DEVON opened their account at the second time of asking in the Premier division of the British Inter County Championship with an accomplished victory over visitors Glamorgan at Heavitree Social Club, Exeter, over the weekend.
Karen Matthews (20.31) led by example and got the first point on the scoreboard with a 3-0 victory followed by Tracy Ware (16.38) and Anna Johnson (17.42) who won 3-2 and 3-1 respectively as the ladies’ B side finished with honours even.
Lewis Dare (23.65) and Phil Ward (23.07) won the first two sets of the Men’s B encounter and although the Welsh visitors levelled, Antony Moss (26.01) restored Devon’s advantage.
Moss took out a checkout of 100 and although he was taken the full distance finished the seventh leg in 15 with another outshot of 101.
Martyn Bevan (25.22) followed with a 4-1 success and although Glamorgan won the seventh set, that was the last one they were to win on the first day of the fixture.
Mark Vellacott (26.35) produced a man-of-the-match performance when winning 4-2 in 18, 21, 14 and 18 before the last four also went Devon’s way.
Despite the winning quartet having to go the full seven legs they all showed resilience and delivered the points through Danny Bull (25.21), Daniel Belsten (24.14), Fred Goldsmith (24.87) whose best leg was won in 13 darts, and finally Lee Hellings (24.05).
Devon led 12-6 overnight and the ladies’ A side increased that advantage to 16-8 when winning 4-2.
Kelly-Marie Gabriel (16.81) won 3-2 as did lady-of-the-match Merryl Dennis (20.93) before Jodie Hawton (18.11) won in three straight legs followed by a 3-2 win from Chrissie Kinnaird (16.03).
The Men’s A team were facing a Glamorgan side who had won their opening fixture 9-3 but gave a good account of themselves in the early exchanges when sharing the first six sets.
John Burton (24.38) won 4-1 before Mark Turner (23.66) came from 2-0 down to win 4-2 which included a 15-dart leg which he won with an outshot of 115.
The next point was the match-winning 19th and that was claimed by Mark Shears (26.06) who still delivered despite being pegged back to 3-3 after leading 3-1.
Devon could only win two of the last six, but they were eye-catching performances none-the-less.
John Mann (26.84) at 3-1 down, took the next three in 18, 16 and 19 before Paul Milford (28.14) took to the oche to produce a man-of-the-match performance.
The Exmouth marksman (pictured) hit four maximum scores in a 4-3 victory that he won in 19, 18, 14 and 16 as Devon took the honours by a 21-15 margin.
That success enabled the county to rise four places in the premier league table and they will be hoping to build on that success when they travel to Warwickshire over the weekend of November 2/3.