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CLWYD 17 V 19 BEDFORDSHIRE, 1ST-2ND APRIL 2017

2nd Apr 2017

MATCH REPORT

With the end of the current BICC season approaching, Clwyd found themselves poised in third place in Division 4, just 3 points behind Wiltshire, and in fact a mere 8 points behind the division leaders, Norfolk, whom Clwyd had defeated earlier in the campaign. And on the tail of a 25-11 victory over West of England, it could be forgiven for Clwyd to feel some confidence as they faced Bedfordshire at Penyffordd RBL, with the match beginning, perhaps ominously, on April Fools’ Day…..

A bright start for the Clwyd Ladies’ B came from Katy Woodcock, who opened the hosts account with a 3-2 win and a 16.38 dart average. Bedfordshire took the next two sets, before Del Stapley (3-1, 16.50 ave) levelled the match with a match award winning performance. Beds once again edged ahead in taking the next set, but Clwyd’s Abi Hamilton (3-0, 14.88) made it all square at 3-3.

Bedfordshire took the opening set of the Mens’ B match, courtesy of their own match award winner Simon Parrott (3-1, 25.05), but Clwyd’s Neil Mayers responded in the best way possible to coming off the subs’ bench, to take the next set with his own man-of-the-match performance, recording a 3-0 win and an impressive 28.90 average. Once again, Bedfordshire pushed ahead before Phil Wilcock (3-2, 19.90) brought the hosts level again. In a mid-match slip for Clwyd, Beds took the next 3 sets, before Clwyd’s Paul Gillam (3-0, 25.05) and debutant Josh Robinson (3-1, 21.91) stopped the rot. Bedfordshire took the next set, but thankfully Clwyd eventually levelled the days play with last-gasp wins for Jon Darlington (3-2, 22.76) and Jason Wilcock, who fired in a match award equalling 28.90 average and a 3-0 win.

So, all square at the start of day 2, and the match developed into a frenzy of nip-and-tuck periods, with some very close games indeed. In the Ladies A, Bedfordshire took the opening set, but wins for Nat Davey, who also picked up the match award for her 3-0 win and 19.03 average, and Glad Davies (3-2, 15.12) put Clwyd in front for the first time since Katy Woodcock took the opening B game. It was short lived, however, as Beds took the next two sets, before Clwyd’s Jane Robson (3-1, 16.71) once again levelled the match.

Dean Williams (4-3, 24.40) provided a promising start for Clwyd in the first set, only for Bedfordshire to move ahead once more as they took the next two. A comfortable performance from Clwyd’s Paul Reilly (match award, 4-0, 26.42 ave) put the overall score at 14-14, and it was shaping up to be a tight run-in to the finish line… The next 2 sets were shared and included a win for Clwyd’s Craig Spriggs (4-1, 23.62), and Andy Hopwood could feel a little unlucky to lose the next set after recording an average of 27.94 himself. Clwyd’s Luke Humphreys, on his ‘A’ debut, picked up a decent win (4-1, 24.78 ave), and, fresh from International duties, Lester Thompson (4-1, 25.96) put Clwyd 17-16 in front and the tension for the last 3 games was tangible… Alas, although only needing one more point for a hard-fought draw, it proved not to be Clwyd’s weekend. Bedfordshire scooped up the remaining 3 sets to claim a last minute 19-17 victory. It had been a real battle all weekend, one which, sadly, Clwyd lost, but each battle is just a part of the overall picture. All was not lost in this match. Clwyd move on to the next engagement, with Pembrokeshire, and we will be looking to bounce back with some force to restate our case in the promotion battle. Ultimately, our fate may be decided by others across the British Isles, but we can only concentrate on our own game and give it our best shot.