Devon return to winnings and have moved up to fourth

DEVON returned to winning ways in the British Inter County Championships and have now moved up into fourth spot on the back of a 20-16 victory over Oxfordshire.

When the ladies win, Devon win and it happened again this weekend with both ladies team producing emphatic victories.

Although the visitors won the first point of the match Devon Ladies’ B side followed with five on the bounce which included a 3-0 victory for Lisa Hughes (21.17) who finished an 18-dart leg with a kill of 155.

Tracy Ware (16.71), Sarah Brown (17.93) and Karen Matthews (15.59) all won 3-1 while Cat Callard (16.29) came out on top after being taken the full five legs.

But there was another disappointing performance from the Men’s B side who have only won 11 points from a possible 36 and they really have got to start getting it together if Devon are to return to the Premier division at the first time of asking.

In a 9-3 defeat, Mark Vellacott (20.72) won 4-2 and there was an encouraging performance from Antony Moss (25.26) who was taken the full seven legs but was victorious in 16, 18, 18 and 19.

Only Mike Pearce (22.77) was a winner from the last eight sets and won in four straight legs, aided by an 18-darter which he finished with an outshot of 134.

Devon now trailed 10-8 overnight and it was the Ladies A side who got them back in front when they won 5-1, dropping only a single point to former world champion Deta Hedman (26.13) who, in winning 3-1, took out a 15-darter with a finish of 135.

Kelly-Marie Gabriel (18.02), Chrissie Kinnaird (17.71) and lady-of-the-match Merryl Dennis (23.21) both won 3-1 while Maria O’Brien (22.43) emerged a winner in three straight legs.

Anna Johnson (17.81) twice fell behind but on both occasions levelled before winning the fifth and decisive leg in 18.

Devon were back in the driving seat at 13-11 and made that 15-11 with two very good victories at the start of the Men’s A encounter.

Paul Milford (29.58) emerged a 4-3 winner in 18, 15, 13 and 17 and Glyn Wells (27.84) followed when he won 4-2, claiming the decisive sixth leg in 15 when checking out at the first time of asking from 101.

The visitors pulled one back only for Devon to go on the rampage once again by winning four on the bounce.

Mark Shears (26.46) and Shaun Dring (23.59) both won 4-2 followed by a 4-3 success from David Witt (25.58) who came from 3-1 down to win 4-3, which included a 15-darter that was finished with an outshot of 120.

Man-of-the-match John Mann (pictured above) hit two maximums in a 4-0 victory, with legs won in 14, 20, 18 and 14 and his average of 30.36 was not bettered by any other player in division one.

The hosts could only take one more point from the last five, a 4-1 success from Paul Palmer, aided by a checkout of 107, but it was enough to give Devon a 20-16 victory.

Hopefully the squad can build on this success when they visit Sussex over the weekend of December 1/2.

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