Cornwall secure BICC win over Herts to go joint third

CORNWALL secured a hard-earned victory in the British Inter County Championship when entertaining Hertfordshire at Mount Charles Social Club, St Austell and are now in joint third place with cross-Tamar rivals Devon.

The ladies’ B side had to settle for a share of the spoils, despite leading 2-0 and 3-1, which included a lady-of-the-match performance from Becky Curnow (17.28), who won the opener in three straight legs.

Courtney Hancock and Pauline Mead were taken the full distance, but both came through tough encounters to claim 3-2 victories.

The first eight sets of the Men’s B fixture were won alternately which began with a good performance from Martin Smith (26.58) who came from 2-1 down to win 4-2.

Carl Jeffery (22.32) claimed a win by the same margin before Rich Slater (27.83) put in a man of the match showing to win 4-0.

Another win in straight legs was achieved by Jez Campe who finished an 18-darter with a kill of 109.

Sam Hicks (23.48) edged Cornwall in front at 5-4 and their advantage doubled when Fred Goldsmith (24.15) came from behind to win 4-3.

Despite the visitors pulling one back, John Dennis won the last point by a 4-2 margin, aided by an 18-dart leg which he finished at the first time of asking from 143, to give Cornwall the slenderest of advantages at 10-8 overnight.

Both ladies’ A teams were undefeated going into this fixture, but Cornwall made a mockery of Hertfordshire’s record when they defeated them 5-1.

Nikki Furse (23.80) achieved the best average in a 3-0 win while Tracey Hancock (16.89) also won in straight legs.

Teresa Brookshaw (18.57) came out on the right side after she was taken the full five legs while Jacqui Champion (19.65) won 3-1 as did Sarah Gill (18.30) who also achieved an outshot of 117.

The Duchy squad now boasted a 15-9 advantage going into the Men’s A fixture and the question was: “Will the six-point lead be enough?”

Before this fixture the Cornwall Men’s A team had achieved only one victory for the campaign, but that form counted for nothing as they produced a brilliant performance, evident in the fact that 11 of their 12 players achieved an average above 25.40.

The first set was a classic. Dennis Bryant (29.92) went 2-0 up in 15 and 18 only for his Hertfordshire opponent Daniel Varney (29.05) to take the next three in 15, 16 and 15 which included a checkout of 135, but Bryant was not deterred and took the next two in 17 and 16 for an emphatic 4-3 victory.

The visitors levelled only for Neil Meneer (27.06) to win 4-2, aided by his best leg in 13, and then for Rob Ruberry (25.41) to put another point on the scoreboard with a 4-1 success.

The next five sets only produced one home win, despite several good performances, but Kevin Bray (27.83) emerged a 4-0 winner in 19, 20 and 18 before finishing a 15-dart leg with a kill of 101.

The visitors led 5-4, but that was the last time they would add to their tally as Cornwall finished with a flurry.

Gareth Griffiths (28.55) emerged a 4-2 winner, after claiming the opening leg in 18 with a checkout of 118, followed by a 4-2 victory from Kevin Dunstan (25.86).

The last point of a very entertaining fixture was won by Matt Knowles (26.16), whose 4-1 victory included a 15-dart leg which he took with an outshot of 133.

A very encouraging 22-14 success sees them remain in the promotion race before they visit Oxfordshire over the weekend of February 9/10.

The picture shows Dennis Bryant, who won the man of the match award for Cornwall Men's A, with Dorset's Scott Mitchell who achieved the highest BICC average with 35.16.

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