FOR some sporting champions their reign at the top is often short-lived, but not so for one of the city’s former top lady darts players, Teresa Light (formerly Osborne).
She began winning titles in 1986 and carried that form right through to one of her greatest achievements in 2001 when, at the finals and presentation evening of the Courage Ladies’ League, she played in no fewer than five finals and was a winner in all of them.
She claimed her first trophy in 1986 when Kings Arms, Torpoint, won the Cornish Times Summer League and the side retained that title the following year.
In 1988 partnered by her younger sister Paula Crabb, the siblings won the Cornish Times Darts League doubles title and the following year Teresa defeated Paula to claim the individual title.
It was also around this time that Teresa graced her presence in the Looe-Polperro Ladies’ League playing for Socialites where she was unbeaten all season and the Socialites were also league champions in 1989 of the Looe and District Ladies’ League.
The Kings Arms, Torpoint side entered the Ladies Independent League for the first time in 1989 and starting at the bottom they duly won the Division E title in their first season.
It was also in this year that Teresa won the Ladies’ Evening Herald Champion of Champions title when defeating Ann Durnian.
JUST CHAMPION: Teresa Osborne (right) pictured with runner-up Ann Durnian after winning the Evening Herald Champion of Champions.
Teresa became a member of the Futurama team that were to play in the Devon Super League, and they won the title in their first season.
They went on to win the title again for the next two campaigns and the Knockout Cup before the team was disbanded.
As the Devon champions, Futurama won through to the grand finals of the British Super League Champions Cup in 1989 and at Brean Sands Leisure Centre, they won the South West Area County finals beating Wiltshire 4-3, Dorset 4-3 and Somerset 6-1.
They then went forward to the grand finals at Stoke-on-Trent as representatives for South West Counties, their seven opponents being from Scotland, Wales, NE Counties, NW Counties, Midlands, Home Counties and Southern Counties.
Captained by Annie Lane the formidable team consisted of Audrey Durham, Patsy Fletcher, Teresa Osborn, Jo Phillips, Pam Smith, and Evelyn Torbet, but the national title deserted them when defeated by Scotland.
Teresa was a valued member of the Trot Inn side in 1990-91 and she won the individual title of the Courage Ladies’ league.
She retained her singles title the following season and also took two more titles in the same evening.
Partnered with Pat Nicholls, the Trot Inn duo came from a leg down to win the Wendy Harris Cup to edge out Elaine Green and Heather McSkene representing the Friendship, winning the deciding leg with a 21.90 average.
Teresa kept her momentum in the final of the Britvic Cup and emerged a 2-0 winner against Revenue’s Bridget Foley, posting an average of 20.02.
In the final encounter of the evening Osborn took to the oche to face Sharon Hunter of The Elburton in defence of her singles crown and ran out a 2-0 winner.
That season, the Trot Inn won the division B title which took them into the top division for the following campaign.
In September 1990, Teresa got chosen to play for Cornwall in the British Inter County Championships and finished with a 75.93% winning ratio with 41 victories from 54 played.
She made her debut against Avon, winning 2-1 and finished that campaign with seven victories from nine starts, her best performance coming against Berkshire where she won with a 20.88 average.
Her second year playing county was also fruitful with seven wins and she gained a top average of 22.77 in a 2-0 victory against Gloucestershire, aided by a leg in 14.
Teresa was part of the winning Cornwall squad that clinched promotion from division three in 2004 and played her last game in February 2005 against Cleveland when she won 3-1.
She is also a former winner of the Cornwall Darts Association Ladies’ Member title defeating all at Mount Charles Social Club, St Austell.
In the quarter-finals she defeated Redruth’s Shirley Wills 3-0 before going on to end the hopes of Mabel Gill of Wadebridge by a 3-1 margin in the semi finals.
In the final, Osborn overcame Maria Sullivan (St Austell) 3-1, aided by a checkout of 155 to lift the title.
Teresa had a break from the Torpoint teams in 1993 and was part of the formidable side at the Royal Adelaide in the Ladies’ Independent League that also included Patsy Fletcher and Kath Brockie.
Captained by Pam Smith they won the Division A league and cup double, Cissie Hillson Cup and were also winners of the Lorraine Arscott Cup.
On a personal note for Teresa, partnered with Patsy Fletcher, the duo dominated the doubles final when defeating Sylvia Rich and Betty Delahorne (Dog and Duck) in straight legs.
In the same year, Teresa was also playing in the Les Best Wednesday League for Steam Packet and took the individual title when losing just once from her 20 matches.
In 1994/1995 Teresa was back playing in the Courage Ladies’ League for Trot Inn and in their first season won the division E title.
At the finals and presentation evening at the Royal Fleet Club, Devonport she lost the final of the Wendy Harris Cup, partnered with Pat Nicholls but was successful in the Britvic Cup when she defeated Brenda Donovan (Hele Arms) 2-1.
Teresa won the Courage individual title again in the 1997-98 campaign (pictured below) and also won the trebles with Pat Nicholls and Paula Elliott.
In 1998-99 Teresa and Pat Nicholls won the Courgage Ladies doubles title when defeating The Elburton duo of Sharon Hunter and Louise Black 2-1 and the same year Trot Inn were also league champions and Challenge Cup winners.
In the same season, Teresa also played in the Trophydart Mixed League, representing the Carbeile Inn and on finals night she won the mixed title and the individual crown.
In the mixed doubles final against Ron Ash and Jan Simpson of the Duke of Somerset, partnered with Dave Light, the Torpoint duo won the opening leg before winning the title when taking the second 1001 leg in 34.
She then contested the individual final against First and Last’s Kath Mawdsley in an outstanding showing that was a credit to the ladies’ game.
With the final evenly poised at 1-1, Mawdsley scored 379 points with her first five visits only for Teresa to reduce her score by 390 also in 15 darts. Osborn, aided by five throws of a ton or more held the advantage throughout and once again first-time finishing brought her the individual crown
In 1990-91 Trot Inn had already won the Division D title and the Challenge Cup and Teresa had hit five maximums throughout the season, four more than her nearest rivals.
In 1995-96 one of the highlights of the Courage Ladies’ League finals night was the doubles final when the now formidable partnership of Teresa Osborn and Pat Nicholls faced opposition from Angie Smith and Dawn Milton.
The Drakes Drum duo won the opening leg and should have won the second after scores of 100, 121 and 140 gave them a commanding lead, but they missed their doubles.
Osborn and Nicholls took the second leg against the odds and began the third leg with back to back throws of 140, keeping their advantage throughout before checking out at the first time of asking.
Teresa was again in action when she met Di Hulme (Drakes Drum) in the individual final. The Trot Inn star notched a maximum 180 and a ton in the opening leg only for Hulme to take it with solid finishing.
This spurred Osborn into another gear, and she threw two tons and a 125 before wiring a 122 checkout for what would have been a 24-dart 701 but two throws later they were all square.
Neither finalist threw to the standard of the previous two legs, and the decider remained competitive but unfortunately for Teresa she had settle for runners-up this time around, but a good performance none-the-less.
In the Plymouth Trophyman Ladies’ League season of 2000-2001 Teresa Light set a precedent when she appeared in no fewer than five finals and emerged victorious in all of them.
Her first showing came in the Secretaries’ finals where she was a 2-0 winner over Marj Hursthouse (The Elburton), scoring two tons in both legs before teaming up with her sister Paula Elliott to win the Wendy Harris Cup with a 2-0 defeat of Kath Roulston and Angie Carthy (Ker St).
Elliott and Light teamed up with Mandi Moore to win the Buck Taylor Cup before Teresa again faced Angie Carthy in the final of the Britvic Cup in arguably the best final of the evening.
Light took the opener, despite a top score of 180 from Carthy and in the second, the Ker St player was again on target with a maximum throw but could not convert her advantage.
Leading 1-0, the Trot markswoman turned on the style with four tons in five throws and checked out at the first time of asking to take her fourth title of the night.
And it was not too long before the fifth title was achieved. It was not a classic, but a win is a win and Teresa, who always had the upper hand with the more consistent scoring, claimed the singles crown with a 2-0 defeat of Heather King from Elburton B.
TREBLE WINNERS: Teresa won the Courage individual crown and the trebles title in the 1997-98 campaign partnered with Pat Nicholls (centre) and Paula Elliott (far left).
It was also another outstanding season for the team from Torpoint with the Trot Inn claiming the division A title as well as Challenge Cup champions.
In the season of 2002-03 and now playing for The Standard, the team won the division B title in the Ladies’ Independent League and the same season, partnered with sister Paula Elliott, they won the doubles title.
On the opening night of a new Monday Premier League campaign in 2004, Teresa set a mark for the season’s top checkout when she finished a 36-dart team game at the first time of asking from 148, inspiring Archer Inn to an 11-2 victory away at Ker St Social Club.
Teresa entered the Civil Service National Darts competition for the one and only time in 2003. She sailed through the regional rounds without losing a leg and emerged as South West champion.
Teresa then represented the area at the national finals at Blackpool and made light work of the opposition once more when she emerged as the national champion winning all her matches in straight legs.
Teresa was a formidable player as the record books show and, on her day, there were not many lady darts players that were better.