Josh produced a number of World-Class performances as he competed in PDC Players Championship 15 at the Barnsley Metrodome on Tuesday afternoon. Payne was in inspired form in his opening two wins over Lee Bryant and Mark Wilson with averages of 102.2 & 102.8.
In his opening round win over Lee Bryant, Payne was in sensational form to see off Bryant in a 6-4 success. Payne found himself 4-2 behind early on against Bryant, but he battled back in a nerveless fashion to advance to round two. In the four-leg assault on Bryant, Payne produced legs of 14, 13, 14 & 12 as he secured his place in round two. To put things into perspective, Payne averaged 113.43 in those final four legs to see the match out.
In round two, Payne came up against Mark Wilson over on board nine. For JP, he produced yet another five-star display as he thrashed Wilson in a 6-1 success for the Kent star. With an average of 102.8, it highlights just how hard that Payne is working on his consistency levels, and it really did show as he cruised into the board nine final. Wilson took the opening leg before Payne went on a six-leg rampage. Payne fired in a series of 11 & 12 dart legs en route to completing the win, which included a superb 124 checkout in leg four.
In the board nine final, Payne took on Rob Cross which had all the makings of a classic with Josh playing so well in his first two matches. And, it didn’t disappoint.. Payne got off to a great start as he moved into leads of 2-0 & 5-2 as he looked to stamp his authority on the reigning World champ. And, Payne had his chance to see off Cross in some style as he created three chances at D16 for a 6-2 victory. But, unfortunately for Payne he missed those particular opportunities as Cross took full advantage. Cross managed to take the next two legs to force a deciding leg, Josh fired in a superb visit of 171 to leave 90 for the match, but unfortunately he couldn’t take advantage as Cross took out 72 for the match.
Tomorrow is Josh’s final chance to throw his name in the hat for the upcoming World Matchplay in Blackpool, which he’d be delighted to qualify for. But, he won’t pile too much pressure on himself.
Photo credit : Stefan Strassenburg