Dave Chisnall celebrated his second PDC ranking title in the space of five days with a sensational 8-3 victory against Luke Humphries in Thursday's Players Championship 23 decider in Barnsley.
Chisnall, who denied Humphries in Sunday's astonishing Hungarian Darts Trophy showpiece, repeated the feat at the Barnsley Metrodome to secure his first Players Championship title of 2023.
The St Helens star was in merciless mood throughout the day, capping off a dominant campaign with a 103 average and nine maximums in a high-quality final against world number six Humphries as their growing rivalry continued.
Chisnall made a blistering start to Thursday’s finale, drawing first blood with an 11-dart hold, and doubling his tally with an unorthodox 114 finish.
The 43-year-old then fired in six perfect darts on his way to a 3-0 lead, and he left himself on 36 after just nine darts in leg four as his majestic scoring continued.
Humphries halted Chisnall’s charge with a 14-dart break in leg five, only for the Morecambe man to produce a delightful double-double 93 checkout to resume the procession.
Despite firing in back-to-back 180s in leg nine, Humphries saw Chisnall move a leg away from victory with a clinical 66 kill, before preserving his hopes with a 106 skin-saver in leg ten.
Nevertheless, Chisnall’s relentless assault on the treble 20 continued, and after crashing in successive maximums to set up a potential ten-darter, he eventually sealed the deal via double five.
“I played well today,” reflected Chisnall, who has remarkably seen his four title wins in 2023 culminate with victories against Humphries.
“I got a good lead against Luke there and I didn’t let it slip. I was scoring very well, and even when I lost legs, they were legs I should have won.
“With the way I’m playing, I think I’m due a big title, and it could be next week at the World Grand Prix.”
Chisnall was in irrepressible form at the Barnsley Metrodome, averaging over 100 across his seven matches and crashing in 32 maximums throughout his campaign.
However, after brushing aside Tony Martinez in his opener, he was handed a major reprieve in round two, surviving four match darts as he overturned a 5-2 deficit against Jim Williams.
Chisnall capitalised on his good fortune, averaging 106 in his third round demolition of Richard Veenstra, and he later ended Stephen Burton’s hopes to progress to the quarter-finals.
The two-time World Grand Prix runner-up then posted another ton-plus average in his last eight whitewash of Brendan Dolan, before edging out Christian Kist in the semi-finals.
Humphries, meanwhile, registered five ton-topping averages in another fruitful campaign, only to succumb to an inspired Chisnall for the second time within a week.
The 28-year-old stormed through to the last 16 in emphatic fashion, averaging 105, 100 and 106 in wins against Jimmy Hendriks, Mervyn King and Andy Boulton respectively.
He then came through a gruelling last 16 clash against European Champion Ross Smith, before averaging in three figures to dump out Jonny Clayton in the quarter-finals.
This set up a semi-final showdown against a revitalised Gary Anderson, although Humphries’ clinical combination finishing steered him to an impressive 7-4 success.
Despite missing out on the £12,000 top prize, Anderson maintained his terrific form in reaching the semi-finals, dispatching Stephen Bunting with a 111.38 average in the last 32.
The two-time World Champion also averaged 105 and 106 in 6-1 wins against Luke Woodhouse and Chris Dobey to reach the semi-finals, having featured in the last eight on Wednesday.
Anderson was joined in the semi-finals by Wednesday’s runner-up Kist, who continued his resurgent run with a string of spectacular performances in Barnsley.
The Dutchman averaged 101 across his six matches, dumping out Mike De Decker and accounting for German duo Martin Schindler and Ricardo Pietreczko – averaging 109 against the latter.
Emerging German ace Pietreczko bowed out in the quarter-finals alongside Dolan, Clayton and Masters champion Chris Dobey, who won through a deciding-leg tussle against Michael van Gerwen earlier in the day.
This week's Players Championship treble-header concludes with Players Championship 24 on Friday, as coverage from four streaming boards are broadcast live on PDCTV.
2023 Players Championship 23
Thursday September 28
Dave Chisnall 6-3 Stephen Burton
Brendan Dolan 6-2 Ryan Joyce
Ricardo Pietreczko 6-4 Jose de Sousa
Christian Kist 6-4 Martin Lukeman
Luke Humphries 6-4 Ross Smith
Jonny Clayton 6-4 Krzysztof Ratajski
Gary Anderson 6-1 Luke Woodhouse
Chris Dobey 6-1 Ryan Searle
Dave Chisnall 6-0 Brendan Dolan
Christian Kist 6-3 Ricardo Pietreczko
Luke Humphries 6-3 Jonny Clayton
Gary Anderson 6-1 Chris Dobey
Dave Chisnall 7-6 Christian Kist
Luke Humphries 7-4 Gary Anderson
Dave Chisnall 8-3 Luke Humphries