DARTS: England call can be springboard for Ball

England call: Clare Ball has been picked for the England team - much to the delight of Ian Tilley (left). Photo supplied
England call: Clare Ball has been picked for the England team - much to the delight of Ian Tilley (left). Photo supplied
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CLAIRE Ball will rub shoulders with some of the darting elite after earning her first-ever international call up.

The Cambridgeshire ace, who has been a regular on the South Holland darting scene in recent years, will represent England at the 2012 British Internationals at Wales in April.

She joins Lisa Ashton, Clare Bywaters, Merryl Dennis, Lorraine Farlam, Deta Hedman and nine-time BDO World Darts Champion Trina Gulliver in the England ranks.

Cambridgeshire and BDO official Ian Tilley, who has followed Ball’s career closely, reckons the call-up is the start of big things for the thrower.

He said: “Claire’s been playing superbly for a while now and has beaten a lot of big names on the county scene.

“I said a few years ago that she’d make it to the top and she fully deserves this.

“To play with the likes of Trina will be a great experience for her and it can only be a good thing.

“If she keeps playing like she has been, I don’t see any reason why she can’t make it to Lakeside in the future.

“Claire’s a natural talent and I couldn’t be happier for her.”

Ball was part of the New Saracen’s Head C team that won a Spalding and District League treble last season.

She is one of two debutants for the April 14 and 15 event. Devon’s Dennis is the other.

• THE formidable trio of Duncan Hunt, Pete Richardson and Mark Horspool delivered the Holbeach and District League’s Maurice Clark Cup to New Saracen’s Head C (1). They beat Tigers A (3) trio Richard Pearson, Kelvin Crane and Paul Baker 2-0 in the final, with Hunt nailing a 180.

Horspool also threw a maximum in the competition, while also managing a super 121 checkout.

The only other 180 of the day came from Crane.

No less than 36 teams entered the Long Sutton RLB competition.

• TWO of the top three clashed in Spalding and District League Division One last week – but it was far from a close encounter.

Leaders New Saracen’s Head C romped to an 8-1 triumph over Lamb and Flag A, effectively ruling them out of the title race in the process.

Deadly duo Mark Horspool and Duncan Hunt weighed in with 180s for the convincing table toppers.

In Division Two, basement boys Horse and Groom B turned the table upside down as they knocked off top of the pile Jolly Farmer.

Richard Arnold arrowed his way to a 180 maximum for Groom – who are now just six points behind the leaders with four games in hand.