Cornwall still on track for promotion push despite draw

CORNWALL made a great recovery when hosting Oxfordshire in division one of the British Inter County Championships to take a share of the spoils and remain top.

They are however, on level points with Gwent and the two table toppers have a three-point advantage over third-placed Essex.

Cornwall’s Ladies’ B side had the perfect start and took all six points from their encounter with Claire Irons (20.14) taking the lady-of-the-match award when winning 3-1.

Natasha Hancock (16.16) won in three straight legs while Teresa Brookshaw (19.57) and Jacqui Champion (16.20) both came from 2-0 down to win by the odd leg in five.

PLAUDITS: Mike Jones earned the plaudits as Man of the Match as the Men's A side helped the Duchy squad to a well deserved draw after trailing 17-12.

Sandra Allen (19.79) began the rout with a 3-1 victory followed by Becky Curnow (18.36) who also won with the loss of just a single leg.

The Men’s B side suffered a total collapse and disappointingly lost 11-1 with only Paul Ellis (26.26) earning a point with a 3-1 success.

Trailing 11-7 overnight, the Ladies’ A side started nervously and lost three of the first four sets with Emma Dow (14.90) their only success when winning 3-2.

They did however rally and earned a draw when Kath Gill (17.56) and Tracey Hancock (17.17) both won 3-1.

Leading 2-1, Hancock pulled out a superb leg to clinch victory when she finished a 15-dart leg with a kill of 106.

Cornwall now trailed Oxfordshire 14-10 and if ever a good performance was required from the Men’s A team, this was the moment . . . and they did not disappoint.

Dave Copplestone (25.90) won the opening set having been pushed the full seven legs and Mike Jones (28.32) produced a man of the match performance to win 4-1.

That was only two wins though from the first five and the hosts now trailed 17-12 and now required the last seven sets to clinch victory.

Gareth Griffiths (26.15) began the revival with a 4-1 success followed by 4-2 victories from Jez Campe (22.33) and Simon Knowles (27.39).

Kevin Dunston then showed his finishing prowess when hitting finishes of 109 and 100 to clinch a 4-2 victory which was followed by a 4-0 romp from Kevin Bray (24.55).

That pushed Cornwall to within two points of victory and Neil Meneer (24.35) kept hopes alive when winning 4-2 but the final point was a game too far and Oxfordshire grabbed their chance to win the 12th set and take a share of the spoils from a match that they must have thought they had in the bag.

Cornwall will make an 850-mile round trip to play their next match over the weekend of March 3-4 against bottom placed County Durham and a big win will be vital in order to maintain their promotion push.

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