Darting around town with Roger Bleasdale

Fleetwood Friday Darts League review
Fleetwood Friday Darts League review

Here’s how I reported on three particular Fleetwood Darts League matches: “Jumping up three places from the bottom of the pile this week are the Femme Fatales. On Friday they recorded a splendid 5-3 win away to the Workingmens, thanks in no small part to Classy Lassie Michelle White. Also victorious on the night are Tracey Cunningham, Belinda Yusuf, Sheila Clarke and Caroline Wood, the latter with a smile as wide as the Wyre Estuary. Well done Caroline!”

“So it is that the lobbing ladies record a second win of the campaign on Friday, Tracey Cunningham, dame of the game Joanna Coultas, Sheila Clarke, Caroline Wood and skipper Trish Hughes all returning triumphant from the oche in securing a 5-3 win over Dockers ‘B’.”

“Finally this week, a decidedly dubious contest is unfolding in Annie’s Attic as the Collapsibles take on the Femme Fatales. Wins for Steve Bridge, the Billingtons and Tony Kane appear to have trumped the gallant efforts of Sheila Clarke and Tasha Eaves. But then Tracey Cunningham and Caroline Wood peer through the miasma to secure a brace of late wins to snatch a point from the grasp of the chagrined Comrades.”

Caroline Wood only played 48 games in the Fleetwood and District Darts League.

That she won on only the three occasions described above matters not a jot.

For, win or lose, she always played the game with a smile on her face.

Caroline passed away at the weekend, at the tragically young age of 38.

She will be greatly missed.

On Friday the girls pushed opponents Highbury ‘B’ all the way, before eventually losing out by 5-3. Michael Thwaites is best on the night for the winners, with Trish Hughes the pick of the gallant losers.

Elsewhere, there is a distinct shortage of bonhomie in an ill-tempered encounter on Preston Street between Dockers ‘B’ and the Queens Hotel. Mike Tallentire picks up his sixth man of the match nomination for the victorious 5-3 visitors, with Gareth Bidder pileously proficient for the handbagged homesters.

Also winning by 5-3 this week are the Fuzzy Ducks.

Having taken the lead through Andy Ingham, the Strawberry Boys are soon 2-1 behind after Dave Spencer and Tony Brogden win well for hosts the Royal Oak.

Pretty soon though, the visitors have moved to within touching distance of victory, this after a hat-trick of wins by Ken Nield, Andy Gratrix and man of the match Graham Hopkinson.

Home hopes are rekindled in the penultimate leg however, when dynamic Deadun Billy White reduces the deficit to a single leg.

This proves to be but a temporary reprise for the home side as Will Coleclough records his first league win for the visitors with the final darts of a thrilling encounter.

Another close encounter of the darting kind takes place in deepest Thornton, the Peripatetic Pensioners and Workingmens settling for a share of the spoils.

Having edged ahead at 4-3, the aged ones look to have secured their third win of the season when Harold Davies locates his finishing double.

Alas, octogenarian optimism proves premature as Paul Gair snatches a point saving win on the arrows.

Phil Lee is adjudged best for the visitors, with Joe Lavery winning a go in the big slipper for his efforts on the night.

The Jonathan Bridge inspired Collapsible Comrades finally get back to winning ways this week, both points safely tucked away before a late revival by flannelled fools favourite Darrell Moore and Darren Rathbone.

Meanwhile, at the business end of the table, the Olympians maintain their pursuit of the top three with an emphatic victory over the Blasted Heathens. Dave Coulborn is suave and debonair in taking centre stage for the victors, with Gavin Billington a solitary success story for the tormented Taverners.

Dockers ‘A’ keep up their challenge with a nervy 5-3 victory away to the Bowling Club.

Second in the league averages Mark Wilson gets the home side off to a winning start, this before Anthony Hadgraft and Rob Melling edge the visitors ahead at 2-1.

A spectacular performance by best biased boy Steve Stanhope, squares the match at the halfway point, this before Paul Dagger and Adam Blyth win to give the victors a two leg cushion.

Victory for home skipper Chris Donnelly sets up a thrilling finale in reducing the deficit to 4-3, a finale that fizzles out in frustrating fashion as the home side run out of players. How important could that be in deciding the destination of this year’s league championship?

The night’s big match is taking place on Lowther Road, as table toppers Highbury ‘A’ look to maintain their slender advantage over the chasing pack.

Finishing on 110, the visitors couldn’t have wished for a better start than that provided by Ray Connolly in just nine darts.

But in the blink of an eye, their hopes appear to be in tatters after wins for Cons trio Dave Smith, Steve Hadgraft and Steve Cowell.

A shared experience between Jordan brooks and Robert Dagger does little to improve the prospects of the Highbury.

Neither does another draw in the very next game between Dean Barker and John Shaw.

Now 4-2 up, the Cons know that one more point will take them to the top of the table for the first time this season.

But where is that win to be found?

Not in game seven, as Johnny Johnstone emphatically reduces the deficit to 4-3.

Not in game eight either, as last man Scott Hayton wins to rescue a significant point for the visitors.

Little wonder that home skipper Geoff Coulborn looks as mad as a wet hen.

Little wonder that visiting skipper John Shaw looks drained.

No doubt Caroline would have shrugged her shoulders and smiled.

Thanks for reading.