Taxpayer suffer costly defeat to strong Arms

From left: Pairs winners Lee Smith and Les Rance, with runners-up Darren Barnes and Darrell Manchip

Portsmouth individuals final is a Barnes-stormer

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Alma Arms moved four points clear of Portsmouth Men’s Winter League division D’s relegation zone with a 5-4 victory over second-bottom Jolly Taxpayer A.

Sam Palmer, Mark Callcut and Bradley Hancock put Alma 3-0 up before Steve Houghton got Taxpayer off the mark.

Alma moved to the brink of taking the match with a win from Paul Miller and, despite Taxpayer’s Sam Willis pulling a leg back, Derek Toms won the next to bag the points for Alma.

Robert Houghton and Mark Harris jnr took the remaining games as consolations for Taxpayer.

Division E’s basement side Tap A secured their third win of the season as they beat Pembroke 5-4.

Tap took a 3-1 lead with wins from Mark North, Alex Niven and Graham Clow, while only Robert Jones could muster an early response.

Nigel Teague and Martin Downs restored parity for Pembroke but Tap clinched victory as George Lane and Chris Hilton were both on the mark.

The last leg went to Pembroke’s Steve Brett.

Portland Arms moved a step closer to securing the division F title as they triumphed 5-4 over Fawcett Inn.

Tim Brosnan and Anthony Goodeve both edged Fawcett ahead but each time Portland pulled level with Jack Hicks and Keith Mayne notching legs respectively.

Fawcett re-established their two-leg advantage thanks to John Dungworth and Josh Olden but the tide then turned as Ken Watson, Robert Griffin and Julian Whelan won the three remaining legs to give the table-toppers the points.

Admiral Drake B continued their domination of division A as a 7-2 victory over Mr Pickwick A maintained their 100-per-cent record.

Drake took the first set as a walkover for Clive Pearce before Adam Lipscombe, Barry Stevens and Sam Head made it 4-0, with Head notching a 16-dart leg and 180.

Drake’s Jon Bramble opened the next set with a 16-darter but it wasn’t enough to beat Dave Kattenhorn, who also threw a 16-dart effort for Pickwick, and team-mate Vic Smith took the next set to make it 4-2.

But it was one-way traffic from there with Gary Collis, Ricky Williams and James Brooker completing the rout.

Stag A dropped two points behind division B’s leaders as they went down 6-3 to Graham Arms A.

Graham took a 2-0 lead courtesy of Martin Simmons and Mark Mihell but they were soon back on level terms as Roy Sands and Paul Emeney struck.

Rob Knowles moved Graham back in front before Stag’s Andrew Smith squared the game once more.

Graham then took control with Nigel Young, Paul Skeates and Alan Watson winning the final clashes.

Division E champions Phoenix North End C suffered their first defeat of the season as they were beaten 5-4 by Old House at Home A, who now sit two points off the promotion spots.

Bill Barrett opened proceedings for Old House but Phoenix hit straight back through Lee Cook.

Old House put themselves back in the driving seat with wins from Derek Sutton and Pete Neale but Mike Feaver and Joe Standen levelled again.

Old House’s Adrian Jones and Les Stallard then put the match beyond their opponents’ reach leaving Gavin Hall to throw an 18-dart leg as a consolation for Phoenix.

Dean Jones (Newcome Arms A) threw 13 and 18-dart legs and a 180, Colin McKean (Meon Valley) also had a 13-darter and maximum and Shaun O’Donovan (Mr Pickwick B) had a 17-dart leg and 180.

Dave Paul (Meon Valley) registered an 18-dart effort and a 180 while Les Phipps (Tap B) hit a 100 finish.

Steve Rackett (Meon Valley) and Jon Davison (Nell Gwynne) both fired in maximums.