Cumbria 18-18 Suffolk (20/21 January 2018)

Suffolk made the long trip to Cumbria hoping to consolidate their position at the top of the BICC Division Two promotion table – and were taken all the way by the hosts in an enthralling topsy-turvy match that ended in 18-18 scoreline.

Suffolk Women’s B team started the weekend on top of their table, and stayed there by maintaining their unbeaten start to the season with a well-earned 3-3 draw.

All six games were won against the throw, with wins for Nicky Doidge (14.05 ave) and Lady of the Match Mandy Reeves (14.74 ave), giving Barbara Chenery (13.04 ave) the chance to win the last game and grab a 3-3 draw for Suffolk.

Leesa Woollard (17.78 ave), Stacey Gooding (14.06 ave) and Beckie Edmeades (14.59 ave) were the unfortunate defeated players for Suffolk.

Suffolk Men’s B also started the day handily positioned in their league, and finished the day in top spot following a fine 8-4 victory – despite missing several key players from the squad.

Defeats for debutant Ben Poulton (24.15 ave & 177) and Jason Stalker (25.38 ave & 180) gave Cumbria the early advantage, but despite a loss for Kevin Harris (21.64 ave), Suffolk hit back to lead 6-3 with wins from Phil Reeve (16.82 ave), John Attwater (22.08), Ian Randles (26.37 ave & two 180s), Man of the Match Josh Church (27.48 ave & 180), Duane Nessling (22.50 ave) and Craig Woodward (21.37 ave & 180).

After a defeat for Kim Buckingham (22.23 ave), Suffolk Men’s B clinched an 8-4 victory through Kevin Leathers (25.91 ave), in his first county appearance for 15 years, and Stuart Greenhalgh (20.48 ave).

With Suffolk holding an overnight 11-7 lead, Cumbria hit back with a vengeance on the Sunday, firstly by winning the Women’s A match 5-1 to nullify the deficit.

Sami Watson (18.12 ave) was Suffolk’s winner on the day, taking the Lady of the Match award – but there were defeats for Sarah Ceska (19.31 ave), Jo Locke (17.83 ave), Carly Chenery (14.94 ave), Sarah Self (14.60 ave) and Jean Prewitt (14.50 ave).

With the overall scores now level, Suffolk started to look in trouble as the home side won three of the opening four Men’s A games – with Liam Last (25.38 ave & 180), Andrew Gilding (29.19 ave & two 180s) and Rob Warman (22.13 ave) losing, while Mark Walker (22.71 ave) won for Suffolk.

A hard earned win for Gary Butcher (25.46 ave & 180) pulled one back for Suffolk, but further losses for Richard Watson (26.23 ave) and Daren Wood (23.17 & 180) left Suffolk staring into the abyss – 17-14 down overall, and 5-2 behind in the Men’s A match.

Then, Suffolk performed one of their trademark comebacks, as the experienced group of Tony Lincoln (23.55 ave), Dave Ballard-Flatt (24.14 ave), Man of the Match Jason Elvin (27.25 ave & two 180s) and Wayne Hammond (24.15 ave) all won to turn the game on its head once again.

With a one game advantage in both the overall and Men’s A matches, it was left to the youngest player in the Suffolk squad, Josh Church (23.64 & two 180s) to try and clinch victory.

After Rob Morling pulled out of the team on the morning of the game through illness, after just two B team caps Josh was promoted into the A team, and gave a very good account of himself in a highly pressured environment.

Up against the highly experienced Alan Armstrong, Josh narrowly missed match darts in the sixth leg to clinch the victory for Suffolk, giving his Cumbrian opponent the chance to clinch the game and grab a draw for Cumbria in the deciding leg.

Cumbria Men’s A 6-6 Suffolk Men’s A

Andy Goodfellow (26.37) 4-3 (25.38) Liam Last
Derek Forster (23.30) 2-4 (22.71) Mark Walker
Ronnie Kirk (27.53) 4-2 (29.19) Andrew Gilding
Colin Hargrave (24.13) 4-2 (22.13) Rob Warman 
Tex Houghton (25.88) 3-4 (25.46) Gary Butcher
Steve Jackson (27.31) 4-1 (26.23) Richard Watson
Michael Sowerby (24.63) 4-3 (23.17) Daren Wood
John Murray (22.14) 1-4 (23.55) Tony Lincoln
Trevor Watters (19.65) 0-4 (24.14) Dave Ballard-Flatt
Gary Simpson (23.21) 1-4 (27.25) Jason Elvin
Andrew Foster (23.58) 1-4 (24.15) Wayne Hammond
Alan Armstrong (23.19) 4-3 (23.64) Josh Church 

Cumbria Women’s A 5-1 Suffolk Women’s A

Roxanne Litherland (20.20) 3-1 (19.31) Sarah Ceska
Michelle McGimpsey (19.78) 3-0 (17.83) Jo Locke
Janice Wilson (18.27) 2-3 (18.12) Sami Watson
Lydia Kerr (15.49) 3-0 (13.94) Carly Chenery 
Hilary Kirkbride (16.89) 3-0 (14.60) Sarah Self
Mary Paine (15.86) 3-2 (14.50) Jean Prewitt

Cumbria Men’s 4-8 Suffolk Men’s B

Wayne Smith (25.19) 3-2 (24.15) Ben Poulton
Neil Linford (31.31) 3-0 (25.38) Jason Stalker
Mikey Wilson (15.55) 1-3 (16.82) Phil Reeve
Andrew Rothery (19.42) 2-3 (22.08) John Attwater 
John Wightman (21..22) 3-2 (21.64) Kevin Harris
Darren Armstrong (23.21) 0-3 (26.37) Ian Randles
Will Rowley (25.70) 1-3 (27.48) Joshua Church
Brian Mandale (22.47) 1-3 (22.50) Duane Nessling
Keith Bell (23.21) 2-3 (21.37) Craig Woodward
Alan Carrick (25.91) 3-0 (22.23) Kim Buckingham
Ian Mounsley (16.91) 0-3 (25.91) Kevin Leathers
Brian Fawcett (18.75) 2-3 (20.48) Stuart Greenhalgh

Cumbria Women’s B 3-3 Suffolk Women’s B

Lesley Pattinson (18.71) 3-0 (17.31) Leesa Woollard.
Stacey Bell (12.79) 0-3 (14.05) Nicky Doidge
Ann Scholey (14.41) 3-1 (14.06) Stacey Gooding
Leanne Howard (14.26) 0-3 (14.74) Mandy Reeves 
Jules Fisher (16.13) 3-1 (14.59) Rebecca Edmeades
Val Hargrave (13.13) 1-3 (13.04) Barbara Chenery

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