Dave Chisnall ended his 18-month wait for a PDC title at Players Championship 2 with a dramatic 8-7 victory over three-time BDO world champion Glen Durrant, on a day which saw a record-breaking four nine-darters hit in Wigan on Sunday afternoon.
Chisnall scooped his 13th PDC title on the second day of the opening Pro Tour weekend of 2019, landing a nine-darter en route to glory against Rowby-John Rodriguez. He also defeated Rob Cross and James Wade, before sealing the deal with victory over Durrant, who was competing in just his second PDC Pro Tour event.
The St Helen’s star kicked off his campaign with a convincing 6-2 win over World Championship semi-finalist Nathan Aspinall, before edging out Ally Pally quarter-finalist Luke Humphries in a dramatic deciding leg clash.
Chisnall then breezed past Rodriguez 6-2 to reach the last 16, rounding-off victory with the magical nine-darter. This set up a showdown against 2018 world champion Rob Cross, but ‘Chizzy’ capitalised on a profligate display of finishing from the world number two to claim a 6-3 victory.
The five-time televised finalist then fought back from 5-3 down to defeat nine-time major winner James Wade in the last eight, before battling past Jonny Clayton 7-5 in the semi-finals. ‘The Ferret’ ended Michael van Gerwen’s unbeaten start to 2019 in a high-quality last eight tussle, but Chisnall averaged 98 to record a hard-fought win over the Welshman.
Chisnall faced three-time BDO world champion Glen Durrant in the final, with ‘Duzza’ enjoying a stunning run to the final in just his second event as a PDC professional. Durrant defeated Chisnall in their only previous meeting at the 2017 Grand Slam of Darts, but ‘The Yellow Peril’ edged out the Teessider in a last-leg shootout to scoop the £10,000 winner’s prize.
Durrant drew first blood in the final with a clinical two-dart 96 kill for a 14-dart break, but Chisnall broke straight back in 15 darts, before pinning double two to hit the front. The pair then exchanged holds of throw, before Durrant followed up visits of 171 and 180 by pegging tops to level up proceedings with an 11-dart leg.
The St Helen’s star regained the lead with a 100 checkout before Durrant held throw to square the contest once more, but legs of 14 and 16 darts saw Chisnall establish a 6-4 cushion. ‘Duzza’ reduced the arrears to 6-5 with a nerveless two-dart 69 finish, but ‘Chizzy’ regained his two-leg buffer with a 14-dart break to move to the cusp of victory.
Chisnall then squandered four match darts in a dramatic 13th leg, as the three-time BDO world champion converted a majestic 170 outshot to prolong the contest. Durrant then fired in a 14-dart leg to hold and force a dramatic deciding leg, but the St Helen’s star maintained his composure to seal the title with a 16-dart hold culminating on tops.
“I played well today and I think I deserved it because I’m one of those players who never gives up,” said Chisnall, who is now up to 11th on the PDC Order of Merit.
“I beat James Wade and Jonny Clayton in good games and followed it up with a win over a three-time Lakeside Champion in Glen, who is obviously a great player. Of course, you need a bit of luck to win these tournaments but today I thought I made the most of my chances when I got them and that’s what won me this title.”
Durrant suffered a first-round defeat in Saturday’s opening Players Championship event of the year, but he performed magnificently on Sunday afternoon to seal £6,000 in prize money and move up to 88th in the world.
The 48-year-old kicked off proceedings with a 6-5 victory over Madars Razma, coming from 5-4 down to defeat the Latvian with a 12-darter in the decider. Durrant then averaged 98.30 to defeat world number three Peter Wright, before recording three consecutive 6-4 victories over Zoran Lerchbacher, Robert Thornton and John Henderson to reach the last four.
In the semi-finals, Durrant faced two-time PDC ranking event winner Joe Cullen. ‘The Rockstar’ established an early 3-2 lead, but Durrant reeled off five of the next six legs in 13, 15, 19, 13 and 11 darts to triumph. The two-time World Masters champion fell agonisingly short in Sunday’s showpiece, but he underlined his credentials in stunning style at the Robin Park Tennis Centre.
Elsewhere, Chisnall was joined by Van Gerwen, Chris Dobey and Geert Nentjes in landing perfect nine-dart finishes on a sensational day of ProTour action. Nentjes hit the first perfect leg of the day in his 6-0 win over Mervyn King in round-two, whilst recent Premier League debutant Dobey produced the magical nine in the deciding leg of his clash against Dave Prins.
Chisnall landed the third nine-darter of the day during his emphatic third round win over Rodriguez, before Van Gerwen got in on the act in his thrilling quarter-final tie with Clayton. ‘The Green Machine’ posted a 104 average but it proved immaterial, as Clayton ran out a 6-3 winner with a 106.50 average to end MvG’s 22-game unbeaten run dating back to November 2018.
Nevertheless, a host of high-profile stars suffered early exits in Wigan. World Championship runner-up Michael Smith was whitewashed by Keegan Brown in his opener, whilst five-time world champion Raymond van Barneveld fell to a 6-2 defeat against Steve West.
World Youth champion Dimitri Van den Bergh was whitewashed by Mark McGeeney in round-one, whilst world number nine Simon Whitlock was condemned to his second opening round defeat of the weekend, as he was edged out 6-5 by Jonathan Worsley.
Gerwyn Price slipped to a 6-5 defeat against Alan Tabern in the second round, despite averaging 110.30 in his opener, whilst world number three Peter Wright was beaten at the same stage by eventual finalist Durrant.
Photo Credit: Lawrence Lustig/PDC
Players Championship 2
Sunday February 10, Robin Park Tennis Centre, Wigan
Michael van Gerwen 6-4 Kim Huybrechts
Jonny Clayton 6-3 Chris Dobey
Dave Chisnall 6-3 Rob Cross
James Wade 6-3 Krzysztof Ratajski
Ryan Searle 6-2 Steve West
Joe Cullen 6-5 Alan Tabern
John Henderson 6-3 Steve Lennon
Glen Durrant 6-4 Robert Thornton
Jonny Clayton 6-3 Michael van Gerwen
Dave Chisnall 6-5 James Wade
Joe Cullen 6-5 Ryan Searle
Glen Durrant 6-4 John Henderson
Dave Chisnall 7-5 Jonny Clayton
Glen Durrant 7-4 Joe Cullen
Dave Chisnall 8-7 Glen Durrant