AUNT SALLY: Lyon delighted as he hits the max

Neil Lyon, from the Three Pigeons’ pub in Witney, who scored a maximum haul of 18 dolls in their 3-0 win against Yarnton Royal British Legion

Neil Lyon, from the Three Pigeons’ pub in Witney, who scored a maximum haul of 18 dolls in their 3-0 win against Yarnton Royal British Legion

First published in Sport Witney Gazette: Photograph of the Author by , Sports reporter specialising in horse racing. Call me on 01865 425453

Neil Lyon achieved every aunt sally player’s dream with a magical maximum 18 dolls.

Lyon’s landmark display came for the Three Pigeons (Witney) in their 3-0 home win over Yarnton British Legion in Section 1 of the Greene King Oxford & District League.

It saw him become only the 16th player in the league’s 76-year history to achieve the feat and just the 19th time in total, with Monty Greenaway, Kevin Giles and Philip Adams having twice recorded a maximum.

Lyon, 47, who hails from Witney, said: “It was just one of those nights that I didn’t look like missing.

“I also got five out of six in the beer leg, and missed with the last one.”

Having clanged off two sixes with his first two throws, Lyon stepped up to complete the full house.

“I was not nervous, which I was surprised by,” he said.

“I have had two sixes before and missed with the second or third one.

“After I got the fourth doll I just knew I was going to get it.

“I knew I wasn’t going to miss.”

Lyon admitted to experiencing mixed emotions at his achievements.

“It was relief,” he added. “It was just nice to do it.

“I have been in the top flight since the mid-80s when I was in my early 20s.

“I started playing for the better teams and I never thought I would get it.

“I have won the singles three times, but I had never done this.

“Now I’ve done it, I want to try and do it again – that’s my ambition.

“I have had 17 out of 18 three times, and it is just nice to finally get the monkey off your back and get it done.

“I have been playing well for quite a few years, but this is the ultimate – it’s like a nine-darter.”

Lyon’s perfect show spearheaded Three Pigeons charge as they triumphed in all three legs 34-23, 32-26, 32-28 to amass 98 dolls.

Giles (6-5-4) chipped in with 15, and Dave Townsend (4-5-5) contributed with 14, while Henry Johnson (4-5-4) was top dog for Yarnton with 13.

“They were all chuffed,” added Lyon, who works as operations manager for parcel delivery firm Interlink Express in Bicester.

“Our lead-off man, Kevin Giles, has done it twice.

“He was the first one to shake my hand.

“It was really nice and he couldn’t have been more pleased for me as much as he wants to get more dolls than me.

“Obviously we had a couple of pints and I had a bit of a sore head the next day, that’s for sure.”

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