Highest-ever finish for Lincolnshire’s darts team

Ladies' captain Paula Jacklin, who says Lincolnshire now have "an awesome team".
Ladies' captain Paula Jacklin, who says Lincolnshire now have "an awesome team".

Proud Lincolnshire ended a terrific season in the Premier Division of the British Inter-Counties Darts Champioonship with an easy win and third place in the table, which is the highest in their history.

Lincolnshire defeated bottom-of-the-table Essex 26-13 after victories for both men’s teams and both ladies’ teams. And it gave them a final tally of 175 points from their nine matches, behind only champions Yorkshire and runners-up Lancashire.

“We have earned ourselves an awful lot of respect from a lot of people,” said ladies’ A team captain, Paula Jacklin. “It has been a fantastic season. We are an awesome team, with some awesome players and an awesome support network, and I still think there is more to come. In my opinion, we have not yet reached our peak.

“We have shown a lot of dedication, hard work, team spirit and shed-loads of talent. The highlights for me have been finding players such as Bobbie Hughes and Angie Westmore, and also Leighton Bennett’s 126 out on double six last month, which was absolutely amazing.”

Against Essex, the ladies’ B team made a tentative start and had to pinch a couple of points on their way to a 4-2 success. The Lincolnshire winners were Hughes, Laura Tye and Layla Bontoft, but the player-of-the-match award with a single-dart average of 18.33 went to Shelley Bontoft-Gash.

The men’s B team triumphed 7-5 to give Lincolnshire an 11-7 lead at the halfway point of the match. The star man was Jonny Bywater with an average of 27.22, while other winners were Richard Selby, Johnny Baker, Lee Price, Bennett, Mark Blackwell and Steve Hamill.

The following day began with a 4-2 win for the ladies’ A team, courtesy of skipper Jacklin, Tye, Bontoft-Gash and player-of-the-match Sue Edwards with an average of 21.78.

And a fine weekend was sealed by the men’s A team, who took the first five points on the bounce and sailed home 8-4 in the hands of star man Ross Twell (average 30.92), Baker, Karl Forrington, Craig Hill, Lloyd Pennell, Adam Ward, Chris Fidler and Mark Forman.