West Midlands vs Hertforshire

Red Dragon Darts

West Midlands began their game number five fixture in the Andy Wheeler Fisheries Championship Division fifth in the table and just six points short of their visitors fourth placed Hertfordshire so a win would almost certainly see them move up the table.

For the ladies it was possibly a weekend to forget as both the ‘A’ and ‘B’ lost 6-0. 

Kevin Bambrick ( pictured) gave the West Midlands men’s ‘B’ the best possible start when he won 4-3 against Keith Arber but the hosts lead was short-lived as Mason Teese, Ricky Caves, Ian Clarkson and Kieran Brignell in turn won against Ian Stanton (4-0), Alex Simmons (4-1), Jack Aldridge (4-3) and Ryan Locker (4-1) to give Hertfordshire a 4-1 lead. By the break Mark Craddock had pulled one back for the home side with a straight 4-0 win over Ashley Smith. 

The second half got off with a little more promise for West Midlands as man of the match Ash Khayat beat Shane Smith 4-1 with a 27.35 average and with John Morris adding his 4-2 win over Scott Curwen to the hosts tally the visitors lead had been erased and the score was level at 4-4.

Hertfordshire went ahead again in the ninth when Luke Arber beat Chris Stanley 4-1 and with a 4-3 win for Paul Squirrell over Glen McGrandle the away side were then within an ace of victory. Kieran O’Mahoney kept the home team’s hopes alive of a draw when in the penultimate encounter he won 4-3 against Dean Holtby but a straight 4-0 win for Brad Clark over Paul Pice gave Hertfordshire the 7-5 verdict. 

All of the first half games of the men’s ‘A’ match went in favour of the first throw advantage with Hertfordshire taking the lead no fewer than three times and on each occasion having their advantage wiped out by West Midlands players. Winners for Hertfordshire were Tommy Aken, Joe Croft and Rex Cole and replying for West Midlands were Ian Jones, Owen Maiden and Ben Johnson. 

The pattern changed as early as the first encounter of the second half as Darren Williams put the hosts in front for the first time in the game when he won 4-2 against Lee Barrow. Sadly the lead only lasted as long as the following game as Thomas Banks (Hertfordshire) beat Scott Baker 4-0 then  Brad Clark won 4-3 against Rob Thompson and with a further 4-2 win for Daniel Varney over Ryan O’Connor the visitors were 6-4 up and guaranteed a share of the points.

A man of the performance from Shaun Carroll kept West Midlands in the game, Shaun beating Jack Pledger 4-2 with a 29.11 average leaving the result hinging on the final game of the day. The twelfth and final game went the full seven legs distance with West Midlands Richard Platt salvaging a 6-6 draw when he won 4-3 against Kieran Brignell.   

The overall 25-11 defeat saw West Midlands drop from fifth to tenth in the division while their victors moved up into third place just seven points short of second in the table Northamptonshire who have played one game more than them.


Image: Lawrence Lustig / PDC ( Kevin Bambrick at the UK Open)

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