Swindon weekend report from "Dave Ladley^s Diary"
Preparation to the Swindon weekend
I had spent more time than ever before practicing for these events trying to get my darts laying the way they should do in the board and on Friday I managed to get some great consistency in the angle of entry. This may seem a small matter but getting this part correct will mean that I would gain more consistency in the scoring and finishing side of my game.
A nightshift on Friday night and finishing at 2am followed by a journey to Swindon would not be the way that most people would prepare for a big tournament but never the less, beggars cannot be choosers and I have to remember that it is may day-job which pays my household bills.
Swindon Players Championship – Saturday 20th February 2010.
In the first round I had drawn Jim Leighton and I had never played him before but I always think that if someone is willing to pay £100 to enter a tournament they must fancy their chances of returning their money. It was a comfortable 6-1 win for me with a bull finish in the 4th leg and some vital doubles early on in the match. This set me up with a clash with Adrian Lewis.
I had read the report from the Premier League on Thursday night and was well aware that I was facing a very much in form and confident man whom I regard as the most natural player I have ever seen. I was up for the clash and fully confident that I would cause him some issues and hopefully take my chances if they arose.
I won the bull and kicked off with 100,180,135 and missed the bull for the first leg on 12 darts and watched Adrian take the leg. The second leg was another good leg for Adrian and I found myself 0-2 down. In the third leg I missed 2 darts at double top for 14/15 darts and again Adrian took the leg and the momentum to go 4-0 up! In the 5thh leg I finished in 15 darts to make the score 1-4 but again Adrian showing his great ability to close a game out took the last 2 legs in and around 12 – 15 darts!
He hit around 6 180’s and seemed to hit them at every time he needed them most. I hit 3 180’s and 2 171’s (3 treble 19’s) and was soundly beaten.
The event was won by Mervyn King who beat Andy Hamilton in the final.
Swindon UK Open regional qualifier – Sunday 21st February 2010
I drew Mark Dudbridge in the first round of this event and knew the size of the task ahead having played him the week before in Gibraltar.
I lost the bull for the start and went 4-0 down and had done very little wrong in the game. In the 5th leg I hit 180,140,134 and checked 47 in 2 darts for an 11 dart leg and this was the only leg I won in the match. I played fairly well but possibly not quite as good as in the game against Adrian on Saturday.
I was disappointed at losing but also happy that I had carried on with the good work I had done in practice am happy to know I had played consistently well throughout both days.
The event was won by Mervyn King who beat Simon Whitlock in the final.
Positives from the weekend
1.My darts were landing exactly how I had practiced and the results were very encouraging.
2.Won £200 on Saturday so that recovered the entry costs.
3.Lost out to 2 top players over the weekend.
4.Hit more maximum scores than I have in 2 tournaments for over 6 months.
Things to work on
1.Single dart finishing with either the last or second dart – I will focus on this throughout this week.
2.Single minded approach to the game – I will be making sure I have the right, positive and strong attitude in approach to all of my forthcoming matches.
Thanks for reading,