Dave Chisnall continued his winning streak at the K2 Centre in Crawley by winning his third successive Players Championship at the venue with a 6-4 defeat of Ronnie Baxter in today’s final.
The in-form St Helens ace followed up his back-to-back wins in Crawley last month by taking the £6,000 first prize in the 120-player event.
Chisnall had also won a Players Championship in Crawley last November and reached a UK Open Qualifier final at the venue in February, and continued the run of form which saw him reach the Speedy Services UK Open semi-finals and German Darts Championship final recently.
He opened the event with wins over youngsters Arron Monk and Joe Cullen and two-time World Champion Ted Hankey before defeating Ian White 6-4 in the quarter-finals and James Wade 6-2 in the semis.
He secured an immediate break of throw in the first leg of the final against Baxter, opening with a 180 and taking out 121 on the bull for a 12-darter, and finished 102 to lead 2-0 before Baxter finished tops to get off the mark.
The next four legs were shared as Baxter hit back to trail just 4-3, with Chisnall following up a second 102 checkout of the game by taking out 121 on the bull to lead 5-3.
Baxter finished 65 on tops to win the ninth, but Chisnall landed double 18 in the next to secure the win.
“It feels good – this must be my lucky venue!” said Chisnall. “I played well all through the day.
“I had some scares and had a few 6-4 wins, and the games against Arron Monk and Ian White could have gone either way, but I’ve come through and got the results.”
The defeat in the final denied Baxter a second Players Championship victory this month, with the Blackpool man taking home £3,000 for reaching the decider.
He followed up a win over Nick Fullwell in his opener by whitewashing Mark Hylton, and then took narrow deciding-leg victories over Vincent van der Voort, Simon Whitlock and Adrian Lewis in progressing to the final.
Lewis’ run to the semis saw him suffer a repeat loss to Baxter, who took victory when the pair met in a Players Championship final in Birmingham a fortnight ago.
The World Champion defeated Ross Smith, Devon Petersen, Justin Pipe, Reece Robinson and Brendan Dolan in reaching the last four, where he claimed £2,000 prize money.
World number three Wade also reached the last four in a fine day of darts, which began with a comeback from 4-1 down to defeat Andrew Gilding before he saw off Andy Smith, John Part and Peter Wright.
Whitlock reached the quarter-finals for the fourth successive Players Championship event with his display on the day, while Wright was appearing in the last eight for the second time this year.
Stoke’s White took a further step towards winning a place in the World Matchplay next month with his run to the quarters, before he lost to Chisnall in a repeat of their final at the same venue last month.
Youngsters Keegan Brown and Mareno Michels both missed double 12 for a nine-dart finish on the day.
Tomorrow sees a second Players Championship of the weekend held at the K2 Centre in Crawley, with only next weekend’s European Tour event in Dusseldorf then remaining before the cut-off for World Matchplay qualification.