Darts - Harbour keeps his England place

Dennis Harbour.

Dennis Harbour.

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Dennis Harbour has kept his place in the England team for next month’s BDO British Internationals.

The 53 year-old from Peterborough will represent his country against Wales and Scotland in the three-day event that starts in Merthyr Tydfil on April 10.

Harbour has been troubled by an ankle ligament injury he suffered when tripping on the stairs at his Dogsthorpe home, but is confident he will be fit to toe the oche in Wales.

Last year, Harbour won both matches on his England debut and heads into this year’s British Internationals in possibly the best form of his lengthy darts career.

Harbour has won the last three events he’s entered - the Latvian, Scottish and Isle of Man Opens - to climb up the BDO rankings to No 46.

His target is a top 32 spot that would secure a place in next year’s Lakeside world championships.

Harbour hasn’t played in front of the BBC cameras in Frimley Green since 2006 and reckons he’s playing well enough to get back there having narrowly missed out last year when he was beaten in the final qualifying round of matches.

Nevertheless, Harbour rated 2014 the best year of his career.

He topped the national County averages, was a semi finalist in the England National Singles and reached the last 32 of the World Masters.

But he said: “I’ve stepped it up again this year and everything seems to be going right for me.

“As I’ve got older, I seem to have grown in confidence.

“I have been there, done it and got the T shirt, so I don’t really worry about anyone or anything anymore.

“I let them worry about me.

“I’m enjoying my darts again and playing more consistently than I ever have.

“I’ve won the last three tournaments I’ve entered and in the last few months I’ve gone from 201st in the rankings to 46th.”

There won’t be any ranking points up for grabs at the BDO British Internationals next month and Harbour will have to wait until the Welsh Open in May to take another step towards his world championship target.

He said: “I’m up to 46th in the rankings and I reckon another couple of good tournaments will get me into the top 32 and back to the world championship.”

Harbour has been throwing darts for four decades and has rediscovered his enthusiasm for the sport in recent years after taking a break from playing in major tournaments.

“I really want it again,” said Harbour, who works as a paint sprayer in Wisbech.

“I’m hungry again.

“I’m practising whenever I can and going to as many tournaments as possible.

“I’m a great believer in competition practice and it seems to be working.”