It was a case of so near yet so far for St Helens’ ace of the oche Dave Chisnall.
After battling his way into the final of the £400,000 Cash Convertors Players’ Championship at Butlin’s, Minehead, on Sunday, he was demolished 11-3 by Michael van Gerwen - the Dutchman completing a mind-boggling 25 title wins in a calendar year and a third televised triumph of the month following victories in the World Series of Darts Finals and Grand Slam of Darts to take the £75,000 first prize.
A 13-darter set the tone for van Gerwen, and though Chisnall recorded a 121 checkout in leg three and traded 13-darters with the world’s no. 1 to stay in touch at 3-2, the reigning champion proved too strong with a mid-game surge.
Van Gerwen took five straight legs to move out to 8-2, including a 10-darter and legs of 12 and 13 darts, and though the St Helens man responded to claim his third leg, further finishes of 13, 14 and 11 darts sealed the Dutchman’s triumph.
“It’s an amazing feeling for me and I’m a happy man,” said van Gerwen. “It wasn’t easy for me and I had to work really hard, but I’m really glad that I won this trophy again.
“Dave is a dangerous player and had a chance early on to make it three apiece in legs, but I punished him when he let me in.
“Going into the World Championship this is a big confidence boost for me. What I’ve done this year is phenomenal and I’m really proud of myself because nobody has won as many tournaments as this before.”
Chisnall pocketed £35,000 as the runner-up after defeating Robbie Green and Peter Wright in Sunday’s previous two rounds on Sunday, but he again missed out on claiming a televised title.
“I’m trying and I played quite well all week, but Michael did the business against me,” said Chisnall. “I’ve had a good weekend and it’s another step forward for me to reach the final but I’m determined to one day get that win.”