Henshaw and Palmer win darts leagues

THE Ripley Elite Singles League’s winter competition came to an end last week with organiers hailing a ‘fantastic season’.

It all came down to the final night after over 20 weeks of winter darts action and there was all still play for going into that final set of fixtures with various battles for places up for grabs.

The Sportsdale Premier League title went to Phil Henshaw, after a fantastic season of consistency and an average over the 120 legs of over 27. Phil finished four points clear of Daz Brown in the tightest division since REDSL began.

Brown needed a victory against third-placed Aden Kirk to secure second and obliged in a nervy affair with a 3-2 win which could have gone either way.

Young Aden Kirk finished in third, his best finish yet and is definitely among the favourites for the new summer season.

Ash Spencer and Gary Fenn both finished on 76 points from their 24 games but Spencer claimed fourth on the countback system of beating Fenn in their game at the start of the season.

Spencer only lost three games fewer than any other player and will also fancy doing even better in the summer.

Belper’s Paul Baker has had a very consistent season, finishing in sixth and played solid darts all season, rarely dropping below the 24 average mark, meaning he was hard to beat.

Ash Fisher beat fellow relegation candidate Colin Rich 3-2, securing his Premier League status but relegating Rich in the process, who will be joining Matt Allsopp, Kev Wragg and Martyn Cutbush in the REDSL Division One next winter.

A special mention must go to the Premier League’s only lady player - Jo Oldershaw - who finished above five men in 20th position, averaging over 23 for the season, winning seven of her 17 games and giving all her opponents a fright.

In a record breaking season, an amazing 181 scores of 180 were recorded with Phil Henshaw winning the award for most with 22.

The league also saw its highest ever average of 33.85 per dart or 101.55 overall, also recorded by Henshaw. The highest finish was shared by Ian Byard and Phil Henshaw who both hit a 161 out shot.

The league’s first nine-dart leg was also achieved by Daz Brown in what has been an incredibly competitive division.

Rich Palmer has dominated the first division, winning all of his 22 games, dropping only eight of the 110 legs he played. Rich will be a definite threat in the summer and his domination meant he also recorded the most 180s with 11, the highest average of 30.83 and the best leg of 11 darts. The highest finish of 150 went to Wes Smith. Joining Rich in next season’s winter Premier Division are runner up Wayne Howe, third-placed Dave Allcock, and newcomer Lee Stanley.

With more new players joining in the summer the REDSL goes from strength to strength and anyone interested in joining must attend the Somercotes venue on April 10, with £20 bond money.

PDC world-ranked 34th player Jamie Caven will be presenting the prizes before performing an exhibition.

Organiser Daz Brown from the league said: “On behalf of all REDSL players, I would like to thank club owner Steve Heenan for his continued support and also Sportsdale’s very own Dale ‘Dezzy’ Cooper for his sponsorship of all the match boards.

“Brin Johnson and Ant Parry work hard and also deserve a massive thank you, plus everyone who does a bit extra to keep the Wednesday nights running as well as they can. You know who you are.”