Already the league finds itself a third of the way through the 21 match programme. Division 2 has the Breakaways Bears just nudging ahead of the pack and yet to be beaten, but with 14 more matches to go anything can happen.
The Jaguars could blemish the Bears record but would have to be in good form to overcome Mike Snow´s side. In Division 1 the Meerkats sit at the summit, how I don’t know, some abysmal performances have still resulted in wins when the opposition has been just as bad.
This week was an exception however, as the top two locked horns in a real tussle. The Kats came out on top and stay unbeaten, but I am not sure for how long. The Hyenas are a real good all round side, who can all play a bit and I foresee Simon Williams´ side taking some silverware this term. Five competitions, other than the league, remain to be contested starting with the second round of the K.O. Cup in December.
First round losers of the Cup now complete for the K.O.Handicap Plate to be played simultaneously with the K.O. Cup thus avoiding a free week but continued darts for Euronics players. This season also sees another new competition in the shape of a triples event, adopted in lieu of the Team K.O.Cup competitions now being played prior to Finals Night. Plenty of opportunities for glory, via team and individual events.
The Hyenas suffered their first defeat of the season, in an all Hub affairs against the Meerkats. No home advantage in this one, the Hyenas in a real buoyant mood after numerous classy performances, the Meerkats viewing the match with trepidation after some poor team and individual displays.
Simon Williams´ side now have Nick Spicer, a superb player giving them a real edge this season, the Kats a player down this term, John Eyre having a season´s sabbatical; these factors in my book, make the Hyenas favourites for both the league and cup competitions, but this week they didn’t quite achieve their expectations. Hyenas got off on the right foot with Joe Hawkins 100 and Spicer 140 contributing to a 200 point lead in the 701.
The advantage was quickly eradicated by way of powerful scoring from Alex Nikolov, Pat Abrams and Paul Durrant. Hawkins had one arrow for tops which found D1 leaving Durrant on 84. A single 20 and 14 left the bull which was found third arrow for first blood.
A disappointing leg from Shaun Smith, Cyril Harrison and Lee Holtham allowed the Kats to increase their lead through Lee Maiden on D20 after Alan Ostrowski´s 125. It should have been 3-0 but poor finishing from the Kats allowed Spicer 100 and 97 to ¨nick¨ the leg on D8. Joe Miller made it all square using D8 to complete the 601, Abrams and Nikolov mustering a lone ton between them.
Hawkins and Spicer enjoyed the throw in the second pairs versus Maiden and Durrant, but couldn’t capitalise as Durrant 2×100 and Maiden 100 and D4 made it 3-2. A splendid 96 out from Graham Todd (S20,T18,D11) plus a ton from Ostrowski gave the Kats a 4-2 half time lead. Miller opened up the singles with a 2-0 victory over Durrant taking out D20 and D3, setting up Spicer to level the match with 4×100,95,D15 and finally D10. The in-form Smith faced Abrams for the lead in the third singles.
Two tons from the Hyena wasn’t enough to prevent Abrams scoring 140 and D4 for the opening leg and then 100,118,D16 for the game. Harrison played his usual steady self, beating Ostrowski 2-0 on D8 and D10 with a ton thrown in, to level the overall match at 5-5. An 8 ton ding dong followed when Miller 2×100,134 and 140 played Nikolov 3×100,140 for the lead. It was the Bulgarian, surprisingly in a subdued mood, who found both doubles D9 and D9 to regain the lead and a precious team point. It was Lee v. Lee in the 12th, Maiden and Holtham for a Kats victory or a deserved draw.
Holtham took the first on D8 after 100 and 114, Maiden the second 100,D20 setting up a decider in the very last match leg. Maiden had throw, which proved crucial as Holtham banged in 100 and 112, his opponent responding with a ton and opportunity for first throw at the double, accomplished next throw on D16. Great match, tremendous atmosphere and a credit to both sides.
Breakaways Bears maintain their unbeaten record in Division 2, taking out a rapidly improving Ale House led by Karl Mallinson, licensee of the popular Villamartin bar. In fact it was Mallinson who levelled the score after two triples on D8 after, who else but Mike Smith had opened the Bears account on D4. Mike Douglas top scored for the Bears with a 125.
Smith was at it again in the third with 100 and 120 but it was Mike Snow taking the honours and lead for the Bears on D4. Smith teamed up with top gun Sarah Simpson in the first pairs and promptly increased the lead to 3-1 despite some tasty scoring from Anthony Brum 81,100 and Brian Hobbis.
Snowy´s 125 was insufficient as Enrica Portugal took out D20 followed by Mallinson and Barry Whipday finishing their 601 ahead of Del Lister and Mike Douglas for 3 apiece. Lister was chosen as first singles and justified the decision with 2×100, 2×81 and D16, trading dart for dart with Hobbis who returned a ton and 2×85. Ivan Jones made it 5 for the Bears, Tony Woods giving a good account despite the loss. A tidy 501 from Smith, completed on D20 ensured the draw and point for the hosts.
Brum gave the Ale House a glimmer of hope taking the next against Simpson, but the inevitable arrived in the 11th courtesy of Douglas on D14 for the match, a spirited performance from Whipday wasted. Mallinson played well enough to take the final leg, but hadn’t accounted for a useful Snowy performance ending the evening on D16 after some prolific scoring. Ale House are on the move and will certainly improve on their current position.
The Porter House found themselves 4-5 down with 3 to play facing a home defeat against the unpredictable Jackals from the Junction.
Rouffignac figured significantly during the match and was the lone ton scorer in the opening leg, former comedian Peter Ayres taking out D10. Andy Gildea levelled on D16 and then took the third on D20 for an early lead, Jim Scott helping out Gildea with a ton.
Scott managed a further ton in the opening pairs, but Ayres got his second out of the night, this time on D9, partner Rouffignac scoring three figures. Two tons from Sid Cross in the fifth leg was countered by Kenny Wilkinson´s D18 out, fortunately skipper Ray Sanderson came to the Porters´ rescue in the 6th, with a ton and D14 for 3-3.
Scott gave the Jackals the lead in the first singles winning 2-0 with a 140,D16,D20 against Ray Hayes. Rouffignac completed her evening´s darts with a 2-0 victory over Keith King on D4 and D16 with a 134 on the way. Gildea came from 1 down to Brian Nash´s D2 taking the next two on D10 and D20 plus a 121 and 100. Phil de Lacy looked favourite to earn the Jackals a draw after gaining the first leg to Sanderson. The Porter levelled on D19 after a 116, setting up a decider.
Although de Lacy hit a ton it was the captain who retrieved the game on D2 for all square and two to play. Cross and Steph Simpson traded tons in the 11th, Cross nailing 106 in the first (S20,T18,D16), Simpson levelling on D10 with a ton. The Porter completed the third leg on D20 to earn at least a point. Ayres finished the comeback taking the last and both points on D1 and D5.
Pint Depot Kings are still struggling to find the form of last season and despite a glimmer from Gary Minor 100×2 and Matt Cummins 123,100 it was nowhere near enough against the Que Pasa Eagles, this week including the high profile John Walker.
The Eagles man eased himself back into the frame after returning from the UK whilst undergoing medical treatment with 140, 2×121 and 2×100, assisted by Stuart Clark 140,120,2×100 and Jim Waddel´s 2×100. Dave Wright opened for the Kings on D20 but Kevin Wood planted both doubles for 1-2 after the 3´s. The Eagles took all three doubles via Clark, Jim Storey and Walker, Minor excelling scoring wise but unable to convert into victory.
Wood made sure of a team point winning 2-0 against Martin Bynorth, the next leg claimed by Storey for the match against Frank Wieczorek who took the middle leg on D16. Cummins showed what the Kings can do on going out on S15, bull in the next but Den Hall recovered to take the remaining two for 8-1.
Eddie Fozzard took two of the three versus Storey for 8-2, followed by Wright looking likely to topple Walker with some great scoring, but the experienced Walker did some prolific scoring of his own to enable finishing of D8 and D16. Minor took the valuable scalp of Clark wrapping up the match on D20 after Clark had gone 1 up.
Jaguars sit nicely in third spot after victory over Evolution. The hosts took full advantage over a depleted Evolution side who have some very good players, particularly young Jak Doggart and Luke Nicholls. Between them they mustered three finishes and 8 scores of 80 plus, including a tidy 79 out from Doggart, something for Evolution to build on. A decent performance in the scoring and doubles department from Simone de Lacy, Hilda Wilkinson, Tracy Simpson, Wendy Hayward and Pat Schofield was just too much for the visitors, particularly after Angie Craggs had scored 108 with 2xbull and S8, what was she going for?
Steve Woods recovered from an “iffy” Lo Romero round of golf this week to star in his team´s tussle with Busters. A 119, 135 and 140 helped his side to a draw, Ray Harvey rescuing a point for Busters in the 12th leg. It was nip and tuck throughout, neither side being more than one leg in front at any time. Irene Russell 2×100, Mark Filer 135,140 and Ray Harvey 2×100 contributed to Busters tally, Kevin Fitzpatrick 2×100 assisting Woods´ side.
Justin Hepburn earned the Tavern Drivers a point at Sporting Life after being 4-2 down at half time. John Dursley 100,115 and Ralph Weatherby 100 somehow lost to the efforts from Cheryl McGlynn and Leah Chesworth in the second pairs, Sonya Cooper top scoring in the next with a 131. It all happens down the Sporting Life, this week a certain female decided to play without her top, but did she win her singles? Pop down to the Life to find out.
Pint Depot Queens found themselves 3-0 down to the Kestrels but woke up and were level at half time. Michelle Lane put the Kestrels in front on D13 only for the Queens to make it 4 legs via who else but Debbie Wright on D11 with a possible win on the cards.
As you might guess it didn’t happen as the Kestrels reeled off the next 4, Chris Miles taking the 7th leg and both points. John Lane and Alan Preston starred for the Kestrels, whilst Marie Dunne and Debbie Wright showed the way for the Royals.
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