Aspinall claims maiden title in Players Championship 18

Nathan Aspinall claimed his first PDC ranking title with a 6-4 win over Ryan Searle in the final of Players Championship 18 at the Barnsley Metrodome.

Previously a winner on both the Challenge Tour and Development Tour, the 27-year-old edged past Searle in a match which saw both players appearing in their first PDC ranking finals.

Aspinall bounced back from Tuesday’s first round defeat to Searle at Players Championship 17 to overcome Diogo Portela, Danny Noppert, Ritchie Edhouse, James Wilson, Steve Beaton and Ian White en route to clinching the £10,000 top prize.

“This is massive for me and my family, I am so happy,” said Aspinall, who had previously failed to reach the quarter-finals of a ProTour event in 2018.

“When you have an opportunity you’ve got to take it and I’ve done that today – it all clicked together.

“Everyone always said I had potential but I’ve always just come up short. I know I’ve got the game and I knew my time would come and today is that day.”

It was a strong start from Searle, who struck back-to-back 14-dart legs to open up an early 2-0 advantage.

Aspinall hit back, reeling off the next four legs which included classy finishes of 107 and 98 before Searle found tops to stop the rot at 4-3.

The next leg saw Aspinall pile on the pressure with a maximum but Searle found double four at the first attempt to level it up once again.

The tension was starting to tell as both players missed darts at double to go within a leg of victory but it was Aspinall who hit double four to go 5-4 up and then held throw in the following leg, pinning tops to secure the biggest win of his career.

Searle was also delighted with his day’s work which saw the two-time Challenge Tour winner claim victories over Mario Robbe, Jermaine Wattimena, Gary Anderson, Tony Newell, Steve Lennon and Ron Meulenkamp.

Elsewhere, Tuesday’s Players Championship 17 winner Peter Wright suffered a first round exit at the hands of Arron Monk, while World Champion Rob Cross went out in round two to Simon Stevenson.

Tuesday’s runner-up Daryl Gurney also lost in the first round to Andy Boulton, Simon Whitlock went out in the second round to Cody Harris and Dave Chisnall went down to Luke Woodhouse in round one.

The next Players Championship events will be held on September 28-29 at the Citywest Hotel, Dublin and will be streamed live on PDCTV-HD across both days.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *