Berwickshire’s Gary Anderson accepts that age is against him but says he will “plod on” after defending his PDC world darts title.
The 45-year-old former Eyemouth man did not hit the heights of his stellar win over Phil Taylor a year ago - a victory that earned him his first crown - but there was plenty to remember as he beat Adrian Lewis 7-5 in Sunday’s thrilling final.
Between them the pair posted a PDC record 34 180s while a maximum from Lewis in the fourth set saw the tournament record of 625 surpassed.
The Scot avenged his 2011 defeat to the Englishman in the final and became only the fourth player in history to defend their first title - the others are Lewis, Phil Taylor and John Part.
Anderson and Lewis shared the first six sets with the scores level at 3-3. The 45-year-old, who is ranked world number two, then took a 5-3 lead, only for Lewis to claw his way back into contention at 6-5.
Anderson won the first leg against the darts in the 12th set and helped by a superb 170 check-out in the penultimate leg he put himself within sight of victory.
He completed his back to back title success with a x12 checkout, ironically the same double he checked out against Taylor to win the 2015 crown.
After lifting the coveted trophy Anderson said: “I was playing a good friend of mine and it just never happened, there were some good darts and some bad ones.
“The way I played and the way Adie played, it killed the game. I’m getting old now so I’ll take this!
“It would be lovely to come back for a third but the body is hurting. Us older ones are running out, but I’ll plod on.
“Tomorrow morning this will all be forgotten about. It’s on to the next one.”
Anderson’s win sees him exact revenge on Lewis who beat him to the title on the same date in 2011.
It also earned him a winner’s cheque of £300,000 and he landed a cheque for £15,000 from sponsors William Hill for achieving a nine dart finish in his 6-0 semi-final whitewash of Dutchman Jelle Klaasen the previous evening.
Anderson says he is now gunning for the world number one ranking, claiming he is ‘not that far behind’ current leader van Gerwen.
“It’s squeaky-bum time for Michael,” he said. “He’s had a great year and has a lot to live up to in 2016.”
Lewis, the 30-year-old from Stoke-on-Trent, had beaten an in-form Raymond van Barneveld in the other semi-final on Saturday.
But he tasted defeat in the final for the first time after victories in 2011 and 2012, the first of which was against Anderson.
“I don’t think either of us played our very best,” said Lewis.
“I came more into the game towards the end and I thought we were going to a decider until he took out a 170. I think that really finished me off.
“Michael van Gerwen has been the best player in the world this year, but Gary has been the best player in the tournament and deserves it.”
Double world champ Anderson has now been confirmed in the line-up for the 2016 Premier League, which gets underway in February.