THE curse of the Ridley League leadership struck again as Felsted Chequers came an almighty cropper at the hands of the Black Bull, who thus return to the top of the table.

Steve Hills’ straight-legs win over Les Atkins gave the visitors the ideal start, but Jason Vickers inspired a Bull fightback, capped by a 6-0 stroll on the dominoes table. The Bull, who face challengers Broomfield King’s Arms this week, will be hoping the “curse” isn’t still active… Rob Turner was dominant as the King’s moved second with victory at Little Waltham. The Essex star had starts of 160 and 136, four 140s and three more scores of 100 or better. Darren Kochan hit a 180 in response, but Waltham’s only darts win of the night came in the women’s game.

Des Vickers, with a maximum and successive finishes of 106 and 107, was another star turn as CCFC A took a grip on the eagerly-awaited “inter-City” clash – but it all went wrong at the death. Natalie Potts grabbed her first-ever 140 to help spoil Vickers’ night in the mixed game, and Sharon Chaplin hit the winning double to clinch the women’s point for the C team.

The Swan blotted CCFC B’s bright start to the season with a gritty recovery at Melbourne. It looked bleak when they lost the first three singles (effectively a 0-5 deficit with the concession of the mixed and women’s games), but they turned the match on its head by claiming three of the next four games – and “brushing” City in the dominoes.

Fryerning Cricketers celebrated their first darts victory in a crushing 14-1 result at the Bird in Hand. The home side, now cut adrift at the foot of the table, scored some small consolation by chalking up their first mixed success.

RESULTS – Bird in Hand 1, Cricketers 14 (singles/ pairs 0-7, mixed 1-0, women 0-1, dominoes 0-6); Black Bull 12, Chequers 3 (5-2, 0-1, 1-0, 6-0); CCFC A 7, CCFC C 8 (5-2, 0-1, 0-1, 2-4); CCFC B 6, Swan 9 (4-3, 1-0, 1-0, 0-6); Lt Waltham SC 6, King’s Arms 9 (3-4, 0-1, 1-0, 2-4).

FIXTURES (Nov 20) – Bird in Hand v Lt Waltham SC, Black Bull v King’s Arms, CCFC A v Cricketers, CCFC B v Chequers, CCFC C v Swan.