Away v Devon - Saturday 4th / Sunday 5th March 2023
Week ending Saturday 4th-Sunday 5th March saw Dorset playing an away game against Devon - the other Green Army with their shirts so similar to ours. Ideal for most of Dorset County players as only a short trip away so most travelled up on Saturday, I how ever don’t like getting up too early as now retired so travelled the 90 miles to Exeter on Friday and booked into our hotel.
Dorset hoping to keep their unbeaten run going this season and at the moment sat at the top of the table after our great 24-14 win (with the bonus points) over Berkshire spirits were high but as you know darts like football can be a cruel game. Devon play out of Heavitree Sports and Social Club in Exeter a nice venue good stage set up and plenty of practice boards in the same room so players can practice and support. I had a great view of the darts almost up on stage with the players so I could not only see the action but hear it too. SO HOW DID WE GET ON?
Up first for Dorset Julie Boggust who took her game to a deciding leg then it was a question of who was going to hit the winning double as both had numerous attempts at that winning double leg and match to Devon. Next Macie Woodrow (17.05) today no problems at the double and she wins 3-1. Sally Old (19.03) up next ladies captain. Poor first leg scoring wise then Sally pokes 60 to take the first leg and that seemed to settle her as from there she scored well and no messing at the double ran out a convincing 3-0 winner and was Dorset's Lady Of The Match and that makes 5 wins in a row for Sally.
Jamie Walker (15.56) up next v Cleo Trelease (17.08) Cleo played well and didn’t miss her doubles Jamie losing 0-3 Cleo was Devon’s Lady of the Match. Lorraine Woodrow (15.86) up next. Now Lorraine missed the last County game as at the last minute found herself going into hospital with a troublesome painful kidney stone. Today she starts with a score of 121 and I thought “here we go” then the scoring dropped but no messing at the double as she pokes 56 to take the first leg and goes onto win 3-1 leaving Donna Mabbatt on last we hoped for the win. Donna had goes at a double in every leg but today just wasn’t her day, Donna losing 0-3. So the ladies get a 3-3 draw. Onto the Mens.
Now Dorset's Mens B has just get stronger as the season has gone on and for once we’ve even got good players sat on the bench waiting there chance to play but Devon’s Mens B are top of the table Dorset 3rd so nothing taken for granted.
Up first Kevin Smith (26.67) v Danny Belson (25.19) and what a cracking close high scoring game this was to get us underway. First 5 legs all going with throw putting Kevin 3-2 up, Danny starts the 6th leg with a 180 and after 12 darts Devon sat on 74 Kevin on 25 after having a go at the bull for the win. Missed doubles from Danny and Kevin takes the 4-2 win. Richard Wright (23.93) up next had no problems running out a 4-1 winner. Jamie Elm (24.21) up next. Jamie starts so well after 12 darts sat on 32 and takes the first leg with throw, great standard of darts both fast throwers made it “pretty to watch”. Jamie game going to a deserved 2-2. Both had chances at a double in the 5th leg which Devon PINCH and Jamie loses 2-4 with the higher average.
Ian Spann up next not quite on it today losing 1-4. Next up Potty Mark Porter (25.87) v Fred Goldsmith (25.37) Potty falls 0-2 behind having missed a few doubles. 3 tons and a 95 to leave 106 then goes onto leave tops which he hits first dart to pull a leg back, and goes onto take a lead of 3-2. Potty wires tops for a 76 shot out Fred pokes 114 to force a decider. Potty with the darts hits a 137 to leave 56 Fred a 115 to leave 90, Potty takes the 4-3 win (Potty NEVER wins easy) having the throw the difference great game to watch. Next up Mooster Matt Read (24.90) v Mark Shears (27.83) the score line not reflecting the game Mooster losing 0-4 Mark Shears was Devon’s Man of the Match. So after 6 matches all even at 3-3.
Rob Channing next up goes 0-2 down but fights back to level at 2-2, missed doubles from Rob and he finds himself 2-3 down and Devon now with throw. Never write Rob off as after 12 darts he’s sat on tops which he hits first dart to force a decider with throw. Rob misses doubles Devon close on 91 then Rob hits twos (no one misses twos) last dart in hand to take the win, a very relieved Rob Channing. Declan Harris up next now Declan has been on the bench for a while and today he got his chance as Owen Bowden who had traveled to Devon Friday night but had fallen ill (get well soon Owen) giving Declan a go today. Declan goes 3-1 up then misses the bull for a 161 shot out returns and takes a 4-1 win. James Green (25.03) v Mike Pearce (26.74) James game going 2-2 then James missed a few doubles (most un James like) and loses 2-4. Liam Blakeley (27.83) next up now Liam has been so unlucky losing his last two matches with 26+ averages but playing well. Missed doubles from Devon gave Liam a chance and he took it taking the first leg and going on to take a 3-0 lead scoring well. Liam hits a 128 to leave 32 and you think it’s all over it is now as Liam hits it first dart for a 4-0 win and was Dorset's deserved Man of the Match. Richard Gomm (26.24) finds himself 1-3 down but battles back to get a deciding leg having hit a 11 dart winning leg to level at 3-3 but numerous missed doubles and Richard loses 3-4 and is gutted. Up last Richard Perry, now Rich has been unlucky with the draw in the past always seeming to draw the MOM, today Richard raced into a 3-1 lead but Devon fight back and it’s another deciding leg against the throw. Richard poking 78 to take the win not only for himself but for Dorset Mens B also winning 7-5 so going into Sunday with the scores at Devon 8 Dorset 10 a two game advantage.
Sam Kirton (23.22) v Cleo Trelease (18.99) now Cleo played yesterday and was Devon’s Lady other Match winning 3-0. Sam with throw took the first leg with ease. Cleo starts the 2nd with a 180 and Sam is sat on 74 as Cleo levels at 1-1. Sam hits a 180 in the 3rd leg and goes onto taking a convincing 3-1 win. Sam Kirton was our Lady of the match also and hit the highest average of the weekend for the ladies. Bev Scarff (14.74) comes out an easy 3-0 winner missed doubles giving her a poorer average but the Big W is all we want to see. Trina Perry (17.26) up next v Tracey Ware (17.54) now Tracey hits a 140 then goes onto wire 16s for a 152 shot out returns hits 16s last dart in hand to break Trina’s throw. Trina breaks straight back poking 39 (7 8x 8x) for an exhibition finish and level at 1-1. A few missed doubles from Trina and she loses 1-3.
Katie Mitchell (16.24) v Kelly-Marie Gabriel (17.90) Katie losing the first two legs. Missed doubles from both Katie pinching leg 3. Leg 4 Katie hits a 137 to leave 42 and levels at 2-2 decider needed. Katie against the throw Katie starts 100 60 125 miscounts leaving 34 but hits a 2 to leave 32 a much better double. Missed doubles and Devon PINCH the leg and the win. Kelly was Devon’s Lady of the Match. Suzy Trickett (20.89) up next v Annette Lord (18.09) Suzy with the darts hits 76 to leave tops Annette pokes 40 last dart in hand to break throw. Back to back 140s from Suzy and no messing at the double and she breaks straight back, and goes onto win 3-1 slapping her thigh as the winning dart is hit. That left Wendy Lamb up last we hoped for the win, no pressure then. Wendy’s first game in the A and you could see she was nervous. Good start from Wendy poking 75 to break Devon’s throw. Missed doubles from both in the 2nd leg going with throw to Wendy. 3rd leg Wendy can’t buy a double (that winning dart can be SO HARD at times to hit) and Devon pull a leg back, and go on to force a decider with throw. Wendy out scored in the decider and is more than a little unlucky to lose 2-3. So the women like yesterday get the 3-3 draw.
Up first Ryan Gowans (25.41) Ryan returning back to County this season a player brought on through Dorset's youth team (which sadly no longer exists) Ryan starts with a nice 18 dart winning leg, and goes onto take a 4-2 win. Nigel Lamb (25.92) v John Mann (30.83) now Nigel didn’t do much wrong but John Mann played really well beating Nigel 4-0 the score line not reflecting the game. John Mann with his 30.83 was Devon’s Man of the Match and he also hit the highest average of the weekend. Jordan Sharpe not his usual self up on stage losing 1-4. Carl Beattie (26.66) v Daniel Case (26.95) Carl playing well rushes into a 3-0 lead. Daniel hits a 180 and pulls a leg back then takes the next also. Another 180 from Daniel and he forces a decider with the darts. Carl sat on 46 as Devon’s Daniel Case takes the win. Carl is gutted (that’s the harsh side of darts) Carl played well. Next up Robbie Martin (30.28) v Mark Vellacott (24.77) first 3 legs going with the throw then Robbie bangs in a 14 dart winning leg to break and go 3-1 up. Devon not to be out done poke 161 (wow) for a 12 dart leg to break straight back. Robbie goes onto take a 4-2 win and was Dorset's Man of the Match. Steve Earley (24.14) had no problems beating Devon’s Wayne Collins (23.33) 4-0. So after 6 matches all even at 3-3
Dan Perry (23.62) v Darren Tilley (23.22). Dan rushes into a 2-0 lead. Controversy in the 3rd leg to do with the scoring game halted for a couple of minutes until sorted by top table and MC Dan got involved too. From there Dan seemed to lose his focus (no excuses) losing 2-4. Dan gracious in defeat.
George Grant (26.02) up next v Paul Milford (29.24). First leg with throw to Devon. Halfway through the 2nd Paul Milford leaves the stage to get another flight to replace his damaged one. He’s no Boy Scout (he wasn’t prepared at all not taking a spare stem and flight up on stage with him) leg to Dorset. From there Paul didn’t miss a lot George losing 2-4, and that put our Mens A 3-5 down. I did say upon looking at the draw our best 4 players were all on last but as you know it’s how they go on the day. Next up Dale Masterman (23.90) Dale missing a few doubles but runs out a convincing 4-2 winner. Ricky King (25.95) not scoring as well as normal but a comfortable 4-1 winner. Scott Mitchell (27.74) v Lewis Dare next up. Scott finds a needed 180 and Lewis is sat on 60 as Scott pokes 78. Missed chances at tops for Scott in the 2nd but he’s far enough in front and goes 2-0 up. Scott pokes 66 to go 3-0 up. Devon’s Lewis Dare no mug taking the next with the darts. Watching Scott is like watching how it should be done every dart thrown the same and dart retrieval the same. Scott takes the win 4-1 pushing Dorset to the Magical 19, so the win assured. Up last ARE YOU ALREADY FOR THIS Tommy Morris (25.15) v Andy Hitchman (23.85). First leg one of missed doubles from both players leg to Tommy breaking throw. 13 darter and Tommys 2-0 up. Missed doubles from Tommy and Devon pull a leg back. Tommy going onto win 4-2 giving the Men’s A a 7-5 win. As I expected the last 4 Dorset men won.
Well what a cracking game that turned out to be. Dorset retaining their unbeaten record and staying at the top of the table. So many games we could of won Devon hitting the doubles but a great result. What an amazing team spirit we have great support and players never giving up fighting for every leg and point onto the next a real tough game at home to Humberside who will be on a high after beating Gwent 27-9 but they haven’t played THE GREEN ARMY YET.
See you all at the next home game for more of this ROLLERCOASTER ride I’m really enjoying. Up the Dorset. Green Army marching on.
Devon 16-20 Dorset
Women's B Drew 3-3 // Mens B Won 7-5
Women's A Drew 3-3 // Mens A Won 7-5
Match Report by Martin Maidment