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PDC Players Championship: Gary Anderson continues red-hot form as he defeats Josh Rock in Barnsley

Gary Anderson continued to roll back the years to secure Players Championship 25 glory, defeating Josh Rock in the final; next up on the Sky Sports darts calendar is the 17th staging of the Grand Slam of Darts from November 11-19 at the Aldersley Leisure Village

Gary Anderson wins Players Championship 25
Image: Gary Anderson appears to be in the form of his life at the ripe old age of 52

Gary Anderson continued his blistering form to secure Players Championship 25 glory on Wednesday, defeating Josh Rock 8-4 in the decider to claim back-to-back ProTour titles in Barnsley.

Anderson, a winner at Players Championship 24 last month, landed a nine-dart finish on his way to victory at the Barnsley Metrodome, before dispatching Rock to clinch his third ranking title of the year.

The two-time world champion boasted a tournament average of 101.45 to seal the £12,000 top prize, which moves him top of the 2023 Players Championship Order of Merit with five events remaining.

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Speaking on Love The Darts, Dan Dawson discusses the turnaround in Anderson's form

Rock struck the first blow with an immediate break of throw, but Anderson responded with a 121 leveller on the bull, sparking a run of four straight legs for the Scot.

He converted a clinical 110 kill on tops to stretch his lead to 4-1, and while Rock stopped the rot in leg six, the veteran star restored his three-leg buffer with a 12-dart hold.

Rock hit back with 67 and 72 combination finishes as he threatened to launch a late fightback, although 'The Flying Scotsman' had other ideas, producing an effortless 127 finish in leg 10 to regain control at 6-4.

The Northern Irishman then paid the price for spurning two darts at double as Anderson moved to the cusp of victory at 7-4, before pinning double four moments later to cap off another terrific campaign.

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"I've got nothing to lose. I just come up and throw darts and they're going alright," said 52-year-old Anderson, who hit a nine-dart finish during his second-round win over Keane Barry.

"I last played in Leicester two weeks ago. Today is only the second time I've thrown since Andrew [Gilding] battered me on that stage!

"I was struggling at the end there. The young boys that do this every day of the week - hats off to them.

"I'm playing well, but I'm not looking too far ahead. I have my odd practice with Ryan [Searle], play in the Players Championships, and if I qualify for anything else in between it's a bonus."

This week's Players Championship action continues with Players Championship 26 on Thursday.

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Josh Rock stunned Michael van Gerwen with a nine-darter at the Grand Slam of Darts last year before MVG went on to win 10-8 in a classic

2023 Players Championship 25
Wednesday October 18
The Barnsley Metrodome

Last 16
Martijn Kleermaker 6-4 Callan Rydz
Brendan Dolan 6-4 Danny Jansen
Josh Rock 6-2 Daniel Klose
Rob Cross 6-5 Joe Cullen
Gary Anderson 6-2 Gerwyn Price
Danny Noppert 6-1 Martin Lukeman
Cam Crabtree 6-4 Stephen Burton
Jim Williams 6-3 Mervyn King

Brendan Dolan 6-3 Martijn Kleermaker
Josh Rock 6-3 Rob Cross
Gary Anderson 6-4 Danny Noppert
Jim Williams 6-3 Cam Crabtree

Josh Rock 7-5 Brendan Dolan
Gary Anderson 7-5 Jim Williams

Gary Anderson 8-4 Josh Rock

Watch the seventeenth staging of the Grand Slam of Darts from 11-19 November at the Aldersley Leisure Village. Stream your favourite sports and more with NOW

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