Back to White Rose Club in Ossett for today’s event and no getting away from the fact that attendances have been dwindling for a while now with only 68 players in the Main Event, 10 in the Ladies and 6 in the Youth. Hard to fathom the reasons why the numbers are declining and what the solution is to reverse the current trend. Is it the current format of 4 Finals in a year that is not as favourable, is it other competitions that are attracting players or is it purely down to finances. The one thing that stays constant though is the quality of the assembled field at any BDP event.
Kai Haddock ( 23.48 ) 3-0 ( 15.71 ) Sam Hastings
Laura Tye ( 18.10 ) 3-0 ( 14.63 ) Lynne Horne
Derek Lumley 3-0 Cameron West Josh Clough 3-0 Ray Long Sam Loader 3-1 Rich Winpenny Neil Ward 3-2 Daz Baimbridge
Only 4 games in the leanest of opening rounds for a long time with the pick of the games a hard fought victory for White Rose home SL player Neil Ward 3-2 over big Daz Baimbridge, always a player to avoid early on as he has taken some big players out at this stage in the past but no joy today. Rich Winpenny hit a 180 to help take the opening leg but then completely fell apart for the rest of the game to slip to another demoralising early defeat as he lost to Sam Loader. Elsewhere straight forward 3-0 wins for Derek Lumley and Josh Clough.
Dave Peasgood 3-2 Josh Loader Robin Towler 3-0 Matthew Hagyard Tony Darlow 3-0 Mark Hanslip Pete Neary 3-0 Ian Falkingham David Lammie 3-0 Lee Bugden Steve Blower 3-1 Rob Sharp Derek Lumley 3-1 Mick Tyler John Barnes 3-1 Dennis Richardson Brendan Marren 3-0 David Brown Jaz Esteve 3-2 Dave Wilson Peter Jacques 3-0 Eddie Simpson Josh Clough 3-1 Mark Calvert Mark Featherstone 3-1 Mark Marshall Joe Osgothorpe 3-2 Steve Booth Lewis Pride 3-1 Jordan Fisher Danny Roberts 3-2 Tom Neal Garry Thompson 3-1 Jonathan Hewitt Les Delderfield 3-0 Craig Maddox Arron Holdstock 3-0 John Clifford Willie Kershaw 3-1 Steve Hattersley Greg Beard 3-0 Graham Hoggarth Adam Scott 3-0 Kieran Evans Mick Wiltshire 3-1 Pat Blakely Tommy Walsh 3-1 Mark Leonard Wayne Butterworth 3-0 Ian Holmes Alex Pride 3-0 Robert Turpin Mark Scott 3-0 Sam Loader Neil Ward 3-1 Dennis Timmins Trevor Tye 3-1 Lance Milburn Craig Fisher 3-0 Michael Townend Josh Scales 3-1 Tom Vessey Rick Waite 3-0 Andrew Seward
Jonathan Hewitt’s bid for an unprecedented 3 straight Title wins in a row was thwarted early on as Garry Thompson finally ended his dominance with a 3-1 win despite looking a little shaky at times during the match of the round. Home SL player Dennis Timmins has enjoyed plenty of success here in BDP and local competitions but never looked comfortable against the slower pace of fellow team mate Neil Ward and lost out 3-1 to the man now residing in Stanley in North Wakefield. Another eye catcher was a 3-0 victory for Keighley’s Adam Scott over Kieran Evans, the Flockton ace one of the more vocal players around and a real character but silenced early today by a player improving all the time at BDP events. An all Midway SL battle went the way of Mark Featherstone 3-1 over Mark Marshall while Jaz Esteve made to sweat in a close one with Huddersfield ace Dave Wilson before nicking it in the decider.
Robin Towler 3-2 Dave Peasgood Tony Darlow 3-0 Pete Neary David Lammie 3-0 Steve Blower Derek Lumley 3-0 John Barnes Jaron Esteve 3-0 Brendan Marren Josh Clough 3-1 Peter Jacques Mark Featherstone 3-2 Joe Osgothorpe Danny Roberts 3-1 Lewis Pride Les Delderfield 3-2 Garry Thompson Willie Kershaw 3-0 Arron Holdstock Greg Beard 3-0 Adam Scott Tommy Walsh 3-1 Mick Wiltshire Alex Pride 3-1 Wayne Butterworth Mark Scott 3-2 Neil Ward Craig Fisher 3-1 Trevor Tye Rick Waite 3-1 Josh Scales
Current Yorkshire Classic Champion and winner of numerous open tournaments recently Peter Jacques would have been amongst the favourites to win the event today but sent crashing out by a sensational performance from Sharlston’s Josh Clough who scored well and took his chances when they came to record his best result since reaching a Semi Final a couple of years ago. Formerly from Chatham in Kent but now based in nearby Dewsbury Greg Beard has took up darts after an illustrious career as an Athlete, as a Shotputter Greg was a British Champion in every age group and footage of him in International action can be found on You Tube, he is now looking to make his mark on the darts scene and has already acquired sponsorship to play in events, so far today impressive 3-0 victories over Graham Hoggarth and Adam Scott. A real statement of intent though from Jaz Esteve absolutely lethal in snuffing out Brendan Marren 3-0, the local Ossett ace missing nothing and looking in tremendous form. Another high profile match up saw the demise of Garry Thompson in a 2-3 thriller to Les Delderfield as many of the big guns were drawn in the same sections of the draw which meant opportunities for other players to progress through the field.
Tony Darlow 4-1 Robin Towler David Lammie 4-1 Derek Lumley Jaron Esteve 4-0 Josh Clough Danny Roberts 4-1 Mark Featherstone Les Delderfield 4-1 Willie Kershaw Tommy Walsh 4-2 Greg Beard Alex Pride 4-2 Mark Scott Craig Fisher 4-0 Rick Waite
At the top of the draw Yorkshire County ace Tony Darlow going well dropping only 1 leg so far in 3 games as Robin Towler became the latest victim. No more giant killing for Josh Clough, a couple of missed darts for him at Double 12 in the opening leg but all Jaron Esteve after that as he ran away with it 4-0, same scoreline for Grand Final 1 Winner Craig Fisher to end a good run from Wakefield’s Rick Waite, his best for some time. A BDP personal best too for Keighley’s Mark Scott and a valiant attempt to topple Alex Pride before losing out 2-4. Newcomer Greg Beard also out losing 2-4 to Shipley Builder Tommy Walsh but good BDP experience will stand him in good stead for future events. Familiar names at this stage David Lammie and Les Delderfield made up the Last 8 along with fast throwing Huddersfield starlet Danny Roberts who took out Mark Featherstone 4-1.
Tony Darlow 4-3 David Lammie Jaron Esteve 4-2 Danny Roberts Les Delderfield 4-3 Tommy Walsh Alex Pride 4-3 Craig Fisher
A great effort from Tommy Walsh to push his mentor Sir Les Delderfield all the way in an epic 4-3 battle, the younger man learning his darting trade under Sir Les’s guidance along with a host of top players at Woodbottom in Shipley and starting to emerge as one to watch in future competitions but the old master just having enough nous to see this challenge off. Another hard battle at the the top of the list with Tony Darlow just shading it against David Lammie. Meanwhile Harrogate ace Alex Pride always has a major run to a Semi or Final at least once during a season, such a dangerous player on his day as Craig Fisher found out this time around in another cliffhanger 4-3 game. A good effort from Danny Roberts but finding tough match player Jaz Esteve too strong in a 2-4 defeat.
SEMI FINAL 1
Tony Darlow ( 26.16 ) 5-4 ( 24.73 ) Jaron Esteve
Each time Tony Darlow got in front by a couple of legs he ended up being pegged back by Jaron Esteve in a topsy turvey Semi Final. Sheffield star Tony took command early on with 16 and 17 dart legs to win them quite comfortably as Jaz struggled to find his range, the struggle continued for him in leg 3 until a 177 from nowhere got him back into at the business end of the leg but still a little fortunate to take it in 22 darts and let off the hook really by Tony who had 12 darts from 182 but couldn’t capitalize to go 3-0 up. Much better scoring in leg 4 from Jaz as he fired in a 180 to dominate the leg but almost fluffing it with 8 missed darts at 40 before clinching it with his last dart in the sequence for a 21 darter to level up at 2-2. Neither player fully firing on all cylinders at this stage but Tony just did enough to nick the next 2 legs in 20 and 21 darts to go one leg away from a scrappy victory really. However even when Electrician Jaz appears to be struggling he can never be ruled out because of his ability to hit the switch and turn on the power at any given time which he did in leg 7 with a couple of 140’s and a 72 checkout for a 15 dart break when he most needed it although he could have afforded to miss with Tony well back on 203 at the time. More like it from Jaz now as he showed why he is likely to get a Yorkshire County call up for the second time in his career with a 16 darter to level up after Tony had a dart at Tops for the match on a 79 finish. All down to a decider and the momentum all with Jaron as he scored steadily and Tony couldn’t find any Trebles in his first 4 visits to the oche but then 6 wonder darts won the match for him from 246 as he came from adversity to hit a 140 and then a 106 finish when the game looked to be slipping away from him with Jaz left on 60 but not getting the shot. Those final darts summing up Tony’s performance really as he scored really well in small clusters and then mediocre in the rest but somehow getting the job done with a 180, 12 x 100 pluses and 4 x 90’s shots. Opponent Jaron took a while to get into the game but then looked the more consistent player on the scoring but crucially missed darts at Doubles that cost him legs 5 and
6 but showed real character to bounce back and looked firm favourite in the last leg only to be denied by 6 great darts, a total of 2 x 180’s, 1 x 177, 11 x 100 pluses and 6 x 90’s efforts from him.
SEMI FINAL 2
Les Delderfield ( 25.88 ) 5-4 ( 25.95 ) Alex Pride
Another desperately close Semi decided by brilliant darts at the end. This time Les Delderfield provided the magic to deny Alex Pride with a killer 180 followed by a 67 finish in the decider. Two contrasting players as Les is nearly always a model of nagging consistency on either Treble 20 or Treble 19 while Alex is very much a player that runs hot and cold just like a temperamental tap one minute spluttering out cold water, the next absolutely boiling hot. In this particular games his cold spells would be 45, 21, 60 and 27 for example and then all of a sudden the boiler would fire and he was steaming with 140, 140, 100 shots back to back. The question was ‘would he have enough hot spells in the game to overcome Les’s overall consistency. The answer not quite but he came mighty close after battling back from 3-1 and 4-2 down to force a decider. A break of throw in 18 darts each early on as firstly Les broke with a 106 finish and then Alex blasted in a 140, 133 and a 26 finish at the end of the leg 2 for parity. The next couple of legs lukewarm for Alex as Leg took them in 21 and and 20 darts. The Bilton SL ace needed to fire before it was too late and the pilot light duly came on as he scored well to reduce the arrears with a 21 darter and pressurised Les in leg 6 to leave 42 after 15 darts but to no avail as the retired former Radiator maker took out 60 for an 18 darter. A massive effort from Les in the next leg as he hit 140, 100, 50 and 100 to leave 111 but Alex equal to it and more as he reached boiling point with a 14 darter and then followed it with a pressure 64 finish in 18 darts to break Les and level up. Many times in the past Les has produced something special to win a tight game and he came up trumps again and with the leg evenly poised the great man sank 3 killer darts into the Treble 20 which must have felt like stakes into Alex’s heart just when he might have thought the game was his for the taking, the 67 shot out from Les on his next turn meant Alex didn’t get a pop at 121 but a tremendous effort from him today as he hit 15 x 100 pluses and 6 x 90’s scores. As for Les not at his mercurial best on the scoring but having to dig really deep to come through such a tough battle with the match winning 180 plus 15 other Ton plus shots and 7 x 90’s efforts.
Les Delderfield ( 30.54 ) 5-0 ( 24.98 ) Tony Darlow
A masterful performance from Les Delderfield as he just got stronger and stronger as the game went on to snuff out the challenge of Tony Darlow. Few pundits would have expected a 5-0 scoreline given Tony’s battling qualities and never say die spirit but his chances all but disappeared after the first 2 legs where he missed golden chances he would normally take on the Doubles. A 79 finish is always a tricky number and sometimes it seems easier to hit Single 19 and Single 20 and then have 1 concentrated dart at Double 20, a Treble 19 hit though means a shot at Double 11 with the nagging fear of landing in the Single 11 in the back of your mind, maybe that thought was in Tony’s mind as he missed with 2 darts at Double 11 and then 2 more at Double 4 on the next turn to let Les in for a 19 dart opener. Leg 2 should have been Tony’s too but he missed a dart at Bull on a 127 finish and then the follow up 25 and Les picked up the pieces with an 18 darter. If Les was fortunate to have taken the first 2 legs then there would be no such thoughts in the next 3 as he completely bossed them with some heavy duty scoring that Tony just couldn’t live with, the Steelers SL star steamrolled by Les in 17, 15 and 13 darts and a runaway victory in the end for the Shipley legend. A dominant performance in the end from Les as he hit a 180, 11 x 100 pluses and 2 x 90’s shots to win in double quick time. Disappointment for Tony and well below par by his standards, could have been a different story had he took the opening legs but all if’s but’s and maybe’s as he mustered 6 x 100 pluses and 2 x 90’s, no doubt he will be smarting from such a heavy defeat for a while but the chances are he will punish someone for it further down the line.
Once again the ageless Les Delderfield comes out on top having seen off a succession of top players along the way in a very tough section of the draw. Despite fierce competition these days from a whole host of quality players across the board he still manages to win more than his fair share of BDP Titles. As time marchers on it would be nice to capture some footage of Les in action so future generations can marvel at his talent before the inevitable day comes when he hangs up his flights, fortunately though that day doesn’t look like coming around any time soon based on what we are still witnessing now. In the high tech world we now live in the prospect of streaming Les’s performances on the internet may not be too far away.