Darwin’s Remarkable Run Ends in Salopian League

Red Dragon Darts

In round five of the Salopian Men’s Super League, it was a night to forget for the Charles Darwin as the ‘A’ side went down to a first defeat in nineteen games.

The run stretched back into last season and the ‘B’ fared little better as they to crashed to a 5-1 defeat, at home to Dickin Arms. The ‘A’ side who are current league champions went down 5-1 away to the Bulls Head. Malpas hot shot Rowan Price (23.00) and Rob Paine (23.01 which included 16 darts leg) were key winners for a Whitchurch side that went 5-0 up.  Darwin’s Paul Rowley (27.09) hit three maximums and prevented the whitewash but it was a costly defeat that sees the Shrewsbury side slip to third place.

Garry Swancott (19.08 plus a 13 darts leg and a maximum) put Charles Darwin ‘B’ ahead but they would then claim just four more legs as the Wem outfit hit back to take the next five games and register a first win of the season for Dickin Arms. Gary Crowther (22.77) and Kev Rogers (21.50) shone for the Dickin who move up to thirteenth in the table.

Bagley Club can boast the only 100% win rate after a fine 4-2 victory away at near neighbours Compasses. Jon Mansell (24.90) recorded a 145 outshot and put the home side in front.  Neil Southern (20.13) sparked a revival that saw the Bagley take the next four games, two of which went to the wire in last-leg deciders with wins for Andy Kynaston (21.09) and Paul Ashworth (21.91) to earn a hard-fought victory that sees Bagley up to second while the Compasses fall back to fifth.  

Salopian Star are the league’s new leaders, albeit on legs won after the Market Drayton were involved in a 4-2 away win, this one at the expense of Shrewsbury-based Hop and Friar. Despite the visitors racing to a three-nil lead that included fine wins for Joe Higgins (29.04 including a 13 darts leg) and Neil Aspinall (22.42) it needed a last-match win by Dereck Coulson (23.57) to secure a third successive victory. Sandwiched in between were wins for Hop and Friar’s John Roberts (25.96) who had two maximums and a 16 dart leg, Martin Riggs (21.46) also had a 16 darter but it’s now three games without a win for the Hop who drop to twelfth. 

Oswestry’s Griffin complete a quartet of teams at the top on eight points as they also enjoyed a 4-2 away win. Shrewsbury’s Inn on the Green ‘A’ provided the opposition and once more the hosts had an early lead thanks to Sacha Rothwell (19.70). Jamie Kynaston (22.32) who had the night’s highest checkout of 152 levelled up only for Dean Rogers (22.27) to restore the lead for the hosts. Kacey Jones (26.85) chalked up a brace of 15 dart legs as the Oswestry side levelled for a second time before securing victory with further wins for Mark Pritchard (22.12) and Adrian Logsdale (24.67) to take the unbeaten Griffin up to joint third. Meanwhile, Inn on the Green ‘B’ completed an unwanted double for the pub as they lost 5-1 away at Cressage. Shaun Pryce (22.27) and Ash Gough (20.29) among the winners for Cressage who swap places in the mid-table encounter.  

Inn on the Green Wetnor ‘B’ tasted success and points for the first time this season with a 4-2 home win over second-from-bottom-placed Monkmoor.  Comprehensive 20+ average wins for Dave Bishop (180), Dave Lewis, Duncan Morris and James Carter with wins for Monkmoor duo Colin Scott and Tim Franks as their wait for a first point continues.  

The final match of the night saw an entertaining South Shropshire derby unfold at Onibury where Apple Tree and Inn on the Green Wetnor ‘A’ shared the spoils. The visitors opened up a 3-1 lead after wins for Glyn Thomas (22.27), Ben Bevan (21.34) and Eddie Price (22.95) only to see wins Mike Angel (19.97, plus a 180) and then Ben Morgan (23.04), who won in the deciding leg of the final game preserve Apple Trees unbeaten start to the season.

In the ladies’ section it was a night of firsts. League leaders Inn on the Green suffered their firsts defeat of the season going down 4-1 at home to Compasses. Julie Pugh had put the hosts ahead but the Compasses hit back taking the remaining four games without conceding a leg, County players Steph Clarke (17.89) and Alison Gallagher (15.34) leading the charge whilst Lyn Middleton (14.18) pitched in with a 24 darts leg.

At the other end of the table Bird in Hand enjoyed their first win of the season, a 3-2 home win against the Heathgates which sees the Coton Hill side move off the bottom of the table.  Katie Bellerby (14.73) sealing the victory with a 24 dart leg in the final match of the night. 

The night’s final game saw Bagley Club return to winning ways with a 4-1 away win at the Telegraph. Tracey Dean (14.88) and Hayley McGuiness (14.31) were among the winners for the Bagley Club who now join the Inn on the Green at the top of the table locked on identical points and averages. 

Telegraph’s Carol Wall (13.95) staved off the whitewash but it wasn’t enough to stop them from slipping to the bottom of the table with an inferior average. Charles Darwin were without a game and dropped one place to third, level on points with the top two.


Image: (Paul Rowley in Action) PDC

Alan Towe writes with the support of Red Dragon darts

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