Brett Claydon is hoping that recent wins over two of darts’ leading lights can inspire him to more success on the oche at the weekend.
Soham-based Claydon, who plays for Sudbury Town in the Suffolk Super League and Burwell in the Cambridgeshire Super League, will head to Coventry on Sunday to contest the next two rounds of the PDC Unicorn Challenge Tour.
Earlier this month, the 31-year old was given a timely confidence boost by claiming 6-4 victories over 2014 PDC World Darts Championship runner-up Peter Wright and long-standing PDC star Ronnie Baxter.
Claydon defeated the high-profile pair during the first round of events 13 and 14 respectively of the PDC Pro Tour in Crawley before bowing out in round two in event 13 to Jim Walker 6-4 and Connie Finnan 6-3 in event 14.
“Both Peter and Ronnie congratulated me in beating them and said I deserved the wins,” said Claydon. “Although it was disappointing to lose to both Jim and Connie the wins over Peter and Ronnie show that I am playing well enough to beat the top guys and I really do feel I am throwing the best I have done.”
Claydon’s maiden win on the tour came at Coventry in July, a 5-4 victory over Aden Kirk in event 12.
“I got knocked out of event 11 by Max Hopp, but I was playing solid darts,” said Claydon. “One of my friends turned around and said to me to forget about that one and go win the next event. All of a sudden it just kept happening for me.
“In the final against Aden I had the darts to win at 4-3, but then he broke me.
“I just thought I am going to have win the final leg in either 12 or 15 darts and after nine darts I was left on 102 and he couldn’t finish so I thought I would it up to leave double top, but I ended winning in 12 darts.
“Because it happened so quick it didn’t really hit me what I had achieved until I got home.”
With only the top two in the Unicorn Challenge Tour order of merit receiving two-year Pro Tour cards, Claydon — who currently sits ninth in the order of merit rankings — knows he will have to put in a repeat performance of his last visit to the city to bolster his chances of hitting those heights.