Towe’s Take: UKDA 2023/24 Match Two

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Match two in the UKDA National League ‘s 2023/24 season saw Lancashire hold on to their number one spot and increase their lead in the Cosmo Darts Premier Division from five to twelve points as they added their latest victory, a 23-13 win away to Warwickshire to their account. As a result of their 20-16 defeat away to Hampshire, Cornwall lost their second place and drop to fourth with Glamorgan moving up four places to replace them after they beat Staffordshire 23-13. Hampshire’s win saw them go from fifth to third on forty points some fourteen off the top.

On the individual scene Dorset’s Ricky King had the top men’s ‘A’ average of 34.55 for his straight 4-0 win over Lincolnshire’s Shane Lowe while Lincolnshire’s Steve Giddings took the men’s ‘B’ award for his 32.87 average in a 4-1 win over James Green. In the ladies games Stacey Ellis (Essex) lifted her ‘A’ team’s trophy for her 3-0 win and 27.33 average over Sara Mortimer while Dorset’s Sarah Chick won the ladies ‘B’ award for her 23.10 average and 3-1 success against  Dawn Armstrong.

In the Andy Wheeler Fisheries Championship Division a 20-16 win away to Hertfordshire keeps London top of the division and sees them extend their lead by two to five points. Northamptonshire lost 20-16 at Kent and drop one place to third with their hosts taking over from them in the number two spot on forty-five points, five more than Kent.

Match award winners for the Championship Division went to Northamptonshire’s Ricky Evans for the men’s ‘A’, his 4-1 win over David Saint giving him a 31.30 average. London took the Men’s ‘B’ and ladies A’ awards with Bhav Patel beating Luke Arber 4-2 with a 27.24 average and Felicia Blay winning 3-0 against Kirsty Bond to win the ladies ‘A’ award for her super 27.33 average. The ladies ‘B’ award went to Cheshire’s Andrea Davis who won 3-0 against West Midlands Kelly Doleman and averaged 20.88.

Its all-change at the top of the L-Style Division One with Gwynedd losing the top spot after going down 23-13 at Gwent, they drop to fifth place on thirty-six points some twelve short of new leaders Black Country who won their game at Suffolk 22-14. Gwent’s win made them the rounds biggest climbers as they leapt up from ninth to second on forty-two points just six behind Black Country and one ahead of third placed Somerset who won 19-17 at Tyne and Wear to see them move up four places in the table.

Top players for game number two in division one saw Suffolk scoop the men’s ‘B and ladies ‘A’ awards as Ashley Coleman with a 29.30 average and 3-2 win over Carl Sparrow won the men’s ‘B’ and Jo Locke with a magnificent 30.06 average defeated Amy-Leigh Tolley 3-0. The men’s ‘A’ award went to Berkshire’s Archie Self who had a 4-1 win over Leicestershire’s Ben Quenby and averaged 31.86 and for the ladies ‘B’ it was Abbie Brewster whose 3-0 success against Sharon Mitchell earned her the award together with her 18.56 average.

Division Two has a new team in pole position after former leaders Surrey lost 20-16 away to Norfolk, they are replaced by newly promoted Salopian who won their away game against West of England 21-15 to put them on forty-seven points. Worcestershire were unable to hold on to second place as they drop to third in the table with forty-three points after being held to an 18-18 draw at Middlesex and taking over in the number two spot is Wiltshire who move up two places in the table following their 22-14 win at County Durham which takes their points tally to forty-four, three fewer than Salopian.

Both of the ‘A’ match awards went to Middlesex players, Cam Crabtree taking the men’s award for his 4-1 win and 30.30 average against Andy Pullen while for the ladies ‘A’ it was Vickie Kiely who defeated Zoe Jones 3-2 and averaged 21.94. Stephen Annan (County Durham) won the men’s ‘B’ award for his 3-0 win over Richard Smith and 29.47 average while Worcestershire’s Kim Jones was the ladies ‘B’ winner with a 20.59 average in her 3-0 win over Hayleigh Shaw

In Division Three Breconshire with a 20-16 win at Gloucestershire have extended their lead at the top of the division from two to five points. After game one Cumbria were second in the division but a 24-12 defeat at Wirral has seen them drop down to fifth on thirty-six points, thirteen behind Breconshire. Shropshire, who were third also lost, their 25-11 loss at Northumberland seeing them drop to seventh place with thirty-three points. Wirral’s win has taken them up into second place, their forty-four points five short of the leaders and just one more than Northumberland who have taken over at number three.

Top players on the day for division three were Ben Hazel who beat Pembrokeshire’s Steve Alker 4-0 and averaged 33.97 to win the men’s ‘A’ award, the men’s ‘B’ accolade going to Paul Richardson (Northumberland) who won 3-1 against Shropshire’s Andre Knox with a 29.91 average. For the ladies it was Cumbria’s Crissy Manley who topped the ladies ‘A’ charts with her 3-0 win over Wirral’s Pam Courts and 21.47 average, while a similar 3-0 win for Breconshire’s Natalie Evans over Gloucestershire’s Christine Marsh earned her the ladies ‘B’ award for her 20.59 average.

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Alan Towe writes with the support of Red Dragon Darts

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