County hits big time after London win

The Lincolnshire Ladies darts team
The Lincolnshire Ladies darts team

The captains of the Lincolnshire county darts squads have saluted their players, after they beat London to earn a place in the Premier Division.

Gainsborough’s Des and Paula Jacklin are elated after the county’s first promotion in 10 years.

The win in the nation’s capital means top flight matches will be hosted by the Blues Club next season.

Des Jacklin said: “I cannot put into words the pride I feel.”

“When we look back over certain matches, the London weekend has got to rate as one of the biggest, if not the biggest win to date for us as captains.”

Travelling down to London, Lincolnshire sat third in the BICC League, four points behind second placed Dorset.

The ladies B team were up first and took two points from the six on offer, Julie Lambie fighting hard for a win and Match Award winner Dawn Wright adding to that thanks to a single dart average of 17.60.

Shane Lowe took the first point for the men’s B section, before Ashley Preston’s blistering 3-0 win with a single dart average of 26.37.

Five more wins came courtesy of Chris Fidler, Adam Beck, Gary Blades and Mark Blackwell, but the Match Award went to a man playing his second game after a six-month break, Simon Stainton leaving the stage with a 3-1 win and an average of 27.96.

Going into the second day’s play, captain Jacklin broke with tradition to give in-form players a chance to step up.

He said: “If we have any places in the men’s A team to fill I normally have a conversation with the eligible players as to who we feel should play.”

“However this was the first time ever I simply told Simon Stainton, Mark Blackwell and Chris Fidler to make themselves available, and this would prove one of the most important decisions I’ve made in three seasons as captain.”

Sunday’s action began with the ladies A team, and they added another three points.

Teenager Layla Bontoft played with the composure of a veteran, while Heather Connerton scrapped for a 3-2 win.

And Tammy Montgomery took Lady of the Match with a 3-2 victory and single dart average of 21.08.

In the final section, Fidler found himself 3-0 down to London’s Graham Rackstraw but dug deep for a 4-3 win.

Further wins by Blackwell, Marty Richards, Sam Hewson, Jock Watt, Lloyd Pennell and Micky Stocks set up Stainton to secure county glory,.

He added the men’s A Match Award with a single dart average of 29.91.

There was just one tinge of regret for Jacklin, with the absence of a popular player.

He said: “We had to do it without Dean Baker. He and his family are facing possibly their most difficult time, and on behalf of Lincolnshire I wish them the very best of luck.”

“Your place at Lincolnshire is always open.”

There were further celebrations as Karen Staton, Paula Jacklin, Tammy Montgomery and Shane Lowe finished the season with top 10 positions in their divisions.