In the 2nd part of his review of, the beginnings of, the BDO, Alan Towe looks the first round of County Championship darts. Who were the first ten teams? Who won? and who were the players?
As planned the inaugural fixtures of the Double Diamond Darts Inter Counties Championships got under way on the 7th October 1973 with four games being played, a fifth, which was originally arranged for the 14th October between Hertfordshire and West Midlands had to be postponed as the West Midlands dropped out at the last moment and a replacement in the form of Somerset had to be introduced.
The biggest winners of the opening games were Lancashire who won 10-2 at home against Thames Valley to become the early pacesetters with 12 points from a possible 14.
Winners for Lancashire were J.Bunce, C.Court, F.Metcalf, H.Cook, F.Crolla, W.Barton, C.Pichers, N.Clarke, C.Lucas and J.Dawson with W.Weeks and J.Clacey providing the only response for Thames Valley.
Close behind Lancashire were Surrey who accounted for their visitors Cheshire with a 9-3 scoreline, the home team opening up a 6-0 lead with the second half games shared.
Taking up third place in the table were West of England with their 8-4 success over a Kent team who were unable to find their finishing doubles as opposed to their hosts who were superb in their finishing.
On the mark for West of England were Michael Butt, Peter Lally, Douglas Priestner, Roger Smith, Peter Callow, Alan Cooper, Davis Porter and Kim Brown with Lew Walker, Fred Smoker and Patsie Sulman replying for Kent.
Devon played hosts to London which produced a 6-6 draw that was described as the perfect result for a game that was so evenly matched.
Devon opened up a 3-0 lead through C.Inglis, J.Griffiths and J.Dawson but London immediately caught up with wins from J.Nicholls, R.Vince and R.Church and from there on in there was never more than one game between the two teams.
Other winners for Devon were T.Toghill,T.Green and J.Murphy while putting London’s nose in front on three occasions were J.Ambler, T.O’Regan and R.Seymour.
Leading the tons table after the first fixtures with eight scores of a ton or more from his three legs played was London’s Alan Glazier who actually lost his game against Devon’s T.Toghill 2-1. Nearest rival to Glazier is Surrey’s Bill Duddy who in his 2-0 win over Pat Mullen recorded five tons or over.
London ‘B’ player Tom Sole in his first representative game hit two successive maximums
For taking part in the Double Diamond Darts Inter Counties Championships the Lancashire team were donated cardigans by the Pendlebury Royal British Legion, while the confident Surrey team produced car stickers for members and supporters declaring “Surrey Darts Team for the Inter-counties league”.
In the ladies’ competition Thames Valley headed the table with three points and are closely followed by Devon, Kent, and Surrey who are all on two points.
By Alan Towe