GERWYN PRICE claimed his maiden televised title with a remarkable bwin Grand Slam of Darts success as he overcame Gary Anderson 16-13 on Sunday night.
The Welsh ace had to battle back from behind against both Simon Whitlock and Mensur Suljovic just to reach the Wolverhampton final.
He also trailed by three legs twice against Anderson, at 7-4 and 11-8, before hitting back to lift the Eric Bristow Trophy and claim the £110,000 title.
Price began the decider with a 120 finish, and after finding himself 4-2 down following a three-leg burst from Anderson, the Welshman finished 137 to pull back.
Anderson, though, extended his advantage to 7-4 before seeing his rival claim four successive legs to regain the edge at 8-7.
The world number four found another gear to reel off four legs in a row as he moved back in front, levelling on tops, finishing 72 on the bull, 84 and 144 in taking an 11-8 advantage.
Price finished 70 and 78 to respond before a 130 checkout saw him move within touching distance at 12-11.
Double ten saw Anderson move 13-11 up, but Price again dug in to win four successive legs as he turned the game on its head once again to move a leg away from glory, which was sealed on tops.
Price also picked up a £2,500 group winner bonus as he erased the memory of defeats in the UK Open and World Cup of Darts finals to claim big-stage glory for the first time.
"I've got over the winning line and I'm thrilled to bits," he said. "It was an up and down final but I knew that if I stuck in there I'd get my chances, and I took them.
"I was pretty confident at the beginning of the week and I knew that I had a good chance of reaching the final, but I was chasing Gary all the way there.
"He wasn't playing brilliantly, he was being consistent at what he does. I knew if I just put it up one gear that I'd beat him.
"I knew that he doesn't like the way I play. My game is my game, he just needs to concentrate on his own. I've won the tournament and I'm over the moon."
Price, who moves up to sixth on the PDC Order of Merit, added: "I'm the first person to win the Eric Bristow Trophy and that means a huge amount to me - it's something nobody can ever take from me."
Price had previously played rugby union and had a brief stint in rugby league before opting to take up darts in 2014 when he won a PDC Tour Card at Qualifying School.
"I'm loving playing on stage against the best players in the world," he added. "It's only a few years since I was playing rugby, so to be winning big titles is huge for me.
"Maybe 18 months ago I was scared of the top four or top eight, but now I'm turning up to win these tournaments."
The defeat saw Anderson miss out on the Grand Slam title for a second time, following his loss in the 2011 final to Phil Taylor.
He had earlier ended Van Gerwen's reign as champion with a sensational 16-12 semi-final triumph, landing five ton-plus finishes to overcome the world number one.
2018 bwin Grand Slam of Darts
Sunday November 18
Gerwyn Price 16-12 Mensur Suljovic
Gary Anderson 16-12 Michael van Gerwen
Best of 31 legs
Gerwyn Price 16-13 Gary Anderson
Best of 31 legs
MICHAEL VAN GERWEN'S reign as bwin Grand Slam of Darts champion was ended by brilliant Gary Anderson as the Scot enjoyed a 16-12 semi-final victory on Sunday afternoon.
Van Gerwen had been bidding to claim a record fourth successive Grand Slam title at the Aldersley Leisure Village.
However, 2011 finalist Anderson landed five ton-plus checkouts in a fine performance as he averaged 103 to end Van Gerwen's hopes in a pulsating encounter.
Van Gerwen led 3-1 early on as he broke with a 12-darter and then finished a 13-darter to take the advantage, before Anderson took out 113 and a 12-darter to move 5-4 up.
The world number one landed an 11-darter in leg ten, and the pair traded 14-dart finishes before Anderson took out 112 and 118 to move 11-8 up.
Van Gerwen powered in checkouts of 100 and 124 to level after 24 legs, only to be punished for five misses as Anderson pulled away to lead 15-11, taking out 105 with the aid of two double tops in the process.
Another 11-darter from Van Gerwen kept his hopes alive at 15-12, but a miss at the bull in the next leg allowed Anderson in to seal victory with yet another big finish courtesy of a 104 combination.
Anderson now meets Gerwyn Price in the final, after the Welshman was a 16-12 winner over Mensur Suljovic following a stirring fightback in their last four contest.
The Welsh ace, a UK Open finalist in 2018, will compete for his maiden televised title on Sunday night in Wolverhampton following another resilient display as he hit back from 10-5 and 12-9 down.
Having produced a fightback against Simon Whitlock in Friday's quarter-finals, Price again had to show his battling qualities as he knocked out the number six seed.
Suljovic had been in sublime form during the opening half of the game, hitting ten doubles from 13 attempts in a brilliant display of finishing to take control at 10-5, despite a 170 checkout from Price.
The Welshman took four successive legs as he pulled back to 10-9, only for Suljovic to edge away to restore breaking space at 12-9.
However, Price punished missed doubles in two of the next three legs and also landed six perfect darts during an outstanding ten-darter as he levelled.
A 68 finish saw him regain the lead, for the first time since leg three, when he moved 13-12 up, two more legs moved him to the brink of victory and an 11-darter completed by a 100 checkout completed the fightback.
"It's great for me to be in the final," said Price. "I was 10-5 down at one stage and I felt it should have been closer but I never stopped believing.
"I got it back to 11-9 and thought that if I could get one more break I could crack him, and that's what happened.
"My target was to reach the final and I had a decent half of the draw. 18 months ago I was just happy to be in finals but now I turn up to win."