Follow the Dorset v Gwent action by clicking HERE.
After an incredible ding-dong battle on Day One, many people were expecting another close affair on Day Two, and they weren’t disappointed.
The day opened with Katie Mitchel (making a name for herself) putting Dorset 1-0 up, despite her average being less than that of her opponent. Then it was Gwent’s turn to win a game as Sally Old went down 2-3 with an almost identical three-dart-average to her opponent, Susan Baily.
Perri-May Yarrow restored Dorset’s lead as she saw off Hannah Meek who won’t have been happy with her 12.29 average. Gwent then turned the screw when they won the next two matches to take a 3-2 lead. In those two matches, Linda Bellingham lost 3-1 despite a superior average and Donna Mabatt will be particularly disappointed to throw away a two leg lead that would have given Dorset the lead again.
Up last for the Ladies B was Cathryn Campbell who won 3-1 to restore parity at three-a-piece after the Ladies B contest.
After lunch it was the turn of the Mens B teams. John Bothamley lost narrowly (2-3) as Gwent took the lead once again, 4-3. Following the ding-dong nature of the match, Dorset once again drew level as John Clark saw off his opponent 3-0.
Gwent then seriously turned the screw as they won three-in-a-row. Richard Ayres and John Gomm both went down 3-0 before Bryan Pearson took a leg but ultimately lost 3-1 with an impressive 25+ average. So 7-4 to Gwent and Dorset needed to dig deep.
The digging started immediately as they in turn won three games in a row to level the match once again at 7-7. Mark Porter was particularly impressive winning his game 3-0 with a 26.84 average, before Matt Woodhouse (3-1) and Robby Morris (3-2) won their ties.
At this point Dorset hadn’t been ahead since the third ladies game. Terry Gowans will consider himself to have unlucky to lose with a 26.57 average, but lose he did, 3-2, so Gwent were one ahead again. Dale Masterman stepped up to the oche and saw off his opponent 3-1 to level the match once again!
Dan Perry was also unfortunate to go down by the odd leg, which left last man on for the day, Matt Yarrow, to save the draw,.. and save it he did. Of course, the game went right to the wire, as this ding-dong County match ended all square at 9-9 on day one.
Last season the corresponding fixture was played in Wales with Gwent edging the match overall 19-17. After wins for the Dorset Mens and Womans B on Saturday, things were looking good for the weekend.
Unfortunately the Ladies A side lost convincingly 1-5 before the men also went down by the same score that the Mens B had achieved the day before, 3-9. Matthew Read, Kevin Smith and Scott Mitchell were the only Mens A winners in what was a disastrous Sunday for the Green Army.
When the teams last played, Peter Johns (Gwent A) had the highest average, 29.91 for the men and Chris Savvery (Gwent A) for the ladies with 21.26.
Go and Support
Why not pop along to the club to support the A Boys and Girls on Sunday from midday – turn up nice and early to fill up on breakfast first perhaps! If you can’t make it along, you can follow the match on the Live Scores website or alternatively maybe you’d like to look at the (rather excellent) Dorset Darts website or join in on the Dorset Darts Facebook group.
Words of Encouragement
“It’s gonna be a close game and I’m sure my fellow teammates from Dorset will want to reverse last years result and not let a lead slip away. Still, great weekend with great friends from Gwent – it’s gonna be messy!”
“Best wishes to all the Dorset squad for the coming season. Gwent has always had very strong players – my days of playing County were very enjoyable against Gwent, with the likes of Tony Ridler, Antony Ridler, Richie Herbert – the list goes on. Happy days. Good luck to both squads for the weekend.”
Terry Murphy, Former Dorset County Player (1991-96)
Gwent finished third with 195 points in Division One last season, just twelve points off division winners Hampshire.Their Mens A team finished the season second in that table, having lost just one of the nine matches played.
In case you’re wondering, this is where Gwent is…
There are so many ways to get involved, even if you can’t be there. Just try one of these…