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Article: Crawley Players Championship – By Dave “Ladders” Ladley

Crawley Players Championship – By Dave “Ladders” Ladley


I had drawn Denis ovens in the first round and he was the top seed on the board seeded 17. I have played Denis 5 times now and only beaten him once and he is known as one of the most consistent players on the circuit so I knew I would have to be in good form. I had been practicing all week so felt I could cause an upset if I got an early start.

I lost the first leg then hit 15,16 darts to lead 2-1 and the game swayed like this until 5-4 and we had both hit 11 dart legs in the game. In the 10th leg I missed darts to win the match 6-4. This meant we were in a decider and I had the start, I have been the wrong side of deciding legs over the last few months and was determined for this not to continue. I won the leg in 16 darts and the match 6-5 and was pleased with my overall performance.

The second round I was up against Irelands number 2 William O’Connor. I have played him once before and lost 6-1 but today I was feeling allot more confident having just beaten Denis. Nobody led this game by more than one leg at any stage and it was poised again at 5-5 and I am getting used to this now despite William missing double top to win I held my nerve and won the match 6-5.

In the third round I had got Kim Huybrechts of Holland. I watched him run Phil Taylor really close in Benidorm last week so knew he would be a hard player to beat. The first 4 legs were shared and I missed single darts at doubles in 3 other legs but unfortunately ran out of steam and lost the match 6-2.



In the first round I drew Shaun Griffiths. Shaun is 19 years old and is a real class act, he has competed in the Lakeside World Championships at 18 years of age and is a former World Youth champion. I played very well against him and pushed him all the way through the game hitting a few 180’s and a 12 dart leg along the way but lost 6-2. I had single dart chances in 3 legs again and if I had have hit them the game would have been totally different. After the match Shaun told me its the best he had played in a while which pleased me in one way because I pushed him but it did make me smile and think "why pick me?”


Shaun went on to the 4th round and knocked out James Wade and Alan Tabern in the next 2 rounds so he kept up his good form.


Positives for me

· Practice is paying off for me now I have focussed allot more and stopped playing leagues in order to better myself in competitions.

· This is the best I have played all year and hit some great finishes and important high scores throughout the days.


Learning points

· I think in hindsight I could have put more focus in on my 3rd round game on Saturday if I had asked for 5 more minutes before starting the game.

· I need to work on hitting the doubles on my last dart of a combination and this is what I will be focussing on this week.



Dave Ladley

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