DEVON travelled to Hampshire at the weekend looking for their first victory of the season in the British Inter Counties Championships, but a disappointing performance in the final discipline of the match saw them go down 21-15.
This was their second defeat of the new campaign, beaten twice by the newly-promoted teams and the county now sit only one place above the two relegation places.
The Ladies’ B side once again laid the foundations for a squad victory when they won their encounter, inspired by a lady-of-the-match performance from Sarah Brown (22.24), who emerged a 3-1 winner in 21, 19 and 20.
Kelly Gabriel (20.12) also carved herself out a 3-1 victory while Jodie Hawton (16.52) and Tracy Ware (17.48) won without loss.
Neil White (24.87) made it 5-2 when winning the opening set of the Men’s B fixture 4-3, followed by a good showing from Martin Horn (25.89) who won 4-1.
LADY-OF-THE-MATCH: Sarah Brown gave a good performance while winning for Devon Ladies' B, emerging a 3-1 winner in 21, 19 and 20.
Jason Pinkerton (24.18) came out on the right side after having been taken the full seven legs, while Andrew Denning (23.43) pushed the scoreline along when winning 4-1.
The best encounter of the day saw Dave Matthews (28.26) pitted against Aaron Monk, the PDC World Youth champion in 2011and the Devonian pulled off an excellent man-of-the-match performance to win 4-3, taking the seventh and deciding leg in 13.
Monk also gave a good account of himself and with three maximum scores, won his legs in 13, 14 and 18.
Devon now led overall by a 9-5 margin, but the last four sets were disappointingly won by Hampshire for the loss of just three legs, as the Men’s B side went down 7-5.
The teams were level overnight and it stayed that way after honours were shared from the Ladies’ A encounter.
Lisa Hughes (16.90) was the only Devon winner from the first four showings but a draw was salvaged with 3-0 victories from both Maria O’Brien (24.64) and Merryl Dennis (25.47), who took the last leg in 17, aided by a maximum.
The teams were back level at 12-12 but any thoughts of a Devon victory soon vanished as the Men’s A team laboured against a prominent Hampshire outfit and only won three more points from a possible 12.
Dave Witt (27.36) emerged a 4-2 winner and Dan Belsten (24.97) claimed a point after going the full distance as did Matt Dickinson (27.65), who secured his winning legs in 15, 17, 17 and 18.
When you look at the stats, Hampshire had six players winning with an average greater than 26.00 and Devon had five losers achieving less than 25.00, at this level, it is a big difference.
Devon entertain the mighty Yorkshire the first weekend in November and after they annihilated Lincolnshire 29-7 at the weekend, I can’t see Devon’s poor run of results changing any-time soon, but hopefully a victory is not too far away.