West Midlands Start As They left Off

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After gaining promotion from division one last season to the Andy Wheeler Fisheries Championship Division, West Midlands had a bye in the opening weekend of the new season and effectively their first game of the new campaign was an away tie against seventh placed Cheshire.

First on for the West Midands ladies ‘B’ was Jacqueline Maiden who made short work of her game with Alex Foulds winning 3-1 with a lady of the match award winning average of 17.55. Tara Simmons-Fullwood took her opponent Julie Whitehouse to a deciding leg but it was Whitehouse who won it to level the game at 1-1. Jane Stubbs gave Cheshire the lead for the first time when she won 3-0 against Claire Hobbs but it was level-pegging again in the fourth after Gemma Barrett beat Lyn Marsden 3-2. The home team forged ahead again in the fifth when Vicky Pruim beat Jodie Rowlands 3-0 and with a 3-2 win for Vicky Martin over Katherine Jenkins in the final game the hosts won 4-2.

The West Midlands men’s ‘B’ could not have hoped for a better start to their new campaign as they stormed into a match winning 8-0 lead and it all began with a straight 4-0 win for John Morris over Karl Windisch. Glen McGrandle doubled the lead when he won 4-2 against Paul Goodwin and taking the team up to the midway point of the game were Chris Stanley, Ryan Locker, Ian Stanton and Mark Craddock who in turn defeated Ash Clarke (4-0), Colin Lewis (4-1), Aaron Ayres (4-1) and Aaron Russell (4-1).

Adam Teasdale kicked-off the second half and his 4-2 win over Rob Williams chalked up the all-important seventh stripe on the board to assure West Midlands of the win. Following Teasdale was man of the match Jack Aldridge whose straight 4-0 win against Michael Blaise earned him the match award for his 26.72 average. Cheshire then got their first winner as Jeff Fisher beat Karl Hughes 4-0 and reducing the arrears further was Shaun Walshe who won 4-2 against Mark Maiden. That however was to be the home teams little joy from the game as Kieran O’Mahoney won 4-1 against Stuart Keller and Neil Pointon added his 4-3 win against Peter Atkinson to complete the 10-2 rout.

The ladies ‘A’ game finished with the same 4-2 result as the ladies ‘B’ and once again going in favour of Cheshire. Getting the hosts out of the starting blocks was Andrea Davis who accounted for Kelly Doleman with a straight 3-0 defeat and with a similar 3-0 result Sarah Goodwin made it 2-0 when she won against Jacqueline Simmons. Stopping the home team’s charge was Crysta Wilcox who won 3-1 against Theresa Cooper only to see Liz Humphries chalk up Cheshire’s third straight 3-0 win when she beat Sarah Maybury. A 3-0 lady of the match show from Shellbie Simmons kept faint hopes of a draw alive for the West Midlands, Shellbie beating Bev Martin with a 17.28 average, but it was not to be as Kirstie Corbett won the final game against Debbie Davies 3-0 to give the home team the 4-2 win and four 3-0 winners.

A 5-7 defeat would now be enough for an overall West Midlands win but there was still obviously pride to play for in every single game and that was shown as West Midlands longest serving player Ian Jones opened up with a 4-2 win over Matthew Shaw. Ash Khayat (West Midlands) took his opponent Keith Croxford to a deciding leg but it was the Cheshire man who got the verdict to level the game. The results continued to go in favour of the first throw advantage as Dean Simmons-Fullwood beat Brad Walker 4-1 to put West Midlands ahead for a second time and also for a second time their lead was cancelled out as Perry Davenport beat Rob Thompson 4-1. Continuing the sequence Scott Baker added his 4-2 win over Mal Barrow to West Midlands tally, Baker clinching the ‘A’ team match award for his 27.98 average. However by the break it was level-pegging at 3-3 as Shaun Wilkinson won 4-2 against Ryan O’Connor.

The first game of the second half saw Cheshire’s Joe Rowland break the sequence as he put his team ahead for the first time in the opening seven games, he won 4-2 against Jon Platt and with a 4-1 win for Andrew Green over Gavin Baker the hosts had forged 5-3 ahead. Two 4-1 wins from Ben Johnson and Owen Maiden against respective opponents Karl Whitfield and Craig Simpson saw West Midlands draw level at 5-5 with two to play. Both of the last two games finished with a 4-2 result, both of them going to Cheshire as Anthony Conroy beat Kevin Bambrick and Darren Downey won against namesake Darren Williams to give Cheshire the 7-5 win but with the overall 19-17 result going to the West Midlands.

The win lifts West Midlands off the foot of the table moving up to eighth place with twenty-two points but importantly from only one game.


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