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Article: Ladders reports

Ladders reports

Ladders reports

Saturday 27th November – Players Championship, Derby


I have been practicing with my glasses on and was hoping I could use them and not let them affect me like when I tried them previously.


In the first round I was drawn on board one against Adrian Gray. The place was freezing and I don’t think that either of us were relishing playing each other especially in the cold atmosphere. Adrian took the first 3 legs and although I battled back to 3-2 I never made any dent into the match and lost 6-2.


In the afternoon in the apartment I had 2 hours practice with my son Daniel and started to see my game improve. I was glad I played in my glasses and never thought about it enough for it to affect my game against Adrian or whilst practicing with Daniel.


Sunday 28th November – Players Championship, Derby


In the morning I had a match against Darren Johnson in our room on and despite losing the game 6-5 it gave me confidence that I needed going into the day and we felt it was like we had played a first round game before the tournament began.


In the first round I had drawn Colin Monk and despite never having beaten him before I felt confident and my darts were flowing well and I was hitting numerous 180’s and practicing very well. I won the gave very comfortably 6-1 and hit a couple of 180’s and some good finishes so I was reasonably happy but not looking forward to my second round game against Chris Thompson of York. Chris is a good mate and a fantastic player who will feature in this years World Championships.


I had a terrific game against Chris which featured 180’s, high finishes and great flowing darts from both of us. It came down to 5-5 and I managed to scrape the last leg and win 6-5! This set up a last 32 match against Michael Smith of Wigan. I had beaten Michael in the UK Open Finals in 2009 and it was tight then and he has improved since then and had beaten Adrian Lewis 6-0 in Saturdays event!


I went 0-2 down but turned the game on its head and won the match 6-3 throwing very well indeed and reaping the benefits of wearing my glasses! The last 16 was my next match against Saturdays runner up Mark Walsh.


Mark hit me hard at the start of the game and went into a 4-0 lead. I battled and fought to turn this game around and before too long I was all level at 4-4 and looking at winning the match. I lost the 9th leg and hit an important finish of 76 to level the match at 5-5. In the 11th leg Mark hit 140,180,137 and checked 44 in 2 darts for 11 darts, a 6-5 win and a place in the quarter finals! I was happy with my game and Mark was very complimentary about how I played.


Mark went on to win the tournament beating Phil Taylor in the final 6-4!


World Championship Qualifiers – Monday 29th November, Derby


I drew Dave Smith of Leeds in  the first round of the qualifiers and played a good game but unfortunately lost 5-4.


I did not feel downhearted because I was happy with my whole weekends performances with my glasses and feel I can now begin to move my game on to the next level.


Dave Ladley


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