Adrian Lewis ends three-year title drought at Players Championship 20

Adrian Lewis ended a three-year wait for a PDC ranking title at Players Championship 20 in Barnsley, defeating Boris Koltsov 8-4 in the final.

Lewis has endured a turbulent spell since his last Players Championship success in March 2019, dropping out of the world’s top 32 and failing to qualify for a number of TV majors.

However, the two-time World Champion showed his class as he continued his recent resurgence with seven wins to pick up the £12,000 title on Sunday.

The win assures Lewis of a place in the Betfred World Matchplay, which begins in Blackpool next Saturday, with the 2013 runner-up set to return for an 18th appearance after missing out last year for the first time since his debut in 2004.

“I’ve worked hard for this, so I’m really happy,” said Lewis. “It’s been amazing – I made a semi on the first day and that gave me the confidence to turn it on today.

“It’s more important, because I thought I might not make the Matchplay – it was hard. After the first day when I got to the semis, it takes a bit of pressure off.

“I played alright yesterday and lost to Matt Campbell, and then today I thought ‘right, come on, just give it what you’ve got’.

“I always believe in myself. If everything clicks, I’ve got a great chance – I can lose to anybody and I can beat anybody!”

Lewis was forced to battle hard in the day’s early rounds, surviving two match darts in defeating Shaun Wilkinson 6-5 before seeing off Martijn Kleermaker and Nick Fullwell by 6-4 scorelines.

He then averaged 102 in defeating Pete Burgoyne, and produced a ton average in seeing off World Grand Prix champion Jonny Clayton 6-4 in the Quarter-Finals.

Lewis proved too strong for Nathan Aspinall in the Semi-Finals as he powered to a 7-2 success, before brushing aside Koltsov in the final.

Koltsov took the opening leg and also levelled at two-all after Lewis fired in legs of 11 and 13 darts, and three consecutive legs for the Stoke star moved him into a 5-2 advantage.

Russia’s Koltsov hit back to 6-4 behind, but another 13-darter restored Lewis’ breathing space before he duly sealed the deal.

Koltsov secured his place in a first ProTour final with wins over Steve West, Jose Justicia, Kevin Burness, Kevin Doets, Krzysztof Kciuk and Martin Schindler in his best display since securing a Tour Card.

German ace Schindler continued his impressive season with a run to a third Players Championship Semi-Final, while Aspinall also reached the Last Four in his bid to claim a second ProTour title of the year.

The day also featured a nine-dart finish from Nathan Rafferty, although the former World Youth Championship runner-up went on to lose his First Round tie to Dave Chisnall 6-4.

The series of four Players Championship events conclude on Monday with Event 21, which is the final tournament before the cut-off for World Matchplay qualification.

Four ProTour qualification places remain up for grabs, with Chris Dobey, Madars Razma, Brendan Dolan and Rowby-John Rodriguez currently occupying the provisional spots.

Ross Smith goes into Players Championship 21 trailing Rodriguez by £3,000, while Simon Whitlock and Ricky Evans require a run to at least the Semi-Finals if they are to gate-crash the Winter Gardens.

WATCH PLAYERS CHAMPIONSHIP DARTS STREAMED LIVE HERE (18+)

Players Championship 20 Results

Sunday July 10

First Round
Luke Humphries 6-5 Scott Waites
William O’Connor 6-5 Mensur Suljovic
Vincent van der Voort 6-3 Scott Mitchell
Alan Soutar 6-3 Brian Raman
Daryl Gurney 6-4 Cameron Menzies
Krzysztof Kciuk 6-3 Ted Evetts
Gabriel Clemens 6-4 Steve Lennon
Luke Woodhouse 6-2 William Borland
Ryan Joyce 6-5 Joe Cullen
Kevin Burness 6-4 John Brown
Jose Justicia 6-3 Brendan Dolan
Boris Koltsov 6-2 Steve West
Kevin Doets 6-1 Danny Noppert
Karel Sedlacek 6-1 Maik Kuivenhoven
Madars Razma 6-3 Darren Webster
Ian White 6-4 Boris Krcmar
Damon Heta 6-3 Gary Anderson
Damian Mol 6-5 Lewy Williams
Ricky Evans 6-3 Ron Meulenkamp
Geert De Vos 6-1 Ritchie Edhouse
Martin Schindler 6-3 Adam Hunt
Danny van Trijp 6- 5 Jason Heaver
Ricardo Pietreczko 6-1 Martin Lukeman
Ross Montgomery 6-3 Danny Jansen
Ryan Searle 6-3 Rusty Rodriguez
John Henderson 6-1 Florian Hempel
Ross Smith 6-3 Mike De Decker
Steve Beaton 6-5 Brett Claydon
Krzysztof Ratajski 6-5 Peter Hudson
Scott Williams 6-5 Bradley Brooks
Andrew Gilding 6-2 Keegan Brown
Luc Peters 6-5 Jules van Dongen
Michael Smith 6-5 Jeff Smith
Steve Haggerty 6-4 Gordon Mathers
Mario Vandenbogaerde 6-5 Keane Barry
James Wilson 6-5 Vladimir Andersen
Jonny Clayton 6-0 Stu Wilson
Josh Rock 6-4 Connor Scutt
Geert Nentjes 6-2 James Wade
Tony Martinez 6-1 Jon Worsley
Peter Wright 6-0 Adam Gawlas
Nick Fullwell 6-3 Max Hopp
Adrian Lewis 6-5 Shaun Wilkinson
Martijn Kleermaker 6-3 Mervyn King
Dimitri Van den Bergh 6-2 Mickey Mansell
Radek Szaganski 6-5 Stephen Burton
Chris Dobey 6-4 Jack Main
Pete Burgoyne 6-4 Matthew Edgar
Raymond van Barneveld 6-2 Rob Cross
Jermaine Wattimena 6-1 Berry van Peer
Simon Whitlock 6-2 Richie Burnett
Ryan Meikle 6-1 Jeffrey De Zwaan
Dave Chisnall 6-4 Nathan Rafferty – *Rafferty hits a nine-darter*
Matt Campbell 6-5 David Evans
Darius Labanauskas 6-4 Stephen Bunting
Jamie Hughes 6-4 George Killington
Nathan Aspinall 6-5 Niels Zonneveld
Jim Williams 6-5 Devon Petersen
Rowby Rodriguez 6-4 Eddie Lovely
John O’Shea 6-2 Jake Jones
Andy Boulton 6-5 Jose de Sousa
Danny Baggish 6-3 Joe Murnan
Kim Huybrechts 6-3 Jimmy Hendriks
Jamie Clark 6-4 Lee Evans

Second Round
Luke Humphries 6-0 William O’Connor
Alan Soutar 6-3 Vincent van der Voort
Krzysztof Kciuk 6-4 Daryl Gurney
Luke Woodhouse 6-1 Gabriel Clemens
Kevin Burness 6-5 Ryan Joyce
Boris Koltsov 6-4 Jose Justicia
Kevin Doets 6-1 Karel Sedlacek
Ian White 6-3 Madars Razma
Damon Heta 6-1 Damian Mol
Geert De Vos 6-4 Ricky Evans
Martin Schindler 6-2 Danny van Trijp
Ricardo Pietreczko 6-4 Ross Montgomery
John Henderson 6-3 Ryan Searle
Steve Beaton 6-3 Ross Smith
Krzysztof Ratajski 6-5 Scott Williams
Andrew Gilding 6-1 Luc Peters
Michael Smith 6-1 Steve Haggerty
James Wilson 6-5 Mario Vandenbogaerde
Jonny Clayton 6-5 Josh Rock
Tony Martinez 6-1 Geert Nentjes
Nick Fullwell 6-4 Peter Wright
Adrian Lewis 6-4 Martijn Kleermaker
Radek Szaganski 6-2 Dimitri Van den Bergh
Pete Burgoyne 6-2 Chris Dobey
Jermaine Wattimena 6-0 Raymond van Barneveld
Simon Whitlock 6-1 Ryan Meikle
Dave Chisnall 6-3 Matt Campbell
Jamie Hughes 6-3 Darius Labanauskas
Nathan Aspinall 6-4 Jim Williams
John O’Shea 6-1 Rowby Rodriguez
Andy Boulton 6-5 Danny Baggish
Jamie Clark 6-2 Kim Huybrechts
Losers: £750

Last 32
Luke Humphries 6-3 Alan Soutar
Krzysztof Kciuk 6-1 Luke Woodhouse
Boris Koltsov 6-4 Kevin Burness
Kevin Doets 6-5 Ian White
Damon Heta 6-1 Geert De Vos
Martin Schindler 6-2 Ricardo Pietreczko
Steve Beaton 6-2 John Henderson
Andrew Gilding 6-3 Krzysztof Ratajski
Michael Smith 6-1 James Wilson
Jonny Clayton 6-1 Tony Martinez
Adrian Lewis 6-4 Nick Fullwell
Pete Burgoyne 6-3 Radek Szaganski
Jermaine Wattimena 6-3 Simon Whitlock
Dave Chisnall 6-5 Jamie Hughes
Nathan Aspinall 6-3 John O’Shea
Andy Boulton 6-4 Jamie Clark
Losers: £1,250

Last 16
Krzysztof Kciuk 6-5 Luke Humphries
Boris Koltsov 6-3 Kevin Doets
Martin Schindler 6-4 Damon Heta
Steve Beaton 6-5 Andrew Gilding
Jonny Clayton 6-5 Michael Smith
Adrian Lewis 6-2 Pete Burgoyne
Jermaine Wattimena 6-5 Dave Chisnall
Nathan Aspinall 6-3 Andy Boulton
Losers: £2,000

Quarter-Finals
Boris Koltsov 6-4 Krzysztof Kciuk
Martin Schindler 6-2 Steve Beaton
Adrian Lewis 6-4 Jonny Clayton
Nathan Aspinall 6-5 Jermaine Wattimena
Losers: £3,000

Semi-Finals
Boris Koltsov 7-3 Martin Schindler
Adrian Lewis 7-2 Nathan Aspinall
Losers: £4,000

Final
Adrian Lewis 8-4 Boris Koltsov
Winner: £12,000
Runner-up: £8,000

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Adrian Lewis brands Peter Wright a “cheat” after Players Championship Finals confrontation

Adrian Lewis has branded Peter Wright a “cheat” following their heated clash at the Players Championship Finals in Minehead on Saturday.

The two former World Champions had to be separated by security on stage after squaring off following a frosty Second Round encounter.

Wright recovered from 3-0 down to snatch a 6-5 victory and was confronted by a furious ‘Jackpot’ at the end of the match.

The pair exchanged words before referee Kirk Bevins and a member of security intervened and escorted the players off stage.

The incident appeared to have been sparked by a disagreement over a loose floorboard on the stage, but Wright was quick to play down proceedings in his post-match interview on ITV.

“I said there must have been a loose board at the back, but you get that. It works loose like that,” said Wright.

“But we were just discussing Christmas cards and who has got to send the first one.

“Adrian is an amazing player. I love him to bits. He’s not a double World Champion for nothing. I’d like to see him back in the Premier League where he belongs.

“We need a little bit of heating up there, that might help. It got nice and warm up there.”

Lewis then took to social media shortly afterwards to give his version of events, accusing ‘Snakebite’ of deliberate tactics when trailing the match.

Lewis tweeted: ‘Thanks for all your support this weekend. Learning curve about trust today occurred. Onto the Worlds now.

‘I honestly did nothing wrong, even I was bewildered with what was going on and trying to process it whilst trying to concentrate on my darts, so at the end of the game I wanted to find out what was his problem because I didn’t have a clue what was going on.

‘He said to me there was a loose floorboard and I found it! So my response to him was ‘you took me out my rhythm, you had a game plan’, and as world number two it’s disgraceful and you’re nothing but a cheat.

‘He knew what he was doing as soon as I went 3-1 up he started muttering things and shaking his head at me which put me in a situation that made me feel uncomfortable.

‘The people who I fall out with always have to be the ones apologise because they know I’m not a cheat, never have been, never will be!

‘Trouble does seem to follow me around, I can’t deny it, but its only because I’m a genuine person who wears my heart on my sleeve and people try to take advantage of that. I will always speak my mind!

‘For those saying I’m a sore loser, this, that and the other, I’m the best loser because I say it exactly as it is I don’t try hide anything. I say what I see.

‘Peter will say nice things about me in the interview as he knows I’ve done nothing wrong and he’s bang out of order.’

In 2012, Lewis became embroiled in a disagreement with James Wade over an apparent loose floorboard during their meeting in the Premier League.

The Stoke star was fine £3,000 and given suspended ban after clashing with Jose Justicia in a Players Championship event in 2018.

It is not yet clear as to whether the DRA will take action against either player over the incident in Minehead.

Wright now faces Australia’s Damon Heta in the Last 16 on Saturday evening.

WATCH THE PLAYERS CHAMPIONSHIP FINALS STREAMED LIVE HERE (18+)

Keith Deller and Adrian Lewis reach settlement over longstanding dispute

Keith Deller and Adrian Lewis have resolved their financial dispute by ways of an agreed settlement.

Deller was Lewis’ manager during a successful first spell which saw him retain the World Championship title in 2012.

The Stoke star linked up with 1983 World Champion Deller for a second time in 2015, but the pair split again in February last year.

Lewis enjoyed a resurgent run to the Quarter-Finals of the recent World Matchplay, losing out to eventual champion Dimitri van den Bergh.

A statement posted by Deller on Monday clarified that the pair have resolved their longstanding dispute, which was taken to dispute resolution service Sport Resolutions.

The statement read: ‘Keith Deller and Adrian Lewis can confirm that the dispute which ended up at Sport Resolutions has resolved itself by way of an agreed settlement, the terms of which remain confidential.

‘This brings matters to a conclusion and neither party is permitted to discuss or comment further other than what is stated below.’

Deller said: “I have always tried to do my best for the players that I manage.

“It was unfortunate that this dispute spilled over into Sport Resolutions but I am pleased that the matter has finally resolved itself.”

Lewis said: “I’m pleased that this dispute has reached a conclusion.”

Earlier this month, ‘Jackpot’ issued an apology to Deller over comments he made in a post-match interview during the World Matchplay.

Following his Second Round win over Danny Noppert, Lewis joked in his live interview with Sky Sports: “It’s like one of Keith Deller’s exhibitions up there, that’s how it sounded.”

The 35-year-old took to Twitter to issue an apology, which read: ‘I would just like to apologise to Keith Deller for making comments about him on Sky Sports following my performance at the 2020 World Matchplay on Wednesday 22 July 2020; and for the further comments I made on social media regarding him thereafter.

‘The comments were made in jest but I was wrong to make the comments and I accept it was both unnecessary and inappropriate to make such comments.

‘I apologise for any harm or distress that I may have caused Keith over the past few days. We have agreed to draw a line under this now and move on.’

New-look Adrian Lewis targets more magic at the World Matchplay

Adrian Lewis admits he feared this would be his last appearance in a World Matchplay, but now hopes to join the hunt for glory once again.

Lewis qualified for the 2020 Betfred World Matchplay as the number 14 seed, but his Summer Series struggles left him fearing for his darting future.

The Stoke ace showed signs of a return to form at the backend of 2019, reaching the Quarter-Finals of the Grand Slam and coming through a seven-set epic against Darren Webster en route to the Last 16 of the World Championship.

However, after four months without competitive action, ‘Jackpot’ saw his momentum halted and focused his efforts on re-energising himself during lock-down.

With the help of Tyson Fury’s workouts, the two-time World Champion embarked on a gruelling fitness regime and admits he is already reaping the benefits on and off the oche.

“I was thinking to myself, this could be my last World Matchplay,” Lewis told Live Darts.

“In the Summer Series, I was thinking, oh my goodness, this is terrible.

“It isn’t going to happen overnight, I know it’s going to take a bit of time.

“I was working out seven days a week, six days of circuits, which obviously got myself more fit.

“I was thinking about being more mentally fit than physically fit but I knew it was going to take a bit of time.

“I haven’t had a drink in over four months and I felt a lot better mentally, and that was the key.

“The likes of Matt Porter and Rod Harrington have been telling me for years but as a young lad you just brush it off, but looking back, what they’ve advised in the past they were damn right.”

Lewis’ mental and physical endurance was put to the test in Round One of the World Matchplay on Monday when he was taken to a tie break by fellow PDC stalwart Steve Beaton.

Lewis, though, dug deep to close out an 11-9 victory with his highest televised average (97.27) in 18 months.

He now faces Danny Noppert in the Last 16 and finds himself in a wide open bottom half of the draw which has seen the likes of Dave Chisnall, Nathan Aspinall and Gerwyn Price suffer early exits.

Lewis added: “It’s a different atmosphere up there, but on the other hand, it’s the same for everyone else and you’ve got to treat it that it is the World Matchplay.

“I’m playing well enough, I’m showing glimpses, but to win this tournament I know I’ve got to have my head on the whole way through.

“I’ve had to make a few slight adjustments because of my weight loss but I feel better for it.

“Danny has been playing well for the last 18 months, so that’s another match I will have to be up for.”

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