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CLWYD 25 V 11 WEST of ENGLAND 4TH-5TH MARCH 2017
5th Mar 2017
Having suffered a slight setback at the hands of Middlesex last time out, Clwyd were looking to use the home advantage over visitors West of England at Penyffordd RBL, to reboot their promotion hopes.
From the off, Clwyd’s nerves were calmed as their Ladies’ B line-up resumed normal service. Opening the scoring for the hosts, Abi Hamilton picked up her second consecutive match award, winning convincingly 3-0, with a 16.89 dart average. Further wins for Becky Jones (3-0, 15.18 ave) and debutante Linda Evans (3-1, 15.05) extended Clwyd’s lead, and these were swiftly followed by home wins for Katie Woodcock (3-0, 14.59), Julie Maddock (3-0, 15.18) and Del Stapley (3-2, 14.82), to wrap up a fine 6-0 victory.
So far this season, Clwyd’s Mens’ B have notched up some fine results and helped fire Clwyd ahead, but this didn’t turn out to be the case against West of England. Indeed, WoE took the opening set before Clwyd’s Paul Gillam (match award winner with 3-0 & a 26.37 ave) levelled the Mens match 1-1. West of England, however, fired in the following three sets, including one from their own match award winner, Robbie Long (3-0, 29.47 ave). It was Clwyd’s turn to regroup as they picked up the next two sets with wins for Phil Wilcock (3-2, 23.73) and Ricky Spender (3-1, 24.67). West of England picked up the next set, only for Clwyd’s Luke Humphreys (3-1, 24.37) to take the next. The visitors took the next two sets, ensuring a Mens B win for them, but Clwyd’s Jason Wilcock (3-1, 22.00) picked up a vital last point of the day and Clwyd could breathe again as they had set up an 11-7 lead to take into Sunday….
Once again, Clwyd’s Ladies A stepped up to the mark and Sarah Roberts (3-0, 16.90) extended the home team’s lead. West of England did take the next set, but Clwyd took the remaining four, a flourish started with a match award winning performance from Jane Robson (3-0, 19.52). Bethan Jones (3-1. 16.00), Glad Davies (3-0, 17.28) and Nat Davey (3-2, 15.45) completed the rout.
To say Clwyd’s Mens A had a dream start would be something of an understatement… Hard-fought 4-3 wins for Pete Lewis (24.51) and Dean Williams (24.16) set Clwyd on a landslide. Dave Harrold once again showed the young ‘uns how its done with a 4-1 win and a 28.09 ave. Glyn Carus (4-1, 25.68) and Paul Alley (4-1, 21.95) extended Clwyd’s lead and Derek Williams survived an endurance match to win 4-0 (22.27 ave). Paul Reilly put in an exceptional performance to win 4-0 with a 29.91 ave, snatching the match award from Dave Harrold in the process. Andy Hopwood (4-1, 21.54) completed an eight set run of victories for Clwyd, putting them 24-8 ahead. West of England then had their own run of three set-wins, but Clwyd’s newest Welsh International Lester Thompson (27.83) maintained his form to win a hard-fought set 4-3 over WoE’s Gary Grimmitt (27.10), to seal an excellent 25-11 victory for the hosts.
With two fixtures left in the BICC calendar, and with Clwyd just three points adrift of the runners-up placed Wiltshire (who have yet to play Div 4 leaders Norfolk), promotion has now become a distinct possibility but let’s not get carried away. There’s a lot of work to do – but Clwyd have the players to do it.