Darts: Rye show their bottle

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Rye bounced back from the whitewash at Newhaven, beating genuine title contenders Lewes at the Tally Ho on Wednesday night.

In form Sam Cooper (20.49) couldn’t live up to the standard he had set himself in recent weeks narrowly losing 3-2, with Micky Whiting (20.55) victorious.

Rye’s newest addition to the squad Eric Elliott (19.39) has been welcomed to super league action facing County players in each appearance – Rod Hawkins (19.52) Sussex men’s captain being the latest. Elliot, throwing a maximum 180 in the second leg, was left on a double every leg but unfortunately lost 3-0

Unlucky thirteen struck .. thirteen games in a row lost with the last winner of a game being Cooper against Hastings weeks ago. Dan Martin (23.48) stopped the rot beating Dave Harding (23.43) 3-0 in 26,18,20 darts. Martin, refreshed from a recent holiday, started like a train only to be let down by needing 11 darts to finish 91. A 110 outshot in the 2nd healed the wound though.

A 16 dart winning leg and a maximum was all Lee Freeman (26.31) received for his efforts despite a higher average, losing to rock steady Ricky Blay (25.59) 3-1.

From 2-0 down, Julian Apps (21.37) responded in true grit fashion beating Reg Harding, jnr (20.22) 3-2 kick and starting a Rye Revival. Four tons, a winning leg in 16, saw the comeback.

John Ripley (24.41) equalled the game with Rye’s highest winning average, beating Sussex player Paul Telford (23.44) 3-1. Ripley with a year’s experience behind him now has no excuses not to show his “A” game more regularly. Shane Ridgers (20.88) performed poorly by his own standards, but managed a shock win against Andy Relph (21.16) 3-0.

Rye 4-3 up with two to go. Designated driver Dave Goddard (22.23) nursing an awful foot injury wasn’t far behind Dennis Sains (23.12) every leg, but Sains didn’t miss, leaving the match poised at 4 each.

Match Captain Gary Willis (20.94), like Cooper, had been in rich form, but had been left out the original squad with veteran John Poole playing. Poole, however, surrendered his position too allow Willis his chance. A leg down with Tony Cox (20.77) allowed the Rye man in to lead 2-1. With scrappy legs, Cox levelled the match 4-4 and with the final game 2-2 it went down to the wire with both players guilty of misses. But Willis composed himself to get the winning double.

A fantastic evening all round, with some great, bad and awful darts thrown but Rye’s grittiness was rewarded with the bonus win points.

Man of the Match overall was Lewes’s Ricky Blay 25.59
Rye’s Man of the match was John Ripley (24.41)
Highest outshot was Dan Martin 110
Rye vs Lewes was sponsored by Julian apps