Black Country Remain Undefeated After Merseyside Draw

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After wins in their opening three games Black Country’s fourth fixture in the L-Style Division one of the UKDA National League was an away tie with Merseyside. Going into the fixture Black Country were riding high at the top of the table with seventy-four points, six more than their nearest rivals Gwent while their hosts were lying next to bottom of the table on thirty-eight points but with a game in hand. 

Nothing could separate the two team in Saturday’s games as the ladies ‘B’ finished level at 3-3, and the men 6-6, Merseyside taking the lead in the ladies as their Lynn Anderson beat Natalie Hulson 3-2 and Sandra Rule won by the same margin against Lacey Hughes. Although Doreen Hunt pulled on back for the Black Country when she won 3-2 against Adele Mulligan, the hosts had their two games buffer restored in the fourth when Julie Whelan beat Angie Carroll, once again with a 3-2 result. Abbey Hunt’s 3-1 win over Gill Jones reduced the arrears to 3-2 and the draw was secured when Black Country’s lady of the match Grace Angell won the final tussle against Janet Sorrell 3-0 with an 18.79 average.

The men’s ‘B’ got off to a flyer, Mark Rollinson winning the opener against Barry Bowes 3-2 followed by two 3-1 wins from Gareth Johnston and Ian Townsend who in turn accounted for Phil Lloyd and Peter Robbins, Townsend’s win and 26.84 average earning him the team’s match award. Unfortunately from 3-0 up by the break it was all-square at 3-3 as Steve Gow beat Connor Whitehouse 3-2, Tony Brown won 3-1 against Wayne Hobday and John Brammeld won by the same 3-1 scoreline against Mark Jones.    

As the second session got underway the hosts went ahead for the first time in the game when Clive Rule won 3-1 against Al Smith, however the lead didn’t last long as Alan Hickinbottom and Sam Bissell beat respective opponents Philip Bennett and Alan Magee 3-1 to give Black Country a 5-4 advantage. Parity was restored once again in the tenth when, for the hosts Ben Jones won 3-0 against Luke Wildman. John Green kept a possible win alive in the penultimate game when his 3-1 win over Paul Smith assured at least a draw with the win hinging on the final game between Chris Long (Merseyside) and Shane Sheridan. The outcome was a 6-6 draw as Long won his game against Sheridan 3-0.   

Viv Cullimore (Merseyside) won the first of the ladies ‘A’ games when she beat Maxine Prosser 3-2 and with a 3-0 win for Vicki Lloyd over Heather Wright the home side were 2-0 up. Chez Allcock reduced that lead to 2-1 when she won 3-1 against Tracy Morris, only to see Jane Robson put the win for the Black Country out of reach when she beat Tammy Chance 3-1. Sarah-Jane Parker kept hopes of a draw alive for the Black Country when she not only won 3-2 against Emma Barlow but also won the lady of the match award for her 17.93 average. Alas a draw was not to be as Merseyside’s Janet Hardman won the final game against Grace Angell 3-0 to give the hosts a 4-2 win.   

With only the men’s ‘A’ result to be added to the total an 8-4 win was required to keep intact Black Country’s 100% win record and that looked to be on the cards as Dan Nicholls and Jamie Rollinson put them two up when in turn they won 4-2 against Terry Roach and Dan Nuttie. That however was to be the only two wins of the first half as Kevin Lloyd, Lee Palfreyman, Dave Harnick and Joseph Palfreyman beat respective opponents Rob Smith (4-0), Dan Homer (4-1), George Willetts (4-2) and Mark Jones (4-3).  

Black Country’s man of the match Martin Price began the second half with a straight 4-0 win over John Prescott and a 27.83 average. Rich Bowen, Trev Brennan, Shane Price and Paul Wells were all taken to a deciding leg, all of them winning 4-3 in turn against Tom Lockyer, Dave Richards, Mike Addison and Robbie Gorst to seal victory, now leading 7-4. Unfortunately the overall win could not be achieved as in the last game Merseyside’s Patrick Williams won 4-0 against Tom Bissell to give a final score of 7-5 and an overall result of 18-18.

Despite being held to a draw Black Country hold on to pole position but their ninety-three points are now just one more than second placed Gwent who won their home game with Buckinghamshire 21-15.


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