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Steve Maish determined to win back card
STEVE Maish has vowed to bounce back from his PDC Qualifying School disappointment.
The Southend darts professional has lost his tour card for the first time in a decade.
He admitted he played badly over the four-day school and is determined to win his card back.
“I played awfully over the weekend. I was missing doubles and if you do that then you’re going to lose games,” Maish said.
“And I had a hell of a draw, facing some good players. If the draw had been different it might have been a different story.
“But it didn’t happen for me over the weekend and I have to come back stronger.”
And Maish, who has slipped to number 85 in the rankings, added: “Not getting my card makes me want to get back on the board again. “I’ve been with the PDC for 10 years and this is the first time I have been outside the top 50. I know it’s a big ask, but I’m determined to get my card back.”
Maish finished joint 133rd in the order of merit after the four qualifying competitions in Wigan, which finished on Sunday.
The top 64 players in the PDC order of merit retained their cards, with the 16 semi-finalists from the qualifying school plus the nine leading qualifying school order of merit winning a card for the next two years.
It means the man nicknamed Mr Magic will be gunning to win enough money this year to get back into the top 64 automatically, rather than face qualifying school this time next year.
Maish retains associate membership of the Professional Darts Players Association and can compete in all eight UK Open qualifiers, European Tour qualifying events and the World Championship PDPA qualifier.
And it is the European events which Maish sees as his best chance of getting back on track.
Maish missed two darts at double top which allowed Sam Hill to beat him 6-5 in the first day of qualifying school.
Next up was Steve Coote, who was returning after six years off the PDC tour.
Coote won 6-4 on Saturday and went on to win his card back again on the fourth day.
Joey Palfreyman also won his card on the fourth day and beat Maish 6-2 on Saturday.
The Essex player’s best performance came on Sunday’s final round of matches, where he beat Jack Tweddell 6-1 before going down 6-2 to David Dodds.
Maish begins his quest with the UK qualifier for the European Tour One in Crawley on February 22, which will be followed by two UK Open qualifiers.