GERWYN PRICE continued his impressive start to 2019 by claiming a fifth PDC title thanks to an 8-4 defeat of Gabriel Clemens at Players Championship 5, on a day which saw two nine-darters hit at The Barnsley Metrodome.
The opening day of the ProTour weekend saw Price in sensational form throughout the day, posting an incredible five ton-plus averages on his way to a first PDC crown since winning the Grand Slam of Darts in November 2018.
The Welsh number one has made an unbeaten start to his second Premier League season, and Price continued his good form with victories over Marko Kantele, Madars Razma and Ryan Joyce at the start of the day.
In the last 16 Price came out on top of the all-Welsh clash with Jonny Clayton thanks to a 105.5 average, which he increased to 106 in his quarter-final triumph over Ian White.
A third consecutive ton-plus average followed in his 7-4 semi-final win over Dave Chisnall, before a magnificent 109.7 average saw Price overcome Germany's Clemens to clinch the £10,000 top prize.
"This time 12 months ago I was playing rubbish, I was going out in the first round all the time but now my mind is clear," said world number seven Price, who reached the semi-finals of Players Championship 4 last Sunday.
"The last couple of weeks I've been playing really well but falling to players who have been playing amazing, so today I'm delighted to get the win.
"Winning breeds confidence and today I thought I played fantastic all day and was a deserved winner.
"I'm striving to make the top four in the Premier League and to also keep doing well on the ProTour. It's tough to do both but it seems to be working for me this year."
A high-quality start to the final saw the players exchange holds of throw before Price made no mistake on double 16 to land the first break of the match to lead 2-1.
Clemens missed a dart at the bull for a 130 finish to break straight back, but a clinical Price took out 72 in two darts and followed it up with a second break of throw, this time finishing 69 in two darts.
Price finally missed a dart at double and Clemens stepped in to find double top to break back, only for a confident Price to fire in the first 180 of the contest in the next leg and take out 88 in two darts to restore his three-leg cushion.
The pair both held throw in the next two legs, before a determined Clemens pinned double 16 with his last dart in hand to get himself back in the contest at 6-4.
That was as good as it got for the German as Price reeled off the final two legs to seal his first Players Championship title since 2016 to become the fourth different winner from the opening five ProTour events of the year.
Despite defeat in the final, Clemens ended his run of three Players Championships without a victory to reach his second ProTour final in just over a year on the professional circuit, with victories over John Henderson and Danny Noppert on the way.
The first nine darter of the day was hit by Scott Baker, who averaged 110 in his last 32 defeat to Chisnall, before Noppert landed the ninth perfect leg of the 2019 PDC campaign in his semi-final loss to Clemens.
James Wade enjoyed a run to the quarter-finals, while fellow-Premier League stars Rob Cross and Mensur Suljovic both reached the last 16 along with ProTour winner Glen Durrant.
Meanwhile, it was a disappointing day for Peter Wright, Daryl Gurney, Michael Smith and Raymond van Barneveld who all exited at the last 64 stage.
Sunday will see the second day of the Players Championship weekend in Barnsley, with live streaming from two boards simultaneously in the new-look PDCTV-HD. Follow fixtures, results and live match stats through Dart Connect.
See full Players Championship 5 results in DartConnect.
Players Championship 5
Saturday February 23, The Barnsley Metrodome
Ian White 6-5 Glen Durrant
Gerwyn Price 6-5 Jonny Clayton
James Wade 6-3 Ricky Evans
Rob Cross 5-6 Dave Chisnall
Gabriel Clemens 6-4 Ross Smith
John Henderson 6-5 Max Hopp
Ryan Searle 6-4 Joe Cullen
Mensur Suljovic 3-6 Danny Noppert
Ian White 2-6 Gerwyn Price
James Wade 3-6 Dave Chisnall
Gabriel Clemens 6-4 John Henderson
Ryan Searle 4-6 Danny Noppert
Gerwyn Price 7-4 Dave Chisnall
Gabriel Clemens 7-5 Danny Noppert
Gerwyn Price 8-4 Gabriel Clemens