Gary Anderson failed in his bid to make it a hat-trick of World Darts Championships when he was beaten 7-3 by Michael van Gerwen in an enthralling final on Monday,
The Scot, who at one time plied his trade in the Berwick Darts League, won the title in 2015 and 2016 and was aiming for the treble at the Alexandra Palace in London.
After two weeks of matches, he qualified for the William Hill PDC final after beating fellow Scot Peter Wight 6-3 in the semi-finals on Saturday, while van Gerwen beat his Dutch compatriot Raymond van Barneveld, also by a 6-3 margin.
In the final, Anderson, who is now based in Somerset, made a good start and at one stage led 2-1 in sets.
But world No.1 van Gerwen, who had previously won 25 tournaments in 2016, was not giving up without a fight and his produced some stunning darts to power his way to a commanding 6-2 margin, which put him just three legs away from his second title.
In what was a record-breaking match – the pair traded an unbelievable 42 maximum 180s, which is the highest ever recorded in a world game – Anderson hit 22 and finished with a a three-dart average of over 104.
He managed to claw his way back to 6-3, and led 2-1 in the 10th set, but MVG, or Mighty Mike as he is also known, was relentless in his approach and he steamrollered the ‘Flying Scotsman,’ bouncing back, hitting a bullseye finish to claim the crown and lift the Sid Waddell Trophy.
Afterwards he said: “I feel absolutely over the moon. I had to find my A game.
“My average of 108 says it all – it was incredible for everyone. He (Anderson) put me under pressure and I missed a few doubles, but I managed to come into the game.
“I’ve been working for this, it’s the most important one, we all fight for this really hard and I’m really glad I did the right thing at the right moments because Gary is a phenomenal player.”
Anderson said: “It’s well deserved for Michael with the year he’s had, it was a walk in the park for him.
“At 2-2, I thought we were still right in there, but I started to drop off standard and, if you do that against Michael when he is in this form, you are going to get punished and I was and rightly so.
“No complaints. I’ve had a wonderful period as the champion, I’m proud of what I’ve done and I’ll be back fighting.”