DAVE CHISNALL claimed his second ProTour title of 2019 with an 8-6 defeat of Daryl Gurney in the final of Players Championship 7 in Wigan on Saturday.
The opening day of the fourth ProTour weekend of the year saw Chisnall follow up February's Players Championship 2 triumph by landing the 14th PDC title of his career at the Robin Park Tennis Centre.
Chisnall's day began with a 6-1 rout of Davy van Baelen, before he hit averages of 104.3, 102.7 and 108.4 to power past Ritchie Edhouse, Stephen Bunting and Rob Cross respectively to reach the quarter-finals.
There, he overcame Vincent van der Voort 6-3 to maintain his record of losing no more than three legs in a match throughout the day, before producing a magnificent 109.1 average to see off Mark McGeeney 7-2 in the semi-finals.
Chisnall continued to hit the treble 20 with incredible regularity in the final, taking the lead for the first time at the business end of the contest and seeing it out to claim the £10,000 top prize.
"I've been playing really well in practice and I knew I would take some beating today," said Chisnall, who also reached the semi-finals of Players Championship 5.
"There were some great performances from me today, I didn't bring my best game into the final but I took my chances at the crucial points.
"This could be a massive year for me, I believe I can win 15 or 16 titles. I'm playing well enough and I've got a great team behind me so why not?
"My goal is to be in all the big tournaments but you've got to be playing well to get in them and so far this year that's what I'm doing, now I need to keep my form going."
An enthralling final began with Chisnall missing four darts at double, allowing Gurney to break and take a 2-0 advantage, only for Chisnall to break back and follow it up with a 13-dart hold to level at 2-2.
A fantastically-timed 180 from Gurney piled the pressure on Chisnall, who missed two darts at double as Gurney stepped in to take out 60 to break and open up daylight at 5-3.
Once again, Chisnall fired back with an 11-dart break of throw, which he followed up with a 119 checkout on the bull to make it 5-5.
Gurney, who was competing in his tenth PDC final, regained the lead at 6-5 with a 13-darter, but Chisnall replied in kind to level it up once more and make it a race to two legs for the title.
Gurney then missed seven darts at double and Chisnall punished by landing double top to lead for the first time, before holding throw to complete a perfectly-timed sprint to the finish.
Players Championship Finals winner Gurney fell just short in his bid for a first floor title since 2017, but the Northern Irishman impressed with a string of impressive performances, including a 7-2 win over Gerwyn Price, to reach his first ProTour final since September 2018.
Mark McGeeney reached his first ProTour semi-final since winning his Tour Card in January, while Ron Meulenkamp and Van der Voort made it to the last eight of a ProTour event for the first time this year.
It was a disappointing return to ProTour action for Gary Anderson who exited at the last 64 stage along with Raymond van Barneveld, James Wade and Adrian Lewis, while there were shock first round defeats for Peter Wright and Michael Smith.
Sunday will see the second day of the Players Championship weekend in Wigan, with live streaming from two boards simultaneously on PDCTV-HD. Follow fixtures, results and live match stats through Dart Connect.
See full Players Championship 7 results in DartConnect.
Players Championship 7
Saturday March 16, Robin Park Tennis Centre, Wigan
Ron Meulenkamp 6-4 Ross Smith
Mark McGeeney 6-3 Chris Dobey
Dave Chisnall 6-3 Rob Cross
Vincent van der Voort 6-3 Josh Payne
Gerwyn Price 6-0 Ricky Evans
Ryan Searle 6-4 Krzysztof Ratajski
Daryl Gurney 6-2 Keegan Brown
Jermaine Wattimena 6-2 Jeffrey de Zwaan
Mark McGeeney 6-5 Ron Meulenkamp
Dave Chisnall 6-3 Vincent van der Voort
Gerwyn Price 6-4 Ryan Searle
Daryl Gurney 6-5 Jermaine Wattimena
Dave Chisnall 7-2 Mark McGeeney
Daryl Gurney 7-2 Gerwyn Price
Dave Chisnall 8-6 Daryl Gurney