JAMES WADE won his second ProTour title in seven days with an 8-6 victory over Michael Smith in the final of Players Championship 11 at The Barnsley Metrodome on Saturday.
The opening day of the ProTour double-header weekend saw Wade make it back-to-back ProTour triumphs after ending his near-four year wait for a floor title last weekend.
Wade kicked off the day with a 110 average in a 6-0 whitewash of Eddie Dootson, before edging out Joe Murnan in a deciding leg and seeing off Vincent van der Voort to reach the last 16.
There, the European Champion averaged 102.7 in a 6-3 win over Krzysztof Ratajski, and then claimed victory over Jonny Clayton by the same scoreline.
In the semi-finals Wade came from behind to beat Ian White 7-5, before claiming a hard-fought win over Smith in a replay of last Saturday's Players Championship Nine final to clinch the £10,000 top prize.
"I'm happy to have won, but Michael didn't play the best he can," said Wade, who became the fourth player to win two Players Championship titles in 2019.
"Michael has got so much to learn but he's also got so much to offer the game.
"I played better last week but overall I think I'm playing well enough to win things this year, but I was fortunate today."
A gruelling final began with Wade hitting his favourite double ten for a break of throw in the opening leg, only for Smith to hit straight back with a 13-dart leg.
Six uncharacteristic misses at double from Wade allowed Smith the chance to eventually find double ten to break throw once again and take a 4-2 lead.
However, his advantage was quickly erased by Wade who won back-to-back legs to go level, and landed a hammer blow with an 87 finish to break throw and edge ahead at 6-5.
Once again, Smith broke straight back with an 84 checkout, but the next leg saw Wade find double four with his last dart in hand for a crucial 76 checkout.
After Wade missed two darts for the match, Smith had three darts in hand to force a last leg decider but his attempts at the outer ring went begging, allowing Wade to pin double two to notch his 14th win in the last 15 meetings between the pair.
Smith, who landed an incredible 26 180s throughout the day, came through four dramatic last leg deciders to reach his second ProTour final in a week.
Two of the World Championship runner-up's last-leg wins came against Peter Wright and Glen Durrant, before a 7-4 victory over Steve West put him through to the final.
Saturday also saw Harry Ward land a nine-dart finish in his opening round win over William O'Connor, the 18th on the PDC circuit in 2019.
Raymond van Barneveld and Corey Cadby suffered last 64 exits at the hands of Darren Webster and Durrant respectively, while Gerwyn Price and Adrian Lewis fell at the first hurdle.
Premier League stars Wright and Daryl Gurney both exited at the last 16 stage.
Sunday will see the second day of the Players Championship weekend in Barnsley, with live streaming from two boards simultaneously on video.pdc.tv. Follow fixtures, results and live match stats through Dart Connect.
See full Players Championship 11 results in DartConnect.
Players Championship 11
Saturday April 13, The Barnsley Metrodome
Ian White 6-5 Ronny Huybrechts
Andy Boulton 6-4 Cristo Reyes
James Wade 6-3 Krzysztof Ratajski
Jonny Clayton 6-4 Ricky Evans
Glen Durrant 6-4 Kim Huybrechts
Michael Smith 6-5 Peter Wright
Jelle Klaasen 6-2 Max Hopp
Steve West 6-5 Daryl Gurney
Ian White 6-1 Andy Boulton
James Wade 6-3 Jonny Clayton
Michael Smith 6-5 Glen Durrant
Steve West 6-2 Jelle Klaasen
James Wade 7-5 Ian White
Michael Smith 7-4 Steve West
James Wade 8-6 Michael Smith