Devon win to go into second spot thanks to their ladies
DEVON defeated Gwent in their penultimate fixture of the British Inter County Championship, the win largely due to their two ladies’ sides, who secured 11 of their 12 points.
Karen Matthews (14.72) opened the division one fixture when coming from 2-1 down to win 3-2, followed by another five-leg triumph from Cat Callard (15.93), who clinched the deciding leg with a checkout of 124.
Kelly-Marie Gabriel (22.43) won in three straight legs, after taking the opening leg with a kill of 106, before Sarah Brown (15.99) also won without loss.
Hayley Brant (16.43) and Tracy Ware (14.60) finished off a 6-0 rout when they won 3-2 and 3-1 respectively.
Anthony Moss (25.82) kept up Devon’s winning streak with a 4-3 success that included an 18-dart leg which he finished at the first time of asking from 101 before Lee Hellings (28.80) won 4-1 in 19, 15, 17 and 17, clinching the 15 darter with an outshot of 135.
Lewis Dare (26.85) came from 2-1 down to win 4-2, securing the last two legs in 15 and 14 before Dean Angell (22.89) put Devon into double figures at 10-0 with a 4-1 victory.
Unfortunately, though, Devon could not carry on their rich vein of form and could win only two more points from the last eight.
Liam Goyne (26.97) won 4-3, taking the seventh leg in 13, followed by a determined effort from John Burton (24.79) who bounced back from a 3-1 deficit to win 4-3 including a leg in 14.
Devon led 12-6 overnight but that scoreline was pushed along to 17-7 after Devon ladies A won their encounter 5-1.
Maria O’Brien (24.41) opened the contest and emerged a 3-1 winner in 19, 16 and 17 followed by a 3-2 success for Merryl Dennis (21.49) who came from 2-1 down to win 3-2, taking the last two legs in 15 and 17.
The visitors pulled one back before Devon rattled off three on the bounce, all won 3-0 by Lisa Hughes (16.34), Jodie Hawton (14.31) and Christine Kinnaird (23.48) (pictured) who earned her self the lady-of-the-weekend tribute when her victory included an 18-darter which she finished with a kill of 120.
Devon now led 17-7 and Shaun Dring (22.73) got another home point on the board when winning 4-3, after taking the opening leg in 15 with an outshot of 156.
Paul Milford (29.05) won 4-2 in 20, 16, 15 and 17 but then Devon lost six on the trot which included arguably one of the best matches of the day when Keelan Kay (28.91) went 3-0 up in 16, 18 and 11, only to be edged out by Liam Meek (27.53) when the Welshman took the next four in 15, 18, 17 and 18.
Man of the weekend Thom Humphrey (23.34) (pictured right) won the penultimate point when winning 4-3, aided by a 15-dart leg which he killed with a finish of 116, before John Mann (31.02) emerged a 4-2 winner in 14, 16, 15 and 17, clinching the win in 15 with a checkout of 106.
Devon won the match 21-15 to move up into second spot. They are nine points behind leaders Cornwall and just one in front of third-placed Cambridgeshire.
The last round of fixtures will be played over the weekend of April 27/28. Cambridgeshire will be away to Gwent which on paper seems a little easier than Devon’s trip to Cornwall.
Every missed double will be very costly.