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Warwickshire v Devon - 2/3 November
Buoyed by their win over Glamorgan during round 2 of matches played last month in the BICC Inter-Counties Premier Division, Devon made the trip to Coventry to take on Warwickshire who had suffered defeat at the hands of West Country neighbours Cornwall in their last match. Despite best efforts things did not work out the way we would have wanted as our women's B team were the only ones to come away with something to show from an overall 25 points to 11 defeat.

As usual the weekend began on Saturday with the B team matches consisting 6 women followed by 12 men's games. First on we saw Sarah Brown (16.23) not playing her usual solid match, missing doubles and slipping to a 3-1 defeat. In stark contrast County Secretary Hayley Brant (19.27) scored very well and finished excellently to close out a 3-0 win in game 2. Next up was county stalwart Tracy Ware who put Devon 2-1 up with a top notch display also winning 3-0 with a super 23.12 average. Cat Callard (15.43) won 3-1 and made the score 3-1 in Devon's favour on fourth. Next up saw a welcome return to the fold for the vastly experienced Michelle Andrews (21.17) who claimed another 3-0 win to make the score 4-1 in Devon's favour. In the last match, Anna Johnson (17.06) raced into a 2-0 lead only to be pegged back by her Warwickshire opponent with a 2-3 loss. Not to worry Devon were now 4-2 up overall.

Game 1 in the men's B match saw Neil (Chalkie) White have a real battle against his opponent. Hitting 2 x 180's Chalkie gave no quarter battling through for a 4-3 win with a 25.69 average to put Devon 1-0 up. As happens on many occasions in County matches a culmination of good play, missed doubles and bad luck saw the 5-2 lead this gave Devon was the best it got all weekend, as Warwickshire won 6 on the spin beginning with Ant Moss who went down 3-4 despite hitting an excellent 27.33 average. Making his debut in game 3 was Adrian Watts who started confidently and despite hitting a 180 and averaging 26.06 missed doubles cost him dearly when he went down 4-1. In game 4 County selector Danny Belsten (24.02) never looked anything like he was going to lose until his opponent took out a brilliant 161 from nowhere in the last leg to put Warwickshire 3-1 up. Dean Angell (18.84) went down 0-4 in game 5. This was followed by Dave Matthews (20.79) who despite racing into a confident 2-0 lead let things slip and went down 2-4 to put the hosts 5-1 up. Danny Bull (22.81) went on 7th hit a maximum in his match but still went down 0-4 to put Warwickshire 6-1 up. In game 8 Steve Colbourne (25.15) playing in his second ever county game hit a 180 and won 4-1 to stop the rot. In game 9 Phil Ward (20.03) was in his match the whole time however, those proverbial missed doubles cost him dear as he went down 2-4. With the host now leading 7-2 Fred Goldsmith (23.85) hit a 114 shot out but could not prevent another 2-4 defeat for Devon. In game 11 young Kieran Burns faced up to a Warwickshire legend in Tommy Ryan. Playing the board Burns (24.61 fought out a titanic battle and hit a 124 shot out on his way to a 4-3 success. Warwickshire closed a 9-3 win when Scott Hutchinson (20.19) lost 0-4 on last Spare thought for young Scott who had several darts fall out the board. Final score 9-3 in the men's B match and 11 -7 to Warwickshire overall going into Sunday's matches.

With county legend Merryl Dennis unavailable due to work commitments in her pub it was down to our very own England International and recent World Cup Winner Maria O'Brien to lead from the front. And this O'B had to do on first in the women's A match as she trailed 0-2 against a very good opponent in Natalie Gilbert (22.02). Pulling out all the stops and with the odd little heart flutter OB pulled back in brilliant fashion to win 3-2 with a 23.93 average. Next up Kelly-Marie Gabriel (21.69) played a brilliantly consistent game but agonisingly went down 3-2 in her match. This was followed by a trio of 3-1 defeats for Christine Kinnaird (16.28), Karen Matthews (16.22) and Jodie Hawton (16.08) that put Warwickshire 4-1 up in the match and gave them clear breathing space overall at 15 - 8 in front. You may have forgiven Lisa Hughes (17.08) for throwing in the towel but she was having none of it and with great finishing culminating in a 2 dart 90 finish that giving herself a 3-0 win on last. Final score Warwickshire 4 Devon 2.

We knew our men were up against a very strong star studded Warwickshire men's A team who as it unfolded put our men to the sword beginning with John Burton (23.85) who hit a max but went down 4-1. Second on was Lewis Dare (24.79) who also hit a 180 in his 4-1 defeat. Plymouth Legend Glynn Wells (27.02) stemmed the tide hitting a maximum and winning 4-1. Leading the Men's A match 2-1 Warwickshire then put together another run of games with 8 on the trot which included 5 gut wrenching 4-3 defeats. Starting with Mark Shears (23.52) went down 1-4, Lee Hellings (24.13) who hit a 180 2-4, Team Manager and making his 100th Devon County appearance Mark Turner (23.92) who hit a 180 but failed to take some crucial chances offered and went down 3-4. In game 7 Mark Vellacott (24.87) did nothing wrong had an excellent 120 shot out but still missed out by the odd leg in 7. Game 8 was a cracker which saw previously undefeated John Mann hit a 180 and average 29.28 in a 3-4 defeat against PDC professional Prakash Jiwa (29.78). County Captain Mike Pearce (23.76) was next up and failed to trouble the marker going down 0-4. Thomo Humphries (25.21) showed all his fighting qualities fighting back to 3-3 from 0-3 down hitting a 180 on the way. However poor old Thom ran out of steam in the last leg and went down to another Devon 4-3 defeat. Game 11 Ben Chamberlain (23.97) went down 4-2 for Warwickshire 8th on the bounce which left our very own England International Paul Milford on last with the weekend well and truly gone South. Well what a game this proved to be when Paul took on the vastly experienced Kevin Dowling (28.81). Milly was trailing 1-3 against a clinical Dowling which meant he had to pull out all the stops that saw him hit 2x180's to add to the marvellous 4 he hit last month and hit some real high pressure doubles including a 104 shot out. In a magical match, Milly hit the highest average of the weekend of 29.84 to win 4-3. Final score was 10.2 in Warwickshire's favour who when put into perspective had a brilliant mens A team average of 26.95.

Final score Warwickshire 25 Devon 11.

Lady of the Match B & Lady of the Weekend – Tracy Ware 23.12
Man of the Match B – Neil White 25.69
Lady of the Match A – Maria O’Brien 23.93
Man of the Match A – Paul Milford 29.84
Man of the Weekend – Kieran Burns 24.61

Next Match Home to Northamptonshire 30th November and 1st December.

last modified: November 4, 10:57 am

Devon County Darts Fixtures 2019/2020
Here are the Devon County Darts fixtures for season 2019-2020:

14/15 Sep - Lancashire v Devon
12/13 Oct - Devon v Glamorgan
2/3 Nov - Warwickshire v Devon
30 Nov/1 Dec - Devon v Northamptonshire
18/19 Jan - Hampshire v Devon
8/9 Feb - Devon v Cornwall
29 Feb/1 Mar - Yorkshire v Devon
28/29 Mar - Lincolnshire v Devon
25/26 Apr - Devon v Essex
last modified: June 10, 6:11 am

AGM & Competition Dates - 2019/2020
15th Dec 2019 - Superleague Individuals
14th March 2020 - Mens KO Cup Regional Qualifiers
17th May 2020 - Gold Cup Qualifiers
31st May 2020 - Winmau & World Pro Qualifiers followed by Mens KO Cup Finals
7nd June 2020 - Ladies KO Cup
21st June 2020 - AGM
last modified: September 17, 6:57 am