As the UKDA National League completed game three Warwickshire consolidate their number two spot in the Elite Premier Division by making it three wins in a row.
In their third fixture Warwickshire who were second from top had a home tie with Cheshire who were two places off the foot of the table. Saturday’s games went well for the hosts as the ladies ‘B’ began with a 3-0 win for Melanie Jones over Kerry Mundy. Adele Probin (Cheshire), with a 3-1 result against Denise Keyte levelled the score only to see the home team go-ahead for a second time when lady of the match Marian Conway beat Liz Humphries 3-1 after the away player had won the first leg. With 40 outshots in the following three games Conway lifted the match award for her 18.09 average.
Chloe McKivett had a similar game to Marian Conway as she found herself trailing 1-0 to Sarah Goodwin then go on to win 3-1 to put a win beyond the reach of the away team.
Victory for the home side was assured in the penultimate encounter when Wendy Adams, despite trailing twice to Alex Foulds, won the tie 3-2.
The last game was a 3-0 result for Amy Evans over Caroline Pike to put the final score at 4-2 to Warwickshire making it three opening wins for the ladies ‘B’.
The men’s ‘B’ also made it a hat-trick of wins as they recorded a 7-5 result but they didn’t get the best of starts as their opener Luke Kennedy suffered a 4-2 defeat after leading Anthony Hall 2-0. Parity was restored in the very next game as Dave Hill came for one down to Jason Whitelegg and go on to win 4-1.
Game number three swayed one way then the other as the home player Matty Washbrooke took leads of 1-0 and 2-1 against Neil Gerrard before Gerrard went 3-2 up in the fifth. With 20 and 17 darts legs, Washbrooke went on to win 4-3. The next game was another one that went the full seven legs distance with Peter Boughey (Cheshire) winning the first leg then Wayne Mynard going 2-1 up. Boughey levelled in 16 darts only to see Mynard go within an ace of victory when he won the fifth. Keeping up the chase Boughey won the penultimate leg in 18 darts, however with a similar 18 darts leg Mynard claimed the 4-3 result.
Taking the hosts lead to 4-1 was man of the match Martin Tonks who in 18,14,15 and 19 darts beat Keith Croxford 4-2, Croxford winning the fourth and fifth in 19 and 21 darts. Tonks average, 28.01.
Going into the halfway point Cheshire reduced the arrears to 4-2 as Martin Kettle won 4-2 against Mark Carter after Carter had gone from 1-0 down to lead 2-1.
Dave Honey looked all set to restore Warwickshire’s four games lead when he went 3-0 up in 18,14 and 15 darts against Paul Goodwin, but with winning legs of 17,21,17 and 19 it was Goodwin who got the 4-3 result.
The game was squared at 4-4 in the eighth when Shaun Walshe added his 4-0 win over Carl Green to the visitors tally. Although Mike Warren (Cheshire) came from 1-0 and 3-1 to 3-2 down against Karl Reynolds he was unable to avoid a 4-2 defeat as Reynolds won the sixth leg to clinch his 4-2 win. Increasing the home teams lead to 6-4 was Jack Wareing who added a 4-1 success over Clive Lucking before Will Naylor sealed victory when he beat Colin Smith 4-3 in a close seven legs thriller.
The final score was taken to 7-5 for the hosts when Cheshire’s Darren Downey won 4-2 against his namesake Darren Swords in the last game of the day.
The ladies ‘A’ had a brilliant start when Natalie Gilbert opened up with her match award win over Bev Martin. Natalie romped to a straight 3-0 victory in 24,20 and 19 darts with her opponent unable to reach a finishing double in any of the legs. Natalie’s award-winning average a superb 23.86.
The following two games followed the same pattern as Sue Gulliver and Tammy Montgomery in turn both won 3-1 against Heidi Williams and Ros Hemmings with both of the Warwickshire ladies winning the first leg, losing the second leg then both checking out on 110 in the third before winning in the fourth.
Cheshire got their first stripe on the board in the fourth when Andrea Hunt beat Nina Bolt 3-1 after Bolt had won the first.
Lyn Marsden (Cheshire) went one up against Angela Jones in the penultimate encounter but it was Jones who won the tie 3-1 to add the vital fourth win to the home side’s account.
Although Donna Pinch came from 1-0 down to lead 2-1 against Vicky Pruim in the final game it was Cheshire’s lady of the match Pruim who got the 3-2 result.
The overall 4-2 win for Warwickshire ladies ‘A’ made it two 4-2 wins for the ladies for the weekend.
With 6-6 draws in their first two fixtures the men’s ‘A’ team were looking for their first win and that’s exactly what they got as they emulated the ‘B’ team’s 7-5 victory.
Ryan Craddock gave Cheshire the early lead as in the opener he won 4-2 against Steve Hine. Noel Grant was quick to cancel out Craddock’s win as he beat Joe Rowland 4-1 in-game number two. It was however the visitors who took the lead for the second time in the third when Shaun Wilkinson added his 4-1 result over Mark Strong to their score.
Games four and five saw Ian Shaw and Jamie Atkins in turn defeat Shaun Walshe and Steve Lomas. Shaw and Atkins both went one down, then 2-1 up, both of them saw their games levelled in the fourth and both went on to win 4-2.
Rounding off the first half Prakash Jiwa, who was taken to a deciding leg by Mal Barrow, won 4-3 to give the home side a somewhat comfortable 4-2 lead.
The advantage was reduced to 4-3 as the second half began, Tony Richardson adding Cheshire’s third win when he won 4-0 against Ian McFarlane.
Warwickshire’s two games buffer was restored with some first-class finishing by Gareth Braham in the eighth when he beat Jeff Fisher 4-3. Fisher won the opener in 21 darts only to see Braham go 2-1 up in 17 and then 11 darts in which he hit two consecutive 180’s. Fisher made it 2-2 in 20 darts before Braham with a 120 game shot won the fifth. Once again the Cheshire man levelled, this time in 21 darts but with another three-figure finish, this time 119, it was Braham who got the 4-3 result.
Reducing the deficit to 5-4 was Michael Haynes who after losing the first leg to Tom Martin won 4-1.
A draw at the worst was assured for Warwickshire in the tenth when Jamie Hughes accounted for Luke Littler with a 4-1 result. Hughes stormed into a 3-0 lead in 18,14 and 17 darts and although Littler won the fourth in 15 Jamie Hughes wrapped up his win with another 14 darts leg to give him the man of the match award for his tremendous 20.97 average.
The match win was not long awaited as Kevin Dowling beat Paul Philips 4-2 in game eleven and to end the weekend’s fixture it was Stuart Kellett who after losing 1-0 and 2-1 to Steve Giddings won 4-2 to give to Warwickshire a 7-5 win, the overall score for the weekend 22-14 to Warwickshire.
Words: Alan Towe, Image:
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