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The Actor



Easter Sat/Sun 22/23 March 2008

The England Darts Organisation were very pleased to welcome the teams of the Netherlands to the Lakeside Country Club for the first event run by the EDO since its formation last year.

The format for the two matches played on Good Friday and Easter Saturday was a mixture of Ladies, Mens and for the first time with the senior teams the England youth squads were included.

The two days were compared by Bobby George, who was ably assisted by Richard Ashdown who was the Master of Ceremonies as well as refereeing; the other two referees were Rob Clarke (Bedfordshire) and Jacques Nieuwlaat (Netherlands). It was a new venture for al four of them and they did a wonderful job over the two days.
Left To Right : Jacques Nieuwlaat, Bobby George, Richard Ashdown & Rob Clark


Each team was made up of 3 youths (1 girl and 2 boys), 6 Ladies and 12 men, played in two sessions on both days and for the first time for many years the matches were mixed throughout rather than the normal case of all the Ladies playing followed by all the Men.


The start was slightly delayed as the Dutch team were held up in traffic, the first game under the auspices of the EDO saw Tony Eccles take on the World Cup singles Champion, Dick Van Dijk and the match proved to be a memorable start for such an occasion.

Dick started the match slowly, not helped by the lack of time to practice, but Tony Eccles gave him absolutely no time to settle as he took the match in straight legs with a 34.95 average, a truly great performance on such a special occasion.

The second match saw the first ladies take to the stage and for England it was the seven time World Champion, Trina Gulliver back on familiar territory who the crowd expected to add another point for England, her opponent was Rilana Erades, who the weekend before had taken the ladies singles title in the Spring Cup which was won by the Netherlands.

Trina was slow to find her form and Rilana took advantage to move into a 2 – 0 lead, eventually Trina found her form and she levelled the match at 2 – 2. At this point it looked inevitable that the World Champ would ease to victory but Rilana took advantage of the throw to clinch a memorable win for both her and her Country and level the match score at 1 – 1.

The Dutch moved ahead for the first time when Remco van Eijden took advantage of missed doubles by John Walton to record a rare defeat for John in an England shirt.

It was then the turn of the first youth players to take to the stage and what a game the two youngsters provided. Netherlands Jan Dekker finished the match losing 1 – 3 but still had a very creditable 27.39. The victor for England was Ross Smith, who has already made the ‘A’ team for Kent in the Premier Division. Ross showed the form that also saw him compete for England at the last World Cup and in winning he recorded a very good 29.03 average.

The Dutch moved back ahead again when Captain, Niels De Ruiter enjoyed a 3 – 1 win over Ian White.

It was then back to the Ladies and it was to provide a debut win for England’s Nadine Bentley against Floorjte van Zanten, it was a special occasion for Nadine as she has waited a long time for her debut, having completed over 250 County matches for first Lincolnshire and then Cambridgeshire.

The Dutch then enjoyed a good run of victories from Mikel van Maaastrigt in a men’s match, Thea Kaaijk in the youths and Ron Moulenkamp in the men’s again.

The session finished with two wins for England, from the ever consistent Apylee Jones and a recalled Phill Nixon. This gave the Netherlands a narrow 6 – 5 lead at the end of the first session.

The evening session started off with Richie George winning in the youths to put England level.

Next up for England was the in form Scott Waites and he showed no mercy for the World Cup Youth Champion, Jonny Nijs as he equalled Tony Eccles’ 34.95 average.

England pulled another point ahead when Tricia Wright celebrated her return to International duty with a great but close 3 – 2 win over the Dutch Ladies Captain, Francis Hoenselaar.

The next four games were shared as Roy van der Berg won game fifteen, Steve Farmer with a very creditable 31.31 took the next, Netherlands replied with a win from Karin Krappen before Tommy Aldridge won on his recall, having previously played over ten years ago.

The overall match was clinched in the next game by England’s Clare Bywaters who eased to a 3 – 0 win. The penultimate game of the day was to be the best of the day and Edwin Max was most unfortunate to finish a 0 – 3 loser as he recorded a 33.51 average but still had no answer to Martin Atkins who got his first win in an England shirt with a breathtaking 36.66 average.

It takes two special players to follow a game like that and the crowd were on their feet to welcome two such special players, first on was the charismatic Co Stompe and then the howls revealed the last player for England was to be the Captain and World Champion, Martin Adams.

The game was played in terrific spirit and Martin returned to the Lakeside stage in the form he left it, beating Co 3 – 0with a 31.98 average.

So the first day of an England Darts Organisation was over and it had seen a 13 – 8 win for England.

At the end of all four sessions Bobby George played one lady and one man drawn from the crowd, in a ”A Leg With Bobby” which had been adapted from his afternoon spells during the Lakeside World Championships.

All eight players who played the ‘fun’ leg against Bobby were presented with a trophy and a signed photo of themselves with Bobby on the famous Lakeside stage. It was well received by the crowd and was an enjoyable and fun way to finish each session.

The Saturday saw the Dutch hoping to get off to a better start having had a nights rest and not having to endure the pleasure of the M25!!

However Mens Captain, Martin Adams was not about to hand them an easy start as he moved to another 3 – 0 win. Martin now looks totally at home on the Lakeside stage after several years of bad memories there.

Clare Bywaters was probably more aware of Rilana Erades after her opening day win over Trina Gulliver and she soon gained revenge for her World and Europe Cup partner as she eased to a 3 – 0 victory as Rilana failed to show the form of 24 hours earlier.

The lead was further stretched as Martin Atkins, buoyed by his marvellous performance the night before also enjoyed a 3 – 0 success.

The Netherlands first point of the day was secured by Maarten Pape in the first youth match as he threw a good 27.54 winning average against David Palletts 27.26 average.

Tommy Aldridge got his second win of the weekend and the lead was extended as Karen Littler and yet another outstanding average from Steve Farmer 32.40 average put England 6 – 1 ahead.

In the girls youth game both players had an 18+ average but it was Thea Kaaijk who beat Harriet Wolton 3 -2 in a nail biting match.

Co Stompe was next on for the Dutch as they looked to close the gap, but an inspired Ian Jones inflicted a second defeat on the ‘Matchstick’ and with it won his first game in an England shirt.

The final two games of the session both went to the Dutch with wins from Karin Krappen and Patrick van Veldhoven, Patricks win coming over the in-form Scott Waites, this left England leading 7 – 4 at the end of the session.

The Netherlands needed to get a run of wins going at the start of the evening session and youth player Jan Dekker started them on the way in the first game of the night.

However Phill Nixon, who received a great reception from the crowd on his introduction, had other ideas and he closed out a narrow 3 – 2 win.

Francis Hoenselaar repeated her win over Apylee Jones in this years World Championships with a 26.37 average, which at this stage was the highest by a lady player.

Garry Thompson won the next match for England, it was his first win for England and whilst he didn’t show his true form he was still delighted to break his duck for England. The Netherlands took two of the next three games with wins from Ronald Brandsen and Niels de Ruiter whilst Dawn Standley secured England’s tenth point.

With three games to go the Dutch needed all three games to take the victory, their first player to need a victory was Mieke de Boer who had the unenviable task of facing Trina Gulliver. It was soon obvious that Trina was determined not to lose for the second time and Mieke, despite averaging 22.90 had no answer to the ‘Golden Girl’s’ 28.36 average. It was the highest by any lady over the two days and it also meant the England Ladies Captain had taken the point to guarantee overall victory for her Country.

The final two games also went England’s way as first Ian White and then Stephen Bunting with a 30.67 average inflicted a second 3 – defeat over the unlucky Edwin Max to leave the final score at England 13 Netherlands 8 for the second day running.

We always knew that a match between England and the Netherlands would produce some memorable games and it proved to be.

The matches were billed as Friendly Internationals and they were just that as both teams enjoyed each others company and it was a very fitting way to conclude the first event run by the England Darts Organisation.

During the closing ceremony Master of Ceremonies, Richard Ashdown asked for the crowd to show their appreciation for the Netherlands, and the whole crowd stood and applauded them.

It was a great occasion for all those involved and hopefully the first of many successful events run by the EDO.

In closing the EDO Board of Directors would like to thank all those in attendance, to the officials who gave up their time to make it a success, to Bob Potter and the Lakeside team for hosting the occasion, to all the sponsors and finally to the Netherlands Darts Bond for sending their players over