The Salopian Super League got their second season underway and in the first round of fixtures and for the very first time the league have introduced a Ladies Super League which has attracted no fewer than seven teams all based in Shrewsbury.
The Men’s Super league has seen an encouraging increase from fifteen to seventeen teams with increased representation from the South of the County with Cressage Club and Apple Tree (Onibury) joining the ranks, the latter gaining a credible point at home against Salopian Star (Market Drayton) with Jason Griffiths (24.70) firing a maximum and recording a 110 check out against Joe Higgins (24.70, which included an 18 darts leg) in what was the game of the night. Cressage found the going much harder as they hosted last season’s champions Charles Darwin ‘A’ who signalled their intent taking the first four games, Matt Elsey and Ash Hilditch both recording the nights highest average of 27.08, both without conceding a single leg, whilst Paul Rowley (25.68) fired no fewer than three maximums although he was taken all the way to a deciding leg by Matty Jones (22.22) who had the consolation of the nights highest finish of 158. Shaun Pryce (23.94, plus a 180) was the only winner for Cressage.
Oswestry’s Griffin made the perfect start with six of the best away at the Charles Darwin ‘B’. Kacey Jones (26.37) and Jamie Kynaston (24.81) had 118 and 100 finishes leading the way while Darwin’s Karen Weston (18.56) replied with a 105 finish. Compasses and Dawley enjoyed respective 5-1 wins against the Monkmoor and Inn on the Green ‘A’. Andy Mullinder (21.55) had a 17 darts leg whilst Daniel Astbury (26.89) and Mark Jones (22.97) impressed for Dawley.
There was double disappointment for the Inn on the Green (Wetnor) where both sides suffered 4-2 defeats, the ‘A’ losing away at the Bagley Club where all winners recorded 20+ averages. Matt Williams (23.43) and Paul Ashworth (23.03) gave the hosts a 2-0 lead that wouldn’t relinquish despite a 24.26 average for Ed Price who had a 100 checkout and two maximums. Meanwhile the Bulls Head’s long trip to Wetnor proved fruitful as early wins for Nigel Neale (23.77) and Keith Jones (21.14) put the Whitchurch side in the driving seat, victory was confirmed with wins from Rowan Price (20.50, plus a 114 finish) and Terry Nash (26.03, plus a 116 finish) whilst a 120 checkout from Che Kerin completed a hat-trick of ton plus checkouts for the visitors. James Carter (23.77) impressed for the hosts firing two maximums and a twelve darts leg that included a 138 finish.
Round one matches concluded with the Inn on the Green ‘B’ (Shrewsbury) edging out Dickin (Wem). Steve Felton put the visitors ahead Gary Crowther levelling before Toto Noriel (20.44) restored the lead for the visitors who ran out 4-2 winners, but perhaps the more encouraging statistic in the game was that a further three players made their super league debuts to further bolster the Salopian Super League. Hop and Friar had the bye for a first week that saw 21 maximums, 18 ton plus checkouts and a one dart average of 19.80.
Week two of the Men’s Super League saw Hop and Friar fresh from a bye in the first week, they began their campaign by handing their hosts Bulls Head (Whitchurch) a 6-0 whitewash. The Shrewsbury side recorded an impressive 24.16 one dart average with Martin Riggs (26.65), John Roberts (26.59) and Darren Lane (24.15) setting the standard. Team mate Evonne Taylor fired two maximums but credit the Bulls Head who took 12 legs overall 22.00 one dart average.
Apple Tree (Onibury) were another team to register a 6-0 win in there match at the Momkmoor (Shrewsbury) with Mike Angel firing two maximums and Jason Griffiths checking out on 102 for the Apple Tree who have made a fine unbeaten start to life in the league. Once more, the Monkmoor ensured the visitors would have to earn their win with four of the games not decided until at least the sixth leg.
Current champions Charles Darwin ‘A’ recorded a second successive 5-1 victory, this time at home against fellow Shrewsbury outfit Inn on the Green ‘A’, first on and candidate for game of the night saw Ash Hilditch (30.91) edge out Ian Evans (23.62) in a last leg decider. Both players hit three maximums each before Darwin’s Paul Rowley (27.96) equalled the maximum hat-trick in the final game of the night which was complemented with a 13 darts leg. Inn on the Green ‘B’ extracted some form of revenge on the Charles Darwin with a 4-2 home win over the ‘B’ side despite a 120 game shot for Darwin’s John O’Callaghan.
Dawley Club were another side to register back to back 5-1 when in their latest home tie they won against Inn on the Green ‘B’ (Wetnor). Dan Astbury (29.70) had a 14 darts leg and was one of three home players to hit a maximum as the Dawley side all chalked up 20+ averages, Matt Simpson (20.01) being the solitary winner for the Wetnor ‘B’ side whilst team mate James Carter checked out on 116. The Inn on the Green ‘A’ side fared better in their home encounter against Dickin which saw both teams register their first point of the season. Ed Price (23.86) first on for the hosts with Gary Crowther (22.75) recording a 16 dart leg as well as a 120 outshot. Dickin’s Kev Rogers (22.55) holding his nerve in the deciding leg of the final match to earn an draw overall.
Oswestry’s Griffin also had to be content with a draw following an entertaining encounter at home against the Compasses. Jamie Kynaston (23.86) and Simon Brewin (21.04 ) put the hosts 2-0 up before Andy Mullinder (21.85) replied for the Compasses defeating Kacey Jones (25.47, plus a 180) in the deciding seventh leg before Tony Middleton (21.54, plus a 180) levelled up overall. Ade Logdale (23.30) restored the hosts lead before Jon Mansell (25.03, plus a 180) fired a 15 dart leg to ensure a share of the spoils that ensures both sides remain unbeaten.
The final game of the night also ended in a draw with Market Drayton’s Salopian Star repeating their first weeks score this time at home to Cressage Club. Peter Burton (24.14) put the visitors ahead before fine wins from Drayton’s Mark Crutchley (21.32), Derek Coulson (26.03) and Tim Eley (21.81, plus a 180), conceding just one leg before Shaun Pryce (23.03) replied for Cressage who then secured the draw through Ashley Gough who claimed victory in the final leg of the last match.
In the ladies Super League Inn on the Green set the pace with a 4-1 away at the Telegraph, Kate Leach (12.37) securing the win for the IOTG team whilst Molly Atter (12.82) was the solitary winner for the Telegraph.
The other two matches saw respective 3-2 home wins for the Bagley and Charles Darwin at the expense of Heathgates and Bird in Hand. Tracey Dean (17.24) secured the victory for the Bagley Club in the deciding leg of the last game against Heathgates Helen Walmsley (17.53) in a quality game of darts, while the Charles Darwin, who recorded a team average of 14.86 per dart, raced into a 3-0 lead that featured a nights best 21.78 average from Evonne Taylor which included an 18 dart leg before the Bird In Hand secured the final two games that included a 3-0 win for Katie Bellerby (13.79). The seventh team, Compasses had a bye but nevertheless 30 ladies stepped up to the oche for a historic first super league evening of darts.
Charles Darwin (Shrewsbury) Ladies Darts Team
In the second week of the ladies league and Bagley Club became the only team in the league to make it two consecutive wins as they followed up their 3-2 win over Heathgates with a similar 3-2 victory at Compasses. Steph Clarke (23.86) had the nights highest average which featured 19 and 20 dart legs to put the Compasses one up but successive wins for Bagley trio Tracey Dean (17.21); Hayley McGuiness (14.54) and Rach Williams (16.90) ensured a second 3-2 victory for the away team.
Heathgates, playing at home against Charles Darwin came from behind to take the last two games, conceding just one leg in the process thanks to victories from Tammy Walmsley (15.11) and Lisa Wills (12.32) to gain their first win of the season. Earlier on Sue Lane (12.26) and Evonne Taylor (20.59) had given the Darwin the early advantage but the 3-2 win sees both sides locked together on two points overall with identical leg average.
The final game of the night saw the Telegraph race into a 4-0 lead at the Bird in Hand, Carol Wall (12.04) leading the way for the visitors who secured their first win of the season before Jayne Hilditch (11.05) avoided the whitewash. Inn on the Green had a bye they remain second in the league, the only team other than the Bagley Club not to have lost.