Admiral Drake start title defence with hard-fought victory 

Mike Symes was on target in Admiral Drake B's victory. Picture: Habibur Rahman
Mike Symes was on target in Admiral Drake B's victory. Picture: Habibur Rahman

Defending Portsmouth Winter League division one champions Admiral Drake B made a winning start to the season after edging past Phoenix North End B 5-4.

Mike Symes and James Brooker put Drake 2-0 up with both players hitting 180s and Brooker notching a 17-dart leg.

Les Rance hit back with a 17 darter as he halved Phoenix’s deficit.

Drake were soon within a set of winning the match, however, as Adam Lipscombe and Ricky Williams – who notched a maximum – were on the mark.

Lee Smith and Dan Eade (18-dart leg) kept Phoenix in the match before Barry Stevens sealed Drake’s winner.

Vince Aston won the final tie for Phoenix despite Danny Smith throwing a 16-dart leg and 180 against him.

Pelham Arms came from behind three times to beat King Street Tavern 5-4 in division two.

Jon Davison, James Elliott and Michael Chandler all edged King Street in front but each time Pelham hit straight back through Tom Stillwell, Neil Munro and Ben Rowley.

Pelham then took control as Danny Harmer and Pete Huntley won to bag the points.

King Street’s John Fields won the final set.

Stag B enjoyed convincing 7-2 triumph against The Tap in division three.

John Andrews and Dave Lock put Stag 2-1 up with sets either side of a Tap win from Steve Hansford.

Stag built an insurmountable lead with wins from Liam O’Driscoll (18 darter), Dave Place, Mark Barnes and Danny Browne.

Paul Boden won a consolation for Tap before Dion Jukes added a seventh for Stag.

Froddington Arms beat Rutland Arms 5-4 in division four.

Froddington went 4-1 up through Derek Toms, Ian Ogilvie, Ron Waters and Dave Paul, while only Steve Houghton could muster an early response from Rutland.

Ian Sprake pulled a leg back for Rutland before Alan Miller clinched the win for Froddington.

Rutland’s Peter Neale and Barry Longhurst took the last two legs to make the scoreline more respectable.

Rose in June A won a deciding leg to defeat Fawcett Inn B 5-4 in division five.

Despite Archie Newstead winning the opener for Rose they were soon 3-1 down as Steve Fell, Colin Hatherley and Michael Wharton were on the mark for Fawcett.

Rose then moved ahead with legs from Dave Holton, Jim Dugan and Paul Saynor putting them 4-3 up.

Cliff Martin won the penultimate leg for Fawcett to force a decider which Rose’s Brad Lennox took to win the match.

Andy Newcombe (Jolly Taxpayer C) and Jon Bramble (Shearer Arms) both threw 15-dart legs while Charlie Linkhorn (Milton Arms) recorded 17 and 18 darters and a 180.

Shane Williams (Rose in June B) and Dan Carter (Jolly Taxpayer C) also finished legs in 17 darts and there were 18-dart efforts from Adam Fieldman, Lee O’Donovan, Steve Ockendon (all Jolly Taxpayer C), Charlie Hymers (Druids Arms A), Josh Olden (Fawcett Inn A) and Allen Gaymer (Raven), with Fieldman scoring 180.

Steve Woodage (Artillery Arms) checked-out on 111, Tony Price (Newcombe Arms B) hit a 109 finish and 180 and Stuart Philp (Thatchers) recorded a 100 game-shot.

Robert Blake (Shearer Arms), Neil Hallett (Druids Arms A), Glenn Booth (Portland Arms) and Gary Ramshead (Thatchers) all fired in maximums.