Darts ace Justin Pipe learns importance of winning ugly
Justin Pipe's run to the World Grand Prix quarter-finals has taught the rising darts star the importance of occasionally "winning ugly".
The Force of North Curry near Langport returns to Ireland this weekend for the latest Players Championship rounds just seven days after reaching the last eight of a major for the second time.
Pipe, affectionately labelled the 'Taunton tungsten tickler' by Sky Sports' John Gwynne, beat Premier League aces Simon Whitlock and Kevin Painter before being felled by Dublin favourite Brendan Dolan.
His progress that built on his run in this summer's World Matchplay took him to the brink of the Professional Darts Corporation's world top ten, with only Michael van Gerwen's final success taking the Dutchman from 23rd to eighth in the rankings.
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One-time tree surgeon Pipe admitted he did not play his best at the double-start Grand Prix but did enough to grind out results against two formidable opponents.
"I believe Simon Whitlock was the favourite to win the competition," he said. "Simon and I have played each other about 12 times and it is 7-5 to me, I think, in matches.
"I was quite confident of beating Simon but I also knew I needed to get up there and perform. Neither of us played to the best of our abilities but it was good enough for me to win on the night.
"It was the same with Kevin, really, where neither of us played to the best of our abilities but I won again, which is all that counts.
"Especially with the double-in format, you have got to win ugly sometimes. It is not all 12- or 14-dart legs, it is sometimes 18-dart legs that win and you have got to do what it takes.
"If you look at Brendan when he beat me in the European Championship he had a 96 average, but in the World Grand Prix he beat with an 87.
"On paper, I should have been winning but it is all about winning that race to the double. He is very calm and collected on the finish and will just pick off the double.
"If you can win and you are not playing well, you must be hitting the doubles correctly, which is all that matters."
Pipe revealed his exuberant break-dancing celebration that has become almost synonymous with a victory was a talent he learnt as a child.
"My back's fine, I could do that all night long," he joked. "When we were kids we used to breakdance and that's when I learned how to do it.
"I do the donkey kicks and sometimes a knee knock as well where I spin around on my knees. It's such a release when you win and the pressure has gone, it's like a valve going pop and off you go."
See tomorrow's Western Gazette to read why Justin Pipe is confident of breaking into the world's top ten sooner rather than later