There have been two since November the 13th and now there is just one, unbeaten teams that is. Breakaways are the latest team to lose the accolade, surprisingly at home to an ecstatic Tavern Drivers, themselves a little wayward of late but nevertheless congratulations.
A depressed Mike Snow tells me there were only one or two highlights from his previously unbeaten side and one of those was the half time curry. That now leaves the Meerkats with just one dropped point against Ray Sanderson´s Porter House outfit, who should have repeated the feat a couple of weeks ago.
The top of Division 1 could well change this week when the Meerkats play the Hyenas in a real top of the table clash. A draw may well suit both captains, which will only delay the inevitable last game shoot out at the end of the season, that is should both sides keep their existing records.
Already Hyenas captain Simon Williams is bemoaning a loss of key players due to illness etc who I think may well make miraculous recoveries. The banter and rhetoric is in full flow between both protagonists, hopefully the match will live up to expectations.
One side now looking nicely settled into league darts are the Evolution boys, their victory visit to the Misfits was their sixth consecutive unbeaten match, to include a cup game, a decent run, if continued, may well see them in the top 3.
The Kats match versus the Que Pasa Eagles was a real belter, both sides starting off slowly, the Kats ahead from the third leg, the Eagles eventually showing the sort of form we know they are capable of. Joe Cuyt took the first for the visitors with a tidy 80 out (S20,S20,D20) followed by Dave Frew´s 76 out (S5,T17,D10).
The Eagles skipper Den Hall livened his side up in the third with 95 and 121, but it was Pat Abrams taking the plaudits with 2×100 and a showboating 60 out (D20,D10) for the lead.
The strong pairing of Abrams and Alex Nikolov had the throw in the first pairs against Jim Waddell and Mel Bettell, the latter contributing a 95, countered by Nikolov´s 118 and Abrams 140 and D10. Cuyt´s 114 in the next was overshadowed by Lee Maiden´s 180, partner Del Kingsbury slipping in D16 for 4-1. Stuart Clark and Hall reduced their opponents lead in the third pair, Clark nailing D10 before tucking in to some excellent fish and chips.
Waddell´s 2×140 in the opening single may well have been enough against a lesser opponent than Abrams, who put away both legs on D20 and D5 after 2×100 and a 125. Maiden ensured the draw beating Cuyt 2-0 with 3×100,D20 and D10, Cuyt replying with just a ton.
The 9th leg was pretty lively Nikolov taking the first against Hall on D2 after 2×100. Two more tons from the Bulgarian in the second looked ominous for Hall, but a 95 and D20 set up a decider. Nikolov moved up a gear hitting 3×100, but Hall replied with 85,156 and a 104 out (S18,T18,D16). Brilliant stuff! Clark faced Kingsbury in the next and posted 2×100 and a 74 out for the first leg, Kat Kingsbury replying with a ton. Another 100 from the Kat followed by S19,S18,D20 for a 77 out made it all square, Clark finding the lipstick with 100 and 140.
Both registered tons in the decider and both wobbled just a little, Kingsbury slotting home the double for 7-3 and the match. Jim Storey made it 4 for the Eagles, winning two of three against Graham Todd 127,95 and D16, Storey 100,121,D8 and D16. Paul Durrant wrapped up the match 2-0 playing Bettell, the former nailing D20,D5 to include a 140.
Hyenas found themselves 2-0 down in no time playing Playa Flamenca´s Busters. Nick Spicer 100 and D16 taking the third triple. The pairs all went the way of the visitors for a 2-4 half time score, Spicer D9, Joe Miller 100,D6 and Cyril Harrison D8 finding the doubles.
Peter O´Rourke pulled one back for the hosts against the exiled John Eyre 2-0, Ray Harvey anticipating a similar result after taking the first leg against Miller. The Hyena was having none of it and posted 3×100,D20 and D9 for the win.
Paul Dowington narrowed the visitors lead by taking out Joe Hawkins 2-1, the latter going one up but not able to convert the second. Harrison enjoyed a comfortable 2-0 victory to ensure the draw and point for the visitors, leaving Spicer 100,95 the applause of victory plus two points for his side after his 2-0 win over Babs Warren.
Captain Simon Williams 125 concluded the match on D16 after taking the first leg on D11 against veteran Bill Russell. Ray Harvey 100,121 Warren 105, O´Rourke 100,140 and Dowington 132 were Busters top scorers.
Porter House sit comfortably in third place, albeit losing a home point against La Zenia´s Gogarty´s bar. The match was pretty close, in fact 5 all with 2 to play, Steve Woods´ side ignoring the fact it was Ray Sanderson´s 50 something birthday, he says he is much younger than wife Sue! Gogarty´s even had the cheek to eat his birthday cake.
No fireworks in the early games, Sid Cross earning the Porters an early lead on D4, Richard Pattison levelling on D2 after Brian Nash´s 121. Cross and Nash, sounds like a 60´s super group, made it 2-1 for the birthday boy, Cross getting the double, Nash doing the scoring. Gogarty´s took 2 of the 3 pairs available to make it all square at half time.
Pattison 140 and D19, taking the first, Cross 100 and Ray Hayes 100 and a 56 out the second, Woods 135,D16 with partner Kevin Fitzpatrick taking the third. Gail Todd nailed the first of three in the opening singles, Mike Newbury 110 closing the match on D19 and D18. Nash also took the opening leg on D16 after 100,112, the leg cancelled out by Pattison on D13. T
he Porters 125 and 100 looked good enough for the leg however the Gogarty´s man replied with a ton and D2 to level the overall match. Cross made it 5-4, taking out Ernie Wilson on D20 and D15 to include 100,125 and 140, Wilson outing on 81 (T17,D15). Both captains faced each other in the tenth, Woods forgetting the occasion going out on the bull in the first and a dodgy D1 for 2-0.
Ray Hayes gained the draw and point, hitting 2×100,D2 and D20, leaving Gogarty´s Cynthia Jevons to level the match winning two of the three legs against Matt Jackson 2×100.
Breakaways remain clear top in Division 2 and look certain of promotion even after this week´s drubbing from second placed Tavern Drivers. The league leaders were surprisingly 1-5 down at half time, their only win coming from Paul Lear, completing the 701 on a 64 out, Del Lister helping out with some very steady scoring.
Three double 1 finishes from the Drivers in the first six legs may go some way in explaining the Bears defeat. The first two singles went Drivers way, Justin Hepburn taking the match on D5 after an 83 and 95. Lear gained the Bears second leg on D5 only for Ricky Cox D3 and John Dursley D1 to make it 9 legs for the visitors.
The reliable Ivan Jones gave the score line a little respectability for Breakaways hitting 121,92,100 and D10, to conclude the match and score that to many would have gone down on the pools coupon as a home win.
A D4 and scoring to match from Pat Schofield got the Jaguars off to a flyer against the Queens from Pint Depot, Debbie Wright´s 98 and 114 insufficient to double out. Vi Turner levelled on D2 and then took the next on D6, well supported in the scoring department by Wright and Lorraine Cox.
Wendy Hayward virtually won the first pairs single handedly on D5, the second going to queen Debbie giving the Queens a 2-3 lead. Schofield levelled at half time completing the 601 with a very nice 62 out (S10,S12,D20).
Sharon Bugg D8 and Hayward D12 made it 5-3 for the Jaguars, Cox preventing the draw with D1 in the 9th leg.
Tracey Simpson also found herself on D1 after some tasty scoring to secure the draw and point, allowing Hilda Wilkinson to take the win on D10 against a spirited performance from Wright. Turner gained her third double of the night D11 giving the Queens their fifth leg.
Kestrels gained their 6th victory of the season over local visitors Ale House. A 3-0 lead courtesy of Eddie Martin, Chris Miles and Russell Lyness.
The lead was reduced by Luke Yarnold D10 and Brian Hobbis D7 only for Alan Preston to take out D16 for 4-2 at the break, Owen Attwood looking very tidy for the Alemen. Kay Hobbis D2 made it 4-3 giving young Attwood the incentive to take the next and level on D20 after some fine throwing.
Preston gave the hosts back the lead on D7, Karl Mallinson doing his best with 96 and 100 against an in-form Miles to level again. It was however Miles on D2 to take the leg.
Yarnold gave the Alemen the chance of a draw on D2 but it was Terry Kirby who gained the points for the Kestrels taking out 55 on S15,D20 despite 2×100 from Bernie Whipday.
Last week´s answer With two darts to throw for 15 most experienced throwers would plump for S7,D4. My alternative is to throw for S11 and D2 because if you throw low into S8 you still have one dart to leave a double. With three darts available you have two chances to finish effectively. Its all about percentage darts.
This week´s question You require 119, what sequence of scores maximises your chance of finishing?
Leader Merit Table, top five only
Team: Evolution 12 pts, Gogarty´s 10, Misfits 9, Jaguars 8, Ale House 8
Girls: P. Schofield 13 pts, Y. Rouffignac 12, W. Hayward 12, T. Simpson 10, S. de Lacy 8
Boys: P. Abrams 21, N. Spicer 18, L. Maiden 14, M. Smith 10, A. Nikolov 10.
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