Simon Whitlock beat Dennis Priestley to win Players Championship in Crawley
Simon Whitlock beat Dennis Priestley in the final of Saturday's Players Championship in Crawley.
Last Updated: 04/11/12 12:15am
The Australian, September's PartyPoker.net European Championship winner and last weekend's Dutch Darts Masters champion, picked up his second Players Championship win of the autumn with a determined display.
He saw off Richie Howson 6-3 in his first game but had to come from 5-2 down to see off Steve Farmer in a deciding leg and reach the last 16, where he edged out Richie Burnett.
Terry Jenkins was dispatched in the quarter-finals and another 6-4 scoreline, this time against up-and-coming Ian White, set up a showdown against two-time World Champion Priestley.
The world No 6 took the final's opening leg before Priestley hit a 180 and a 130 checkout to level - but it was Whitlock who took command by winning the next three on double ten, double six and double 19 for a 4-1 lead.
Whitlock fired home a 160 checkout for a 12-darter to move a leg away from the win, but missed two match darts in the next as Priestley finished double ten to keep his hopes alive.
The 62-year-old then traded 180s in the next, but missed double to to win a third leg and Whitlock pinned double top to seal the win.
"It feels fantastic," said Whitlock, who was also the Championship League Darts runner-up on Thursday.
"I'm looking forward to every single time I play at the moment - I love winning and I've got to keep trying to win more and more.
"I was 5-2 down against Steve Farmer in our match and I felt like giving up but then something kicked in to never say die, and I went on to win the tournament!
"Dennis has been around for a long time and is still a brilliant dart player, and fair play to him for reaching the final. He played really well - I enjoy playing him and he brings the best out of me, and you certainly don't want to draw him."
Priestley can take consolation in a run to the final that will effectively secure his qualification for the Ladbrokes World Darts Championship in December through the ProTour Order of Merit.
He had opened the day with a defeat of Vincent van der Voort before beating Les Wallace, Mervyn King, Dave Chisnall and Kevin Painter to reach the semi-finals, where he averaged over 100 in a 6-1 rout of in-form Michael van Gerwen.