to round off a memorable weekend.
London went into the Men’s A only needing three points for the overall win and the vital three bonus points. This they achieved, but Cheshire aren’t leaders of Division One for nothing and London were made to fight all the way, with the first four games of the session all needing seven legs before a winner was found. Tommy Sanwell (28.23) came back from a three one deficit, a 104 finish sending it to the seventh. He never got a look in at the death and the point went to the visitors. Matt Crowley (23.97) also fired in a 104 finish, on this occasion to bag the opening leg. He lost the next two before responding in kind. He couldn’t break in leg six to get the win, but he made full use of a slow start by his opponent in the last to claim his second point of the weekend. Conan Whitehead (28.38) was involved in a quality contest. After being two one up, he had to hold in the sixth to extend the match, but wasn’t able to get the vital break.
Freddie Box (28.04) raced into a three nothing lead and looked well set. The winning leg was proving elusive, despite keeping up the barrage on the trebles. Eventually he got his reward when he held in the last. Pip Blackwell (27.92) was another to smack in a ton plus checkout, a 12 darter in the second leg culminating with a brilliant 121. That was to prove the highlight however as he lost the next three on the bounce. The sixth game was another that went the distance. Lewis McGurn (26.54) served up yet another 12 dart leg as he took out 81 to square the contest in leg four. Legs five and six went with throw, as did the all important seventh which McGurn took without being pressured to give London those three bonus points.
Now it was a case of how many more points London could get to close the gap on their visitors at the top of the table. David Wawrzewski (24.93) was defeated without getting a leg on the board. Will Blackwell (24.44) was well in command, banging home an impressive 141 to go three nil ahead. He couldn’t cross the winning line in the next and the fifth saw both players miss leg darts before Blackwell nailed the double. Graham Rackstraw (24.39) looked all set to add to the Londoners win tally when he took the fourth leg with a 76 checkout to go one away. He was pegged back though and missed match darts to break for the win in the finale.
Michael Power (25.15) shrugged off a slow start, signing off with a 76 for a win in six. That was the last victory of the weekend for the hosts as Cheshire claimed the last two points on offer without dropping a leg. Jamie Green (22.49) was always chasing in his loss, and Nick Cocks (20.15) scored well but had real difficulty in locating the outer ring in his contest, as Cheshire took the section 7-5.
London ended up with a fine 21-15 win that keeps them bang in contention for promotion to the top tier.
London’s next fixture saw them make the trip to take on Cambridgeshire, who are always hard to beat in their own backyard.
The Ladies B once again gave London a good platform to work with, as they came away with a 4-2 win to stay top of their section. Jane Biggs’ (12.84) unbeaten run sadly came to an end, with a loss in four legs, despite firing in a 63 finish missed doubles in legs one and four were to prove crucial. London then assumed command with four straight victories. Mandy Solomons (21.78) claimed the match award with a classy display that was achieved in minimum time. Nikki Patten (15.89) put the visitors ahead. A lengthy third leg could have gone either way, but Patten kept her composure to take it and then kicked on with a dominant fourth leg to snare the point.
Carly Townsend (17.56) soon went two in front. She couldn’t break for the whitewash but ended the contest with a grandstand finish, cracking home a 104 for the win. Debs Watling (17.39) returned to winning ways, a composed performance yielding its reward in leg four. Michelle Fleming (16.43) started on the right foot, taking the opener but couldn’t keep the momentum going as she lost three on the spin.
Danny Faulkner (24.87) was first to toe the oche for the Men’s B. It looked as if he would bed on the wrong end of the decision, as he lost three of the opening four legs. Faulkner doesn’t give up without a fight however, and thanks to some improved scoring took the fifth and sixth without allowing his opponent a chance at the winning double. He then held in the last for the point. Jamie Green (17.81) never recovered after a sluggish opening leg. He did fire in London’s first maximum of the session in leg three, but had little else to shout about as he went down in straight legs. Danny Brown (23.08) sped into a three nil lead, showing a clinical composure on the doubles that his opponent was lacking. Despite losing the fourth, he soon regained the initiative and took the point in the fifth with real authority.
John Hind (25.21) kept up his good form with a battling win in seven. After losing the opening two legs, he roared back with a three leg burst of his own. He couldn’t hold throw in leg six to close it out, but a fine start in the decider followed by surviving match darts saw him cross the finishing line in front. Matt Winzar (22.79) led off with three perfect darts as he eased into a two one lead. A break of throw in leg five was critical and culminated with a third leg on the bounce against him to end it in the sixth. Matt Edes (21.60) banged in an 86 check in leg three, the first of four consecutive legs won against the throw. The pattern was reversed in the last as Edes succumbed without having a shot at the double.
Matt Wood (22.65) took the seventh game, some assured finishing saw him claim the win in the sixth leg, which was rounded out by a nice 52. John McDermott (23.47) is still searching for his maiden win, on this occasion he was defeated in the sixth leg. Chris Holt (20.73) looked all set to put another point in the London win column as held a three one advantage. His scoring eased and despite a good start in the finale on throw, the scores eluded him and the Cambridgeshire comeback was complete.
Wayne Brown (22.16) couldn’t prevent a third win on the trot for the hosts. He was soon three behind, but staged a recovery by winning the fourth and fifth. He wasn’t able to sustain the momentum and force a seventh leg. Gene Hill (29.68) took the match award for a second straight game. He fired home a 110 finish in the opening leg and broke for a two nil lead. He was pulled back to all square after four, but his scoring really kicked in and he sealed the deal in the sixth leg with a great 14 darter. The hosts took the final point on day one for a 7-5 sectional win. After looking dead and buried at three nil down, Dean Coughlan (24.37) showed real tenacity to hit back with three legs of his own to force the one leg decider. He couldn’t keep the momentum going against throw and didn’t get a chance for the winning double.
Day two began with the sides locked at nine apiece. The Ladies A fought hard to share the sectional spoils. Steph Stutley (19.63) scored well in the opening two legs which were shared, but couldn’t find the doubles from that point on. Lindsey Ashton (22.10) took the match award with a ruthless display. Ashton put herself in pole position with some heavy scoring and her efficiency on the trebles was matched when it came to hitting the doubles. The whitewash was duly completed with a 77 finish. Tammy Mackenzie (14.35) overcame the loss of a laboured first leg, taking the next two in much better fashion. The fourth went with throw, as did the fifth to edge the visitors back in front.
Another game to go the trip was the fourth match of the morning session. Shaz Deboo Costello (16.64) lost the opening two legs, but a brilliant 80 in the third was followed by a hold in an edgy fourth leg. She was always chasing in the last before eventually losing out. Joanne Deamer (20.02) banged in an 80 checkout of her own for a two nil lead, before closing it out in the fourth. The last game went to the hosts, Nikki Patten (17.37) was in a close game but had no answer to some good finishing.
So it was all still all to play for going into the final stanza. The Men’s A took three of the opening four matches. Tommy Sanwell (27.48) quickly established a three nil lead, and completed the job in the fifth. The next game also went five legs, but his time London were on the wrong end of the scoreline with Will Blackwell (28.29) losing out in a high scoring encounter. Matt Crowley (27.26) took the first three legs, and then missed darts for a clean sweep. Some fine finishing forced his opponent back into the contest and set up a tense finale. Crowley held his nerve, and the throw as he took out 60 for the point.
Michael Power (22.77) gave London a two point cushion, with a win in straight legs without being pushed too hard. The fifth game saw the best leg of the weekend. Nick Cocks (26.49) followed on from holding the opener with a brilliant 11 dart leg against the throw (180, 140,100,81). There was an immediate break back and legs four to six all went with the man going first. Cocks had the advantage at the death and a maximum set up what looked to be the match winning throw in his next visit. However, he could only watch on helplessly as his opponent pulled out a 170 finish from out of nowhere to grab an unlikely victory from the jaws of defeat.
The loss temporarily rocked London who lost the next two games. The sixth game also went the distance. Graham Rackstraw (25.87) held sway at two nil but found himself all square after four. He broke in leg five but couldn’t close it out in the next, and Cambridgeshire again came back from three two down to bag the point with a hold in the last leg.
Dan Day (26.61) was looking good at two one up, but lost three on the bounce as Cambridgeshire took the overall lead. London then showed why they deserve to be in the promotion mix. Freddie Box (28.86) overcame the loss of the opener on throw to hold in the next. He then assumed total control, regularly hitting the big trebles and completing a four leg win streak in style, only needing 44 darts in the last three of those and ending in style with a fine 81 checkout. Pip Blackwell (26.03) roared into action, banging home a 111 in the first leg. The second went his way but he was quickly pulled back to two apiece. Blackwell upped the scoring ante in the fifth, and a 95 finish saw the match winning break in leg six.
Ben West (26.17) looked all set to secure London a share of the spoils, taking three of the first four legs. This time it was the hosts who elevated the scoring rate and West was on the wrong end of a three leg run to leave the match in the balance and all tied up with just two matches remaining.
The tension was at fever pitch as Lewis McGurn (28.86) stepped up for the penultimate match. It didn’t start well, as opponent Dennis Harbour found his rhythm to take the first two legs. With both players finding the trebles almost at will, McGurn then rattled off three on the bounce to go ahead. Harbour smacked in a 121 in the sixth to set up a high pressure decider. McGurn wasn’t fazed though. The last leg was nip and tuck before McGurn rose to the occasion and took out 78 for a vital win which ensured London would get a draw at worst.
It weas now down to Lee Cocks (26.79) to try and get the overall win. After establishing a two nothing lead, legs three and four were traded. Cocks then took the match winning point against the head in the fifth, the 84 finish to close the match out a fitting end to a great match played out by two fine teams.
London stay in third on bonus points, and are just two points behind second placed Cheshire. Next up is a home fixture against Staffordshire on 29th Feb / 1st March. They then face West Midlands away (28th/29th March) and Humberside at home on 25th/26th April.
London will be playing their home games at Plumstead Common WMC, 71 Kirkham Street, Plumstead, London SE18 2JS. Entry for each home fixture is by wristband only, costing £4, which gives you admission for both days along with a match programme. The start time on both days is 11am. Hot and cold food will be available all day with drinks at club prices. All are welcome to come and support London’s finest in what should be a thrilling end to the season.
London’s youth were defeated 12-3 at home to Sussex in their latest fixture. Their remaining games are; 23 Feb, Essex; 15 Mar, Kent; 5 Apr, Sussex; 3 May, Essex
MEN’S SUPER LEAGUE
With four rounds to go, reigning Champions Welling A are top of Division One on 77 points. Woolwich Ferry will still harbour hopes of dethroning the title holders, but have five points
to make up. Plumstead are third (70), followed by Romford A (64), Wood Green (63), Bethnal Green (48) and Lewisham (47), Bermondsey prop up the division on 33 points.
Woolwich head up Division Two with 89 points, and only need 13 points from their remaining fixtures to take the crown. Welling B (73) aren’t giving up the chase just yet. Romford B come next (68). Following them are Chadwell Heath (65), Clapton (54), Greenwich (50) and Southwark (42). Vauxhall (32) look like they will be holding the wooden spoon.
LADIES SUPER LEAGUE
Edmonton look set to retain their title in the Ladies Super League. Their tally of 81 points gives them a virtually unassailable lead of 23 points over The Nobodies, who occupy second spot. Wanderers (57) and Booshes (55) will ensure a three way tussle over the runners-up place. Ninjas (43) and Clapton (25) are next.
A superb reader submission detailing the local rivals clash from the perspective of both teams. Our thanks to Steve Chapman for the lengths he has gone to here:
DEVON returned to winning ways at the expense of their cross-Tamar rivals Cornwall in the premier division of the British Inter County Championships, a result which keeps them in fifth place, just two points behind fourth-placed Glamorgan.
The ladies’ B side laid the foundations with a 5-1 success, inspired by a 3-1 victory from lady-of-the-match Anna Johnson (20.96) in the opening set.
Sarah Brown (16.41) and Cat Callard (13.49) both won 3-1 while Hayley Brant (18.33) and Michelle Andrews (15.99) came through without dropping a leg.
But that advantage was soon wiped out when the Men’s B side had a meltdown and lost the opening five sets of their fixture.
Danny Bull (25.27) halted the slide with a confident victory followed by John Burton (26.54) who also won 4-1, with his best legs being won in 13 and 15 to edge Devon in front at 7-6.
Only Kevin Burns (26.34) and Dave Lake (23.81) were successful from the last five sets but despite, an 8-4 win for Cornwall, the teams were all square at 9-9 overnight.
Lisa Hughes (20.79) put the first point on the board for Devon at the start of the Ladies’ A fixture on the Sunday and Maria O’Brien (25.05) followed with a lady-of-the-match performance when winning 3-0 in 21, 18 and 21.
Cornwall took the next two, only for Karen Matthews (17.27) and Chrissie Kinnaird (19.09) to both win 3-2, Kinnaird coming back from a 2-0 deficit. That 4-2 success put Devon 13-11 up and it was a race now to the match-winning mark of 19.
The Men’s A side did not have the best of starts and only Lee Hellings (23.14) was a home winner after the first four matches were played. Mark Shears (28.55) (pictured) began the revival with a man-of-the-match performance which brought a 4-2 victory in 16, 17, 21 and 16 followed by an equally good performance from Paul Milford (27.97) who emerged a 4-1 winner in 17, 21, 17 and 16.
Those two points put Devon back in the driving seat at 16-14 but the scoreline became 17-17 when Cornwall won two of the next three with only Neil White (23.36) delivering for the hosts. It was getting close to crunch time now but Devon made sure of at least a draw when Mike Pearce (25.06) steadied the ship to win 4-2 before newly selected England international John Mann (27.40) got the all-important 19th point when winning 4-2 in 18, 13, 20 and 19.
Cornwall had the last shout, but Devon had come through a very close encounter to win 19-17 and consolidate their mid-table position. Devon have arguably their hardest fixture of the campaign next when they travel to Yorkshire over the weekend of February 21/March 1.
From the other side of the fence!
CORNWALL remain in a relegation fight after they went down by the narrowest of margins against rivals Devon in the premier division of the British Inter County Championship.
They did not have the best of starts when Joe-Anne Symons (15.93) proved to be their only winner in the ladies’ B encounter but the Men’s B side responded admirably.
David Mills (22.29), aided by a leg in 14, won 4-1 followed by a 4-0 success for George Jones (26.03) who hit two maximums in a 15-darter.
Steve (Tex) Thomas (23.86) maintained Cornwall’s impetus when winning 4-0, aided by a 15-dart leg which he finished with a kill of 110 before Martin Smith (23.39) and Mike Beard (22.25) both won 4-1 with Beard hitting a checkout of 107.
Cornwall now led for the first time, but Devon began their revival by winning four of the next five with only Danny Robinson (24.44) showing any resistance, emerging a 4-0 winner which began with an 18-darter which he finished with an outshot of 156.
But the visitors rallied again through Chris Eustice (23.14) and Josh Symons (22.74) to pull off a well deserved 8-4 success which brought the two sides level overnight at 9-9.
The Ladies A side went down 4-2 but they were unlucky not to get anything from the last two sets which both went the full distance.
Sue Shepherd (24.39) won 3-1 in 16, 16 and 20 while Sarah Gill (16.58) won 3-2.
Neil Dudbridge (22.78) claimed the first point of the Men’s A fixture with a 4-2 success and although the second set went to Devon, Cornwall responded by taking the next two in style.
Kevin Bray (28.99) won 4-2 in 18, 15, 18 and 16, aided by a checkout of 122 and was just pipped to the man-of-the-match award by Neil Meneer (29.32) who won 4-2 in 16, 15, 16 and 18.
Devon responded by taking three of the next four with only Gareth Griffiths (27.09) adding to Cornwall’s tally when winning 4-1 with his best leg coming in 14.
Cornwall now trailed 15-16 with five to play and were desperate to get at least a draw from the fixture but sadly they fell short.
Dennis Bryant (28.10) hit a 14-darter in a 4-1 victory but the match was already lost before Simon Knowles (25.12) won 4-1 with his best game coming in 15 which he finished with a checkout of 120.
A 19-17 defeat was hard to take, and the loss has plunged Cornwall into the bottom two, eight points clear of safety. But the team immediately above them is Lincolnshire and Cornwall have every advantage to turn the tables on them when they host Lincolnshire over the weekend of February 29 / March 1.
Fortress Pennydarren again came into play against Lincolnshire in Glamorgan’s latest BICC Premier Division Match, with an overall result of 24-15.
The Ladies B lost 2-4, the win’s coming from Lady of the Match Michelle Jones 3-0 with a 19.03 average (hitting a 180 in the game) and Sue Hall 3-2 with an 18.43.
The Men’s B managed a 6-6 Draw, with win’s for Jeff Thomas 4-1 (23.97), Ralph Barnett 4-3 (23.32), Dan Thomas 4-0 (27.08), Dan Thompson 4-3 (24.12), Jeff Bass 4-1 (21.81) and Man of the Match Gareth Partridge 4-1 with a 27.13 average.
The Ladies A had their best result of the season with a 5-1 win against a strong Lincolnshire outfit win’s from Chris Savvery 3-2 (21.32), Lady of the Match Rhian O’Sullivan 3-0 with a 27.33 average, Rhian also hit two 180’s for good measure, Alannah Waters-Evans 3-1 (18.99), Jan Robbins 3-2 (20.77) and Claire Crocombe3-0 (15.18).
The Men’s A completed a great Sunday performance winning 8-4, their win’s coming from David Rogers 4-2(25.62), Lloyd Browning 4-1 (24.53), Man of the Match Shaun Dibbs 4-3 (28.99), Dale Hughes 4-1 (27.02),Dai Caller 4-0 with some excellent finishing to average 27.83, Wayne Davies 4-1 (28.85), Tim Jones 4-2 (28.40) and James Richards 4-0 (27.83).
In the Men’s B there were 180’s for Jeff Thomas (2), Dan Thomas (2), Keirion Carter (2) and one each for NeilParry, Ralph Barnett, Gareth Partridge and Clive Langford. With Ton plus finishes from Jeff Thomas 134,Ralph Barnett 121,Dan Thompson 120, Richie Edwards 110, and Josh Lloyd 100.
In the Men’s A there were 180’s for Lloyd Browning (3), David Rogers (2), Shaun Dibbs (2), and one each for Mike Huntley and Tim Jones. Ton plus outs came from Dai Caller 141 and 109, Dale Hughes 152 and David Rogers 100.
The Men’s League Premier Division Pontypridd are building up a lead at the top on 62 points followed by Maesteg. In second on 55 pts, Cwm Rhondda are third on 53pts but have a game in hand and Swansea A are fourth on 46.
In the First Division Porthcawl have the lead on 39 points, Swansea B are second on 33pts but have a game in Hand, Caerphilly are third on 32pts with Tonyrefail fourth on 30pts.
Leading the average table is Mike Huntley of Maesteg 36.03 Dynamic Average, second is Dale Hughes of Pontypridd on 35.87 D/A, third is Tim Jones of Briton Ferry A on 35.67 D/A and fourth is Rob Owen of Maesteg On 35.47 D/A.
The Ladies League has Valleys at the top on 38 points, Tonyrefail are second on 32, third are Swansea A30, Swansea B are fourth on 28 but have two games in hand, Kenfig Hill and Upper Afan Valley are on 24 pts But have one game in hand.
Leading the average Table is Rhian O’Sullivan (Swansea B) 28.47 Dynamic Average second is Eve Watson(Swansea B) on 26.13 D/A and third is Alannah Waters-Evans (Swansea B) on 26.09 D/A.
Dates for your Glamorgan Diary
28th /29th March BICC Northamptonshire (Home) Pennydarren Social Club
Fresh off the back of two consecutive wins in division three of the BDO Inter County Championships Derbyshire played a rearranged home tie with Merseyside, a game originally scheduled to be the season’s opening fixture.
Saturday’s ladies game did not have the best of starts for Derbyshire as Adel Mulligan gave the visitors first blood with a 3-1 win over Sara-Jane Harrison. Tracy Morrison doubled Merseyside’s lead with her 3-2 win over Louise Rawson, after Louise had gone 2-0 up. A 3-0 win for Janet Hardman against Emily Jones meant that the away side were in an unbeatable position leading 3-0.
Rachel Ayres stopped the rot when in game number four she beat Sandra Rule 3-1 and with a lady of the match performance from Nicola Fletcher (16.97) when she won 3-1 against Julia Bain Derbyshire were still in with a shout for a draw.
Last on for the hosts was Marie Leahy vs Viv Cullimore. Marie won the first leg but then lost the second she went ahead again in the third only to miss out on her finishing doubles in the last two legs allowing her opponent to go on and win 3-2 to give the visitors the 4-2 result.
Men’s ‘B’ like the ladies ‘B’ were also slow starters as John Crossley, Paul Ford and Dan Nuttie in turn all won 3-1 against Darron Brown, Benjamin Holmes and Dan Ford to give Merseyside a 3-0 lead.
In game four Paul Williams put Derbyshire’s first stripe on the board coming from one down against David Powell to win 3-1 and with a similar game whereby he lost the first leg and won the following three Ian Allcock defeated Ade Heathcote to reduce the deficit to 3-2.
By the end of the first half it was all even as Steve Thompson (Derbyshire) despite being pegged back to level terms twice by Mike Addison won the encounter 3-2 with winning legs of 16, 18 and 26 darts to give him a man of the match award winning average of 26.64.
The second half began with Merseyside taking the lead once again as David Harnick after trailing 1-0 to James Parkin and then being taken to a deciding leg won 3-2 and with a 3-1 win for Philip Bennett over Andy Cass the hosts men’s ‘A’ team found themselves 5-3 down.
Lee Cropper kept Derbyshire’s hopes alive when he won 3-1 against George Bell and with a further 3-2 success for Andrew Houghton who won his game against John Prescott with a 115 game shot it was all square at 5-5 with two to play.
In the penultimate game the home side took the lead for the first time in the match when Dale Gadsby beat Jason Chisnall 3-1 but with a final 3-0 win for Alan Magee (Merseyside) over Colin Rich the final score was levelled at six each.
The home teams ladies ‘A’ had a cracking start as Jackie Sweet kicked off proceedings with her 3-2 win over Sandra James after James had gone 1-0 up and drawn level in the fourth. Making it 2-0 to the hosts was Rose Mort who handed out a straight 3-0 defeat to her opponent Claire New. Taking the score nicely along to 3-0 was Rebecca Hoyland, Rebecca’s 3-1 win against Julie Whelan guaranteeing her team mates at the worst a share of the spoils.
Emma Barlow was Merseyside’s first winner as in game four she won 3-1 against Rachel Bird, however the all-important fourth and match winning game was put up in the fifth when Jane Densley added her clear-cut 3-0 win over Vicki Lloyd to the home team’s account. Jane making a most welcome return to Derbyshire this term went one up in 21 darts and rounded off her win in 17 and 18 darts to give her a superb award winning average of 26.84, her second award in the four games played so far.
The last game went to the visitors as Laura Thompson won 3-0 against Terri Bellamy after the home player had struggled on finishing doubles. The final score 4-2 to Derbyshire.
With two draws and one defeat the men’s ‘A’ were without a win so far this season. As the game got underway the first four games all went against the darts as Sean Lambert gave Derbyshire a win in the opener when he beat Craig Winstanley 4-1 then Lewy Williams cancelled out the win when he won 4-0 against Lee Stanley only to see the home side go ahead again in the third when Nigel Daniels not only won 4-2 against Clive Rule but also win his team’s match award for his 26.88 average in which he had winning legs of 20,21 and 16 darts before rounding off his win with a tremendous 14 darts leg hitting 22,140,180 and 99 before checking out on 60.
After losing the first leg to Steve Gow, Gary Fenn then went 2-1 up but with Gow winning the next three Fenn eventually went down 4-2. It was at this point that the sequence changed and Merseyside took the lead for the first time when Joe Palfreyman beat Ryan O’Connor 4-2, O’Connor like Gary Fenn coming from one down to 2-1 up before losing.
Lee Arkwright (Derbyshire) opened up leads of 1-0,2-1 and 3-2 against Robbie Gorst but he was unable to capitalise on his lead as Gorst won the last two legs for a 4-3 win giving his team a 4-2 lead at the break.
Michael Ryall reduced the arrears for Derbyshire when he began the second half with a straight 4-0 win over Kevin Lloyd and it looked as though the game would go to 4-4 when John Elliott went 2-0 up against Martin O’Boyle but it was O’Boyle who got the 4-2 verdict to take Merseyside’s advantage to 5-3.
Henry Coates had a similar game to John Elliott as he won the first two legs against Johnny Brammeld and then lost the following four to see the away team move to within an ace of victory.
A man of the match performance from Richard Hanson delayed any celebrations that the visitors may have had as he handed Kieron Stringer a 4-0 whitewash chalking up a 27.83 average as he checked out in 15,18,21 and 18 darts with a tremendous 154 game shot in the fourth.
The winning seventh game was added to Merseyside’s account when Anthony Hitchmough beat Connor Hodgkinson 4-0. Another 4-0 result for Dave Richards over Matt Faulkner in the final game of the weekend ensured Merseyside (men’s ‘A’) won the match 8-4 giving them an overall 20-16 win for the weekend.
Despite the defeat Derbyshire moved up four places from the foot of the table, encouragement to go on and do better things in the five remaining games.
Glamorgan still hold third spot overall in the BICC Premier Division despite losing 14-25 away at Lancashire, After an early start, the Ladies B were first to the Oche and struggled with only one hour to practice losing 2-4, wins from, Lady of the match, Eve Watson 3-2 (18.53) and Nicola Biddick 3-2 (16.85).
The men’s B got a 6-6 draw with win’s from Captain Richie Edwards 4-3 (24.99), Ralph Barnett 4-1 (25.55),
Tim Jones 4-2 (26.94), Keirion Carter 4-1 (25.72), Man of the Match Mark Challenger 4-0 (29.47) and Dai Caller
4-2 (26.99). There were 180’s for Neil Parry (2), and one each for Mark Challenger and Dai Caller and ton plus finishes for Mark Challenger 102 and Ralph Barnett 100.
The ladies A also had a 2-4 defeat their win’s coming from Lady of the match Chris Savvery 3-0 (20.88) and Rhian O’Sullivan 3-1 (16.97).
The Men’s A got off to a flyer with first on Graham Brooks getting Man of the Match with a 4-0 win and a 31.31 average, Cavan Phillips followed with a 4-2 win (27.05), Sean Fisher had a 4-0 victory (29.47), Lancashire took the next five sets before Dale Hughes won 4-2 with a 28.61 average.
There were 180’s for Graham Brooks, Shaun Dibbs, Mike Huntley, Lloyd Browning, Dale Hughes and Jeff Bass,With ton plus finishes for Lloyd Browning 112 and Dale Hughes 110.
Glamorgan have two away games next at Yorkshire and Warwickshire.
The men’s Premier Division is lead by Pontypridd on 48 points, second are Maesteg on 46 pts with Cwm Rhondda third on 41 pts, holding a game in hand, fourth are Briton Ferry A on 37 pts.
In the First Division Porthcawl have the lead on 34 points, Swansea B are second on 27 pts, but have a game in hand, also on 27 points are Tonyrefail and Caerphilly both having played eight games.
Leading the average table is Dale Hughes of Pontypridd 35.06 Dynamic Average, second is Mike Huntley of Maesteg on 34.93 D/A, third is Rob Owen of Maesteg on 34.76 D/A and fourth is Tim Jones, of Briton Ferry A, on 33.65 D/A.
The Ladies Super League sees Valleys at the top on 26 points, Tonyrefail are second on 22, third are Swansea B on 20, with a game in hand, Kenfig Hill and Upper Afan Valley are next on 18 and Swansea A, who also have a game in hand, are on 15.
Leading the average Table is Rhian O’Sullivan (Swansea B) 25.81 Dynamic Average second is Michelle Lloyd
(Kenfig Hill) on 24.48 D/A and third is Alannah Waters-Evans (Swansea B) on 24.42 D/A.
The Merthyr Open
This event saw the Champion and Runner up in the World Championship at the O2, do battle, just a few days earlier, at Merthyr Labour Club. Jim Williams came out on top beating Wayne Warren 6-3 in the Final.
Losing Semi Finalists: Nick Fullwell (Lincolnshire) and Rhys Griffin (Glamorgan).
Losing Quarter Finalists: Liam Johnson (Glamorgan), Gareth Dunn (Glamorgan, Kevin Thomas (Glamorgan) and Mark Layton (Breconshire).
Last 16: were Scott Bayliss, Brian Flew, Mark Challenger, Richard Langlois, Richie Burnett, Johnny Haines, Liam Meek and Geraint Thomas.
The Club would like to thank everybody for turning up and making the day a success and look forward to seeing you all next year.
The Bargoed Labour Club Open took place on New Years Day with a very good field and quality darts thrown all day.
The furthest Lady was Sue ‘sosage’ Price from Rhaeader, losing Semi-Finalists were Neil Lewis and Mark Layton.
Runner Up: Alex Small
Winner: Chris Aubrey.
Dates for your Diary
8th / 9th February BICC Yorkshire (Away)
15th February Hills Plymouth Cricket Club, Merthyr
After two away matches Gwynedd are still looking for that first overall win of the season, their October home match versus Nottinghamshire has been re-arrange for mid-November.
The latest setback came when they narrowly lost 19 – 17 on their visit to Kent at the start of November, following on from a 24 – 12 defeat in their opening encounter of this term away at Gwent, however, not to be too despondent with this start both these Counties leading the way at the top of Division 2 after their 3 matches.
Despite being on the wrong end of the final scoreline at Kent only one of the four teams suffered defeat, as the Men’s ‘A’ won 8 – 4 with both ladies challenges ending in draws, however, the difference they could not make up was the 9 – 3 loss of the Men’s ‘B’ side.
The Weekend at the Six in One Club in Tonbridge started with the Welsh ladies sharing the spoils in the ‘B’ encounter with the Gwynedd three wins coming through efforts of Karen Tiller 14.83, Jacky Blanks 16.28 and Emily Mitchell 17.92, but from then on it was a difficult opening day for the Welsh side winning only three more sets against a strong Kent Men’s ‘B’ side which saw three of their players averaging over 28.00 plus. Paul Redmond 24.39, Gwyn ap Tomos 23.04 and newcomer Stuart Butler 21.91 were their three successful throws in a match that Gwynedd fluffed their lines in a couple of sets which were there for the taking that would have made a major difference in the overall match result in the end.
Sunday saw the ladies share the spoils again, which helped the home County to maintain their six sets advantage from the first day, Lisa Hughes 17.89, Gaynor Williams 16.40 and Jac Leggatt 15.38 on the winning mark for the travelling side here.
However, when the Gwynedd Men went board on that second day the made a strong inroads into that Kent lead when the raced into 5 – 0 lead in hour and 10 minutes dropping only one leg in the prosses, after victories for James Dorenbos 26.03, Richard Protheroe 26.72, Paul Redmond 25.05, Gareth Parry 25.69 and Kelvin Ducklin 28.66, but the home side kept their composure to win four out of the last seven sets they required to clinching the three bonus points, that fourth win coming in the final set when their thrower Paul Reid hit a brilliant 32.32 average for his 4 – 0 win, Deian Roberts 25.69, John Downs 24.25 and Peter Ward 26.72 were Gwynedd three other winners in an enthralling contest.
Well, it’s on now to that home encounter with Nottinghamshire on 16/17th November followed by another long trip to Reading this time to play Berkshire at the end of the month.
In the Gwynedd Superleagues, Champions of two seasons ago Conwy Valley Warriors lead the way in Division One of Men’s league with a total of 36 points from 7 matches with Castle ‘A’ Abergele in second spot on 29 points after 6 matches with Foelas ‘A’ Pentrefoelas third on 26 points also from 6 matches.
Porthmadog side Clwb Llyn Bach are the frontrunners in Division Two of Men’s league, with 35 points from their 6 matches, with Anglesey side Gwalchmai Hotel second also with 35 points but from 7 matches, Railway Club Holyhead are in third spot after collecting 28 points from 6 matches.
Kelvin Ducklin of the Caernarfon Rebels has the highest average of 31.31, while Gary Black (Conwy Valley Warriors) holds the fastest leg of 12 darts and Noel Coward (Clwb Llyn Bach) the highest finish of 167.
Foelas Arms Pentrefoelas are in pole position in the Women’s Superleague, after winning 7 of their 9 matches, drawing the other two, which has giving them a total of 39 points, seven points in front of Wellmans Llangefni and Penbont Llanrug who hold second and third spots respectively.
Lisa Hughes (Twthill Caernarfon) has the highest average of 24.24, she also holds the fastest leg of 17 darts with Cerian Prysor (Foelas) and Gaynor Williams (Wellmans). Jacky Blanks (Penbont) has the highest finish of 123.
The 18th Gwynedd Open will be held on Sunday 26th January 2020 at Wellmans Club Llangefni on the Isle of Anglesey (sponsored by the Wellmans Club in conjunction with Red Dragon) with a total prize fund of £3,000.00 shared out as follows – Winner – £1,200.00, Runner-up – £500.00, Joint 3rd – £225.00, Joint 5th – £100.00, Joint 9th – £50.00. also, Furthest Ladies prize of £50.00. Entry Fee £10.00.
Inspirational Rhian Griffiths helps flawless Gwent stay on top of British Inter-Counties Championship Division Two, WALES star Griffiths led from the front as Gwent continued their excellent start to the British Inter-Counties Championship season with a 23-16 victory over Surrey to maintain their perfect record and remain top of Division Two.
Griffiths, from Ebbw Vale, showed her international class with a stunning 30.67 average in a 3-0 win to get Gwent up and running on day two of the match.
The hosts led 11-7 overnight in Hafodyrynys after the B teams had come out on top on day one.
Brynmawr’s Jackie Norman won the ladies’ player of the match award for her triumph, while there were also wins for Newport duo of Mandy Cosslett and Megan Vodden and Golddiggers Ceri Stephens to secure a 4-2 victory against strong opposition.
The men followed up the ladies’ achievements despite losing the opening three matches of their tie.
Stephen Cake, Paul Linwood, Paul Cosslett, the returning Corey Evans and debutant Mike Fleet dominated their opponents to claim a 7-5 win and take the B team top of their respective division.
Gwent took a four-point advantage into day two and it was on-fire Griffiths who inspired all 18 women men in the A team’s victories.
With Griffiths claiming the all-important opening point of the day, Tracey Hickey followed up her superb midweek Super League success with another solid performance in a 3-2 win.
The other Gwent ladies played well, although a talented Surrey outfit narrowed the overall gap to just 13-11 heading into the men’s A games.
It was the two best men’s A teams going head-to-head, and Gwent’s Ryan Palmer, Alec Small and Bryan Flew showed incredible mental strength to win three of the fixture’s closest games to see the hosts home. Somerset and Buckinghamshire are eight points further back, Surrey and Berkshire are locked together on 55, while Worcestershire and Suffolk are not far behind them.
Gwynedd currently sit bottom of the 10-county table, five points adrift of ninth-placed Nottinghamshire, who have 16 points to make up on Suffolk. Next up for Gwent is a visit to Ipswich to face Suffolk at the end of November as the journey towards an immediate return to Division One continues.
CHEPSTOW FC continued their unbeaten start to the Gwent Super League season with a comfortable 5-2 home win against second-placed Baneswell.
Jon Worsley, Ryan Palmer, Lee Harris, Sam Cankett and Steve Swallow triumphed to ensure Chepstow keep a seven-point lead at the top of the table over Baneswell and defending champions Pontnewydd.
Pontnewydd, still without the injured Nick Kenny, beat Crumlin Rugby at home with Mark Blandford and Peter Johns the standout players for the hosts.
Another title contender, Aberbargoed, suffered a 5-2 loss at Pontypool, who were inspired to victory by Matthew Kay and Nathan Perry.
The win for the hosts moved them into mid-table as the halfway point in the season approaches, while Aberbargoed slipped to fourth.
Carl Lloyd’s Hafodyrynys, who like Pontnewydd have a game in hand on the leaders, defeated Cwmbran Workies and now sit 13 points off the top spot.
Elsewhere, a fine performance from Tredegar Cons’ Angelo Lao led his side to victory at Talywain, and Brynmawr saw off the Dodger, despite Kyle MacLeod’s superb display against Marcus Hawkins.
Abergavenny returned to winning ways at Chepstow as Chris Harris won the final game of the tie against Les Price to clinch a 4-3 triumph overall.
Gilfach won convincingly at Cross Keys thanks to excellent throwing from Anthony Freeman and Mike Fleet.
Wednesday night’s standout games see Hafodyrynys travel to Aberbargoed, and Baneswell welcomes Pontnewydd, who could have Kenny back in their team.
Golddiggers retained first place in the ladies’ league after a 7-0 whitewash of St Josephs.
The pairings of Tracy Hickey and Ceri Stephens and Sarah Adams and Jade Hickey got the leaders off to a great start, before Adams, Stephens, Jade Hickey and Hayley Matthews won their singles matches.
Julie Moxham was determined to avoid a 7-0 defeat, but Tracey Hickey hit the final double to make it seven of the best for Golddiggers and finish with a 20.38 average.
Cwmbran Rugby Club duos Shannon Chappell and Cerianne England and Janet Edwards and Natasha Wright both won their pairs games against Garndiffaith.
Amanda Willard, Zoe Buffin, Claire Evans, Cheryl Jones and Kimberley Lewis-Hitchcott all secured singles points to register another 7-0 rout.
Garndiffaith can hold their heads high, even after such a heavy defeat, as their positivity and potential are evident for all to see.
Being a new team and playing against established opponents can be daunting, but the signs for the future are promising.
Brynmawr Legends, with two games in hand, moved into third after a 4-3 win against Top Club Risca.
Kaye Paul and Jackie Norman and Rhian Griffiths and Steph James triumphed in the pairs to give Brynmawr a 2-0 advantage.
Norman threw exceptional darts in her singles tie, hitting a 180 in consecutive legs, but it was Top Club’s Sarah Townsend who secured the win to make it 2-1 overall.
Top Club team-mates Mandy Irwin and Sue Bailey both triumphed to put the Risca side 3-2 up.
Sue George of Top Club hit a 115 checkout but ended up losing to Kaye Paul, before Griffiths averaged 20.31 in beating Gaynor Boucher to wrap up the win for Legends.
Cwmcarn pairs partners Hannah Meek and Sharon King and Michelle Mellish and Rose Davies were victorious for a 2-0 lead against Ebbw Vale.
Jess Bonner made it 3-0, then Kath Kirby got Ebbw on the board, only for Meek to re-establish the three-point gap and take the score to 4-1.
Zoe Williams smashed a 157 checkout to pull back another point for Ebbw, and the final singles point of the night went to team-mate Dawn Phipps for a 4-3 result in Cwmcarn’s favour.
Pembrokeshire played old adversaries Breconshire at the Brynaman Rugby Club last weekend and although the League Positions were at different ends of the league, Pembrokeshire put up a good fight to narrowly lose the match by one game.
In the Ladies ‘B’ on the Saturday Sophie Davies won with a 12.04, Eirwyn (Eddie) Lewis won with a 13.41 average and Lady of the Match Tina Phillips won the Lady of the Match with a 14.99 average to draw the match 3-3.
In the Men’s ‘B’ Cellan Jones won with a 20.59 Jeff Maynard won with a 23.19. Steve Castle won with a 22.41. Ben Farr won with a 21.64. Rory Jolly won with a 22.47 and Man of the Match Stuart Davies won with a splendid 30.67 average. This was also enough to draw the game we should have won.
On Sunday our Ladies ‘A’ couldn’t buy a double and went down 2-4 with Hayley Francis-Owens 18.54 and Tracey Davies getting the Lady of the Match with a 20.25 average.
Our Men’s ‘A’ fought hard and could have had a better result but had to settle for the draw. A below par Mikey Rees started us off with a 4-3 win and a 24.47 average. Man, of the Match
Steve Alker followed this up with 4-1 win and a 27.11 average. Huw Williams was next to win 4-1 with a 25.54 average. Rhys Jones was another 4-3 winner with a 23.44 average, and this was followed up by Nathan Burdett 4-1 and a 27.00 average. Stewart Davies, promoted from the ‘B’s, won his game 4-2 with a 24.10 average and put us in front by 6-5 but we lost the last game to make the score 6-6 and the overall score 17-19 to Brecon.
Pembrokeshire Officials would like to thank All Players and supporters who travelled to Brecon.
Clwyd 25 – 11 Middlesex
A great result and performance over the weekend from the Clwyd ladies and gents with some fine individual performances across each section.
Clwyd 4-2 Middlesex
Jacqueline Brighton kicked the day off in fine form with a lady of the match performance winning 3-1 with a 16.26 average, wins then followed for Clwyd for Jo Toye 15.83 , Del Stapley 15.38 , and ladies manager Abs Hamilton 16.16 , solid and unlucky matches for Mary Williams losing 2-3 (16.13)and debutant Sammy Bagby losing 2-3 (16.08) who had a great game of which she should build on quite nicely for the coming season .
Clwyd 9-3 Middlesex
Phil Jones started the men’s proceedings with a comfortable 3-1 win (24.05) , Paul Alley 19.76 and Simon Roberts 23.00 gave Clwyd men a great start, Shaun Thompson was a tad unlucky losing out to his opponent 3-2 hitting a 26.58 average. Wins then followed for Clwyd by Steve Ellson 20.59, Paul Caveney 21.98, Karl Davies 22.54, Phil Wilcock 18.90, Jamie Holmes 22.33 and a sterling mom performance from Nigel Roberts winning 3-0 (28.36). Giving Clwyd a great 13-5 lead heading into the Sunday’s A games.
Clwyd 2-4 Middlesex
Izzy Thomas gave the Clwyd ladies a great start winning 3-2 (15.44) unlucky with good performances followed from Bethan, Rebecca and Liz Jones, Rachel Kingdon pulled one back for Clwyd (18.77), Nat Davey lost out in an unlucky deciding leg shootout 2-3 (17.12).
Clwyd 10-2 Middlesex
Clwyd’s Mike Warburton who’s been in fine form on the BDO circuit started the Men’s A off with a fine performance winning 4-3 (28.35) Andy Alker 4-1(25.95) Derek Williams and Craig Spriggs sadly losing out with some uncharacteristic missed doubles but the Clwyd Men’s A didn’t look back from there , wins for the promoted Nigel Roberts after his fine performance on the Saturday 4-3 (22.66) David Davies 4-0 (26.03) Tony Martin 4-0 (22.02) Dafydd Edwards 4-0 (23.03) David Routledge 4-2 (23.95) Paul Hughes 4-1 (27.64) Jason Wilcock 4-3 (22.67) and finishing the weekend off yet again Andrew Cummins 4-3 (26.43) . A fantastic team performance from Clwyd over the weekend and a big well done to all players, captains and managers, sending Clwyd top of the division 3 table, there’s a long way to go but we’re fighting all the way.
The Division Four South Wales derby saw Breconshire edge home 19 – 17 over close rivals and neighbours Pembrokeshire which was decided in the end on the home-side Women’s ‘A’ 4 – 2 win, as the other three matches ended in draws.
Welsh International Natalie Evans lead the way of the averages in that Women’s ‘A’ all-important win, with an 18.37 hit with supporting wins for the team coming from Kaye Hales 17.48, Sharon Hill 1658 and Emmylou Owen 15.34.
Stephen Davidson 26.49 and Graham Jenkins 22.41 came to the host rescue in the Men’s ‘A’ share of the spoils by winning last two sets to earn the draw which was required for the overall win, after earlier four points in the match had being score by Mark Layton 25.78, Lee Williams 22.58, Aled Goode 24.12 and match award-winner Dan Cole for his 27.45 average.
It was a reverse proceeding in the Men’s ‘B’ drawn match when Breconshire lost the final two encounters, home-side winners here were Andrew Kerry 18.75, Richie Williams 22.58, Craig Lewis 19.05, Simon Farley 24.46, Zac Griffiths 22.60 and Wayne Glover 25.85.
Carol Bufton with a 17.06 had the best average for the home-side in the ladies’ ‘B’ drawn match, with Donna Hilton 13.46 and Helen Thomas-Evans the other two women on the winning mark for the team.
Breconshire next match is Bedfordshire away on 30th November/1st December.
MONTGOMERY & RADNOR
Three defeats in a row see Montgomery & Radnor in 9th position in Division Three and fighting relegation after only three matches, the latest defeat was away against Wiltshire when they narrowly missed out 19 – 17 overall after the match score was adjusted from 20 – 16 to the home side after they played an illegible player in the Men’s ‘A’ match which saw match awarded to the Welsh side 7 – 5 from the original 6 – 6 result.
The difference in the end result was the travelling side 8 – 4 reverse in the Men’s ‘B’ as the three other side held their own in the match, as both Women’s sides secured draws in their matches and Men’s being awarded that win from a drawn match.
Jane Jones had the top average of 18.78 with the other two wins coming from Claire Boyle 15.14 and Lisa Husband 9.82 in the Women’s ‘B’ draw, with Katie Bellerby leading the averages with 17.19 in the Women’s ‘A’ draw, with Evonne Taylor 13.66 and Sally Urwin 13.18 adding the other victories for the MR girls.
Jon Mansell score the top average of 29.04 for Men’s ‘A’ with Jim Williams close behind with a 28.63 hit with other victories for the team coming from Ben Bevan 26.19, John Williams-Jones 24.83, Mitch Butler 24.96, Steve Price 26.93 plus the last set being awarded to Ed Price because of that infringement to secure 7 points for the visitors.
Dave Petty 17.68, Gwion Pughe 25.89, Robin Shingler 23.47 and James Hurrell 23.61 were the Mid-Wales side winners in the Men’s ‘B’.
The next match is Derbyshire at the Mont Club Newtown at the end of November.
Not since the 2012-2013 season has Warwickshire County Darts Organisation lost the opening two fixtures in the Premier Division of the BDO Inter County Championships and in that season they actually lost the first three to Yorkshire, Oxfordshire and Cheshire, they then went on to finish sixth in the table with three wins from their final six games.
After the opening day defeat to Yorkshire, Warwickshire’s next encounter saw them take a trip down to St Austell where they took on the local county, Cornwall. The Ladies ‘B’ side got off to a great start as Chloe McKivett gave them a 3-2 win in the first game against Hayley Kellow and taking the score to 2-0 was Kat Spanswick who won 3-1 against Pauline Mead.
Cornwall got their first win in the third when Becky Curnow beat Helen Rigg 3-1 but a 3-2 win from Nina Bolt guaranteed Warwickshire at the worst a share of the points. Nina after going 1-0 up then trailed 2-1 to Tyrian Jesse but went on to seal her win with wins in the fourth and fifth legs.
The home side’s award winner Catherine Rashleigh was their second winner as in the penultimate game she won 3-2 against Marian Conway after Conway had gone 1-0 and 2-1 up.
The outcome now rested on the final game between Courtney Hancock and Melanie Jones which went the full five legs distance. Despite leads of 1-0 and 2-1 Jones was pegged back to level terms on both occasions, however with her opponent still requiring 77 she checked out on 80 to clinch her 3-2 win and give her teammates their first win of the season, 4-2.
The men’s ‘B’ were hoping to put the 11-1 crushing defeat by Yorkshire behind them but it was not to be as for the second fixture they lost 11-1, yet again with more than a sprinkling of missed doubles.
The home side had a clean sweep in the first half all begun by Kev Thompson who came from 1-0 and 2-1 down to Wayne Mynard to win 4-2. Rich Slater made it 2-0 with his 4-3 win over Mark Carter, Slater going 3-0 up then being pegged back to three each before winning the deciding leg. Two 4-0 win in a row from Neil Dudbridge and Jonny Westren over respective opponents Tom McGlone and James Hykin took Cornwall’s lead to 4-0 before another seven legs affair in which Richard Craddock (Cornwall) went 2-0 up against Tom Ryan then Ryan reduced the arrears in the third before Craddock made it 3-1 in the fourth. Ryan then won the following two legs to square the game at 3-3 but it was those finishing doubles that saw Craddock win the seventh and final leg for a very close 4-3 victory.
It was 6-0 at the midway point with Shaun Burden adding his 4-1 win over Tom Martin.
Gareth Braham looked to be on his way to securing Warwickshire’s first win as he opened up a 2-0 lead over Carl Jeffery but despite having attempts at doubles in the next four legs he went down 4-2. Jack Wareing (Warwickshire) began well taking a 1-0 lead with a 114 game shot against Martin Smith and although Smith levelled in the second it was Wareing with another fine 121 finish who went 2-1 up. Smith won the next two legs and with a win for Wareing in the sixth it was another one leg decider which once again went to the Cornwall player.
Man of the match against Yorkshire Karl Reynolds was on at number nine, he won the first leg against David Mills in 18 darts. Mills then reversed the lead with wins in the following two legs only to see Reynolds level in the fourth. The fifth leg could have gone to either player as they both struggled on their doubles but it was Cornwall’s Mills that won it and with a win in the sixth he secured his 4-2 win.
Chris Eustice (Cornwall) won the opening leg against Carl Green only to see Green then go 2-1 up. Winning legs of 17 and 18 darts restored the lead for Eustice and although Green took him to a decider it was the home player that got the 4-3 verdict.
Dave Hill was on for Warwickshire in the penultimate game playing against Andy Dunstan. Hill won the first in 21 darts and Dunstan the second in 25. Hill then romped to a 4-1 victory with winning legs of 20,22 and 20 darts to give him the team’s match award for his average of 23.11.
The final 11-1 result was rounded off with a 4-2 win for Joshua Symons as he beat Warwickshire’s Mark Strong 4-2, Strong winning the second and fifth legs.
Natalie Gilbert (Warwickshire) followed up her opening day lady of the match performance with a 3-1 win over Tracey Hancock in the opening game of the of the ladies ‘A’ match, however the visitors lead didn’t last long as Sarah Gill beat, Donna Pinch 3-0 and Teresa Brookshaw won 3-1 against Caroline Pike.
Parity was restored in the fourth when Sue Gulliver, not only won 3-1 against Sue Shepherd but in the process took the match award for her average of 20.96 in which she had winning legs of 18,26 and 30 darts.
The hosts went ahead again in the fifth when Nikki Furse won 3-1 against Wendy Adams and with a final 3-0 win for Jacqui Champion over Angela Jones Cornwall sealed a 4-2 win.
There was a cracking start for Warwickshire’s men’s ‘A’ side as Jamie Hughes kicked off with a man of the match performance against Dennis Bryant, although Jamie didn’t have it all his own way as he lost the first leg then went 2-1 up in 18 and 16 darts. He lost the fourth in 15 darts but then levelled with a superb 12 darts leg hitting 99,177,140 and finishing on 85 to go 3-2 up. The sixth leg went to Bryant in 16 darts but it was Hughes with a 15 darts deciding leg in which he checked out on 100 leaving his opponent way back on 173 that won the game 4-3. Jamie’s average a tremendous 30.33.
Kevin Dowling despite going 1-0 and 2-1 down to Gareth Griffiths went on to win the tie 4-2 with a 116 game shot in the second giving the away team a 2-0 lead.
Neil Meneer reduced the arrears for the home team as he beat Charlie Symons 4-2 and with a similar 4-2 win for Mike Jones over Antony Allen the score was level at two each.
Noel Grant was pegged back to level terms twice after leading 2-0 and 3-2 against Kevin Bray and although both players had throws at a finishing double in the decider it was Grant who got the all-important double for a 4-3 win.
As the game went into the break the running score was squared at 3-3 with Kevin Dunstan adding his 4-1 win over Dave Atkins to Cornwall’s tally.
As did the first the second half began well for Warwickshire and it was another Jamie who began the half, this time Jamie Atkins who handed out a straight 4-0 defeat to Mike Beard, then with a second in a row 4-0 result Steve Giddings accounted for Greg Hambly to give Warwickshire a 5-3 lead.
Simon Knowles (Cornwall) saw Steve Hine peg him back twice to level terms before he went on to win 4-2 and with a 4-1 win for Jez Campe over Colin Laffar the home side had levelled the game at 5-5.
Rob Comben looked all set to put the win beyond Cornwall’s reach when he opened up a 2-0 lead over Matt Knowles but he then had to win the fourth leg to get back on level terms and despite having chances in the last two legs it was Knowles who won the tie 4-3 to leave the result hinging on the final game of the weekend.
Anchorman for Warwickshire was Dean Stewart and for Cornwall Steven Thomas. Nerves got the better of both players in the first leg but it was Stewart who won it in 23 darts. Thomas won the second in 19 darts only to see Dean Stewart go ahead again in the third when he checked out in 18 darts. For a second time, Thomas drew level, this time in 16 darts but he was unable to reach a double in the next two legs as Dean Stewart wrapped up a 4-2 win in 15 and 20 darts to put the final score at 6-6.
The men’s draw took the overall result to 23-13 to Cornwall, Warwickshire’s second successive such defeat.
Warwickshire v Devon
Following their two 23-13 defeats to Yorkshire and Cornwall, Warwickshire’s third fixture was a home tie against newly promoted Devon. Saturday’s ladies ‘B’ game began with a win for the home team’s Courtney Hine as she won 3-1 against Sarah Brown. The lead didn’t last long as Hayley Brant and Tracy Ware, in turn, won 3-0 against Denise Keyte and Nina Bolt to give Devon a 2-1 lead.
The away team’s advantage was taken to 3-1 when Cat Callard beat Kat Spanswick 3-1, their win confirmed in the fifth when Michelle Andrews defeated Melanie Jones 3-0 the third such win for the visitors.
For the home team, it was a case of keeping the best till last as Chloe McKivett went 1-0 up against Anna Johnson then trailed 2-1, she then went on to win 3-2 and in the process earn the match award for her 18.04 average. The final score 4-2 to Devon
The men’s ‘B’ were hoping to put behind them their previous two 11-1 defeats and first on for them was Tom Martin. Martin lost the first leg to Neil White and then in 15 and 25 darts went 2-1 up. White came back with winning legs of 19 and 21 darts and although Martin levelled the game in the sixth in 17 darts it was Neil White who put Devon one up with a deciding 15 darts leg.
Carl Green (Warwickshire) was made to fight all the way for his 4-3 victory as he opened up a 2-0 lead over Anthony Moss, was then pegged back to 2-2, went 3-2 up, 3-3 and won the final leg in 18 darts to square the game.
Mark Carter lost his opener to Adrian Watts but won the next four legs to put Warwickshire in front for the first time in the game. Carter’s leveller in the second was a 17 darts leg, he then won the next three in 18,20 and 16 darts giving him an award-winning average of 28.94. Rob Comben trailed 1-0 and 2-1 to Daniel Belsten but went on to win 4-3 sealing his win with a tremendous 161 game shot in a 15 darts decider to extend the home team’s lead.
Matty Washbrooke handed out a straight 4-0 defeat to Dean Angel before James Hykin took the hosts to lead to 5-1 at the break when he came from two down to beat David Matthews 4-2.
As the second half got underway Dave Hill took the home team’s lead to 6-1, assuring them of at least a draw when he handed out a 4-0 whitewash to Danny Bull.
Devon got their second winner in the eighth game when Steve Colbourne came from 1-0 down against Karl Reynolds to win 4-1, but then it was back to winning ways for the home side as Mark Strong after losing the first and fourth legs to Phillip Ward won the tie 4-2 and guaranteed a first win for his team, then with a similar result to Strong, Wayne Mynard had a 4-2 win over Fred Goldsmith to make it 8-2.
Tommy Ryan lost the first leg to Kieran Burns but then went 3-1 up in 19,15 and 21 darts, unfortunately, he then went down 4-3 after missing out on his finishing doubles.
The final score was taken to 9-3 for Warwickshire as anchorman Gareth Braham accounted for Scott Hutchinson with a straight 4-0 result.
There was somewhat of a surprise in the opening game of the ladies ‘A’ as opener Natalie Gilbert after going 2-0 up against Maria O’Brien lost 3-2, a rare defeat for Natalie especially after such a commanding lead.
Caroline Pike had her lead reversed as she went one up then trailed 2-1 to Kelly-Marie Gabriel. Nevertheless, Caroline with a superb 138 outshot squared the game and then went on to win it 3-2.
Warwickshire went ahead for the first time after game number three as Angela Jones won 3-1 against Chrissie Kinnaird and with a similar result for Sue Gulliver over Karen Matthews the hosts were 3-1 up, Sue for the second consecutive fixture named the lady of the match with a 21.47 average.
The win was achieved in the penultimate encounter when Wendy Adams beat Jodie Hawton 3-1 and the final score was taken to 4-2 when Lisa Hughes won the final game for Devon as she beat Donna Pinch 3-0.
In the opening two fixtures Warwickshire’s men’s ‘A’ have been the most consistent with one win and one draw, they got their game against Devon off to a fine start as Jamie Atkins and Antony Allen in turn both won 4-1 against John Burton and Lewis Dare.
Glyn Wells was Devon’s first winner when he won 4-1 against Dean Stewart but with Nigel Heydon coming from 1-0 down against Mark Shears to win 4-1 Warwickshire’s two games advantage was restored.
By the halfway point of the match a 4-2 success for Ian Shaw over Lee Hellings and a 4-3 win for Tom Aldridge over Mark Turner gave the home side a somewhat comfortable 5-1 lead.
Mark Vellacott (Devon) had his lead cancelled out no fewer than three times by Ian McFarlane who with two superb finishing legs of 14 and 12 darts won the tie 4-3. McFarlane rounded off his fantastic win with scores of 140,140 and 122 and then wrapped up the leg and the game with a 99 checkout.
With the score standing at 6-1 to the home team the win was put up in style as Prakash Jiwa despite having his lead wiped out three times by John Mann went on to not only win the tie 4-3, put the result at 7-1 and beyond Devon’s reach but also won the man of the match award for his 29.78 average.
The score moved nicely along to 8-1 with a 4-0 win from Noel Grant over Mike Pearce and although Steve Giddings had his 3-0 lead wiped out by Thom Humphrey he won the tie 4-3.
In the penultimate game, Steve Hine made it 10-1 when he beat Ben Chamberlain 4-2, then in the last game of the day and weekend, Kevin Dowling came from 1-0 down against Paul Milford to lead 3-1 and then lost 4-3to give a final score of 10-2 to Warwickshire.
The overall score for the weekend was a 25-11 win for Warwickshire which saw them move off the foot of the table into a more relaxing sixth place in the table.
Alan Towe contributes to Darts World Magazine, dartsworld.com and at Red Dragon Darts.
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