Rowland Road

Barely into the New Year and BDP 2015 is back on the road and back with a raft of changes, some of them predictable like the dropping of the 4 Majors while others were a total surprise, not least the decision to scrap the Grand Final itself which has traditionally been the highlight and culmination of the season since 2002 and has always been a prestigious Title to hold with some of the finest players this region has ever produced on its Winners list. In its place comes a totally new system as the season is in effect split into 3 sections of 7 Competitions with a mini Grand Final at the end of each set of 7 Comps with the Top 48 in the Rankings Tables qualifying for the Main Event while Youths and Ladies also have Finals, so in effect 3 sprints rather than a marathon with an added twist in the tail as each 7th event becomes a Double pointer. The Ladies and Youths Mixed Comps have been dropped too so they are back playing in the Main draw this season, while the 4 Majors idea was a great innovation but failed to catch on and draw enough players to make it sustainable so inevitably had to be dropped too. The match format has been upped to Best of 7 at the Last 16 and QF stage and then Best of 9 for the Semi Finals and Best of 11 for the Final which makes winning a tournament harder than ever and will test stamina as well as skill. As with all sweeping changes only time will tell whether or not they prove popular or not with the players. With darts at the forefront of things at this time of the year the turn out for the opening comp of the year as always was a good one with 148 players in the draw which included a sizeable contingent of quality players from Cleveland.

ROUND 1

Vernon Walsh      3-0 Adam Kay
Jonathan Hewitt   3-0 Danny Denny
Craig Fisher      3-0 James Neil
Joe Osgothorpe    3-0 Illun Thomas
Brendan Dawson    3-1 Steve Blower
Stuart Palethorpe 3-2 Matthew Hoyle
Lyndon Baxter     3-0 Sam Squire
Danny Dutson      3-0 Daniel Maystone
Jordan Coltaite   3-0 Ian Falkingham
Carl Heptinstall  3-0 Luke Platts
Tony Clarke       3-2 Lee Bugden
Kelvin Pease      3-0 Mick Wiltshire
John Clifford     3-0 Michelle Binns
Tom Neal          3-0 Richard Brown
Mark Hanslip      3-0 Ian Brown
Bryan Harrison    3-0 Mark Alder
Steve Fowler      3-0 Danny Wadsworth
Tony Hewson       3-1 Kevin Gray
Robin Towler      3-0 Mick Townend
Mick Hayward      3-0 Lee Jones

Grand Final Champ Jonathan Hewitt in action straight away in a very tricky looking tie against local star Danny Denny but coming through unscathed with a 3-0 win. The match of the Round ended in a narrow defeat for Lee Bugden who had a fine 2014 season and ended up being only a few points shy of a Grand Final place in the end but having to bow out as Colne’s Tony Clarke beat him 3-2. Early defeat too for Grand Final Quarter Finalist Mick Wiltshire losing out to Castleford’s Kelvin Pease 3-0 which was the scoreline in 16 out of the 20 games played with no surprises as top pedigree players Craig Fisher, Lyndon Baxter and Bryan Harrison all coming through comfortably.

ROUND 2

Johnny Gardner    3-0 Mally Welsh
Arthur Sweeting   3-0 Steve Kelly
Daniel Starkey    3-2 Joe Osgothorpe
John Clifford     3-1 Mandy Mc'Kenzie
Andrew Clifford   3-1 Danny Golden
Sharon Whitfield  3-0 Steve Booth
Rich Winpenny     3-0 Matthew Poulter
Curtis Turner     3-0 Phil Morley
Trevor Tye        3-0 Danny Hall
Toni Bowstead     3-0 Jack Bassinder
Tom Gurran        3-0 Katie Hoggarth
Tommy Walsh       3-0 Jack Infield
Dave Smith        3-0 Louise Simmonds
Simon Hopkins     3-1 Steve Fowler
Daryl Bainbridge  3-2 Steve Silver
Brian Hallas      3-1 Mark Commons
Daz Hale          3-0 Andy Mc'Govern
Les Delderfield   3-1 Stuart Ireland
Tony Hewson       3-0 Rick Waite
Danny Wilkes      3-0 Michael Storey
Sam Loader        3-1 Lyndon Baxter
Darren Woods      3-1 Brendan Dawson
Gareth Thomas     3-0 Josh Loader
Jaron Esteve      3-0 Peter Baker
Cam Hinchcliffe   3-2 Danny Dutson
Matt Padgett      3-0 Ray Long
Steve O'Donnell   3-0 Tom Vessey
Stuart Palethorpe 3-1 James Storey
Mick Wiltshire    3-0 Adam Hill
Jason Metcalf     3-1 Kai Haddock
Gary Cathcart     3-1 Johnny Taylor
Shaun Mahoney     3-2 Robin Towler
Lewis Pride       3-2 Colin Burkett
Steve Hattersley  3-2 Laura Tye
Brendan Marren    3-0 Lynne Horne
Karl Nixon        3-0 Keaton Haaddock
Mark Featherstone 3-1 Mark Leonard
Gary Driscoll     3-0 Leah Wiltshire
Mark Pigott       3-2 Lance Milburn
Pete Riley        3-0 Tracey Gledhill
Mark Daley        3-0 Jordan Coltaite
Dale Everett      3-2 Dave Harris
Steve Richardson  3-1 Dave Machell
Charlie Beaumont  3-1 Jack Kirtland
Mick Hayward      3-0 Sam Hastings
Giffy Khaosoi     3-2 Adam Tooley
Garry Thompson    3-0 Vernon Walsh
Willie Kershaw    3-1 David Lammie
Mark Hanslip      3-0 Cameron West
Carl Heptinstall  3-1 James Barton
Paul Hampton      3-2 Arron Poole
Kate Livermore    3-0 Naomi Haddock
Josh Clough       3-2 Bobby Burdess
Robert Turpin     3-1 Rob Sharp
Jonathan Hewitt   3-0 Ian Holmes
Matt Green        3-0 Alex Pride
Craig Fisher      3-1 Tommy Lishman
Josh Scales       3-0 Mark Gilly
Bryan Harrison    3-2 Andy Ward
Peter Hudson      3-1 Derek Lumley
Tom Neal          3-2 Sunny Kumar
Wayne Woodhouse   3-0 Paul Bellinger
Tony Clarke       3-2 Rob Hewson
Arron Holdstock   3-0 Jason Szamakowicz

At the top of the draw Mally Welsh could scarcely believe how well he played to be on the wrong end of a 3-0 scoreline but came off raving about the ability of opponent Johnny Gardner who arrived as an unknown quantity to BDP players but not so in Cleveland where he plays A team County darts. Manchester PDC star Peter Hudson one of the few players to win an event on his debut a few years ago, good to see him back in action across the Pennines again and off to a winning start with a 3-1 win over Derek Lumley who is having a fine SL season so far in Div 1 for Bradford side Red Lion. Quite a few Ladies having success over their male counterparts in Round 2 as Bradford’s Sharon Whitfield whitewashed Wakefield’s Steve Booth who has struggled to find any form at BDP of late but a fine victory none the less. Meanwhile Thailand’s Giffy Khaosoi has been fast tracked in to the Yorkshire County side on the back of some impressive showings at BDP last season and in SL for Woodend in the Ladies league and she took the scalp of a nervous looking Adam Tooley today and no wonder knowing how dangerous she can be as the Woodlesford Lorry Driver lost out 3-2. Newcomer Toni Bowstead one of the Cleveland stars looking to make an impression did so with a 3-0 victory over young Jack Bassinder. A fine win too for Huddersfield’s Sam Loader, probably his best result at BDP so far after beating Lyndon Baxter 3-1, other star names David Lammie, James Barton and Alex Pride all out early doors to top opposition, while Wakefield youngster Charlie Beaumont beat Durham star Jack Kirtland 3-1 in the young guns battle.

ROUND 3

Johnny Gardner    3-0 Arthur Sweeting
Daniel Starkey    3-1 John Clifford
Sharon Whitfield  3-1 Andrew Clifford
Curtis Turner     3-2 Rich Winpenny
Trevor Tye        3-0 Toni Bowstead
Tom Gurran        3-2 Tommy Walsh
Dave Smith        3-0 Simon Hopkins
Daryl Bainbridge  3-0 Brian Hallas
Les Delderfield   3-1 Daz Hale
Tony Hewson       3-0 Danny Wilkes
Darren Woods      3-1 Sam Loader
Jaron Esteve      3-1 Gareth Thomas
Matt Patgett      3-2 Cam Hinchcliffe
Stuart Palethorpe 3-2 Steve O'Donnell
Kelvin Pease      3-0 Jason Metcalf
Shaun Mahoney     3-1 Gary Cathcart
Steve Hattersley  3-0 Lewis Pride
Brendan Marren    3-0 Karl Nixon
Gary Driscoll     3-2 Mark Featherstone
Mark Pigott       3-1 Pete Riley
Dale Everett      3-0 Mark Daley
Steve Richardson  3-1 Charlie Beaumont
Mick Hayward      3-2 Giffy Khaosoi
Garry Thompson    3-1 Willie Kershaw
Mark Hanslip      3-2 Carl Heptinstall
Kate Livermore    3-2 Paul Hampton
Josh Clough       3-0 Robert Turpin
Jonathan Hewitt   3-2 Matt Green
Craig Fisher      3-0 Josh Scales
Bryan Harrison    3-2 Peter Hudson
Tom Neal          3-2 Wayne Woodhouse
Tony Clarke       3-2 Arron Holdstock

The temperature certainly a few degrees hotter on the raised stage than the floor with Boards 9 and 10 in action as Matt Green desperately signalled his mates for a drink as his tight match with Jonathan Hewitt reached a crucial stage, however Matt was already beaten 3-2 when his pint finally arrived much to his annoyance. On the adjacent Board 9 Curtis Turner took out a 101 finish in the decider to see off Grand Final Semi Finalist Rich Winpenny, while Bryan Harrison looks fighting fit now after knee surgery last winter with a fine 3-2 win to knock out Peter Hudson. Any number of exciting games out there on the Boards at this stage and one or two eyebrow raises amongst them as Shipley’s Mark Hanslip one of the more jovial characters at BDP played superbly to take out highly talented Harrogate player Carl Heptinstall, while elder statesman Tom Neal edged out Wayne Woodhouse as he starts to show his SL form for Ackroyd Club here at long last. Arron Holdstock also on the wrong end of a 3-2 scoreline to Tony Clarke who showed how good a player he is last year by reaching a tournament Semi Final. A shock too for another top Shipley player as Tommy Walsh beaten by hot prospect Tom Gurran who won the Youths Grand Final and now stepping up to the plate in the seniors with a head turning 3-2 win. The towering and imposing figure of Daryl Bainbridge could well be a man to watch this season, after dumping out Lakeside bound Brian Dawson last time here at Rowland Road he now takes out top star Brian Hallas even more emphatically with a 3-0 win to follow that up. More shocks as an inspired Sharon Whitfield reaches Round 4 with a 3-1 victory over Halifax’s Andrew Clifford after a slightly disappointing season for her last year in the Mixed Events but going great guns in the new format today. So much going on in this round that the defeats of Steve O’Donnell to Stu Palethorpe, Paul Hampton to Kate Livermore, Daz Hale to Les Delderfield and Willie Kershaw to Garry Thompson only get a cursory mention at the end.

ROUND 4

Johnny Gardner    3-0 Daniel Starkey
Curtis Turner     3-0 Sharon Whitfield
Trevor Tye        3-1 Tom Gurran
Dave Smith        3-2 Daryl Bainbridge
Les Delderfield   3-1 Tony Hewson
Jaron Esteve      3-0 Darren Woods
Stuart Palethorpe 3-2 Matt Padgett
Shaun Mahoney     3-2 Kelvin Pease
Brendan Marren    3-0 Steve Hattersley
Gary Driscoll     3-2 Mark Pigott
Dale Everett      3-0 Steve Richardson
Garry Thompson    3-1 Mick Hayward
Mark Hanslip      3-0 Kate Livermore
Jonathan Hewitt   3-0 Josh Clough
Craig Fisher      3-0 Bryan Harrison
Tom Neal          3-2 Tony Clarke

A mighty escape for Dave Smith as he survived 5 match darts against him from Daz Bainbridge as the ‘Huddersfield Giant’ couldn’t put away Double 18 for another top scalp. A rare venture to BDP for North Leeds player Darren Woods and a couple of decent wins before finding Jaron Esteve too strong at this stage. Skipton’s Mick Hayward a lttle fortunate to survive a close one in the last round against Giffy Khaosoi but no reprieve this time against the firepower of Garry Thompson as he went down 3-1. After some super performances at BDP last season Stuart Palethorpe building a solid reputation as a real tough cookie in these events as Matt Padgett found out in a 2-3 defeat. Gary Driscoll from nearby Middleton is only a bit part player really at BDP as Boxing is his main past time but does have SL experience with East Leeds SC and Bentley Rhino’s under his belt and has always had natural ability on the dart board as he is showing so far after moving into The Last 16 with a 3-2 win over Sheffield’s Mark Pigott. Tall Bradford player Dale Everett a member of talented SL Prem side Woodbottom going well too with a 3-0 victory over ‘Silver Fox’ Steve Richardson, while Trevor Tye would have been in the Grand Finals last year had he not lost in the 1st Round here in the final qualifier but making up for that disappointment by heading towards the latter stages today after ending Tom Gurran’s fine run.

ROUND 5

Curtis Turner     4-2 Johnny Gardner
Dave Smith        4-0 Trevor Tye
Les Delderfield   4-3 Jaron Esteve
Shaun Mahoney     4-3 Stuart Palethorpe
Brendan Marren    4-0 Gary Driscoll
Garry Thompson    4-2 Dale Everett
Jonathan Hewitt   4-0 Mark Hanslip
Craig Fisher      4-2 Tom Neal

Les Delderfield and Jaron Esteve have have had some mighty battles at BDP over the past couple of years, most recently at the Grand Finals where Jaron came out on top that day as he went on to reach the Final, this time Les came through 4-3 after a determined fightback from the Ossett man took him to a deciding leg. Relative newcomer Shaun Mahoney looking to make a big impression at BDP this year, the Humberside County player doing just that after a battling win over Stuart Palethorpe. Midway SL and Yorkshire County star Curtis Turner having his best day at BDP since winning the tournament at Bingley last season as he put out the fire of Middlesbrough man Johnny Gardner 4-2. Drighlington’s Tom Neal also having his best day at BDP and putting in a gallant display in defeat to Craig Fisher after earlier wins over Richard Brown, Sunny Kumar, Wayne Woodhouse and Tony Clarke. Dale Everett was always going to provide Garry Thompson with a stern test before going down 4-2 to the Silsden star, while Dave Smith, Jonathan Hewitt and Brendan Marren were all heavy favourites in their games especially so with the format now the best of 7 and they all won without dropping a leg to reach the Last 8.

QUARTER FINALS

Dave Smith        4-0 Curtis Turner
Les Delderfield   4-3 Shaun Mahoney
Garry Thompson    4-3 Brendan Marren
Craig Fisher      4-3 Jonathan Hewitt

Another 4-3 victory for Les Delderfield but a superb effort from Goole’s Shaun Mahoney to fight back from 0-3 down to force a decider against the Shipley legend. The Drax Power Station worker vowing to be back after performing so well today. Garry Thompson played a risky game at the end of a thriller against Brendan Marren by playing the percentages and allowing Brendan a shot at 136 which probably took the Keighley man by surprise as much as it did the watching crowd and he couldn’t take advantage of the chance but still ended up with another go as Garry made hard work of getting over the line. An epic encounter on Board 8 as Craig Fisher produced some great darts to pip Johnathan Hewitt 4-3, while Dave Smith fortunate to be still in the competition but making the most of it now as he stormed past Curtis Turner 4-0.

SEMI FINAL 1

Les Delderfield ( 30.20 ) 5-1 ( 27.80 ) Dave Smith

A clinical performance from Les Delderfield as he shut the door on Dave Smith with superb finishing as he didn’t miss a single opportunity throughout the match. The Shipley veteran just didn’t allow his opponent in to have any shots at finishes such as 8, 86, 156, 22 or 148 while the half chance that Dave did have on 83 he took in leg 2 to square the game at 1-1. The Ferrybridge ace probably thought with scores of 75, 180, 100 and 133 that he may have done enough to take the opening leg against the throw but Les had other ideas with the first of his killer finishes as he took out 76 for a 14 darter. Dave levelled up with an 18 darter as it looked like being a close game at that stage but Les produced a trio of 18 darters which included a couple of 100 finishes to storm into a 4-1 lead and then put in a fine last leg against the throw with 180 to take the game away from Dave and kill it off with a 106 finish in 15 darts for a fine victory. Scoring totals of 3 x 180’s, 9 x 100 pluses and a 90 score but the finishing prowess was sublime and made the difference. Dave also fired in a Maximum and 8 x 100 pluses but just not given the chances to finish off the legs.

SEMI FINAL 2

Craig Fisher ( 27.18 ) 5-4 ( 24.63 ) Garry Thompson

Despite having the superior average and looking the more consistent player in the game Craig Fisher looked in danger of losing the match at 3-4 down to Garry Thompson who had blown hot and cold throughout the match. At 3-3 all legs had gone with the throw but the slightly built Barnsley player was winning his legs in relative comfort in 16, 18, and 17 darts while Garry’s winning legs in 17, 21 and 22 darts were much less convincing and despite not playing particularly well ‘The Recliner’ was still in the game and in leg 7 showed the spark of class that he has to fire in a 180 which enabled him to break in 17 darts and be a leg away from victory. Having lost a few close Semi Finals last season Craig was determined not to let this happen again at the start of this season and broke straight back with a fine 15 darter and then fired in 100, 125, 100 and 100 scores to keep Garry at arm’s length before cleaning up a 40 finish for a 17 dart clincher and a victory his play deserved in the end. Heavy scoring from Craig with 1 x 180, 17 x 100 pluses and 5 x 90’s efforts which significantly outscored Garry with 1 x 180, 8 x 100 pluses and 2 x 90’s and was just too inconsistent in this game for his liking with far too many low scores but somehow came close to winning it which just shows how a game can go in darts.

FINAL

Craig Fisher ( 27.73 ) 6-5 ( 29.78 ) Les Delderfield

A Final dominated by the player on throw right up until the deciding leg where Craig Fisher turned the game on its head and broke for the only and decisive time, until that point both players had won legs on their throw relatively untroubled as chances to break were at a bare minimum. Probably the best chance for a break came in the opening leg as Les won it in 21 darts but Craig had got off to a slow start and was still back on 166, the game picked up at a pace as it went on with Les taking his legs in 13, 14, 16 and 14 darts with some heavy duty 100 and 140 scoring with a 106 finish thrown in for good measure in leg 5. The Barnsley Glass worker not able to match those impressive stats but still holding his own as he replied with legs in 17, 18, 14, 18 and 17 darts with Les maybe a touch disappointed that he couldn’t muster a decent break attempt in any of those legs but in the back of his mind probably knowing he had the throw in the last leg and that would be key to winning the game, however it didn’t pan out that way as Craig saved his biggest effort till the end and Les went for once for found wanting at the most crucial time as a couple of rare poor scores gave Craig the impetus to grab the leg by the scruff of the neck and close it out emphatically with a 140 set up and a 77 finish to end a gruelling contest. Just goes to show in a game of darts that just one lapse can be so costly and that was the case for Les in that final leg. A fine effort from both players with Craig hitting a 177, 18 x 100 pluses and 4 x 90’s and Les responding in kind with a staggering 24 x 100 pluses and 2 x 90’s scores but still ending up on the losing side with an average touching 30 per dart which shows hard it is to win a BDP Final most times.

SUMMARY

Craig ‘The Fish’ Fisher becomes the first winner of 2015 and he did it the hard way with his final 3 games all going to the wire with the new format so much more demanding as the matches go longer and deeper into the reserves of stamina, energy, concentration and mental strength than ever before. The Winners prize truly earned today by a superbly talented player who just gets on with the game with minimal fuss and bother with a great temperament too for handling pressure situations. Sweet revenge in a way to beat Les in the Final as the Shipley ace had ended his Grand Final challenge early at Townville.

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