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  • Writer's pictureAndrew Jenkins

Gwent Eye Up Promotion

Gwent Darts Organisation moved closer to promotion this weekend with a tightly fought battle with Berkshire ending with them 19-17 to the good.

The weekend started well for Gwent, when the ladies B side took a commanding 4-2 lead. From one of Gwents long standing players, Amanda Cosslett, who has played for Gwent since 1983, to Gwent youth player Abbie Brewster they took their 7th win out of 8 games. Abbie also picked up Lady of the Match for the B’s with a 15.87 average beating Rebecca Ellis 3-1.

Saturday afternoon the mens B team started well for Gwent, with Ray Hardwick getting Gwents best average of the day (25.60). Miles O’Toole followed Ray in only his second game in a Gwent shirt. Miles hit a 151 out shot in leg 1 and never looked like losing from then on taking a straight 3 leg win over Berkshires Anthony Dean. It was Jack Mayor for Berkshire though with top honours for the mens B sides with a 25.99 average to take Man of the Match on Saturday. Berkshires men fought hard and took a 5-7 win which meant it was all tied up going into Sunday.

Sunday morning and the Ladies kicked things off. Neither side was able to pull a clear lead and it was still all square as they drew 3-3.

Ceri Stephens started with a win for Gwent, before Sophie Self and Kelly Ellis took the next 2 points for Berkshire. Kelly Ellis took Lady of the Match and Weekend with a 20.10 average. Jade Hickey brought Gwent back level with their side’s best ladies average of the weekend 18.45. With the ladies drawing it meant everything was going to come down to the mens A sides.

12 games to go in the mens A and again Gwent started the better.

Mike Fleet took the first point before David Skinner gave Gwent a 2-point lead over the visitors. If Gwent thought it was going to be an easy run in, they were in for a surprise. Berkshires Stephan Wood and Paul Self pulled out 2 good games to draw the teams’ level again. Paul Self hitting a 31.81 average to take Man of the Match and of the Weekend. The next 2 games went one to Gwent and one to Berkshire, which meant that at the mid-session interval it was all still level at 15-15.

6 Games to go. Harry Williams and Rhys Jenkins took the next 2 points to again give Gwent a 2-point lead and left them needing 2 more points for the win. When Paul Snowsill took the next point, it looked like Berkshire were going to pull level again.

Then came the moment everyone was looking forward to. Welsh internation Sam Cankett Vs England Youth superstar, Archie Self. It was always going to be a battle of 2 brilliant players. At a leg each it looked like it was going to be the close match everyone expected. Archie then pulled off 2 legs in a row to go 1-3 up over Sam. Sam dug deep and as the 180 started to fly in from both players he drew it back to 3-3. Final leg decider and Sam came out flying hitting 123, 125 and 180 to leave 73 after 9 darts. A couple of darts and it was over. Sam 30.62, Archie 31.61. Sam 4 – 3 Archie. Gwent were now on 18 points, Berkshire 16.

Game 35 of the weekend and Paul Hogan pulled Berkshire back into the match with a close run 3-4 victory over Geraint Harbon. This meant it was all going to come down to the final game of the weekend. Would it end all level? Or would Gwent cross the line? Up stepped Mr steady, Gethyn Bennett. Despite a gallant fight from Jason Heaver Gethyn finished up in just 6 legs to take a 4-2 win for himself and a 19-18 win for Gwent.

Gwent now have a game in hand over Berkshire and travel to Merseyside next month which will be a key game in winning promotion to the Championship Division.

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