Daryl Gurney admits “30 minutes of hell” cost him a chance to compete for a maiden World Matchplay title.
Gurney appeared to be cruising to his first final at the Winter Gardens in Blackpool when he led Rob Cross 14-7, but somehow let it slip with a late match slump which resulted in Cross snatching a 17-15 victory.
Cross went on to win the title with victory over Michael Smith on Sunday, and Gurney admits the defeat still hurts as he ponders what might have been.
He told Live Darts: “It was definitely 30 minutes of hell that cost me the Matchplay title in my mind. I was in a great position and it’s not a nice feeling trust me.
“Then to see how Michael Smith played in the early stages of the final, it does make you think of what could have been.
“But I really do have to take this on the chin, you have to keep learning from mistakes. You learn more from defeat than victory.
“If anything I’m more annoyed with myself. I had worked so hard to get myself into a great position and then in a blink of an eye I threw all that hard work away.
“Fair play to Rob, he took his chance, there’s no charity at the top of darts and nor should there be any.
“Much of this game now is timing and being an opportunist and he certainly grabbed the chance I gave him with both hands.
“We have to move on now and deal with it. That’s history and I have to channel my frustration into working even harder.”
Gurney moved up to world number four after his reaching his second Matchplay Semi-Final in the space of three years, knocking out in-form Peter Wright in the Quarter-Finals following earlier wins over Keegan Brown and Ricky Evans.
As the dust settles, the Northern Irishman is looking to take the positives from his Blackpool campaign into the second half of the season, and added: “There’s lots of positives really and I need to focus on them.
“Now I need to look ahead to the World Grand Prix in Dublin in a couple of months.
“That’s a very special tournament for me because it was my first major win a couple of years ago. I feel I’ve been very consistent this year and I’m going in the right direction.”