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  • Delight For Chris Dobey As He Seals Victory In The Players Championship In Leicester

Delight for Chris Dobey as he seals victory in the Players Championship in Leicester

Chris Dobey clinched victory in the seventh Players Championship tournament in Leicester on a day that saw three nine-dart finishes.

Dobey reeled off a perfect leg in his third round win over Mickey Mansell while Daryl Gurney and Steve Beaton – who turned 60 last week – also achieved the feat.

Luke Littler edged past Luke Humphries in a repeat of this year’s world final in the last 32, but fell 6-5 to Ross Smith in the last 16.

In-form Dobey survived match darts in a deciding leg against Mike De Decker before going on to reach the final at the Mattioli Arena against Josh Rock.

Rock, the former world youth champion, led 3-1 but Dobey roared back to win seven of the last eight legs and wrap up an 8-4 win.

“I gave myself one task this year, which was to improve my floor game,” insisted Dobey, a runner-up at Players Championship 4 in February.

“I think I’ve done that so far [this year]. I’m playing well, I’m going into games feeling confident, and if you’re confident, you can go a long way.

“I’ve just plodded on today. The first game against Vincent was a struggle, but after that I played consistently well, and I’m delighted to come out the winner.

“I finally broke into the top 16 after the World Championship and the aim is to stay there now. The hard work starts now, so dedication is the key.”

Rock was unable to end his 18-month wait for a ranking title, although the Northern Irishman reaffirmed his credentials with a series of sparkling displays in the East Midlands.

The 22-year-old set the tone with a 107.97 average in his first round thumping of Darren Beveridge, which he backed up with impressive wins over Scott Williams and World Matchplay champion Nathan Aspinall.

Rock continued his progress with hard-fought 6-4 victories against Ryan Searle and Thibault Tricole, while a mid-game burst saw him sweep aside Luke Woodhouse in the semi-finals.


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