PDC Players Championship two: Chisnall denies newcomer Durrant ‘dream’ win

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Dave Chisnall picked up his 13th PDC ranking title on Sunday afternoon in Wigan following a memorable day at the Robin Park Tennis Centre venue. On Sunday afternoon, we witnessed FOUR nine-dart legs across the 16 boards in action. Geert Nentjes, Chris Dobey and Sunda’s winner Dave Chisnall all fired in the ‘perfect’ leg over the course of the afternoon. Two of the four nine-dart leg’s were captured live on the PDC’s live stream. Chris Dobey fired in a superb nine-darter in his last-leg deciding win over Dave Prins, and Michael van Gerwen produced the ‘perfect’ leg in his 6-3 defeat to Jonny Clayton.

As for Dave Chisnall, the St Helens star had it far from easy en route to the final as he had to face some of the best players that the PDC has to offer. If you count the ‘contenders’ Chisnall defeated five Premier League stars en route. Chisnall kicked off the day with a 6-2 victory over Nathan Aspinall who of course reached the Semi-Finals at Alexandra Palace in December. Chisnall the nwent on to see off another Premier League competitor in Luke Humphries, Chisnall was pushed to the limit by Berkshire’s Humphries which resulted in a 6-5 victory for ‘Chizzy’.

In the board final, Chisnall was really up against it as he faced Rowby-John Rodriguez, but Chisnall really upped his game as he went on to record a 6-2 victory over the Austrian, hitting a nine-dart leg en route. In the last 16, Chisnall faced off with 2018 World Champion Rob Cross, and despite not being quite at his very best, Chisnall really took his chances well in a 6-3 victory over Cross.

On to the Quarter-Finals, Chisnall faced off with another tough competitor in James Wade who was in some great form heading into the weekends events. As you’d expect, the match went the distance, and Chisnall once more showed great composure to see off the match with a 15-dart leg just seconds after missing a dart at the bull for a 170 checkout to finish the match in style.

In the Semi-Finals, Chisnall faced Jonny Clayton who earlier on in the day saw off Michael van Gerwen despite the World no.1 hitting a nine-dart leg and averaging 104. Much like Chisnall’s victories over the course of the day, there was really no seperating the pair in the averages, but the St Helens man produced key shots at the right moments as he closed out a 7-5 victory to set up a final with three-time BDO World Champion Glen Durrant.

Questions were asked of Durrant on Saturday following his first round exit at the hands of Alan Tabern, but the three-time World Champion responded to those questions with a remarkable run to Sunday’s final. The Teesside ace enjoyed some great victories over the likes of Madars Razma (6-5), Peter Wright (6-3), Zoran Lerchbacher (6-4), Robert Thornton (6-4), John Henderson (6-4) and Joe Cullen (7-4). In some of those victories, Durrant really had to dig deep especially in the wins over the two Scots – Henderson and Thornton. Durrant was trailing 4-1 in both of those matches before reeling off five successive legs to emerge victorious.

The final was a special one as you’d expect, there was no real seperating the pair in the early phases of the game, but Chisnall managed to pile the pressure on Durrant who has competing in his first PDC ranking final in just his second event since winng his PDC tour card in January. Chisnall finally managed to break Durrant’s resistance as he moved into a 6-4 lead, and Chisnall’s 13th PDC ranking title looked to be moving ever closer as he moved 7-5 ahead. Chisnall found himslef in a great situation, but the St Helens man squandered four match darts for an 8-5 victory, but with Durrant left needing a 170 finish to stay in the match, Chisnall was hopeful of another visit to see out the match.

But, Durrant wasn’t quite done just yet as the Teesside ace produced arguably the shot of the year as he produced a stunning 170 checkout under the most severe pressure to keep his hopes alive. That tremendous finish gave Durrant so much confidence as he reeled off two straight legs to force a 15th and deciding leg. Chisnall managed to hold firm as Durrant couldn’t hit the one treble need to give himself a shot at a 108 checkout, Chisnall stepped up to pick out D20 to end an 18-month drought to secure his 13 PDC ranking title.

For Durrant, he’ll be brimming with confidence heading into Thursday night’s clash with Daryl Gurney at the Premier League in Glasgow at the SSE Hydro. After just two events, Durrant’s already climbed to 88th position in the PDC order of merit, and he’s provisionally moved into the second round of the UK Open in Minehead.

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