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ESSEX v KENT 22 - 14 7th - 8th April 2001

Essex closed the deficit on the leaders Cambridgeshire by three points with a 22-14 victory at home to relegation bound Kent, in their quest for a first British Inter Counties Championship title. In the penultimate fixture of the season, the home side produced a solid display with both menís and womenís teams sharing the spoils.
However both the menís A and B team failed to capitalise on a strong opening, by surrendering 6-2 and 6-0 leads respectively in their 7-5 victories.
The womenís B team secured a 4-2 win against the bottom side, their first win of a dismal season. Ros Ambrose kicked off the weekend in fine style with a 180 in a 3-1 win against Ged Carney, meanwhile Sheila Allen continued in the same vain to whitewash Sue Forman. Former A team player Sheila Busby produced another vintage display to claim the player of the match award with a maximum in her 3-0 win (20.31 average) against Carly Townsend. Sue Hewson completed the home sides victory with a comfortable 3-1 win against Stacy Mowl.
The menís B team romped to an early 5-1 lead thanks to formidable performances by Steve Smith who registered a maximum in whitewashing Darryl Jeager, George Harris defeated Nick Smith 3-1 and his brother George checked out on 113 in a 3-1 win against Paul McDine, who registered two 180ís. The second half proved an anticlimax as Essex squandered their advantage to win 7-5. Harry Smith narrowly defeated Darren Lancefield 3-2 and Peter Mulreany claimed the player of the match award with an A team performance, in an emphatic 3-0 win (30.06) against Rob Turner.

The womenís A side cruised into a 4-0 lead, only to relinquish the last two sets with another 4-2 win. Maureen Smee began with a 3-2 victory over Helen Padgham, Viv Dundon defeated Hayley plume by the same margin and Donna Hyde breezed past Diane Roberts 3-0. Juliet Curley scored a 180 in her 3-1 defeat against Maggie Howells and Essexís most consistent performer Jill Walker, succumbed to a 3-2 defeat against Sally Dowell. Sandra Dance claimed the player of the match award in her 3-2 win (20.24) against Jan Evans.
Essex cruised to victory as the menís A team produced a superb display of darts to claim the opening five sets 3-0, only to succumb once again to a valiant Kent fight back. Andy Fordham, Al Hedman and Kevin Painter led the early charge with a host of top performances. Terry Rose and Kevin Spiolek continued Essexís progress, before the away side claimed four consecutive sets. Steve Douglas and Nick Buckingham proved instrumental, scoring two 180ís each in their victories against, Essexís Chris Bowring and Eddie Gosling, who replied with a 180 and 171 respectively. Wayne Mardle registered two maximums in a bright opening, however Mick Norris eventually claimed another set for the visitors in a 3-2 win. Mark Landers produced a first class performance to land the player of the match award and secure Essexís 7-5 victory with a 3-0 win (31.31) against Lee Guildford.


18 - 18

Northumberland's promotion hopes took a dive as they faced Cheshire in a home fixture to the Northern outfit at the Ashington Northern Social Club and could only muster an 18-18 draw as opposed to a 23-13 win they had secured in the corresponding fixture last year.
This result combined with a substantial victory of 29 - 10 for third placed Surrey has put a totally different complexion on the race for who will make the second promotion spot in Division One and take up Premier Darts next season.
To be blunt, as Surrey now only trail Northumberland by 4 points and have a game in hand against lowly Berkshire (played on the 28.29 April) followed by their last game against middle of the table Merseyside, whilst Northumberland must travel away to Divisional Leaders Lincolnshire, then the favourite to take the second place must now be Surrey, any kind of result in their rearranged game is likely to give them somewhere in the region of an 18-20 lead, a lead which taking into consideration of the two remaining games I think will be too great for Northumberland to make up.
There is one consolation for the Northern squad and that is their very powerful Mens A team still hold onto top spot by one point over Lincolnshire and knowing the lads involved I must still fancy the Geordie boys to take this title at the very least.

The game between Cheshire started off well as the Ladies B team took a conclusive 4-2 win with wins coming from Chris Caldow (15.63) Colleen Hunt (17.68) Ang McGarry (16.52) and Lady of the Match Charmaine Thomas 18.35. Losers Glynis Kirvan (16.76) - Lilian Frost (14.98)
Next up the Mens B team games and as with previous games this is were the Northern side came under the hammer as they lost they first 4 games to give Cheshire the overall lead.

Peter Finlay scored the first point for the home side winning with a 20.11 average followed by wins from John Young (23.12) Dave Young (23.90) and Alan Davie taking the Mens B team match award with a very creditable 29.10 winning average to put Northumberland back ahead, but unfortunately that was it for the day as Cheshire took the remaining 4 games to give an overnight score of 8-10.
Mens B results :
Paul Nicholson 2-3 (23.65) -- Alan Biggins 1-3 (19.51) -- Frankie Skillen 1-3 (21.71) -- Colin Ross 0-3 (21.76) -- Peter Finlay 3-2 (20.11) -- John Young 3-0 (23.12) -- Dave Young 3-1 (23.90) -- Alan Davie 3-1 (29.10) -- Jimmy White 0-3 (20.67) -- Robin Calvert 1-3 (21.95) -- Ray Dawson 2-3 (25.61) -- Andy Dillon 2-3 (22.77)

Sunday saw another disaster as the Northumberland Ladies A team suffered yet another defeat, this 2-4 with only Deana Nash (15.82) and Cath Groves (17.26) taking the match award and once again it was up to the Mens A team to try to save the day with the score standing at 10-14.
Things could not have gotten off to a worse start as team captain Alan Whittle despite having a 29.38 average lost the opening game 2-3, however Dave Maitland stuck to his guns to run out a 3-2 winner in a tightly fought game to start the A team ball rolling, Colin Dobson then lost out in his game, but Northumberland were determined not to lose any further ground in their A team battle as they bravely battled on with further wins from John Brannan (28.05) Dave Gradwell (30.17) Davy Richardson (23.20) Roger Brown (27.03) to bring the score to 16-16 the next two games were shared as Steve Wanless lost out in a 2-3 game and Keith Wright bring the score once again level in a tremendous 3-2 game winning with a 26.31 average and with the powerful Mac Murphy and Graeme Stoddart to come it looked as though the get out of card free for Northumberland had been played, but to keep the drama going Murphy suffered a rare defeat putting Cheshire back in the drivers seat.
Not being one to give up Northumberland's last man up Graeme Stoddart pulled a corker out of the bag to win his game in super style with a 34.16 average giving a number of results. This win of Graemes was enough to save yet another home defeat and salvage at least a draw, it was enough to give the Mens A team that one extra point that keeps them top of their section and the average of 34.16 was enough to give him a share of this months player of the month award with Yorkshire's Martin Atkins and Clwyd's Tony Martin.

Graeme Stoddart


Buckinghamshire v Suffolk 7th - 8th April 2001
15 -21

Dawn Goff 2 17.19 v Nicky Doidge 3 16.74 -- Jane Sobey 2 17.89 v Rossy Scriven 3 18.16 -- Ann Wakefield 1 19.15 v Karen Cudmore 3 20.23
Leslie Gibbs* 3 17.01 v Marie Hook 2 16.43 -- Amanda Kuling 0 19.70 v Louise Groves* 3 23.48 -- Karen Lan 2 13.75 v Wendy Harden 3 14.49

Tony Moore 0 23.73 v Nicky Bloom 3 26.37 -- Paul Minns 1 26.06 v Gary Flynn 3 26.41 -- Paul Comb 1 28.41 v Micky Rush* 3 27.51
Ian Wise 3 26.63 v Stuart Greenhalgh 1 25.60 -- John Tarbox* 3 27.13 v Tommy Coleman 1 23.97 -- Rob Buckle 1 21.80 Darren Wood 3 22.67
Ray McKeating 3 23.86 v Peter Hurren 0 19.00 -- Tony Davies 1 23.65 v Paul Gardiner 3 24.85 -- Pete Stockley 1 26.25 Steve Warren 3 24.36
Phil Simpson 3 23.41 v Al Edwards 2 22.70 -- Mick Wroe 3 26.37 v Richard Wright 0 19.09 -- Les Charville 1 23.26 v Carl Wilkins 3 25.11

Barbara Legge* 3 19.03 v Ann Daniel 0 16.26 -- Helen Webster 3 17.13 v Sylvia Rogers 1 16.04 -- Fiona Carmichael 2 18.90 v Jean Prewitt 3 18.33
Carol Trevorrow 3 16.52 v Katrina Reid 0 16.75 -- Angie Webb 1 18.22 v Tracey Wotton 3 19.64 -- Kate Drake 2 21.19 v Sue Talbot* 3 22.84

Rob Allen 2 24.99 v Peter Green 3 25.02 -- Damien Fyffe 3 26.62 v David Ling 2 24.62 -- Mark Leather* 3 28.90 v Chris Ellis 0 22.50
Graham McFarlane 3 25.47 v Lee Hammond 0 24.25 -- Nigel Beaven 1 22.68 v Dave Blackburn 3 24.10 -- Mark Day 3 25.47 v Cavan Thake 0 18.28
Paul Farnes 3 26.84 v Craig Harrod 0 22.04 -- Mick Carrick 1 24.33 v Kevin Harris* 3 27.28 -- Terry Adolpho 2 25.25 v Garry Prime 3 23.91
Lee Rose 3 25.84 v Phil Westwood 1 24.05 -- Dave Babb 0 22.79 v James Carpenter 3 24.64 -- Darren Williamson 2 23.67 v Andy Honeyman 3 24.93