Dobey defeats Searle to claim second ranking title

Chris Dobey (Lawrence Lustig, PDC)

Chris Dobey won his second ranking title and doubled his tally for 2021 with victory over Ryan Searle in Tuesday's Players Championship 28 in Barnsley.

The Bedlington thrower won his maiden ProTour event in July, and added a second ยฃ10,000 title in the first of three events this week to conclude the year's Players Championships.

The 31-year-old recorded his first 110-plus average on the circuit during a sensational 7-4 semi-final defeat of Rob Cross - who averaged 112.95 to his conqueror's 111.73.

Dobey also averaged over a ton against Maik Kuivenhoven, Darren Webster and Jose de Sousa, and also saw off World Youth Champion Bradley Brooks and Gavin Carlin during the event.

His form continued into the final, breaking Searle's throw immediately and then doubling his lead, before responding to a 14-darter from the Somerset ace with legs of 12 and 14 darts to move 4-1 up.

Searle landed an 11-darter as he took the next two to cut the gap to one leg, only to see Dobey pull out to 6-3 with a 121 bull finish for a 12-dart leg.

Searle then missed double 12 for a nine-darter in leg ten, taking the leg in 11 darts and then firing in tops as he moved within touching distance at 6-5.

Crucially, though, he missed a dart at double ten to level in leg 12, and though Searle landed tops to stay in the game at 7-6, Dobey closed out victory on double ten.

"I'm delighted to get the win," said Dobey. "I've been playing well for the last month or so, I've been very comfortable with my game and the practice is paying off.

"It's hard to keep that consistency throughout the day, and I felt I've dealt with it well today.

"I've taken my practice game to the board now. My floor game is what's been letting me down for the past few years - I've played well on TV the majority of the time and it's just getting that floor game right.

"You've seen it with Dimi [Van den Bergh]. He couldn't do much on the floor and he's turned his game around massively, and hopefully I can learn from Dimi and fly up the rankings."

Dobey could still claim automatic qualification for the Cazoo Grand Slam of Darts by winning another Players Championship this week, and he admitted: "It would be a great achievement for me.

"I've only played in the Grand Slam once and it was a great tournament - I got to the quarter-finals. Just to get a taste of that will be nice, but I'm just happy with my game.

"If I play like I have today, I'll be hard to beat."

Dobey's clash with Searle saw two of the sport's emerging stars clash, and he added: "We've had some great games in the past couple of years. I owed him that - I think he beat me 6-0 the last time I played him.

"I've known how good Ryan is for a long time now, and during Covid I was practising online with Ryan as well. I know he can push me and I can push him, and hopefully we can bring the best out of each other in years to come."

Searle was also in outstanding form during the event, averaging 110.52 in his third round win over Jamie Hughes and defeating both Chas Barstow and Gabriel Clemens in deciding legs.

He also overcame Dave Chisnall 7-4 in the semi-finals, but was denied a third ranking title - and a second Players Championship success of 2021.

"I've got no complaints," said Searle. "I'm playing decent darts and Chris is playing well as well.

"He played awesome all day and I'll try my best over the next few days. That's all you can do."

Cross - the Players Championship 26 winner last month - produced some outstanding darts in his run to the semi-finals, including a 109 average in a 6-5 defeat over Stephen Bunting in one of three matches he won in a deciding leg.

Chisnall had been bidding to claim his maiden 2021 title, and he overcame Michael van Gerwen with a 102 average in the quarter-finals to follow up earlier defeats of Max Hopp, Ritchie Edhouse, Alan Tabern and Danny Noppert.

Gabriel Clemens landed a nine-darter in the deciding leg of his third round win over Ross Smith during his run to the quarter-finals, where he lost out to Searle.

Alan Soutar knocked out former World Champions Peter Wright and Raymond van Barneveld as well as Krzysztof Ratajski as he reached the last eight alongside Clemens, Van Gerwen and Jose de Sousa.

Scott Waites posted Tuesday's other nine-darter during his first round clash with Daryl Gurney, although it was the Northern Irish ace who took victory in the contest.

A day of some monstrous displays also saw Callan Rydz record a 117.37 average in his second round win over Lisa Ashton and Joe Cullen post a 112.53 average in the last 64 against Jason Heaver.

Former Premier League champion Glen Durrant withdrew during his first round tie with Davy Proosten, and has opted not to compete in Wednesday and Thursday's final Players Championship events.

The PDC Super Series 8 action continues on Wednesday with Players Championship 29 from 1200 GMT.

Live streaming from two boards simultaneously is available on PDCTV - subscription options include a ยฃ1.99 One-Day Pass or a ยฃ2.99 Two-Day Pass.

See full results in the Match Centre.

See match stats through DartConnect.

NINE-DARTERS!
Scott Waites hit a nine-dart finish during his first round game with Daryl Gurney, scoring 180, 180 and 141 to level in leg six.
Gabriel Clemens hit a nine-dart finish in the deciding leg of his third round game against Ross Smith, also scoring 180, 180 and 141.

Players Championship 28
Tuesday November 2
Last 16

Gabriel Clemens 6-2 Mike De Decker
Ryan Searle 6-2 Dirk van Duijvenbode
Michael van Gerwen 6-3 Joe Cullen
Dave Chisnall 6-2 Danny Noppert
Jose de Sousa 6-4 Kevin Doets
Chris Dobey 6-1 Bradley Brooks
Alan Soutar 6-4 Krzysztof Ratajski
Rob Cross 6-5 Ryan Joyce

Quarter-Finals
Ryan Searle 6-5 Gabriel Clemensย 
Dave Chisnall 6-2 Michael van Gerwenย 
Chris Dobey 6-2 Jose de Sousa
Rob Cross 6-1 Alan Soutar

Semi-Finals
Ryan Searle 7-4 Dave Chisnall
Chris Dobey 7-4 Rob Cross

Final
Chris Dobey 8-6 Ryan Searle