Written by Jason Stalker
Suffolk once again produced a great comeback to grab a dramatic 18-18 overall draw at home to Wiltshire in the British Inter Counties Championship match at Kesgrave Social Club.
Facing a 15-9 deficit going into the Men’s A game on Sunday, all looked lost for Suffolk, but a tremendous 9-3 win by the men secured an unlikely draw from the depths of defeat.
The Women’s B match began with a win for Suffolk, as Jan Turner (Lowestoft – 10.62 ave) won 3-2 against Lorraine Kemp and took the Lady of the Match award. But it was to be Suffolk’s only bright spark in a gloomy day for the women, as a severe dose of ‘double trouble’ allowed Wiltshire the opportunity to secure a 5-1 win.
Bev Turner (Bury – 12.96 ave) went down 3-0 to Linzi Holton, before Louise Collins (Smock – 13.29 ave) had chances to win 3-1 against Sue Lane, before going down in the deciding leg.
Wendy Harden (Lowestoft – 12.47 ave) lost 3-0 to Erica Hartnett, and Leesa Woollard (Stowmarket – 13.37 ave) saw her 2-0 lead overturned by April Polden as the visitors went 4-1 up.
Barbara Chenery (Stowmarket – 15.20 ave) also couldn’t quite get over the line, and was another 3-2 casualty as Carol Bowers completed a 5-1 win for Wiltshire Women’s B.
The Men’s B match started with another Suffolk defeat as Marc Patrick (Smock – 21.68 ave) lost 3-0 to Terry Smith, but Smock team-mate Wayne Hammond (25.47 ave) beat Paul Oakley 3-0 to get Suffolk on the board.
Kim Buckingham (Lake Lothing – 20.04 ave) won 3-0 against Ritchie Ettwell, but the usually reliable Lee Newson (Leiston – 20.80 ave & 180) let a 2-0 lead slip against Jon House having had 18 match darts in the deciding leg.
Jason Stalker (Sudbury – 22.87 ave & 180) is still searching for his first county win following a 3-1 defeat to Bob Phillips – but Arron Fairweather (Leiston – 22.43 ave) crowned his return to the Suffolk fold with a 3-0 win against Scott Lovell to level the scores.
John Attwater (Sudbury – 22.43 ave) had a 130 finish in his 3-0 win over Jeff Fowler, but this was bettered by Duane Nessling (Woodbridge – 21.94 ave), who went out on 135 in his 3-1 victory against Nick Budgen that gave Suffolk Men’s B a 5-3 lead.
Jamie Collins (Woodbridge – 24.86 ave) hit two 180s and played well to take a 2-0 lead, only to see opponent Andrew Hoare come back to win 3-2, and Wiltshire drew level as Jonny King (Felixstowe – 21.80 & 180) let match darts slip and went down 3-2 to Roy Pryor.
Keith Wright (Felixstowe – 21.03 ave) also saw chances go begging in his 3-2 loss to Robert Bowers, but Jason Elvin (Walsham – 25.91 ave) secured a 6-6 draw for the Men’s B team and the Man of the Match with a fine performance in his 3-0 win over Andrew McAllister.
So Sunday began with Suffolk chasing down an 11-7 overall deficit, but Wiltshire started the Women’s A match in a similar vein to the previous day, as Nicki Doidge (Bury – 15.11 ave) lost 3-0 to Tracy Smith and Mandy Reeves (Stowmarket – 19.35 ave) went down 3-1 against Tina Rowlands.
Joanne Locke (Smock – 17.87 ave) hit a 180 in her 3-1 win over Jaine Telling – but Wiltshire went 3-1 ahead as Sami Watson (Bury – 13.45 ave) lost 3-0 to Stacey Day.
Jean Prewitt (Lowestoft – 17.39 ave) lost 3-0 to Shirley Castle, before Laura Cooper (Lowestoft – 21.11 ave) gave one of the performances of the weekend to beat Joanna Hooke 3-1 and take the Lady of the Match award.
A 4-2 win in the Women’s B match for Wiltshire meant the visitors held a 15-9 advantage in the overall match, and a mountain to climb for the Suffolk Men’s A team to rescue a result.
David Ballard-Flatt (Leiston – 28.48 ave) turned in a Man of the match performance to get Suffolk off to a winning start, with a 4-2 defeat of Anthony Moulden – and it was 2-0 as Richard Watson (Bury – 22.16 ave) saw off Andrew Southam 4-1.
Andrew Meikle (Leiston – 27.75 ave) came from 3-1 behind to win against Dave Wicks, before Martin Totman (Sudbury – 20.74 ave & 180) put Suffolk 4-0 ahead with a 4-1 win over Stuart Maundrell.
It was soon 5-0 as Stephen Burton (Woodbridge – 23.38 ave & 180) beat Michael Duggan 4-2 – but Wiltshire Men’s A got one on the board as Andrew Noy (Leiston – 24.47 ave) lost a tight game 4-3 to Shane Harvey.
Jason Mold (Walsham – 24.17 ave) won a tense final leg against Paul Boulton to put Suffolk 6-1 up – and Dan Tatum (Clapgate Lane – 21.28 ave) beat Scott Millin 4-2 to ensure victory for the Men’s B team, and bring the overall match scores level at 16-16.
Daren Wood (Woodbridge – 20.99 ave) lost 4-1 to Paul Hopkins, but Ian Randles (Sudbury – 25.29 ave) restored overall parity by winning a topsy-turvy game with Adi Acott 4-3.
Dean Barker (Leiston – 19.63 ave) lost 4-0 to Chris Dalglish, meaning the third successive Suffolk overall match going to the final game of the weekend – and the ever reliable Nicky Bloom (Walsham – 23.58 ave) came up with the goods to clinch a 9-3 win for the Men’s A team and a 18-18 overall draw.
Suffolk are next in action on the weekend of 7th/8th February with an away trip to the West Midlands.