Away v Cleveland - Saturday 1st / Sunday 2nd April 2017
Week ending 1st/2nd of April saw Dorset make the long trip (over 300 miles for most) to Thornaby Sports and Leisure Club Stockton on Tees the home of Cleveland County Darts. Hopes of a good win were high as Cleveland were sitting near the bottom of the table but as you all know anything can happen at darts.
Now who organises a County game on April Fools Day and would there be any jokes or pranks when I looked at Cleveland's player list and noticed the world No 1 and World Champion Glen Durrant was playing in Clevelands Men's B team I thought it was a prank but as you will see later he did indeed play in the B team. As you can imagine most of us travelled up on the Friday as the roads being like they are it was going to be a 5-6 hour road trip some even got on a plane and flew up. SO HOW DID WE GET ON.
Dorset suffered a minor set back one of our ladies B players Cath Campbell couldn't make it so it meant a re-appearance for Abi Northover, and we also received news that Suzy Trickett one of our lady A players also couldn't make it so our women's sides needed looking at which can be a nightmare for our selectors. Now one thing I've noticed about Dorset they don't like playing a player in the B as well as in the A (unlike most) so this meant a game for Kelly Stroud. Now I think our ladies B team is one of the hardest teams to get in both Kelly and Abi both good players have been sat on the bench ALL season just waiting for the opportunity to play, well this weekend it was going to happen. Our ladies B just needed to win 4 games to secure league winners with one game still to play and as you can tell from previous matches as a TEAM we rely on our ladies giving us a good start.
Up first our ladies Captain Sally Old who played a great game winning 3-1 hitting a 18.54 average and setting the standard. Next up Donna Mabbatt down from the A, Donna played consistently and also won 3-1. Katie Mitchell up next had by her standards a poor game and lost. Kelly Stroud up next and making her debut for Dorset had a battle on her hands each leg going with throw and despite hitting a 16.76 average lost 2-3 to Clevelands lady of the match Melanie Holland with a 16.61 average, so the match all even at 2-2. Next up Abi Northover now Abi like Kelly has been sat on the bench following every game this season just waiting for a chance to play and show what she can do. Abi like Kelly didn't disappoint not only winning 3-1 but hitting the highest ladies average of the day 19.52 and getting a well deserved lady of the match. Up last Carol Llewellyn whose having a great run as the team manager said "This girl doesn't know how to lose" and today no different going on to win 3-1 which gave the girls regardless of how any other County Ladies B teams got on the league title and more important for us a nice 4-2 win. Let's hope the Men's B can follow up.
Up first for the Men's B Matt MOOSTER Read, Mooster had no problems running out a 3-0 winner. Potty up next Mark Porter now Potty's been scoring well but been a little shaky around the double not today as he also ran out a 3-0 winner. Next up Christchurch boy Dan Walker, Dan's game going to a deciding leg which he lost. Nigel Lamb up next hitting a 25.05 average on his way to a 3-0 win. John Clark up next played Dave Hunter whose walk on music was the same as Snakebite's I reckon Clarky should of danced across the stage or at least done some star jumps like Peter Wright does might of helped his game although in all honesty he didn't do a lot wrong losing 1-3. Next up in the B for us Declan Harris, for them Glen Durrant, Declan missed doubles in the first two legs and could of been 2-0 up but found himself 0-2 down, o the pressure of playing the World No 1. Glen Durrant not surprisingly going onto win not only 3-0 but was Cleveland's Man of the Match with a 28.90 average, Declan left thinking could off should off hey that's what makes darts so great, almost worth traveling over 300 miles for a crack at the world no 1.
Following that wasn't going to be easy, but up next and kept waiting so long on stage Richard Wright the walk on music having to be played twice as Rob Smith (Cleveland's) player took ages to reach the stage. Richard's game almost didn't last as long as the walk on music as he bashed Rob 3-0 hitting an unbeaten 30.06 average and was our WELL DESERVED and patient man of the match. Phil Weeks up next winning 3-1 with a great 26.18 average. Scott Hudson also played well hitting a 25.91 average on his way to a 3-0 win. So match standing at Cleveland 3 Dorset 6, Dorset's Men's B needing one more for the win. Up next Tim Poole who lost then followed by Mike Bowden whose game went to a deciding leg which went Dorset's way. Up last Daniel Perry who despite hitting a 24.51 average lost to Cleveland's Geoff Burdon 26.37 so after Saturday overall scores standing at Cleveland 7 Dorset 11.
Day 2 Sunday and more of the same needed.
Up first for our ladies A Julie Frampton, no one likes going on first but it's so much better than last. Julie played with her normal consistency and never looked like losing running out a 3-1 winner. Next up just back from a fortnight away in Cuba not even been home yet straight onto a County weekend (now that's love of County Darts) Julie Boggust, Julie losing 0-3. Sam Kirton up next put up into the A following 3 good winning games in the B side, Sam's game going to a deciding leg which despite hitting a 18.36 average just didn't go her way. Next Sarah Chick playing yesterday's lady of the match from the B Cleveland's Melanie Holland, Sara winning 3-0 hitting a 17.08 average and was Dorset's lady of the match. Next Trina Perry back up in the A side, Trina keeping us on the edge of our seats as her game went to a deciding leg which went Trina's way, so up last for the win Peri Yarrow. Peri up against an in form Tonilee Bowstead and in a close game despite hitting a 19.33 average lost 1-3 to Tonilee who hit the highest average of the weekend for the ladies 20.04 and was Cleveland's lady of the match. Dorset ladies A doing well to get the draw at 3-3. Bring on the Men's A.
When the draw was done drawn out 1st was Matty Woodhouse great he thought, he could now leave earlier as he had work Monday and it was a long treck back home not to be as he travelled up with Robbie Martin drawn out last o dear.
Matt had an excellent game getting us off to the best possible start winning 4-0 with a man of the match for Dorset of 28.63. Next up Robby Morris, Robby far from his best and loses. Lee Turle had a great game hitting a 25+ average but lost also. Next up our very own Scott Mitchell and playing as always WELL having no problems winning 4-0 hitting a 28.23 average. Match now standing all even at 2-2. Next up walking up on stage to Allan Edwards (Cleveland) walk on music from Robbie Williams LET ME ENTERTAIN YOU Matt Yarrow apt as Matt always does when he's up on stage today they BOTH entertained us. Matt sat on 80 as Allan steps up to the Oche and pokes 152 (60 60 16x) to take the first leg. 2nd leg again Allen pokes a big shot out this time a 144 (60 60 12x) for a 12 dart leg. Matt Yarrow not to be out done steps up and pokes a 120 some game. Allan had to wake the MC up to call game as he hit a mere double 12 in one dart think he was expecting another high shot out. Matt Yarrow despite hitting a 27.78 average lost out to Allan Edwards 31.88 and that was the highest average of the weekend earning him Man of the Match for Cleveland, definitely the game of the weekend for me with three ton plus shots out.
Next up for Dorset Lee Edwardson not one of his better games he looked really disappointed as he left the stage a 4-1 winner, he did more than enough to win but was disappointed in his performance, but put us back in the match score standing all even at 3-3. Next up Tommy Morris, Tommy played a great game with his usual flare and speed always exciting to watch and despite hitting a 25.91 Dennis Coleman was a little stronger.
Mark Grimes up next (27.45) played really well winning 4-0 followed by Thomas Chant who also won this time 4-1. Dale Masterman (26.10) up next v Cleveland's Dean Norman (27.00) great game both players hitting good scores both playing well and both appreciating each others game, game going to Dale 4-2 and putting Dorset 6-4 up and increasing Dale's fan club base. Kevin Smith up next lost leaving Rob Martin on last to get us the win. Rob kept us all waiting missing winning darts at a double in several legs and his game going to a deciding leg against the throw, Rob saved his best leg until last playing to the crowd hitting a 180 on the way to winning 4-3 with a 26.68 average and getting the Men's A a 7-5 win. So at the end of the weekend the final score was Cleveland 15 Dorset 21 a nice win made the long journey home bearable.
Good result for Dorset. Great to see and hear the support from the green army. Felt a little sorry for Richard Wright and Abi Northover both losing out on the money for the highest averages of the weekend that going to Allan Edwards and Tonilee Bowstead, Lee Turle getting a new name turtle as the MC called him. Some great games this weekend everyone giving 100% and everyone supporting each other makes me feel proud to be part of this great Dorset side. Surprised at the end of the Match Dale Masterman supporters waiting to say goodbye seemed longer than Scotty's I think Scott would of joined the queue but it was too long and he had a plane to catch.
One final thought. Remember how we beat West Midlands at home 27-9 well if West Midlands draw with London (possible) and we beat Oxford our last game 26-10 (possible) that would push us into 2nd place. Not a good time to be a selector with both Abi and Kelly playing such great games and Suzy Trickett and Cath Campbell both sat on the bench.
Green Army marching on and up the league table.
Cleveland 15 - 21 Dorset
Women's B Won 4-2 // Mens B Won 7-5
Women's A Drew 3-3 // Mens A Won 7-5
Match Report by Martin Maidment