IAN WHITE ended a two-year gap between ranking titles by winning Sunday’s Players Championship Six, edging out Dave Chisnall 6-5 in the final.
The Stoke-based ace, 47, had claimed the most recent of his seven ranking titles in 2016, but went all the way to pick up the £10,000 title as the PDC ProTour weekend at Arena MK in Milton Keynes came to a close.
Having been a semi-finalist twice on the circuit so far this year, White erased those memories with a fine display to claim seven victories on Sunday.
The final was a nervy affair with neither player able to command complete control of the encounter but it was White who held his nerve to come through in the last leg.
White began the match with a 180 before going on to break and then holding throw to give himself an early 2-0 lead.
In the third leg a 124 checkout secured Chisnall his first leg of the match as the pair went on to exchange holds of throw until the eight leg.
Chisnall, a runner-up at the Players Championship Finals in 2016 then broke White to level the score at 4-4 before a hold of throw moved the Englishman a leg away from claiming the title.
A dramatic tenth leg saw 37-year-old Chisnall miss the bullseye for the title before White stepped in to level the match at 5-5 on double ten and take the final to a deciding leg.
Under immense pressure White was able to find a maximum before going on to produce a 14-dart break of throw to claim the title in Milton Keynes.
A whitewash of Maik Langendorf was sandwiched by early 6-3 wins over Luke Woodhouse and Keegan Brown, before White dropped just one leg against Saturday’s semi-finalist James Wade.
He then saw off John Henderson 6-2 and Mervyn King with a 6-3 scoreline as he won through to the final, where he survived one missed match dart from Chisnall to claim the title.
Like White, Chisnall enjoyed his best finish of 2018 so far as he won through to the final, but was denied his 13th ranking victory in agonising fashion in the decider.
Chisnall defeated Arron Monk, Peter Jacques, Cristo Reyes, Ricky Evans and Stephen Bunting as he progressed through the field, before coming through an 11-leg semi-final with James Wilson.
Wilson was joined by King in the last four, while World Champion Rob Cross and World Youth Champion Dimitri Van den Bergh were quarter-finalists alongside Bunting and Henderson.
Saturday’s Players Championship Five winner Michael van Gerwen was defeated in the last 32 by fellow Dutchman Jermaine Wattimena, while Gary Anderson and Peter Wright were knocked out in the last 64 in Milton Keynes.
Sunday’s Players Championship Six also featured a nine-dart finish from Steve Hine, although the achievement came during his defeat to John Henderson in round one.
The next Players Championship weekend will be held on April 7-8 at the Barnsley Metrodome, with live coverage to be streamed through PDCTV-HD at www.pdc.tv.
The next two weekends will see the year’s opening European Tour events take place, with the European Darts Open in Leverkusen from March 23-25 followed by the German Darts Grand Prix in Munich from March 31-April 2, also with coverage being streamed through PDCTV-HD.
Players Championship Six
Sunday March 18, Arena MK, Milton Keynes
Stephen Bunting 6-3 Jermaine Wattimena
Dave Chisnall 6-2 Ricky Evans
James Wilson 6-3 Jelle Klaasen
Rob Cross 6-4 Josh Payne
Mervyn King 6-3 George Killington
Dimitri Van den Bergh 6-4 Richard North
Ian White 6-1 James Wade
John Henderson 6-3 Ryan Joyce
Dave Chisnall 6-3 Stephen Bunting
James Wilson 6-4 Rob Cross
Mervyn King 6-3 Dimitri Van den Bergh
Ian White 6-2 John Henderson
Dave Chisnall 6-5 James Wilson
Ian White 6-3 Mervyn King
Ian White 6-5 Dave Chisnall