London Pride: Spring 2024

Red Dragon Darts

London go into their final UKDA game against Kent with everything on the line, following a thumping 24-12 win over Cheshire.

Although not yet mathematically guaranteed, promotion is virtually assured as they hold a 29 point advantage over third placed Cambridgeshire.

The Ladies teams have performed well all season and this weekend was no exception, and
needed to be as Cheshire have one of the best ladies teams around.

In the “B”, it was the visitors who drew first blood as Kelly Livett lost in minimum time. Carly Townsend then
opened the London account with an assured display, before Emma Smith got over the line in
a match that was very scrappy on the doubles to put the hosts ahead.

Emma Little got beaten in leg four. Lauren Burgess played well to give London the lead before Tammy
Mackenzie (20.31) ended the session on a high with a fabulous 152 checkout in a display
that gave her the match award.

The Men’s B started off well with two wins. Geoff Mortimer, and Ben Cheeseman, who
threw some lovely darts to get things off on the right foot. Clive Barden lost a very enjoyable
seven leg battle, and Peter Gallacher gave as good as he got despite losing in the sixth.

Charlie Little got another London point in the decider, but the visitors hit back with two
straight wins, with Ben West and Danny Brown on the wrong side of the scoreline. Shane
O’Connor (27.48) bagged the match award with his win in five legs. Gene Hill went down in
the fifth. John Walters impressed in his straight legs win, and Tom Riding ground out
another point to maintain the overall advantage.

Harry Kelly was disappointing in the last game as he lost in four, but the 6-6 sectional result seemed about right on the overall balance of play.

The Ladies A started day two with London holding a two point lead. What followed was a
performance full of grit, determination and good play and which yielded a very fine reward.

Filly Blay started off well, but found Vicky Pruim in good form with both ladies averaging
around 24. The London girls really had to dig in with the next three games all going the
distance. Nikki Patten, Lauren Bloomfield and Jo Deamer all came away from the oche with
a point that really shifted the momentum in the hosts favour.

Mandy Solomons (20.88) only needed three legs to take the match award, and Deb Watling made it five points in
succession to cap a near perfect session.

The Men’s A now had a six point cushion, holding a 15-9 advantage. To their credit, Cheshire
began well as they tried to reduce the arrears. Matt Wood lived up to his walk on song, as
he “walked alone” by gaining the only point for London from the first four on offer.

The fourth game proved to be the final time a point went to Cheshire, as London finished the job
off ruthlessly with an eight game winning streak. Dean Buckland and Wayne Brown started
the winning run, Peter Gallacher got his point in leg seven.

Lee Cocks (32.32) produced another outstanding performance to add to the ever growing collection as he sauntered away with both the match and weekend award. Nick Cocks was equally as impressive as he
matched his brother’s whitewash win.

Chris Holt should have done likewise but in the end went the full duration. Tommy Sanwell only went the minimum trip before Jamie Tilley ended a great weekend with a win in six.

It would be remiss of me not to pay tribute to the entire Cheshire team, who despite the
heavy loss were always very sporting throughout and were a credit not only to themselves,
but also to their county. I wish them every success next season.

Just three points separate London from league leaders Hertfordshire who entertain Sussex
in their final match. I suspect both teams will be anxiously keeping one eye on how their
rivals fare on the last weekend to see who goes up as Champions.


Words: The Pearly King

Image: (In text) Lee Cocks by London darts


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