Darting Around Town with Roger Bleasdale

Fleetwood Darts League round-up
Fleetwood Darts League round-up

All around the country tartan clad hordes of teenage girls scream, faint and have hysterics whenever “Bye, Bye Baby, Baby Bye Bye” by the Bay City Rollers comes on the radio.

In football, Manchester United fans have something to cheer about as they celebrate promotion back to the top flight, whilst Derby County are crowned champions of England. Bill Shankly shocks the football world by announcing his retirement as Liverpool manager.

Locally, Fleetwood finished bottom of the Northern Premier League, just twelve months before folding because of financial troubles.

Yes, it is 1975, the year of “The Thriller in Manila”, the disappearance of Lord Lucan and the release off Monty Python and the Holy Grail.

But none of the above can compare with the achievements of Workingmens star darter Dave Dawson forty years ago. First, he wins the local darts league averages and then defeats Harry Townsend in the final of the Individual Knockout, before becoming the first player from the port to be selected by the all powerful Lancashire ‘A’ squad.

Dave passed away last weekend at the age of 83. The prayers and sympathies of everyone connected with Fleetwood darts go out to his family at this sad time.

On Friday, Dave’s beloved Workingmens travel to Albert Square for a tricky fixture against the Collapsible Comrades. Although man of the match Jonathan Bridge gets the home side off to a winning start, before long the visitors have pulled level courtesy of Rick Lee. Thereafter, the home side pull clear of their dogged opponents thanks to a brace of wins for Stan Billington and Roy Stephenson.

An excellent win for Paul Gair at the start of the second period reduces the deficit to 3-2, this before Gaz Whitehead edges the home side to within touching distance of victory in game six. Deservedly, the Workies snatch a point in the dying embers of the match with two splendid performances by Phil Lee and skipper Reb Hogg, the latter deservedly being voted best of breed for his emphatic performance in making it 4-4.

Elsewhere, table toppers the Mount are entertaining bottom team the Cricket Club upon the esplanade. Usually travelling as well as Rumanian Burgundy, the flannelled flechette flingers from Broadwater must be anticipating the worst as they step through the hallowed portals of Olympus on Friday evening.

As anticipated, the visitors soon find themselves in arrears, this after averages leader Steve Riley eases comfortably to victory in the opening leg. But remarkably, back bounce the cricketers to take the lead, this after splendid victories from Darrell Moore and Ian Stewart. A win for Cavan Thake in game four leaves the game delicately poised at 2-2 as the ambrosia and nectar halftime buffet is served.

Into the second period and back ahead edge the visitors, this after a great win for trainee ocheologist James Kilburn. Things finally seem to be going the way of the league leaders following wins for man of the match Martyn Parry Jones and Dave Coulborn.

But waiting in the wings for the Cricket Club is the talismanic Jimmy Pilling. Thus do the Mount lose their position at the top of the pile, when Jimmy snatches a point from the grasp of the Olympians with his man of the man performance in the final leg of an enthralling encounter.

This hiccup upon the promenade opens the door for the pursuing pack, an opportunity eagerly accepted by the Cons as they climb back to the top of the table with a resounding 7-1 victory upon the blasted heath. Steve Hadgraft is best on the night for the victorious Lotharios, with Al Morley a solitary success story for the traumatised Taverners.

Highbury ‘A’ keep up the pressure on the top two with a local derby demolition of Highbury ‘B’. Scott Hayton is emphatically efficient for the 7-1 victors, with John Shaw maintaining a stiff upper lip for the lachrymose losers. As usually happens, after successfully beating all and sundry seven days previously, the only loser for the ‘A’ team this week is singles finalist Carl Simey.

Defending champions Dockers ‘A’ also enjoy a local derby stroll on Friday as they canter home by 7-1 to the good against Dockers ‘B’. Rob Melling is the cream of the victors’ crop this week, this despite a brace of 12 darts cameos from teammates Adam Blyth and Lee Shewan. For the well beaten Blyth Spirits, it is Gareth Bidder who maintains his savoir faire as all around others are showing symptoms of mal de mer upon Preston Street.

Another one-sided local derby is taking place on Upper Lune Street, as the Biased Boys trample all over the hopes of the Femme Fatales by an emphatic 7-1. Spike O’Connor takes centre stage for the bullish boys, this after responding in fine style to a spectacular 160 opener from opponent Jade Wright. For the lathered lasses, it is Trish Hughes who continues to climb ever closer to a top ten spot with her twelfth victory of the campaign.

Meanwhile, the Fuzzy Ducks are recording their first double of the season with a 6-2 victory on Beach Road over the Queens Hotel. A 106 outshot from John Rowe is the highlight for the sanguine Strawberries, with Jamie Spore best on the night for the well beaten hosts.

Finally, let us travel down Lord Street to Deaduns, where visitors the Peripatetic Pensioners find themselves still in contention at 3-3. Alas, they run out of puff in the final furlong, wins for Dave Spencer and Graham Roney sealing a much needed victory for the home side.

Although Tony Brogden is the second player on Friday to rattle in a 160 opener, pride of place for the home side goes to Daniel Atkin, this after a 94 finish brings down the curtain on his twelve darts masterclass. For the vanquished visitors it is Geoff Moyle who looks to be back to his best after struggling to recapture his early season form over the last few weeks.

Thanks for reading.