Towe’s Take: UKDA National League News

Red Dragon Darts

Lancashire rounded off the old year with a win in the UKDA National League’s Cosmo Darts Premier Division, extending their lead at the top of the table from eighteen to twenty-eight points with a 22-14 victory away to Glamorgan.

As a result of their defeat Glamorgan lose their number two spot and drop to third one point short of Hampshire who move up four places in the division to second following their huge 27-9 home win over Lincolnshire. Yorkshire had a comfortable 24-12 home win over Cornwall and are currently lying fourth on seventy-eight points, one behind Glamorgan, two fewer than Hampshire and thirty short of Lancashire but they do have a game in hand on all three teams above them.

Top individual performances came from Yorkshire’s opener Peter Jacques whose 4-0 win over Cornwall’s Kev Dunstan earned him the ‘A’ team’s man of the match award for a super 32.32 average. The ‘B’ award went to Glamorgan’s Dan Beynon who had a close 4-3 win and 30.55 average against Lancashire’s Mark Roberts. For the ladies the ‘A’ award went to Lincolnshire’s Trina Gulliver MBE who won 3-1 against Hampshire’s Becca Edwards and averaged 26.03 while Warwickshire’s Natalie Gilbert took the ‘B’ award for a 24.27 average and 3-2 win over Dorset’s Cathy Campbell.      

Game four brought about no change at the top of the Andy Wheeler Fisheries Championship Division with London holding on to pole position winning 22-14 at Sussex to extend their lead from five to twelve points over their nearest rivals. Kent lost their number two spot after suffering a 21-15 defeat at home to Cheshire and drop one place to third with eighty-three points some fourteen short of London while Northamptonshire move up one place to replace Kent in the second place despite losing 19-17 at Hertfordshire who with sixty-three points move up from ninth to fourth in the division. Derbyshire, who were formerly fourth had their fixture at Cambridgeshire cancelled and as a result drop down to ninth in the table.

Award winners for the Championship Division were for the men’s ‘A’ Northamptonshire’s Rex Cole who had a 4-0 win over Hertfordshire’s Ricky Evans and averaged 32.32 while Shaun Walshe (Cheshire) took the ‘B’ award for his 4-3 win against Jake White (Kent) and 29.20 average. The ladies ‘A’ award went to Cleveland’s Claire Stamper who had a straight 3-0 win in her tie with West Midlands Gemma Barrett, Claire having a 24.64 average in the process. Vicky Rannow (Hertfordshire) was the ladies ‘B’ top player, her 3-0 win and 21.78 average in her game with Northamptonshire’s Lexi Jayne Rooksby earning her the award.

After wins in their opening three games of the season in the L-Style Division One of the UKDA National League Black Country were held to an 18-18 draw in game four when they played away against Merseyside who prior to the fixture were next to bottom of the division with a game in hand on the majority of teams above them. The draw has seen Black Country’s lead slashed from six to one slender point with Gwent reducing the arrears with their 21-15 home win over Buckinghamshire. Leicestershire were formerly third but having a bye saw them drop a huge six places to ninth, their fifty-eight points just three more than bottom placed Devon. Suffolk’s big 27-9 home win over Somerset has seen them move up one place to third with eighty-six points, seven fewer  than the leaders but eight more than fourth placed Berkshire who had a 22-14 home win over Gwynedd.

The top ‘A’ team average of 34.00 went to Gwent’s Peter Johns who had a 4-2 win over Buckinghamshire’s Darren Fyffe, Suffolk’s Nathan Potter not far behind with a 33.97 average and 4-0 win against Jason Woodyard (Somerset). For the division one ‘B’ games the top average was shared with Richard Stride (Berkshire) and Martyn Moore (Suffolk) both recording 31.31 averages. It was Suffolk once again that claimed the ladies ‘A’ award as their Jo Locke won 3-0 against Somerset’s Kate Hulme and averaged 23.12. The ‘B’ award went to Kirsty Gibbs (Buckinghamshire) who beat Hayley Mathews (Gwent) 3-0 with a 21.47 average.

Salopian have been ousted from their pole position in Division Two following their first defeat in four fixtures when they lost 20-16 away to Worcestershire who with the win hold on to third place with eighty-nine points, two short of new leaders Middlesex who had a 22-14 home win over Surrey. Wiltshire remain second, they had a 20-16 win at West of England to leave them just one point behind Middlesex. Salopian’s defeat sees them drop to fourth however they are on the same eighty-nine points as their third placed victors.

A 32.06 average plus a 4-1 result against Surrey’s Darren Bryant earned Martin Lukeman (Middlesex) the men’s ‘A’ award while the ladies ‘A’ award went to Worcestershire’s Zoe Jones who won 3-1 against Salopian’s Evonne Taylor. Both the men’s and ladies ‘B’ awards went to Norfolk players James Goldsmith taking the men’s and Nikki Goldsmith the ladies.

Breconshire have extended their lead at the top of the UKDA National League Division Three table after adding a 23-13 home win over Pembrokeshire to their account. With a total of 105 points Breconshire have a lead of fourteen over second placed Cumbria who moved up one place in the table following their massive 27-9 win at Montgomery and Radnor. Formerly second in the division Northumberland suffered a 19-17 defeat at Wirrall and drop to third nineteen points off the top while Wirall hold on to fourth place and are now just one point behind third placed Northumberland, but twenty short of the leaders.

As far as match awards go for Division Three only two counties were involved as Pembrokeshire, despite their heavy defeat won both the men’s ‘A’ and men’s ‘B’ awards which were won respectively by Marshall James, with a fantastic 35.16 average and Stu Davies who averaged 28.90. The ladies awards went to Cumbria’s Ann Scholey who scooped the ‘A’ award for her 21.47 average while the ‘B’ award was shared by Cumbria’s Mary Paine and Val Hargrave who both had an 18.79 average.    


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