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DARTS: Ben Ward gives Reading masterclass
BEN Ward’s incredible form on the PDC Unicorn Challenge Tour shows no signs of letting up after reaching all three finals in Reading.
The Dorchester arrowsman, who won Event 10 back in July, swept through the field in the opening competition at the Rivermead Centre, defeating Anthony West and Lewis Hackett for the loss of just one leg before edging past Keegan Brown to reach the quarter-finals.
Further successes against Samuel Head and Reece Robinson then followed as the 24-year-old went on to eventually claim the £500 prize money with a 4-3 victory over Sam Hewson in the decider.
Following that tremendous run Ward could have been forgiven for taking his foot off the gas but in Events 14 and 15 he continued the momentum by reaching the finals yet again.
Unfortunately, on both occasions they ended in defeat, 4-1 to Luke Woodhouse and 4-3 to Ricky Evans, with the latter match proving a real humdinger.
Having lost the opening leg, Ward took out 152 to level before following it up with an 11-darter to lead 2-1, which then became 3-1 with another victory in the fourth.
However, Kettering ace Evans refused to buckle and after pulling a leg back went on to produce a 104 checkout and a 12-dart finish to completely turn the tables.
Evans scored 140, 180 and 165 on his way to winning the decider but despite that loss the two-day marathon clearly belonged to Ward, who not only bagged a total of £1,100 but also further cemented his place in the top 10 of the Challenge Tour’s rankings.
The series features some of the best up-and-coming players in the game with the top 16 from the competition receiving free entry to qualifying for a professional tour card, which continues to be Ward’s main aim.
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