Dave Chisnall came within a hair's breath of reaching the final of the Jack's Casino World Series of Darts Final in Amsterdam last night (Sunday) but he allowed victory to slip through his grasp in a thrilling last four showdown with Dutchman Danny Noppert.
The St Helens born and bred ace had chances to wrap up victory with the scores level at 10-10, only for the home-grown Noppert to keep his composure and nerve to land a tie-clinching 102 finish.
The Dutchman started well, claiming a 141 checkout and a 78 finish for a break of throw and go 2-1 up.
At the interval, though, it was Chisnall who led with a 171 finish followed by double 12 to regain the lead .
Despite that, Noppert came out firing when they returned from the interval and he claimed a break to go 5-4 up after multiple missed darts from Chizzy to edge two in front for the first time.
Chisnall restored parity at 6-6 and then regained the upper hand at 7-6 and 8-7, hoping to go on from there to claim victory, but Noppert had other ideas and drew level and as the crowd urged the Dutchman on to greater heights, he won the crucial 21st leg following a dramatic 102 finish. after his rival had missed two match darts.
It also proved a watershed for Noppert who was thrashed 11-2 in the final by fellow countryman and world no.1 Michael van Gerwen.
Chisnall will be bitterly disappointed by his setback during a year he has returned to something like his best form and along with fellow local lad Michael Smith (beaten in the opening round of the Amsterdam event by Welshman Gerwyn Price) he will be expecting to make a big impact in the World Championships which start in December.