Derby report by Dave Ladley – inside the PDC Darts Tour
Preparation for the weekend events at Derby.
I have been doing gym work at Freaky’s gym in Ashby now for almost two years at a rate of 3 sessions per week so this week was the same as any other which approaches a darts weekend – basically making sure I was not going to heavy on the weights and causing any pulled muscles which could damage my chances.
Dave Holland (a good friend of mine) has been carrying on with the good work speaking to potential sponsorsand organising my personalised dimplex darts flights which should be available in the next 2 weeks.
Practice on the evening time had been going reasonably well and I had been working on my weak points from the previous two weekends which had been finishing. I had also taken on some comments given by my travel partner and great player (Darren Johnson) on what he thought I needed to correct and I seemed to have sorted this in 3 nights practice – thanks mate. Things were looking good.
Derby Players Championship, Saturday 27th February 2010
I had been unfortunate enough to be drawn in a preliminary round against a great player by the name of Nick Fullwell. Nick had played in the World Championships in 2009 and is always a tough player to get a win out of. The winner of this match would play Andy Pearson of Wigan in the first round.
I started the match well and with Nick sitting on double top to win the first leg I finished 148 (T19, T19, double 17). This stood me well for the match as it immediately notified Nick that I was playing well. I followed this leg up by winning the second in 14 darts but Nick responded hitting 140,180,145 and double 18 for an 11 dart leg – narrowly missing a 10 darter!
The rest of the game went pretty much the same and I won the match 6-2 and as Nick told me later he thought I averaged in the region of 105 and hit 6 out of 7 attempts at the doubles and I hit roughly 5 180’s!
My second round match against Andy Pearson went well, hitting 15, 14, 12 darts in the opening 3 legs. I slackened off for the remainder of the match and won 6-2 with my worst leg going in 19 darts and again hit roughly 5 180’s and finished very well. My second round match was to be against Peter ‘one dart’ Manley with the winner taking on Phil ‘The Power’ Taylor.
The game against Peter seemed very one sided as he won 6-1 with my only winning leg coming in 15 darts. However, in analysis this game was in fact much closer than the scoreline suggests. Peters finishing was exceptional hitting doubles when I was waiting on the double of a 2 dart finish. Had I have had a throw at the double I would have been fully confident in hitting it.
I missed my chance to play Phil Taylor but if I keep playing this well, it’s only a matter of time before our paths cross.
Phil Taylor went on to beat Peter Manley in the next round and beat Terry Jenkins in the final to win the event.
Derby UK Open Regional Qualifier, Sunday 28th February
I had managed to miss the preliminary round today but faced a very tough opponent in Dave Honey. Dave has played in World Championships and has had more TV exposure than I have and I truly respect his ability on the darts board.
I won this match 6-1 and never really looked in danger. Again, my finishing was bang on, 180’s were flying and things were looking very promising. My next opponent would be Arron Monk of Hampshire who had beaten Mick Magowan in the opening round 6-5.
I have played Arron in the past and he beat me 6-2. It was not a great game but since then he has got to the final of the Grand Slam qualifiers and is definitely no easy task.
The game swung one way then the other and at 3-3 Arron moved into a 5-3 lead but I followed this up with a 13 dart leg, alas this was my last winning leg and Arron hit a 15 dart leg to win 6-4. My 4 winning legs in this match were 15, 15, 13, 13 so my form was still there and overall I was happy with my performance.
Arron lost to Paul Nicholson in the board final 6-1 and the eventual winner was Mark Walsh who beat Phil Taylor in the final.
Positives from the weekend.
1.This was my most consistent performance in a very long time.
2.I hit over 20 maximums in my 5 matches
3.My finishing has dramatically improved.
4.I won £400 for the weekend
5.I have won money which helps me qualify for the UK Open finals in Bolton.
6.My confidence is very high at the minute.
I played well in Gibraltar but had some things to iron out, I played better in Swindon but again needed to work on my finishing and this weekend in Derby was a further move in the right direction with some of my matches being world class. Now, given a little more luck, timing, practice and hard graft I can move this further to the next level.
I am playing in Gladbeck in Germany next weekend and am looking forward to carrying on with similar form to this weekend.
Thanks for reading,