Gary Anderson and Ian White were the men to claim glory in this weekend’s Players Championship double-header at the Barnsley Metrodome. World champion Anderson edged out Terry Jenkins in a deciding-leg to prevail on Saturday, whilst White claimed his third Players Championship victory of 2016 by beating Benito van de Pas.
Anderson clinched his second Pro Tour title of the year, his sixth title in total, with a hard-fought 6-5 win against ‘The Raging Bull’ in the final of Players Championship 12. The Scot fired in four maximums in the final to edge out Jenkins who produced his best darts of the year in Barnsley.
Anderson began his campaign with a whitewash victory over Paul Milford before seeing off the challenges of Devon Petersen and Jason Wilson. ‘The Flying Scotsman’ came through a deciding leg against Mensur Suljovic to reach the last eight before progressing through to the last four with a comfortable win over Daryl Gurney.
In the semi-finals, Anderson whitewashed Welshman Jonny Clayton before defeating Jenkins to scoop the £10,000 winner’s cheque.
However, Jenkins performed extremely well to reach his first PDC final since winning in Barnsley 12 months ago. He overcome Mick MacGowan in round-one before surviving a deciding leg shoot-out against Simon Preston.
Jenkins defeated recent Players Championship winner Josh Payne to reach the last 16 before claiming the scalps of John Henderson and Steve Beaton, both by a 6-3 scoreline. He faced former BDO world number one James Wilson in the last four, and Jenkins once again prevailed by a 6-3 scoreline before falling at the last hurdle against Anderson.
However, in Players Championship 13 on Sunday, White won his third crown of the year with a 6-4 victory against Benito van de Pas who has also tasted success twice on the Pro Tour in 2016.
Barnsley is proving to be a happy hunting ground for ‘The Diamond’, with all of his three titles this year coming at the Barnsley Metrodome. The Stoke-on-Trent star breezed through to the last eight, dropping just six legs in overcoming Mark Barilli, Joey Palfreyman, Wayne Jones and Jeffrey de Graaf.
For the second day in succession, Mensur Suljovic suffered a deciding-leg defeat to the eventual winner, with White squeezing through to the last four with a 6-5 win. White then edged out the in-form Joe Cullen 6-4 to reach the final before beating Van de Pas by the same scoreline in Sunday’s curtain-raiser.
However, ‘Big Ben’ continued his tremendous Pro Tour form with another fine run in Barnsley. He thrashed Nigel Daniels 6-1 in the first-round, before defeating his compatriots Jeffrey de Zwaan and Dirk van Duijvenbode.
The Dutchman eased past Paul Nicholson 6-1 in the last 16, but ‘The Asset’ enjoyed a welcome return to form, with victories over Nathan Aspinall, and his Australian colleagues Kyle Anderson and Simon Whitlock.
In the last eight, Van de Pas came through a nerve-jangling deciding leg against Alan Norris before he faced James Wilson in the semis. Wilson enjoyed the best weekend of his PDC career by reaching consecutive Pro Tour semi-finals, but he was beaten 6-3 by the talented Dutchman.
It was a day of shocks on Sunday however. Number one seed Peter Wright was beaten in the opening round by Steve McNally, whilst Anderson was unable to replicate Saturday’s triumph as he was beaten by his young protege Chris Dobey at the same stage.