Lewis ends title drought with Players Championship Eight triumph

Jamie Shaw in PDC Darts News 17 Mar 2019
Stoke star Lewis celebrates (credit:Lawrence Lustig/PDC)

Adrian Lewis ended a two-year wait for a PDC ranking title with victory over Raymond van Barneveld in the final of Players Championship Eight in Wigan on Sunday.

Lewis, whose last ranking event triumph came in April 2017, made his long-awaited return to the winner's circle by denying a resurgent Van Barneveld 8-3 in the decider.

The two-time World Champion dropped no less than three legs in each of his victories en route to securing the 25th title of his PDC career.

"That was one of the hardest games I've ever played, it was a bit like going back in time," said Lewis, who ended his run of five consecutive ranking final defeats.

"Raymond is still one of the world's best players, he's having a tough time at the moment because the Premier League can be so difficult when you're on a losing run.

"It can be hard to pick yourself up when you start dreading it, so fair play to Raymond today he showed a lot of fight to reach the final.

"These floor tournaments are the hardest ones to win so I'm delighted to get back to winning ways and now I'm looking forward to getting back where I know I should be."

Lewis kick-started his run with a 6-0 whitewash of Mark Dudbridge, before victories over Mark Webster, Glen Durrant and Luke Woodhouse saw him reach the Quarter-Finals.

There, 'Jackpot' saw off Vincent van der Voort 6-2 and produced his best performance of the day in the Semis, averaging 110.2 in his 7-1 demolition of Jonny Clayton.

The final between two multiple World Champions began with a stunning 138 checkout from Lewis to break throw in the opening leg, before holding throw to double his advantage.

Van Barneveld, who won the two previous ranking finals between the pair, stormed back with successive ton-plus checkouts of 110 and 118 to level, and then held throw to lead for the first time.

However, that was as good as it got for the Dutchman as Lewis relentlessly reeled off six straight legs, landing a majestic 149 checkout in the process, to clinch the title.

Van Barneveld fell just short in his bid for a first PDC title since his memorable 2014 Premier League triumph, but took the positives from his run to a first ranking final since 2015.

"I was really fighting today, it's really good for me to reach this final," said Van Barneveld, who last won a ranking event in 2013.

"Of course this gives me extra belief that anything is possible, but I want to say well done to Adrian.

"I have a lot of respect for the way he has battled back over the last year or so, and now I have to do the same in my final seven months in the game."

Van Barneveld notably survived eight match darts from Austria's Zoran Lerchbacher in the Second Round before going on to defeat Geert Nentjes and Martin Schindler, before a 101.6 average saw him overcome Jan Dekker 6-2, followed by a dramatic 7-6 win over Keegan Brown in the Semi-Finals.

It was also a positive day for Brown, who reached his first ProTour semi-final of 2019, and for Clayton - who made it through to his second.

Gary Anderson suffered another day of frustration on his return from injury, crashing out at the first hurdle as he squandered a 4-0 lead in a 6-5 defeat to Conan Whitehead.

Players Championship Eight Results

Sunday March 17

First Round

White, Ian 6-4 Pallett, David
Wilson, Mark 6-1 Bates, Barrie
Joyce, Ryan 6-3 Temple, Terry
O'Connor, William 6-3 Clark, Matt
Norris, Alan 6-5 Noppert, Danny
Whitehead, Conan 6-5 Anderson, Gary
Murschell, Dawson 6-4 Evans, Ricky
Rafferty, Nathan 6-2 Newell, Tony
Gurney, Daryl 6-3 Jones, Wayne
Marijanovic, Robert 6-2 Smith, Ross
Meikle, Ryan 6-4 Anderson, Kyle
Kantele, Marko 6-2 Carlin, Gavin
Clayton, Jonny 6-1 Barnard, Michael
Meulenkamp, Ron 6-4 Aspinall, Nathan
Henderson, John 6-4 Meeuwisse, Yordi
Harrington, Ryan 6-1 Eastwood, Gary
Lewis, Adrian 6-0 Dudbridge, Mark
Webster, Mark 6-3 Petersen, Devon
Durrant, Glen 6-4 De Zwaan, Jeffrey
Edgar, Matthew 6-5 Derry, Nathan
Whitlock, Simon 6-3 Gray, Adrian
Brooks, Bradley 6-4 Hughes, Jamie
Woodhouse, Luke 6-4 Beaton, Steve
Rodriguez, Rowby-John 6-2 Thornton, Robert
Wade, James 6-2 Killington, George
Huybrechts, Ronny 6-1 Baker, Scott
Bunse, Christian 6-3 Clemens , Gabriel
Van der Voort, Vincent 6-2 Carroll, Shaun
Wattimena, Jermaine 6-1 Lewis, Jamie
McGeeney, Mark 6-5 Searle, Ryan
Wilson, James 6-1 North, Richard
Tabern, Alan 6-2 Bain, Jamie
Price, Gerwyn 6-5 Pipe, Justin
Boulton, Andy 6-2 Alcinas, Toni
Hudson, Peter 6-5 Mansell, Mickey
Stevenson, Simon 6-2 Wilkinson, Carl
King, Mervyn 6-4 Kamphuis, Vincent
Huybrechts, Kim 6-2 Van Baelen, Davy
West, Steve 6-4 Hunt, Adam
Monk, Arron 6-4 Klaasen, Jelle
Brown, Keegan 6-4 Chisnall, Dave
Kist, Christian 6-4 Koltsov, Boris
Van de Pas, Benito 6-5 Payne, Josh
Dolan, Brendan 6-2 Kanik, Tytus
Hopp, Max 6-5 Labanauskas, Darius
Reyes, Cristo 6-3 Burton, Stephen
Lennon, Steve 6-3 Evetts, Ted
Razma, Madars 6-5 Humphries, Luke
Smith, Michael 6-4 Robbe, Mario
Dekker, Jan 6-2 Zonneveld, Niels
Dobey, Chris 6-1 Owen, Robert
Richardson, James 6-4 Kuivenhoven, Maik
Ward, Harry 6-5 Cullen, Joe
Dootson, Eddie 6-5 Van Duivenbode, Mike
Ratajski, Krzysztof 6-2 Van der Meer, Vincent
Van den Bergh, Dimitri 6-4 Worsley, Jonathan
Wright, Peter 6-5 Van Duijvenbode, Dirk
De Sousa, Jose 6-4 Michael, John
Schindler, Martin 6-2 Shepherd, Kirk
Robinson, Reece 6-5 Burness, Kevin
Lerchbacher, Zoran 6-3 Webster, Darren
Van Barneveld, Raymond 6-3 Justicia, Jose
Nentjes, Geert 6-4 Bunting, Stephen
Murnan, Joe 6-5 Edhouse, Ritchie

Second Round
White, Ian 6-2 Wilson, Mark
Joyce, Ryan 6-5 O'Connor, William
Whitehead, Conan 6-5 Norris, Alan
Rafferty, Nathan 6-3 Murschell, Dawson
Marijanovic, Robert 6-4 Gurney, Daryl
Kantele, Marko 6-3 Meikle, Ryan
Clayton, Jonny 6-5 Meulenkamp, Ron
Henderson, John 6-2 Harrington, Ryan
Lewis, Adrian 6-1 Webster, Mark
Durrant, Glen 6-5 Edgar, Matthew
Brooks, Bradley 6-3 Whitlock, Simon
Woodhouse, Luke 6-4 Rodriguez, Rowby-John
Wade, James 6-3 Huybrechts, Ronny
Van der Voort, Vincent 6-3 Bunse, Christian
McGeeney, Mark 6-5 Wattimena, Jermaine
Tabern, Alan 6-2 Wilson, James
Boulton, Andy 6-5 Price, Gerwyn
Hudson, Peter 6-4 Stevenson, Simon
King, Mervyn 6-4 Huybrechts, Kim
Monk, Arron 6-4 West, Steve
Brown, Keegan 6-3 Kist, Christian
Van de Pas, Benito 6-3 Dolan, Brendan
Reyes, Cristo 6-5 Hopp, Max
Razma, Madars 6-5 Lennon, Steve
Dekker, Jan 6-3 Smith, Michael
Dobey, Chris 6-3 Richardson, James
Ward, Harry 6-4 Dootson, Eddie
Van den Bergh, Dimitri 6-5 Ratajski, Krzysztof
De Sousa, Jose 6-4 Wright, Peter
Schindler, Martin 6-5 Robinson, Reece
Van Barneveld, Raymond 6-5 Lerchbacher, Zoran
Nentjes, Geert 6-4 Murnan, Joe
Losers: £500

Last 32
White, Ian 6-0 Joyce, Ryan
Rafferty, Nathan 6-1 Whitehead, Conan
Marijanovic, Robert 6-5 Kantele, Marko
Clayton, Jonny 6-3 Henderson, John
Lewis, Adrian 6-3 Durrant, Glen
Woodhouse, Luke 6-4 Brooks, Bradley
Van der Voort, Vincent 6-4 Wade, James
Tabern, Alan 6-5 McGeeney, Mark
Boulton, Andy 6-1 Hudson, Peter
King, Mervyn 6-2 Monk, Arron
Brown, Keegan 6-1 Van de Pas, Benito
Reyes, Cristo 6-1 Razma, Madars
Dekker, Jan 6-3 Dobey, Chris
Ward, Harry 6-3 Van den Bergh, Dimitri
Schindler, Martin 6-2 De Sousa, Jose
Van Barneveld, Raymond 6-3 Nentjes, Geert
Losers: £1,000

Last 16
Ian White 6-1 Nathan Rafferty
Jonny Clayton 6-3 Robert Marijanovic
Adrian Lewis 6-2 Luke Woodhouse
Vincent van der Voort 6-2 Alan Tabern
Andy Boulton 6-3 Mervyn King
Keegan Brown 6-3 Cristo Reyes
Jan Dekker 6-0 Harry Ward
Raymond van Barneveld 6-5 Martin Schindler
Losers: £1,500

Jonny Clayton 6-3 Ian White
Adrian Lewis 6-2 Vincent van der Voort
Keegan Brown 6-1 Andy Boulton
Raymond van Barneveld 6-2 Jan Dekker
Losers: £2,250

Adrian Lewis 7-1 Jonny Clayton
Raymond van Barneveld 7-6 Keegan Brown
Losers: £3,000

Adrian Lewis 8-3 Raymond van Barneveld
Winner: £10,000
Runner-up: £6,000

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Lewis ends title drought with Players Championship Eight triumph

Adrian Lewis ended a two-year wait for a PDC ranking title with victory over Raymond van Barneveld in the final of Players Championship Eight in Wigan on Sunday.

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