GLEN DURRANT landed his second PDC ranking title at Players Championship 15 at The Barnsley Metrodome on Saturday.
The opening day of the ProTour double-header weekend saw Durrant double his haul of PDC crowns since joining the professional circuit in January, following up his Players Championship 4 victory in February.
Three-time Lakeside Champion Durrant secured a remarkable result in the semi-finals, defeating Michael van Gerwen 7-2 in the first meeting between the pair to reach the final where he proved too strong for Darius Labanauskas, running out an 8-1 victor.
Durrant's day started with 6-0 whitewashes over Matthew Edgar and Simon Stevenson, which he followed up with two 6-4 wins over Kyle Anderson and Danny Noppert.
The 48-year-old then defeated Michael Smith 6-4, before convincing victories over Van Gerwen and Labanauskas saw him clinch the £10,000 top prize.
"It feels absolutely fantastic, I can't put into words how happy I am right now," said Durrant, who has secured a provisional place in July's Betfred World Matchplay.
"Last weekend on the Euro Tour was really difficult to me but this weekend has been perfect. I had a fabulous week in practice and I knew I was playing well.
"I was determined to enjoy today but to win another title is pretty special. I joined the PDC for moments like this.
"Before I played Michael [van Gerwen] I asked if I could have his shirt which I immediately regretted as it showed weakness, but he didn't play his best game and I was able to capitalise.
"I've totally exceeded the initial targets I set myself at the start of the year and soon my goals will be changing but I'm not putting too much pressure on myself at the moment."
A one-sided final between world ranked 70 and 91 saw Durrant punish Labanauskas' missed darts at double as he raced into a 3-0 lead, before Labanauskas chalked his first leg on the board to make it 3-1.
However, that was as good as it got for Labanauskas, who made history in becoming the first Lithuanian player to reach a PDC ranking final, as Durrant ruthlessly reeled off five consecutive legs to run out victorious in his third PDC final since joining the circuit.
Despite defeat in the final, Labanauskas also continued his strong first year as a PDC professional with his first appearance in a ranking final.
Labanauskas, who will represent Lithuania in June's BetVictor World Cup of Darts, claimed victories over Gabriel Clemens, Bradley Brooks, Cristo Reyes and Steve Beaton, before saving his best two performances of the day for his quarter-final and semi-final matches.
His last eight meeting with Ryan Meikle saw him pick up a 6-2 success, before a 99.9 average saw Labanauskas get the better of Ron Meulenkamp 7-4 to reach the final.
A high-quality Saturday also saw Dave Chisnall hit a nine-dart finish in his Last 64 clash with Reyes, although the Spanish number one went on to claim a 6-5 victory.
It was also a positive day for four-time Development Tour title winner Meikle, who reached his first senior PDC quarter-final, and for Chris Dobey, who made it through to his second quarter-final of 2019.
Meulenkamp also made it through to his third PDC ranking semi-final, but once again failed to make it past the final four hurdle.
Departing Dutchman Raymond van Barneveld produced a 104.9 average to beat Jamie Hughes 6-5, but went out at the last 32 stage.
Peter Wright, James Wade, Adrian Lewis and Corey Cadby all exited before the Last 32.
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 15 results in DartConnect.
Players Championship 15
Saturday May 18, The Barnsley Metrodome
Michael van Gerwen 6-3 Peter Hudson
Chris Dobey 6-3 Vincent van der Meer
Michael Smith 6-5 Justin Pipe
Glen Durrant 6-4 Danny Noppert
Ian White 6-3 Krzysztof Ratajski
Ron Meulenkamp 6-3 David Pallett
Darius Labanauskas 6-5 Steve Beaton
Ryan Meikle 6-3 Nathan Rafferty
Michael van Gerwen 6-5 Chris Dobey
Glen Durrant 6-4 Michael Smith
Ron Meulenkamp 6-5 Ian White
Darius Labanauskas 6-2 Ryan Meikle
Glen Durrant 7-2 Michael van Gerwen
Darius Labanauskas 7-4 Ron Meulenkamp
Glen Durrant 8-1 Darius Labanauskas