Home v Oxfordshire - Saturday 30th / Sunday 31st May 2015
The weekend of 30th/31st May Dorset were at home to Oxfordshire, and it brought together the two England captains in Scott Mitchell and Deta Hedman if for once on different sides. All thoughts of promotion or relegation gone as both teams were mid table, Oxfordshire some 6 points ahead of Dorset. This was the final game of the season.
So how did Dorset do?
Dorset boys and girls were as always optimistic playing in their home venue. Up 1st for the Ladies B, Lin Bellingham despite a few technical problems e.g. wrong walk on music and the microphone packing up half way through her game, Lin took the game to a deciding leg. Unfortunately missed doubles saw her lose 2-3 and put Oxfordshire one up. Wins for Donna Mabbatt, Claire Whatley, Peri Yarrow (who was our lady of the match with a 17.89) Sally Old and Katie Mitchell gave Dorset a great start with a 5-1 win. Katie was making her debut in the senior woman's side winning 3-0 a great start to her county career.
Bring on our Men's B. Now at Dorset I think we have a very consistent and strong side only having lost one game this season from the 8 played. Oxfordshire on the other hand had only won 2 matches so on paper it was looking good but as all dart players will tell you it is all about how you play on the day.
Up first a young 13 year old, Daniel Perry playing Geordie Grant, David versus Goliath springs to mind. Daniel took the match to a deciding leg and had 4 darts at a winning double but it just didn't go for him this time and Geordie just snatched it. Next up Dorset's Manager John Clark. John had a great game not only winning 3-0 but was our Man of the Match with a 24.64 average, nice to see John playing like we all know he can. Next John Bothamley down from the A lost, followed by Mark 'Potty' Porter who won 3-1 with not the greatest of averages, then it's all about winning, after one bad leg when neither player can hit that winning double that really decimates your average. Matty Woodhouse took his game to a deciding leg but unfortunately lost, as did Matty Yarrow (who missed the double for shots of 170, 153 and 151) and Terry Gowans that was 3 losses in a row. A good game from Alan Ayres finally stopped the rot, Alan winning 3-1. Next up Richard Gomm who played an inform Kevin Lowe who was Oxfordshire's Man of the Match with the highest average of the day 27.67. Robbie Morris up next, always in control, winning 3-1, Steven Earley down from the A squad didn't get going, losing 0-3. We saved the best for last, a great scrap between Dorset's Lee Turle and Oxfordshire's Mark Burns the game going to a deserved last leg shoot out. Mark sat on 164 when Lee took out 154 to win his game and what a great shot to do it with. So the B lost 5-7 but the good news we were going into Sunday with a slender 2 game lead.
On to Sunday and the Ladies A match. Up first Suzy Trickett v Deta Hedman (the England ladies captain). Two scores of 140 and a ton saw Suzy at the double first but it just wouldn't go Suzy missed darts at the double in the 2nd leg as well and instead of being 2-0 up she found herself 0-2 down. Deta didn't miss much after that and she showed her consistency and class, winning 3-0 with a 22.77. Next up Cathy Campbell who played well hitting a 19.40 average but Casey Gallagher was just too good she didn't miss much hitting a Lady of the Match 23.44 with a higher average than most of the Men's B teams yesterday. Trina Perry up next playing her 200th game for Dorset and what a great one it was winning not only her match 3-0 but getting our Lady of the match with a 19.78 average. A win by Sarah Chick 3-1 next put the ladies game all even at 2-2. Julie Boggust next up lost, leaving Christchurch's Julie Frampton on last. The rapid fire game went to a deciding leg, Julie hitting the important winning double so the women's match ended even at 3-3.
On to the Men's A. Now Oxfordshire's Men's A have only lost 1 match this season whereas Dorset Men's A have lost 4 so it was going to be close. Up first Ryan Gowans a fast exciting player winning 4-2, followed by Tim Clothier who missed double 18 for a 156 shot out in the 1st leg. Tim having a closer match than the score suggested, losing 0-4. Next up Scotty 'Dog' Mitchell a great 4-0 win with a 26.72, would have been higher had not been for missed doubles in the second leg. Steve Penney up next hit a 26.17 average but lost, Sean McMurray took his game to a deciding leg, another exciting close game with both players hitting maximums, just losing out. Nigel Lamb next on but not finding it today against Oxfordshire's Pete Hall who hit an unbeaten 27.45 average to earn Oxfordshire's Man of the Match. Suddenly Dorset had lost 3 matches in a row and our 2 game advantage was gone. Lee Edwardson making his debut in the men's A was up next for Dorset and wion convincingly 4-0 with a 27.83 average to get Dorset's Man of the Match. Robbie Martin and Thomas Chant both players going to a deciding 7th leg and both players hitting the important match double. Matt 'Mooster' Read playing a cracking game against Stephen Wright winning 4-1 with a 27.31. Another solid win for Kevin Smith, should be a postman because he just keeps on delivering, has had another great season this year. Last on Mark Grimes back up in the A, unlucky to lose 2-4. So against the form book Dorset's Men's A won 7-5.
Overall a result for Dorset winning 20-16.
Lee Turle's 154 shot-out to win the last match on Saturday. Trina Perry's rock solid win on her 200th appearance for Dorset. My game of the Sunday, Matt Read playing a cracking game v Stephen Wright (Stephen running 3rd in the County Running Averages) Mooster taking it 4-1 with a 27.31 against Stephens 27.98.
Dorset have a great team and good team spirit, most of the players all chipping in to help out whether it's setting up the stage, putting out the tables and chairs, selling the raffle tickets and tons, even MC'ing. Me personally I LOVE IT and can't wait for September. The likes of Daniel Perry, Thomas Chant and Katie Mitchell all originally from our youth team now playing with the big boys and girls and the three of them helped Hampshire Youth gain promotion this year. Good for Hampshire not for Dorset who had to fold the Youth team because of a lack of players. Shame I think. Anyway roll on next season.
GREEN ARMY MARCHING ON AND STILL CHASING PROMOTION.
Dorset 20 - 16 Oxfordshire
Women's B Won 5-1 // Mens B Lost 5-7
Women's A Drew 3-3 // Mens A Won 7-5