The NIDO Inter Area County matches are back on this weekend. Teams from all around Northern Ireland will be travelling up and down the roads to get to venues in time for the kick off.
In Division 1 we will see Area 7 (The Muppets) play host to Area 10 from Derry in what should be a good game. Area 10 are third in the league with Divison 1 newcomers Area 7 in 4th. Area 10 have a great side including Simon Dunn, Adrian Butch Devine, Conrad Watson and young Travis Baur. A good win for Area 7 could see them leapfrog them into third place. With great throwers like NI International Daniel McDonald, Jamie Borland, Jeff Watt, Ian Parke, Leonard McKeegan and Paddy Coyles – they have a strong team who could do some damage with some luck.
Next in Division 1 we have Area 2b in Larne playing host to Area 9 from Armagh. Its fair to say Area 2b has struggled this season in the division sitting bottom of the table with 3 losses, having lost a few of their players to rival county teams and the big loss of The Chief who is sitting out this year. But Richard Millar, Ray Bell and Kevin Magill are in the top 13 places average wise, so maybe they have just had some back luck. Area 9 who would have fancied their chances in the division also have no wins to their name. With fantastic throwers like Kyle McKinstry, Gareth Chambers, Roy Montgomery, Philip Carson and Alan McKnight – it’s obviously a blip and eventually they will win a game.
The last game in division 1 is the top two teams in the division – first plays second. Area 4b are hosts to Area 2 from County Antrim. The Area 2 team are always dangerous and are in position to challenge Area 4b for the title they lost to 4b last year. Averages wise Area 2 have the top average in Neil Duff but also Chris Gilliland, Geoff Matthews, Ricky Dunlop, Davy Glenn and John Elder highly placed on averages could see them topple Area 4b. Area 4b have Gary Tipping, Roy Baillie, Craig Orr, Mark Yeates and Rodney Kane posting good averages. This will be an even game and I couldn’t pick a winner from this one – this could go either way.
Onto Division 2, where Area 12 host Area 1 in Belfast this Saturday. Area 1 have struggled this season with some bad luck at times in crucial games, but have a good panel of players including Hedgie McKendry, James Walker, Alan Boyd, Stephen Pinkerton and Bugsy McKendry to name a few. Area 12 boast a few great throwers in their own right including Gary Eliot, Ron Seddon, Billy Belshaw, Neil Withers and Darren Clifford who is doing some of the BDO circuit this year. They are all within the top 50 of the average rankings. It all depends on the day with this fixture. We know what to expect from Area 12 but maybe Area 1 might go there with the shackles off. Looking forward to this one, to see where the Area 1 lads stack up against some tried and tested players in the Area 12 county team.
Next up in Division 2 we have Area 2d against Area 5 Lisburn. This should be a good match also. Evenly matched with some good players on each panel. NI International Paul McDonald is always steady along with Ashley Rainey, Ryan Gault and Denis Gault. Area 5 have the young and impressive Josh Rock, brothers Warren The Tank and Eddie Mullan, Trevor Harbinson and John Bishorek Sr to name a few. I expect this to be a tight game too but I’d give the edge to Area 2d with Paul McDonald to show the way with his steady throwing.
Next fixture in Division 2 is Area 8 hosting Area 11 in Cookstown. Area 8 have got some good players and have Tiny Rodney Greer, Seamus Hagan, Jason Lockhart, and Richard Love all in the top 60 of the average rankings. Colin Brady and Kieran Oneill are also in the Area 8 team. Jason had a good outing at the recent NI Gold Cup going out 6-5 to Colin McGarry in the semi final. Area 11 have struggled in Division 2 this year and have 3 losses in the first 3 games. They will be hoping to turn it around against Area 8. Area 11’s Shane Lennon posted a 25.28 average last time so it shows they have players that can throw in good averages from time to time. I fear Area 8 will be too strong for Area 11 this time around.
In Division 3 Area 4r (Reds) have a free week to relax.
Area 9’s C team play host to Area 2c looking for their first win. Where as Area 9b top the table and are away to Area 13. Area 13’s John Bishorek Jr and Daniel Jordan are sitting inside the top 35 in the county averages. A win for Area 9b would put them a long way towards winning the division. This is their last game, so they must post a good win to give themselves a chance and wait on Area 4r’s result next county weekend.
So let’s all have a good game this weekend and most of all, enjoy yourselves. Keep those arrows straight.