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Article: Caven Edges Out Baxter For Dublin Win

Caven Edges Out Baxter For Dublin Win

JAMIE CAVEN won his second Players Championship of the year, edging out Ronnie Baxter 6-5 in Sunday^s final at the Citywest Hotel in Dublin.

The Derby ace followed up his victory in Canada in August with the narrowest of wins against Baxter to take his fourth PDC title, and make the best possible preparation for Monday^s World Grand Prix opener against Andy Smith.

Caven could well have suffered defeat in a dramatic final against Baxter, who missed two darts to win the deciding leg before his opponent hit double top at the first time of asking to win the £6,000 first prize.

Caven had come from 2-1 down to lead 3-2, hitting an 11-dart finish followed by a 130 checkout, only for Baxter to match his 11-darter and then move 4-3 up.

Caven levelled and the pair also shared the ninth and tenth legs before Baxter saw his chance in the final leg go begging, and the 34-year-old stepped in for the win.

Caven had also had to produce some superb form in his semi-final against Ireland^s Michael Mansell, who pushed him all the way in sharing the opening eight legs before going down 6-4.

Caven also saw off Colin Monk, world number five Terry Jenkins, Paul Nicholson and Jelle Klaasen in claiming the win in Dublin.

Baxter had also been bidding for his second win of the year, and brushed off early 6-5 wins against Peter Manley, Alan Tabern and Robert Thornton to defeat Tony Eccles and Steve Beaton in winning through to the final.

Beaton^s run to the semi-finals was his best performance since May, while Mansell enjoyed a superb run at the Citywest Hotel to claim £1,500 prize money, defeating Mark Frost, Brendan Dolan, Vincent van der Voort, Denis Ovens and Dennis Smith to reach the semis.

The run was ideal preparation for Mansell ahead of next Sunday^s Tom Kirby Memorial Irish Matchplay final against Stephen Byrne, which will be played on stage at the Citywest Hotel and sees the winner qualify for the World Darts Championship.

Smith boosted his hopes of qualifying for the World Championship by reaching his first quarter-final of the year, whilst Eccles reached the last eight for the second time inside a month.

Jelle Klaasen and Wayne Jones also reached the quarter-finals, while Ian White followed up a semi-final appearance on Saturday by winning through to the last 16.

Simon Whitlock, Saturday^s champion, lost out to Thornton in the last 32, while world number three James Wade was defeated by fellow left-hander Mark Webster at the same stage.

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