Darts: Gary Anderson wins Players Championship

Gary Anderson collects the Players Championship trophy.
Gary Anderson collects the Players Championship trophy.

Eyemouth’s Gary Anderson claimed the fourth major TV darts title of his career in style with a brilliant 11-6 win over Adrian Lewis in the Cash Converters Players Championship finals.

The number one seed for the event after winning seven PDC ProTour events during 2014, Anderson lived up to that billing to win his first televised event since the 2011 Premier League - when he also overcame Lewis in the final.

Having overcome the former and current Lakeside Champions in Christian Kist and Stephen Bunting on his way to Sunday’s final stages, Anderson then defeated Phil Taylor for the first time in a televised knockout match for seven years in the quarter-finals.

He then overcame Holland’s Vincent van der Voort 11-7 in the semi-finals, despite the Dutchman hitting back from 10-3 down with four ton-plus finishes before Anderson finally sealed victory with a 103.86 average.

That display was followed by nine 180s in a fine display in the final as Anderson overcame world number three Lewis to claim the £65,000 first prize on a memorable St Andrew’s Day for the Scot.

“I worked my heart out this year to get the number one seed and to be honest I’ve had probably the hardest draw that you could have had, so to win the tournament makes it very special,” said Anderson, who also returns to fourth on the PDC Order of Merit.

“I got stuck in and did the business, and it’s nice to defeat Phil and go on to win the tournament because not too many players do that.

“In the semi-final against Vincent I needed one more leg and all of a sudden he took four ton-plus finishes out on me, and I was sweating a bit so I was glad to get past him.

“I got off to a good start in the final too and it’s great to walk away with the trophy.”

Anderson broke with a 14-darter in the final’s opening leg and also led 3-1 before Lewis hit back to level at three-all with a 96 checkout before the Stoke ace landed double eight to lead for the first - and only - time.

The Berwickshire ace took the next five legs without reply in an unstoppable burst as he surged into an 8-3 lead, with Lewis taking out 124 on the bull in a run of three successive legs to reply.

Anderson finished double four to regain his cushion before a 76 finish moved him 10-6 up, and he secured the title in style with a 118 checkout.

Lewis had won the UK Open in March on his most recent visit to Minehead, and followed up his deciding-leg quarter-final win over Jamie Caven on Sunday afternoon by landing eight 180s in his 11-6 semi-final win over Wes Newton.

He claimed £35,000 as the runner-up to Anderson, and said: “Gary finished number one in the rankings for this event and he deserved to win.

“I dug in during the final but it just didn’t happen for me and he punished me for it, and fair play to Gary because he took his chances well.

“After the week I’ve had - with my son being taken into hospital on Thursday - I’m lucky to be in the final, and I think I lost all my momentum when I got 8-2 up against Wes, and the quarter-final probably took a lot out of me.”