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Clwyd Champions of Division 4 2018/19

8th May 2019


With Clwyd sitting 9 points clear of second-placed Middlesex in the BICC Division 4 table, they could be forgiven for believing that this was going to be ‘their year’, and promotion was now absolutely in touching distance. Nothing could be taken for granted, though, as they travelled to Pembrokeshire’s Whitland Dairies Club for their final match of the season, as their opponents were surely out to put right their previous month’s failings against an unfancied West of England side. Add to that the fact that, technically, Pembrokeshire could themselves achieve promotion, it set the scene for a promising tussle between the two Welsh sides.

First up, in the Ladies B, the home team took first blood, picking up the opening two sets, before Clwyd settled to take the next three sets in succession. Clwyd’s Lol Abley put in a splendid performance, winning the match award with a 3-1 win and a 20.48 dart average. Abi Hamilton (3-0, 19.27) and Nat Davey (3-0, 19.27) put in excellent identical performances to take sets 4 and 5, before Pembrokeshire’s Eirwen Lewis (3-1, 17.99) levelled the match with her own match award winning victory.

So, all square at 3-3, and Clwyd’s Men’s B came out of the stalls at a magnificent pace. A straight 9 set-wins opened up a huge lead for the visitors, with some exceptional performances along the way. Clwyd’s Luke Humphreys started the rampage, winning 3-1 with a 19.13 average, and was swiftly followed by Simon Roberts (3-1, 24.75), Phil Wilcock (3-2, 21.64), Dave Roberts (3-0, 27.33), Jason Wilcock (3-1, 21.74), Jon Darlington (3-1, 25.00), Craig Spriggs, who just pipped Dave Roberts for the match award with a 27.83 average and a 3-0 win, ‘DJ’ Phil Jones (3-1, 25.03) and Craig Billingsley (3-2, 24.31). Pembs took set number 11, but Paul Gillam (3-1, 24.18) took the next set for Clwyd, and finally Pembs took the last set, making the the overall scoreline after Day One, Pembs 5-13 Clwyd.

Day Two, and with such a seemingly comfortable lead, Clwyd, while concentrating on getting the job done, were looking across the country to see how their top-spot challengers were getting on. No matter, Clwyd could do little about them, so knuckled down to see this match well and truly out.

The Ladies’ A match was a nip & tuck affair, with Pembs taking the opening set, followed by Clwyd levelling in the next, courtesy of Rachel Kingdon (match award, 3-0, 17.68 ave). Pembs took set no 3, but Clwyd wins for Bethan Jones (3-1, 16.10) and Paula Collins (3-1, 17.24) increased their lead, before Pembs’ Tracey davies took their match award in the last set, winning 3-2 with a 20.72 average.

With the score standing at Pembs 8-16 Clwyd, battle commenced in the Mens’A match with a great match-up between Welsh International Mikey Rees and former Welsh International Dafydd Edwards. Mikey came out on top, 4-2 after trailing 0-2, with Pembrokeshire’s match award winning 27.81 average. Pembs also took the second set and it looked like Clwyd would have to wait to ensure the top spot in the Division, but thankfully, they didn’t have to wait too long. An outstanding win for Clwyd’s Dave Routledge earned him their match award, winning 4-0 with a 29.04 average, and he was followed by further Clwyd wins for Dave Davies (4-0, 26.72) and Derek Williams (4-2, 25.14), which at least sealed a victory for the visitors. Pembs took the 6th set, but it was soon back to business for Clwyd, as they acquired the next 5 sets, with wins from Paul Reilly (4-0, 24.44), Paul Hughes (4-2, 23.27), Andy Alker (4-1, 24.83), James Beeton (4-3, 25.52) and Mike Warburton (28.23). Pembrokeshire took the final set of the match (and the season), but the weekend very much belonged to Clwyd, as they recorded a fine 24-12 victory, not only sealing promotion, but also the Champions’ spot at the top of Division 4. As an added bonus, Clwyd’s Men’s A also clinched the top spot in their section, as well as Mike Warburton and Paul Gillam topping the averages in the A and B sections respectively.

It has been a truly outstanding 2018-2019 season for Clwyd, unbeaten all the way, with 8 wins and 1 draw, and we couldn’t have asked for much more. Division 3 now beckons, with new challenges, new venues, new faces. I’ve no doubt that Clwyd can more than hold their own. Sincere thanks to everyone who has helped get Clwyd to the next step, and thanks again to our own Penyffordd RBL, for their continued support and sponsorship.