Derbyshire’s third fixture in League One of the UKDA National League was an away tie with Merseyside, who prior to the fixture were two places and two points below them.
It was a weekend that saw the ladies come out on top with both teams winning 4-2. In Saturday’s game, Derbyshire could not have wished for a better start or even a better player to open the proceedings than Jane Densley. Jane, winner of many, many Derbyshire match awards squared up to Viv Cullimore and in double-quick time, in fact in 19,21 and 18 darts won 3-0, adding yet another award to her trophy cabinet for her tremendous 25.91 average.
Doubling the advantage for the visitors was Katrina McAleney who from 1-0 up went 2-1 down but finished the 3-1 winner against Tracy Morrison. Making sure of at least a share of the points was Sammie Marshall. Sammie recording a 3-1 win over Lynn Anderson before, and as early as the fourth game the match was won as Jenny McCormick added her 3-2 win over Janet Sorrell. However Jenny was made to fight all the way for her result as she won the first leg then added the second with a super 102 checkout, but she then fell down on the next two legs to level at 2-2, she then managed to recover and go on to win the decider, her game and ultimately the match as the score then stood at 4-0.
Although after taking a 2-0 lead against Emily Jones, Sandra Rule (Merseyside) was pegged back to level terms before winning the final leg after both players had thrown at a finishing double.
Taking the result to 4-2 and reducing the arrears for the hosts was Janet Hardman, an award-winning game for her, beating Sara-Jane Harrison 3-0 with a 17.68 average.
Derbyshire’s ladies ‘A’ team were not able to emulate their ‘B’ side and win the first four games they did however win the opening three, Jackie Sweet kicking the game off with her 3-1 win over Julia Bain who had actually won the first leg. The second win was added in style as Jo Oldershaw handed out a 3-1 defeat to Laura Thompson, Jo with winning legs of 22,21 and 19 darts earned herself the match award for a super 23.66 average.
Completing the opening trio of wins was Rebecca Hoyland. Rebecca found herself trailing 2-0 to Claire New but she held her nerve and with wins in the following three legs ran out the 3-2 victor.
Emma Barlow (Merseyside) had her lead cancelled twice by Rachel Bird before going on to win 3-2 in a very close affair, the hosts then looked as though they would keep in the hunt for a share of the spoils when Sarah Kershaw opened up a 2-0 lead over Rachel Ayres, but it was not to be as Rachel had wins in the next three legs to give her the 3-2 result and at the same time give her teammates a match-winning 4-1 lead.
The final ladies ‘A’ game went to Merseyside as Vicki Lloyd won 3-2 against Rose Mort, Rose winning the first and fourth legs.
The men’s ‘B’ were looking to bounce back from a heavy 10-2 defeat away to Cleveland in their previous game and it all began rather well as Michael Ryall won the opening game against Dan Nuttie in three straight legs and was then followed by Mick Smith who added his 3-1 success over Gary Welding to double the lead.
Unfortunately from 2-0 up the lead was then reversed and saw Merseyside open up a 3-2 advantage as Thomas Lockyer beat Jack Brooks 3-0, Jason Chisnall won 3-1 against Allen Hurt and making up the trio of wins was Danny Magee who defeated Alan Clegg 3-1.
It was level pegging by the break as Ben Holmes (Derbyshire) ended the half in style with a man-of-the-match performance against Daniel Ennis. Ben won in straight legs, his 3-0 win consisting of 21,15 and 24 darts legs giving him a 25.05 average.
Derbyshire got the initiative as the second half kicked off Mark Thompson winning 3-0 against Kyle Crook, but by the same margin James Green beat Owen Thomas to level the score at 7-7.
The results for the following two games went with the first throw advantage as Will North gave Derbyshire the lead once again with his 3-2 win over Shawn Kemp and Paul Smith (Merseyside) cancelled out the lead with his 3-1 success against Dan Ford.
With just two to play the pressure was on the last four players and it was Merseyside’s Joseph Palfreyman who gave them a vital edge as he beat Pete Hadfield 3-1 to leave the result hinging on the final game. For the away team their anchorman was Andy Houghton who proved to be their saviour as he handed out a 3-0 whitewash to James Welding to earn a share of the 6-6 result.
The men’s ‘A’ team had won one and drawn one and were hoping to extend that unbeaten run, and it all began with great promise as opener Nigel Daniels won 4-1 against John Brammeld with winning legs of 26,16,14 and 22 darts which at the end of the day earned him the team’s match award for his 25.76 average.
James Parkin then moved the score nicely along to 2-0 when he won 4-3 against David Richards after Richards had gone 1-0 and 3-2 up. It then all went a little pear-shaped as Merseyside rattled off six consecutive wins. Michael Addison after losing the first and fourth legs to Matt Faulkner went on to win 4-2, Robbie Gorst trailed 3-0 to Paul Redfern but kept plugging away until he won 4-3, Steve Gow had a 4-2 win against Paul Williams and by the halfway stage the hosts were 4-2 up as Terry Roach added his 4-3 win over Sean Lambert.
The second carried on where the first had left off as Anthony Hitchmough beat Henry Coates 4-0 and Craig Winstanley won 4-2 against Gary Fenn to give the home team a 6-2 lead. That lead looked as though it would be increased even further as Kevin Lloyd took leads of 1-0 and 2-1 against Pete Burgoyne, however, Burgoyne withstood the challenge and went on to seal a 4-3 victory.
It was all over by the tenth game as Andrew Rodger confirmed a Merseyside win when he beat Keith Lodge 4-1 giving the home side an unassailable 7-3 lead.
The final two games both went to the wire with Derbyshire’s Ian Allcock and Lee Stanley making the scoreline a little more respectable as they won 4-3 against respective opponents Dave Harnick and Kieran Stringer, the result a 7-5 win for Merseyside.
The overall score for the weekend was a draw which saw Derbyshire drop one place in the promotion table to sixth and Merseyside move up one place to seventh. Derbyshire are 21 points short of leaders Cleveland while Merseyside are 24 points off the top.
Words: Alan Towe
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