Gary Anderson and Josh Payne claim Players Championship titles
Last Updated: 21/05/18 11:16am
Gary Anderson put his Premier League disappointment behind him to claim his fifth PDC title of 2018 with a 6-5 win over Gabriel Clemens in the final of Players Championship 11 in Milton Keynes at the weekend.
The two-time World Champion, who lost to Michael Smith in the semi-final of the Premier League on Thursday, held his nerve in a thrilling deciding leg to complete a fine comeback from 4-1 down.
"On Thursday in the Premier League it felt like there was nothing there so to win today was a good way for me to put that behind me," said Anderson.
"Now I'm going to focus on winning more titles this year and I'll see how far I can go in the big tournaments."
Anderson broke the Clemens throw in the opening leg of the final with an impressive 14-dart leg before the German broke straight back to level the match.
Clemens, playing in his first PDC ProTour final, then rattled off the next three legs to take a commanding 4-1 lead, only for Anderson to roar back with two more 14-darters and a 15-darter to level the tie at 4-4.
Clemens held throw to regain the lead and go within a leg of glory, but Anderson took the final two legs in thrilling fashion, surviving two match darts from Clemens to seal the title.
"It was a hard old day but I'm happy to get the win," added Anderson. "Gabriel made me work hard for that win, I had to fight right until the end so I'm pleased that I managed to scrap out the result."
Smith, beaten 11-4 by Michael van Gerwen in the Premier League final at the O2, fell at the quarter-final stage with a 6-4 defeat to Darren Webster.
Josh Payne then won his second PDC title with a 6-5 victory over Peter Wright in Sunday's final of Players Championship 12.
The 24-year-old edged a nail-biting deciding leg against Wright, the world No 2 who is still in search of his first title of the year.
"I'm delighted that my hard work is paying off," said Payne. "Peter is a good friend of mine but I had to put that aside for the final.
"I played some really good darts all day which was very pleasing for me. I had a tough year last year, and since then I've really put the work in and dug deep so to see it paying off makes me really happy."
Wright broke the Payne throw in the opening leg before the Englishman broke back straight away and then won the next two legs to take a 3-1 lead.
Former UK Open champion Wright broke back again, and then held throw to make it all square at 3-3.
Both players twice exchanged holds of throw to set up a tense deciding leg, which saw Payne hold his nerve to clinch the crown.
Darts is back on your Sky Sports screens at the end of this month with the World Cup of Darts, live from Frankfurt - four days of live coverage get underway from 6pm on Sky Sports Action on Thursday May 31