Over-50s and ladies step up to oche for a knockout show

Ladies' knockout finalists Ellie Gostick and Hayley Gatford
Ladies' knockout finalists Ellie Gostick and Hayley Gatford

THE Friday Summer League over-50s’ and ladies’ knockouts took place at the Aldwick Royal British Legion - attracting 22 over-50s and 13 for the ladies’ event.

In the ladies knockout, last year’s winner, Karen Wilson (Chi Snooker B) went out in the first round to former winner and winter season KO winner Debbie Clements (Old Barn).

The second round saw 2007 winner Paula Duckett (Richmond Rebels) go out to new team-mate Ellie Gostick and Debbie Clements knocked out by two-time winner Hayley Gatford (Chi Snooker B).

In first semi-final, Gostick (Richmond Rebels) faced Glo Green (Aldwick Legion A) and Gostick enjoyed her first Friday knockout to see off Greene.

The second semi saw Gatford take on Caz Taylor (Richmond Rebels). This was Taylor’s best result since her losing final way back in 2006, but missed doubles stopped her going further.

The final was Gostick’s first ladies’ KO, while for Gatford it was a chance to regain a title she lost last year.

The first leg saw Gatford hit two tons and go straight into the lead with one dart on double 18. The second leg saw Gostick push into the lead, and with Gatford having double trouble, allowed her to hit double one and make it 1-1.

The last leg started slowly for Gostick. Again double trouble for Gatford allowed Gostick to make it to double 16, but she hit the wrong double and Gatford took her third summer ladies’ champion’s title out of five finals.

Meanwhile, the over-50s’ knockout started with six preliminary matches. Former runner-up Dave Coupland (Wheatsheaf) and former winner Simon Edwards (Aldwick Legion B) left at this stage.

 The first semi-final saw Keith Robinson (Chi Snooker C) take on Roger Hackett (Wheatsheaf). It was a close match but Hackett sneaked his doubles to get to the final.

The second semi saw last year’s winner Andy Stubbs (Chi Snooker B) take on his team-mate and 2009 winner Chris Gatford.

After starting the night with some excellent scoring, the heat maybe got to Stubbs, and he allowed Gatford to get his doubles first.

In the first leg of the final, Gatford started slowly but hit 137 to go into the lead. Hackett pulled it back with 83 and they shared the scores all the way to the doubles.

With Gatford sharing his wife’s double trouble, Hackett took the first leg on his way to trying to take a trophy he first won in 1993 and last won in 2005.

The second leg saw Gatford pull it back to 1-1 with some great darts. The last leg saw Hackett just in the lead until Gatford dug deep with a score of 120 and with his next score, he hit double top with his last dart to become over-50s’ champion for the second time.