James Wade secured his fifth PDC ranking title of 2019 with an 8-6 victory over Dave Chisnall in Players Championship 24 at the Barnsley Metrodome on Wednesday afternoon.
‘The Machine’ produced a series of impressive displays to claim a career-high equalling fifth title of the season to extend his lead over Glen Durrant at the top of the Players Championship Order of Merit, as Chisnall was denied a third Pro Tour triumph in seven months.
Neither player had tasted defeat in a ranking final this year, but it was Wade who maintained his 100% record – surviving a late onslaught from the St Helen’s star to prevail with a 92.20 average which saw him claim the 35th title of his PDC career.
“It was a nerve-wracking final,” Wade admitted. “I thought I was going to have it over and done with a lot quicker than I did but it’s onwards and upwards from here.”
Chisnall made a sluggish start to Wednesday’s showpiece and Wade converted a clinical 76 kill to break throw in the opening leg, stretching his lead to 4-0 courtesy of a classy 12-dart hold in leg four.
Wade was in a commanding position at 5-1 ahead before Chisnall took out a magnificent 126 finish on the bull to hold throw, but the next three legs went with throw as the world number eight moved to the cusp of victory at 7-3.
However, Chisnall followed up a 13-dart hold with a classy two-dart 98 combination to reduce the arrears to 7-5, before a 16-dart hold saw him cut the gap to the solitary leg. ‘Chizzy’ then landed a second maximum as he battled to force a decider, but Wade extinguished those hopes with a nerveless 82 checkout to clinch the title.
Earlier in the day, the nine-time major winner kicked off his campaign with a 99.70 average as he defeated Finland’s Marko Kantele 6-3, before he breezed into the fourth round courtesy of emphatic 6-1 wins against Jonathan Worsley and James Richardson.
This set up a last 16 showdown against five-time world champion Raymond van Barneveld, who defeated Jose Justicia, Steve Beaton and Jelle Klaasen to reach the last 16. However, Wade ran out a 6-3 winner in a high-quality contest – averaging 105 to Barney’s 99.30.
The left-hander faced another Dutchman in the shape of Jermaine Wattimena for a place in the last four, with ‘The Machine Gun’ making it back-to-back quarter-finals in Barnsley. Wattimena led 5-4, only for Wade to produce a late rally; conjuring up a 12-darter in the decider to triumph.
The 36-year-old faced Scott Taylor in the last four, who was only featuring due to Michael van Gerwen’s withdrawal. Nevertheless, Taylor took full advantage of MvG’s absence to reach the semi-finals, beating Jeffrey de Zwaan, Nathan Aspinall and a resurgent Justin Pipe before succumbing 7-4 to Wade.
Chisnall’s campaign began with hard-fought 6-4 wins over Jan Dekker and Mark Wilson, before he came from behind to edge out World Series finalist Gabriel Clemens in a last-leg shootout. ‘Chizzy’ then saw off Benito van de Pas in a high-quality affair to secure a spot in the quarter-finals.
‘The Yellow Peril’ then produced his performance of the day to defeat John Henderson, averaging 103.70 en route to a 6-3 success, which set up a semi-final tussle against Czech Darts Open winner Jamie Hughes, who was appearing in his first Players Championship semi-final.
‘Yozza’ defeated the likes of William O’Connor, Gerwyn Price and James Wilson to clinch a spot in his third ranking semi-final of 2019, but he was edged out 7-6 in an epic. Hughes averaged a staggering 108, but Chisnall produced a majestic 141 finish to prevail in the decider, with Hughes sat on 24.
Three of the world’s top six suffered early exits in Barnsley, with Rob Cross, Gary Anderson and Michael Smith losing out to Klaasen, Ritchie Edhouse and Zoran Lerchbacher respectively. Elsewhere, world No 3 Daryl Gurney and top seed Ian White bowed out at the second round stage.
Yesterday’s winner Jose De Sousa also suffered a second round exit at the hands of Alan Norris, while Joe Cullen, Nathan Aspinall, Simon Whitlock and Krzysztof Ratajski were among the other high-profile stars to depart before the fourth round stage.
Benito van de Pas enjoyed a welcome return to form in Barnsley, averaging over 100 throughout the day – losing 6-4 to Chisnall in the last 16 despite posting a 104.80 average.
Meanwhile, John Henderson landed a perfect nine leg in his fourth round clash against Ron Meulenkamp, but ‘The Highlander’ was beaten in the last eight by an imperious Chisnall.
Players Championship 24
Wednesday September 11
Scott Taylor 6-5 Devon Petersen
Justin Pipe 6-4 Kyle Anderson
Jermaine Wattimena 6-4 Peter Wright
James Wade 6-3 Raymond van Barneveld
Jamie Hughes 6-5 Gerwyn Price
James Wilson 6-3 Glen Durrant
John Henderson 6-5 Ron Meulenkamp
Dave Chisnall 6-4 Benito van de Pas
Scott Taylor 6-4 Justin Pipe
James Wade 6-5 Jermaine Wattimena
Jamie Hughes 6-3 James Wilson
Dave Chisnall 6-3 John Henderson
James Wade 7-4 Scott Taylor
Dave Chisnall 7-6 Jamie Hughes
James Wade 8-6 Dave Chisnall