Derbyshire vs Merseyside

BDO Inter County Championships:Division Three:

Report From: Alan Towe

Derbyshire v Merseyside

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.

Marie Leahy – Derbyshire’s latest addition.

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.

Could things be looking up for 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.

Alan Towe’s reports appear monthly in darts World Magazine and more can be seen at:

Alan specialises in Midlands darts. He covers County, League and Open events. He also writes ‘Towe The Line