DARTS: Crowd gets the better of Smith in Germany
DENNIS Smith admitted he learnt a painful lesson from his experience at the German Darts Championship this weekend.
The experienced PDC player caused one of the shocks of the weekend as he pulled off a magnificent 6-5 victory over Raymond van Barneveld but quickly fell at the next hurdle as he lost 6-1 to Justin Pipe in round two.
Smith felt the vocal home crowd was against him in both matches, and knows he needs to learn to handle the big occasion better in the future.
“The place was packed and the crowd are in there to enjoy themselves, and they seem to support whoever is winning at the time,” he said.
“Against Justin they were booing every time I went to throw, and at the end of the day you have to handle that.
“I have learnt a crucial lesson this weekend, because even when I hit the winning double they were still chanting for Raymond.
“I had a good chat with Phil (Taylor) last night and he told me you are always learning, and I just need to concentrate on my own game and each individual leg.
“It’s one of those things, and you just need to handle it, get on with things, and block it out.”
Smith was pleased to have been able to hold his nerve in the deciding leg against van Barneveld, but at one stage feared his chance of victory had vanished when the Dutchman pulled it back to 5-5.
“I was really pleased with how I played especially given the crowd was against me the whole time, but it was a great feeling not to lose my bottle and go and win the deciding leg,” he said.
“I led the whole way through the match after winning the bull, but when it went 5-5 I thought it might have been all over then because I had just missed two darts at double 12 to win the match.
“In the back of your mind you know how good someone like Barney is and you think he might hit a 10 or 11 darter to win the match, but I held on well and managed to get in there and hit the double.
“It was a great win for me and a great feeling because I haven’t played Raymond for a long time and I had never beaten him, and I have to be pleased with that.”
After enjoying such a high on Friday night Smith admitted he was well beaten by Pipe the following day.
“Fair play to Justin he went off at the start with both barrels and it was like I was holding on to both shirt tails, but I missed a double to make it 3-2 which could have turned the game round,” he said.
“The crowd was against me from the start and that made things really difficult.”
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