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WILTSHIRE V CLWYD
17th Oct 2016
MATCH REPORT With the highs of last month’s great win against Brecon in our heads, and much optimism in our veins, Clwyd set off for recently relegated Wiltshire with some confidence of returning with at least a share of the spoils.
Indeed, Clwyd got off to a flying start, as their Ladies’ B took the opening game with a win for Del Stapley (13.77 ave), and although Wilts took the second set, Clwyd’s Ladies picked up the next three, with wins for Julie Maddock (15.03), Katie Woodcock (who picked up the match award with an excellent 19.27 ave in a 3-0 win), and Paula Collins (16.16). Although the hosts took the remaining set, Clwyd’s ladies had once again shown why they topped the table last season, securing a 4-2 win. The Mens B didn’t start quite as well for Clwyd, losing the opening two sets, before Andy Hopwood signalled his return to county darts with a 3-1 win & a 24.30 ave. Clwyd’s Colin Snead then recorded a match award winning 27.33 ave and a 3-0 win, before Wilts pulled back another set to keep the match very much alive. The visitors picked up the following two sets with wins for Dean Williams (23.67) and Phil Wilcock (20.92) before Wiltshire pulled back another, only for the visitors to fire in the next three, courtesy of Jason Wilcock (23.78), Andy Alker (24.42) and Paul Alley. While Wiltshire took the last set with their match award winner Garry Court recording a 26.37 ave, Clwyd’s Mens B had secured a 7-5 victory, and along with their Ladies fine result, had put Clwyd 11-7 ahead overnight.
Sometimes in county darts, you can never quite predict what’s going to happen next…. With spirits high and with deserved confidence, Clwyd’s Ladies A set out to at least maintain, or extend, the visitors’ lead. This was just not to be, as, despite their best efforts and some quality darts thrown, they could not register a point and Wiltshire took advantage of so many missed doubles to take all six sets of that match, their best player Kerys Hilder recording a 20.24 average in the process.
In what seemed like no time at all, Clwyd found themselves trailing 13-11, but with some confidence also in their Mens’ A squad, the match was still very much on. This was especially after the opening set, in which their own man-of-the-match Lester ‘Abacus’ Thompson fired in a superb 4-0 win and a (Welsh squad beckoning) 30.36 average. Wiltshire secured the next two sets, but Clwyd hit back with two outstanding sets from Craig Spriggs (26.73) and Derek Williams (27.41). With the match at 15-14, it seemed there was everything to play for, but sadly, Wiltshire made the rest of the match, the day, and the weekend their own. Once again, despite the valiant efforts of Clwyd’s men, they just could not pick up a further point. Without doubt, as in the Ladies match earlier, missed doubles cost Clwyd so many games, but as we all know, that is the name of the game. Lee Evans picked up Wilts Mens match award with a 29.04 ave.
So, with what eventually became a 22-14 defeat ringing in our ears, along memories of unbelievable Sunday dinners and posh match programs, Clwyd headed home. The spirit in the team remains resolute and our ability has not diminished. We know that we can bounce back, and that, we surely will, as we set our sights on our next match, at home versus Shropshire.