By Alex Moss
9 JUNE 2017 • 2:14PM
Justin Pipe believes he should have been selected for the Betway Premier League earlier in his career.
The three-time major finalist, who has previously been inside the top 10 of the PDC Order of Merit, has suffered a dip in form over the last few years and currently sits in 28th place in the rankings.
Pipe was one of the top performers on the PDC circuit between 2011 and 2013, reaching back-to-back semi-finals in the Players Championship Finals, consecutive quarter-finals in the World Matchplay, and the last four of the World Grand Prix.
However, despite his success during those three years, which included three Players Championship titles and a European Tour triumph in Austria, the 45-year-old was never selected for the Premier League during that time, a decision which still wrangles with him.
Speaking to LIVEPDC.TV after beating Poland’s Krzysztof Ratajski 6-4 in the first round of the HappyBet European Darts Matchplay this afternoon, Pipe said: “It’s been really hard. I’ve not got, I think, what I deserve out of this game.
“You can only take so many kicks in the family jewels and you lose heart, and I always think if you reward success with the rewards that this game can give you, you’ll work hard.
“I really do think I should have been in the Premier League (in) ’12, ’13, maybe ’11. I’m not getting the calls.
“I’m not getting into the world tours. It’s like (when someone) keep stepping on your head when you’re under water, it’s not nice.
“For me that was very hard to take, because you reward success with rewards. It’s as simple as that.”
Pipe took out two 108 checkouts and averaged just under 99 to edge past Ratajski 6-4, with his next match in Hamburg a clash with 10th seed Joe Cullen in the last 32 tomorrow.
Earlier on in the afternoon, Peter Hudson fired in checkouts of 161 and 100 as he eased past Northern Ireland’s Brendan Dolan 6-1, in his first game on the European Tour this year.
Richard North, who won his tour card at Q-School in January, marked his European Tour debut with a 6-1 victory against another Northern Irishman, Mickey Mansell, in the first round.
Picture: PDC Europe