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DARTS: Haines celebrates victory over former world champion
6:00am Wednesday 8th May 2013 in Sport
JOHNNY Haines believes he is finally starting to find his form following his dramatic victory over double world champion Adrian Lewis at the weekend.
The Punk has struggled to produce his best at the start of 2013 following a superb debut season on the PDC tour last year, but produced his best display of the season to conquer Lewis 6-5 in the Players Championship in Wigan.
Jackpot controlled much of the game to lead 2-0, 4-2 and 5-4, but High Street Club player Haines kept plugging away and hit his doubles when it mattered to claim a dramatic deciding leg victory.
Haines ranks the victory over Lewis as one of the best of his career, but still holds his win over five-time world champion Raymond van Barneveld in Holland last year in higher regard.
“The Lewis game was great for me, and if you look at the averages he around 100 and I had 98, so we both played really well,” he said.
“He was ahead for most of the game and then I snatched it at the end, and it has to go down as one of my best games as well.
“I would say beating Barney was still better though, because it was on the stage and in Holland as well.”
After beating Lewis Haines lost out 6-1 to Premier League player Gary Andersen in the next round, and on the second day in Wigan he beat experienced pro Richie Burnett before losing out to Peter Wright.
“After beating Lewis I went out for a smoke and then came back in and it felt like I hadn’t thrown a dart on the board, and the same happened on the Sunday because I beat Richie Burnett and then had a smoke and didn’t feel right,” Haines said. “I felt like I was stretching for it and I lost to Peter Wright which was a shame, and he is beating me 2-1 now overall.”
Haines has put in extra practice with fellow Swindon PDC player Dennis Smith in a bid to recapture his form, and feels his best isn’t too far away.
“I was struggling at the start of the season but hopefully I can get back to where I was before,” he said. “I spent some time out playing with Smiffy (Dennis Smith) and I worked on some stuff, but other than that I haven’t really changed anything.”
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