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Cumbria 16-20 Sussex


16th/17th September 2017

  Men's A MoM: Mick Rodgers - 28.88 Ladies A LoM: Casey Gallagher - 24.12  
  Men's B MoM: Andy Macintosh - 26.45 Ladies B LoM: Hayley Gatford - 17.28  

Photos by Frank Smith

  After various problems with people not being able to make the 800 mile round trip, with a new captain in Paul Eves, Rhonda away, problems were very frequent running up to the our trip to Cumbria and with only one reserve for each squad I felt very apprehensive to wake up Friday looking at the phone with the dread of anyone pulling out.

But not to be. My world falls apart 60 miles into the trip as I get the message that one of the most influential, cheerful always happy, never moaning, one of Sussex's greats Jimmy Withers has pulled out due to back problems putting a sock on! I get straight on the phone ready to persuade, but alas with Jim not being able to get off the bed and in immense pain waiting for paramedics to turn up with the air ambulance en route. So without Jim we have no Lisa his adorable wife probably a bigger miss. 

After consulting with the captain we come up with a scenario which we believe to be our best option for the weekend. 

So comes Saturday morning Lara Dene waiting with trepidation in full regalia to play, our injured Bridget stood in to make up the team. Lara relieved but not as relieved as me. With five debutants making up the team a bit of apprehension was still there, more nervous than my playing days. 

First game on comes our chairlady Elaine Chapman who never quite got to her best losing 3-0 (13-48). Denise Peake played well but doubles were to be her undoing (13-31) so 2-0 down. Things was not looking pretty. On comes Hayley Gatford who lately has been putting a bit more into darts and so it showed with a steady LOM performance hitting a nice (17.28). Our first game on the board 2-1. Our little Jules Saldana comes to the oche and makes it 2 all (14-41) and our late call up lady Laura Brown puts a solid performance winning 3-0 (14-18). Special thanks for making the trip at late notice to her. So 3-2 up from 2-0 down a great performance all ready so proud the one arm bandit strapped up looking like a mummy hobbles to the stage with shouts of it's your arm that is broken not your leg, she straightens up, she didn't really but sounds good. Well to all our delight she hits our second highest average (15-10) but unfortunately losing 3-1. Three all was a great result well done girls brilliant. 

We come to what was one of our strongest points in our promotion last season the Bs

First on was Adrian Linfield who on his debut put in a steady performance more than his average looked (21-17) winning 3-0. Geoff Taylor one of the most dedicated Sussex players playing with determination as always and his best performance for a while wins a nail biter 3-2 (24-27). Young Harry Jackson came to the stage hitting a respectable (23-70) was not enough losing 3-1. Ken Sowerby returning to his place of birth and staying sober to help his adoptive county. Unfortunately not to be losing with (21-78) so 2 each Paul Dickens one of our stars from last season steps in with a 3-1 win (22-80) 3-2 up. IT expert and newest committee member Andy Macintosh asks for directions to the stage, once there he becomes an animal with a (26-45) MoM performance. Dave Creasey mini bus driver plays exceptionally but double troubles puts the 'brakes' on his performance losing with a (23-26). Next came the teacher and debut making Nathan Warren, who dug in won a deciding leg great stuff (20-25). 5-3 up needing one for the draw up comes Agadir Bjornsson our over sea signing known as the ton machine gets the draw with a (24-68) framurskarandi arangur. Then on walks gobby Andy Gurr. After hitting an 18 average in Superleague and promptly sending an inbox announcing his resignation, which would of been accepted, but not enough players. To everyones amazement he wins his fifth game on the trot for county (22-07). 7-3 up and cruising. The rejuvenation of Graham Harris is spectacular and starts off like Phil Taylor. Unfortunately he finishes like Andy Gurr but still wins (24-40) 8-3 up. Last on Young Connor Levett showing maturity beyond his years only to miss out on the deciding leg but with an impressive (25-89). 8-4 win and another great performance well done.

Into the second day with a 11-7 lead I'm now pretty confident of a good result.

First on was Disney Dunbar. Unfortunately couldn't carry over the form of last season and loses 3-1 (17-55). Our recent signing Casey Gallagher who previously played Sussex Youth now comes into the senior squad and a great debut was had winning with a (24-12) winning 3-1 LOM and Divisional award winner 1-1. Still a 4pt lead and into the fray comes Karen Winter and as always a strong performance makes it 2-1 (18-41). The gobby one introduces herself to the crowd as she makes the stage not in the form as last season but still good enough to win 3-1(19-15). So the draw was in the bag and the win was not far away with youth captain Becky King winning 3-1 (17-14) and the win was achieved 4-1. Crystal Woodrow was on six sadly did not play as she can unfortunately came out the wrong side of a 3-1 defeat. A 4-2 win put us 6pts clear.

15-9 up now onto to Men's As.

Luke Hardy was first up and looked way out of sorts could not get it going (18-85). Dan Bradford also was not his self and fortunately scraped a last leg decider (21-68) 1-1. On comes a man who many regard as Mr County consistent, Andy Derrick who with a (26-93) and makes it 2-1. Ray Tutin who I asked to move from the Bs to As showed slight nerves which obviously affected loses 4-2 (22-86). Ammo played a stormer very consistent scoring against a good player and deservedly coming out on top 4.3 (25.07). Darren Woolgar who has earned his A team place back didn't let anyone down and but for a few missed doubles would of been a lot closer (26-07). So three all with six games left 6 points up. Paul Eves another player who has fought his way back into the As unfortunately coming into a 4-0 defeat by a in form MoM Colin Hargreaves with a superb 30.80 was to much for a solid (25-83) from Paul. Craig stoner makes it 4-4 with another great performance solid has always normally misses out to last leg decider this time puts his man away 4-2. Sick note Paul Robinson has not been in the best form recently plays awesome and apart from five darts at 6s and another two in another leg a game he deserved to win but a good game (26-55). So 5-4 down here comes the Icelandic Viking. Agadir Bjornsson promoted from the Bs and always confident but it was not to be (25-74). Up next, my player of the season last year and continues to not let the side down with a MoM (28-88) Mick Rogers so now 6-5 and a lot to ask a debutant to get the draw so up steps the likeable Darren Chapman and nerves showed in the first two legs after that came more into his own but unfortunately loses 4-2 (23-12).

So 7-5 loss but a 20-16 win considering the 10-14 hour journey, a great result more to come.  I would like to thank all the committee players supporters for the great support. Team spirit lots better well done all.

Mark Davis

Sussex County Manager.


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