Nathan Aspinall secured his second ranking title of the year at Players Championship 22 with an 8-3 victory over Krzysztof Ratajski in the final in Barnsley on Wednesday.
Aspinall, who opened his account back in April, produced a stunning display of finishing in his fourth ProTour final appearance of the season to scoop the £12,000 top prize.
Aspinall converted eight of his nine attempts at doubles to deny the Polish number one a first title of the campaign on a thrilling day of action at the Barnsley Metrodome.
Following a comfortable hold in the opening leg, Aspinall seized control of the contest with successive 11 and 12-darters, and the 31-year-old maintained his relentless assault on the outer ring.
Aspinall landed finishes of 70 and 64 to stretch his lead to 7-1, and although Ratajski replied with back-to-back legs, the Stockport star sealed the deal on tops.
“I’ve not played fantastically today, but I’ve dug deep and I’ve produced big legs and finishes that matter,” said Aspinall.
“It feels good that I’ve won a tournament without playing my A-game at any stage.
“My Grandad has come today. He was there for my UK Open win and I’ve won a Pro Tour now, so I won’t be able to get rid of him, he’ll want to keep coming back!
“It’s been a torrid 12 months for me. I fell down the rankings, and I’m still in pain [from his injury] now, but I’m absolutely buzzing.
“I’m enjoying my darts again. When it’s so close to being taken away from you, it gives you so much motivation, and I want it so much.”
Aspinall began his route to glory with a narrow 6-5 win over Ian White, and after easing past Jamie Clark and Lewy Williams, he reeled off five consecutive legs from 4-1 down to power past Dave Chisnall in the Last 16.
The former UK Open champion then accounted for Stephen Bunting in the Quarter-Finals, before recovering from 5-2 down to edge out Ryan Searle 7-6 in a dramatic Semi-Final.
Ratajski, appearing in his first final of the season, defeated Spanish duo Jose Justicia and Tony Martinez earlier in the afternoon, before surviving match darts in his comeback win over Florian Hempel.
The 45-year-old then produced a 104.8 average to deny world number one Gerwyn Price in the Last 16, before dumping out Dimitri Van den Bergh and UK Open champion Danny Noppert to reach the final.
Elsewhere, Northern Irish star Josh Rock stole the show in his Second Round clash against Brendan Dolan, posting an astonishing 121.88 average – the highest on the ProTour in 2022 – to complete a 6-1 victory with six 180s in the process.
World Champion Peter Wright succumbed with a 107.7 average in his first round tie against David Pallett, while Searle, appearing in his fifth Pro Tour semi-final of the season, averaged 107.3 to dispatch top seed Luke Humphries in the Quarter-Finals.
Jose De Sousa fired in a nine-darter in his second round win over Mervyn King, while Rusty-Jake Rodriguez achieved perfection in his deciding-leg defeat to Van den Bergh at the same stage.
The 128-player field will return to action for Players Championship 23 from midday on Thursday.
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Wednesday August 3
Luke Humphries 6-1 Glen Durrant
Connor Scutt 6-5 Joe Murnan
Scott Williams 6-3 Kevin Doets
Jeff Smith 6-3 Danny van Trijp
Brendan Dolan 6-2 Ron Meulenkamp
Josh Rock 6-3 Danny Baggish
Gary Anderson 6-2 Daryl Gurney
Jeffrey De Zwaan 6-5 Boris Krcmar
Ryan Searle 6-3 Bradley Brooks
Nathan Rafferty 6-2 David Evans
Madars Razma 6-4 Karel Sedlacek
Kenny Neyens 6-3 Gordon Mathers
Joe Cullen 6-5 Jamie Hughes
Ricardo Pietreczko 6-3 Gian van Veen
Jon Worsley 6-5 Martin Lukeman
William O’Connor 6-3 Boris Koltsov
Rob Cross 6-3 Richie Burnett
Martijn Kleermaker 6-5 Stu Wilson
Darius Labanauskas 6-5 Simon Whitlock
Geert De Vos 6-4 Damian Mol
Jose de Sousa 6-4 Cameron Menzies
Mervyn King 6-5 Krzysztof Kciuk
Stephen Bunting 6-1 Darren Webster
Jason Lowe 6-1 George Killington
Nathan Aspinall 6-5 Ian White
Jamie Clark 6-3 Shaun Wilkinson
Steve Lennon 6-3 Ross Smith
Lewy Williams 6-4 Jim Williams
Dave Chisnall 6-4 Ryan Joyce
James Wilson 6-0 John Brown
Andrew Gilding 6-4 Mario Vandenbogaerde
Robert Owen 6-5 Scott Waites
Michael Smith 6-1 Adam Gawlas
Max Hopp 6-5 Ritchie Edhouse
Vincent van der Voort 6-2 Keane Barry
John Henderson 6-2 Jake Jones
Martin Schindler 6-3 William Borland
Jules van Dongen 6-5 Jack Main
Gabriel Clemens 6-3 Scott Mitchell
Nick Fullwell 6-4 Andy Boulton
David Pallett 6-4 Peter Wright
Geert Nentjes 6-4 Keegan Brown
Rowby Rodriguez 6-1 Steve West
Jermaine Wattimena 6-1 Raymond van Barneveld
Danny Noppert 6-5 Radek Szaganski
Mike De Decker 6-5 Maik Kuivenhoven
Chris Dobey 6-5 Matt Campbell
Brian Raman 6-5 Luke Woodhouse
Gerwyn Price 6-4 Alan Soutar
Devon Petersen 6-4 Berry van Peer
Mensur Suljovic 6-2 Jimmy Hendriks
Luc Peters 6-2 Peter Hudson
Krzysztof Ratajski 6-3 Jose Justicia
Tony Martinez 6-3 Kevin Burness
Mickey Mansell 6-5 James Wade
Florian Hempel 6-4 Eddie Lovely
Stephen Burton 6-5 Dirk van Duijvenbode
John O’Shea 6-2 Jason Heaver
Danny Jansen 6-5 Ricky Evans
Ross Montgomery 6-5 Ryan Meikle
Dimitri Van den Bergh 6-3 Brett Claydon
Rusty Rodriguez 6-5 Steve Beaton
Kim Huybrechts 6-4 Adam Hunt
Ted Evetts 6-0 Niels Zonneveld
Luke Humphries 6-0 Connor Scutt
Jeff Smith 6-1 Scott Williams
Josh Rock 6-1 Brendan Dolan
Jeffrey De Zwaan 6-3 Gary Anderson
Ryan Searle 6-1 Nathan Rafferty
Kenny Neyens 6-4 Madars Razma
Ricardo Pietreczko 6-3 Joe Cullen
Jon Worsley 6-5 William O’Connor
Martijn Kleermaker 6-2 Rob Cross
Darius Labanauskas 6-2 Geert De Vos
Jose de Sousa 6-5 Mervyn King – *De Sousa hits a nine-darter*
Stephen Bunting 6-2 Jason Lowe
Nathan Aspinall 6-3 Jamie Clark
Lewy Williams 6-3 Steve Lennon
Dave Chisnall 6-1 James Wilson
Robert Owen 6-4 Andrew Gilding
Michael Smith 6-0 Max Hopp
Vincent van der Voort 6-5 John Henderson
Martin Schindler 6-3 Jules van Dongen
Gabriel Clemens 6-3 Nick Fullwell
David Pallett 6-5 Geert Nentjes
Jermaine Wattimena 6-5 Rowby Rodriguez
Danny Noppert 6-4 Mike De Decker
Chris Dobey 6-5 Brian Raman
Gerwyn Price 6-2 Devon Petersen
Mensur Suljovic 6-2 Luc Peters
Krzysztof Ratajski 6-4 Tony Martinez
Florian Hempel 6-3 Mickey Mansell
John O’Shea 6-1 Stephen Burton
Danny Jansen 6-5 Ross Montgomery
Dimitri Van den Bergh 6-5 Rusty Rodriguez – *Rodriguez hits a nine-darter*
Kim Huybrechts 6-4 Ted Evetts
Luke Humphries 6-2 Jeff Smith
Josh Rock 6-4 Jeffrey De Zwaan
Ryan Searle 6-4 Kenny Neyens
Ricardo Pietreczko 6-4 Jon Worsley
Martijn Kleermaker 6-1 Darius Labanauskas
Stephen Bunting 6-5 Jose de Sousa
Nathan Aspinall 6-1 Lewy Williams
Dave Chisnall 6-0 Robert Owen
Michael Smith 6-4 Vincent van der Voort
Martin Schindler 6-4 Gabriel Clemens
David Pallett 6-4 Jermaine Wattimena
Danny Noppert 6-5 Chris Dobey
Gerwyn Price 6-1 Mensur Suljovic
Krzysztof Ratajski 6-5 Florian Hempel
John O’Shea 6-4 Danny Jansen
Dimitri Van den Bergh 6-3 Kim Huybrechts
Luke Humphries 6-2 Josh Rock
Ryan Searle 6-3 Ricardo Pietreczko
Stephen Bunting 6-1 Martijn Kleermaker
Nathan Aspinall 6-4 Dave Chisnall
Michael Smith 6-5 Martin Schindler
Danny Noppert 6-2 David Pallett
Krzysztof Ratajski 6-3 Gerwyn Price
Dimitri Van den Bergh 6-5 John O’Shea
Ryan Searle 6-2 Luke Humphries
Nathan Aspinall 6-4 Stephen Bunting
Danny Noppert 6-4 Michael Smith
Krzysztof Ratajski 6-5 Dimitri Van den Bergh
Nathan Aspinall 7-6 Ryan Searle
Krzysztof Ratajski 7-5 Danny Noppert
Nathan Aspinall 8-3 Krzysztof Ratajski
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Nathan Aspinall produced an inspired display to claim the Players Championship 13 title in Barnsley with an 8-6 success over Matt Campbell in the final.
The 30-year-old, who has been plagued by a wrist injury since the end of last year, secured his first ranking title for two years to mark a terrific resurgence.
The injury, affecting the tendons in the wrist of his throwing arm, forced Aspinall to take time away from the game at the beginning of the year as he underwent a period of rest and rehabilitation.
But the former UK Open Champion battled through the pain barrier to reach the Semi-Finals of a European Tour event since returning to action, as well as the final of a Players Championship event last weekend, before sealing the £12,000 winners prize against Campbell.
“I feel so emotional, I’ve had a terrible six months with so much going on. It was only a few weeks ago I was wondering if I would ever play at the same standard again,” said Aspinall.
“I have put so much work in over the last few weeks to try and get back to the level I know I could play, and it’s all come together today.
“In two years since I’ve won a tournament, you start to doubt yourself if you belong with the big boys. But over the last couple of weeks I have put the time in and I am reaping the rewards, and today I am the winner.”
Aspinall credits a chat with his surgeon for his recent resurgence in form and change in mindset, despite the fact the wrist still needs a lot of work to be fully recovered.
“It is still an issue, the tears are still there and you have to let them heal for maybe 12-18 months,” he added.
“I got the good news that I might not require surgery and I am having an injection a week on Tuesday and that should help it.
“I know I am a Premier League player, a top eight in the world player, but I have had a lot of stuff go on.
“Now my mentality and my head is so clear, and I need to get back to where I was in 2019, winning tournaments, TV tournaments and be back in that Premier League. I just need to keep trying my hardest, and put myself in that position.”
In what was a tense final, Aspinall just shaded things – securing an early break of throw in the third leg.
Campbell, only the third Canadian to play in a PDC ProTour final and playing in his first since securing a Tour Card, levelled at 3-3 only to see Aspinall break again in the next leg.
From then on, he failed to find the required break back as Aspinall held strong to see out an 8-6 victory and secure his fourth Players Championship title.
His run to the final began with with routine wins over Joe Murnan and Nathan Rafferty, before posting a 106 average in victory over Andy Boulton.
He then followed this with a 105 average in a 6-1 thumping of Scott Mitchell, and enjoyed convincing wins over Rob Cross and Brendan Dolan to reach the final.
Campbell started his day in fine form, overcoming Jamie Hughes 6-2 with a 106.4 average and followed with another sublime display as he saw off UK Open champion Danny Noppert 6-4 with a 103.5 average.
The 32-year-old then whitewashed Krzysztof Ratajski and defeated Peter Hudson 6-4 and Martijn Kleermaker 6-3 to reach the Semi-Finals.
There, he powered past German number one Gabriel Clemens 7-3 with the aid of some clinical finishing.
It was in defeat that the highest average of the day was posted, as Adrian Lewis fired a staggering 113.12 but was thwarted by youngster Josh Rock 6-3 – who averaged 112.34 himself as three successive 12-darters broke a deadlock and took him to victory.
There were Second Round exits for the likes of Gerwyn Price, Peter Wright and Saturday’s winner Dirk van Duijvenbode.
Sunday April 10
Radek Szaganski 6-4 Bradley Brooks
Jake Jones 6-5 Ricky Evans
William Borland 6-4 Vladimir Andersen
Martin Lukeman 6-2 Stephen Bunting
Steve Lennon 6-4 Mario Vandenbogaerde
Florian Hempel 6-5 Martin Schindler
Ian White 6-3 Jon Worsley
Dimitri Van den Bergh 6-4 Krzysztof Kciuk
John Henderson 6-3 Keegan Brown
Callan Rydz 6-2 John Michael
Jose Justicia 6-4 Jimmy Hendriks
Damon Heta 6-4 Jason Lowe
Gordon Mathers 6-5 Jeffrey De Zwaan
Gabriel Clemens 6-5 Glen Durrant
Steve Beaton 6-3 Danny Baggish
Ryan Searle 6-5 Graham Hall
Geert Nentjes 6-3 Luc Peters
Madars Razma 6-3 Robert Owen
Peter Hudson 6-5 Luke Woodhouse
Krzysztof Ratajski 6-2 Adam Hunt
Richie Burnett 6-2 Steve West
Danny Noppert 6-5 Lewy Williams
Matt Campbell 6-2 Jamie Hughes
Ron Meulenkamp 6-3 Joe Cullen
Kevin Doets 6-5 David Evans
Martijn Kleermaker 6-3 Stephen Burton
Raymond van Barneveld 6-2 Haupai Puha
Jonny Clayton 6-5 Darius Labanauskas
Jermaine Wattimena 6-2 Matthew Edgar
Ross Smith 6-4 Keane Barry
Jeff Smith 6-3 Rowby-John Rodriguez
Nick Fullwell 6-4 Ross Montgomery
Adam Gawlas 6-3 Simon Whitlock
Berry van Peer 6-3 Ryan Meikle
Brendan Dolan 6-4 Max Hopp
Ryan Joyce 6-2 Mike De Decker
Scott Williams 6-4 James Wade
Jim Williams 6-5 Jim McEwan
Michael Smith 6-3 Kevin Burness
Devon Petersen 6-4 Ted Evetts
Mervyn King 6-5 Maik Kuivenhoven
Mickey Mansell 6-5 Niels Zonneveld
Luke Humphries 6-4 William O’Connor
Scott Waites 6-5 Pete Burgoyne
Josh Rock 6-3 Adrian Lewis
Eddie Lovely 6-5 Jules van Dongen
Scott Mitchell 6-2 Rusty-Jake Rodriguez
Mensur Suljovic 6-1 Geert De Vos
Stu Wilson 6-2 Steve Haggerty
Nathan Aspinall 6-1 Joe Murnan
Nathan Rafferty 6-2 George Killington
Andy Boulton 6-5 Dave Chisnall
Brett Claydon 6-4 Alan Soutar
Rob Cross 6-2 John O’Shea
Lee Evans 6-1 Damian Mol
Andrew Gilding 6-3 Vincent van der Voort
Jack Main 6-4 Ricardo Pietreczko
Dirk van Duijvenbode 6-1 Jason Heaver
Tony Martinez 6-4 Shaun Wilkinson
Kim Huybrechts 6-5 Connor Scutt
Ritchie Edhouse 6-3 Danny Jansen
Radek Szaganski 6-4 Gerwyn Price
Jake Jones 6-5 William Borland
Martin Lukeman 6-3 Steve Lennon
Florian Hempel 6-4 Ian White
John Henderson 6-2 Dimitri Van den Bergh
Callan Rydz 6-0 Jose Justicia
Damon Heta 6-2 Gordon Mathers
Gabriel Clemens 6-3 Steve Beaton
Geert Nentjes 6-2 Ryan Searle
Peter Hudson 6-4 Madars Razma
Krzysztof Ratajski 6-4 Richie Burnett
Matt Campbell 6-4 Danny Noppert
Ron Meulenkamp 6-1 Kevin Doets
Martijn Kleermaker 6-3 Raymond van Barneveld
Jonny Clayton 6-5 Jermaine Wattimena
Jeff Smith 6-1 Ross Smith
Jose de Sousa 6-4 Nick Fullwell
Adam Gawlas 6-5 Berry van Peer
Brendan Dolan 6-5 Ryan Joyce
Jim Williams 6-2 Scott Williams
Michael Smith 6-1 Devon Petersen
Mickey Mansell 6-3 Mervyn King
Scott Waites 6-4 Luke Humphries
Josh Rock 6-3 Eddie Lovely
Scott Mitchell 6-4 Peter Wright
Mensur Suljovic 6-5 Stu Wilson
Nathan Aspinall 6-2 Nathan Rafferty
Andy Boulton 6-0 Brett Claydon
Rob Cross 6-2 Lee Evans
Andrew Gilding 6-4 Jack Main
Tony Martinez 6-3 Dirk van Duijvenbode
Kim Huybrechts 6-4 Ritchie Edhouse
Jake Jones 6-5 Radek Szaganski
Martin Lukeman 6-4 Florian Hempel
John Henderson 6-3 Callan Rydz
Gabriel Clemens 6-4 Damon Heta
Peter Hudson 6-4 Geert Nentjes
Matt Campbell 6-0 Krzysztof Ratajski
Martijn Kleermaker 6-2 Ron Meulenkamp
Jonny Clayton 6-3 Jeff Smith
Adam Gawlas 6-5 Jose de Sousa
Brendan Dolan 6-4 Jim Williams
Mickey Mansell 6-3 Michael Smith
Scott Waites 6-4 Josh Rock
Scott Mitchell 6-5 Mensur Suljovic
Nathan Aspinall 6-1 Andy Boulton
Rob Cross 6-5 Andrew Gilding
Kim Huybrechts 6-2 Tony Martinez
Martin Lukeman 6-5 Jake Jones
Gabriel Clemens 6-2 John Henderson
Matt Campbell 6-4 Peter Hudson
Martijn Kleermaker 6-4 Jonny Clayton
Brendan Dolan 6-5 Adam Gawlas
Scott Waites 6-2 Mickey Mansell
Nathan Aspinall 6-1 Scott Mitchell
Rob Cross 6-0 Kim Huybrechts
Gabriel Clemens 6-4 Martin Lukeman
Matt Campbell 6-3 Martijn Kleermaker
Brendan Dolan 6-1 Scott Waites
Nathan Aspinall 6-3 Rob Cross
Matt Campbell 7-2 Gabriel Clemens
Nathan Aspinall 7-3 Brendan Dolan
Nathan Aspinall 8-6 Matt Campbell
Nathan Aspinall has withdrawn from the 2022 Ladbrokes Masters and will be replaced by Devon Petersen.
Aspinall has been suffering with an ongoing problem in both the elbow and wrist of his throwing arm in recent months and competed in December’s World Championship wearing medical tape.
The former UK Open champion has now withdrawn from this weekend’s Masters in order to undergo further treatment on the injury.
South Africa’s Petersen takes Aspinall’s place in the draw as the next ranked non-qualified player and will face Luke Humphries in Friday night’s opening round.
A statement released by Aspinall said: ‘As you may not be aware, during the European Championship last year, Nathan felt what can only be described as a ‘pop’ in his right arm.
‘Not thinking much of it, as he has had slight niggles in the past, he carried on. However, over the proceeding month the pain increased dramatically so he sought professional advice and was diagnosed with Acute Tendinitis accompanied with Tennis Elbow.
‘Thankfully, his treatment for tennis elbow has been successful, however the tendinitis, despite rest as advised, is still causing discomfort and after seeing the specialist he has been advised to unfortunately withdraw from The Masters this weekend.
‘Nathan is undergoing further treatment this week and whilst no player likes to withdraw from any event, the focus has to be to get fit and ready for the busy year ahead.’
The 2022 Masters takes place from January 28-30 at the Marshall Arena in Milton Keynes and will feature 24 players competing for the season’s first televised silverware.
Players ranked 9-24 will start out in the First Round, while players ranked 1-8 will enter the tournament at the Second Round stage on Saturday January 29.
The event concludes on Sunday January 30 with the Quarter-Finals in the afternoon session and the Semi-Finals and final in the evening.
Friday January 28
Krzysztof Ratajski v Gabriel Clemens
Dave Chisnall v Stephen Bunting
Ryan Searle v Mervyn King
Rob Cross v Brendan Dolan
Dimitri Van den Bergh v Ian White
Joe Cullen v Daryl Gurney
Dirk van Duijvenbode v Simon Whitlock
Devon Petersen v Luke Humphries
Saturday January 29
Afternoon Session (12.45pm-5pm)
Jose de Sousa v Cross/Dolan
Gary Anderson v Cullen/Gurney
Michael Smith v Ratajski/Clemens
James Wade v Chisnall/Bunting
Evening Session (7pm-11pm)
Jonny Clayton v Van den Bergh/White
Gerwyn Price v Searle/King
Peter Wright v Van Duijvenbode/Whitlock
Michael van Gerwen v Petersen/Humphries
Sunday January 30
Afternoon Session (12.45pm-5pm)
Evening Session (7pm-11pm)
Premier League newcomer Nathan Aspinall admits his debut campaign has been the ‘hardest mental test’ of his career so far.
Aspinall secured a coveted spot in the Unibet Premier League courtesy of his UK Open and U.S Masters triumphs last year and has enjoyed a superb season so far.
The Stockport star occupies third spot in the league table with just three nights of action remaining before the cut off for the play-offs next month.
Aspinall has held a top four spot for ten of the 13 league nights so far and is one point clear of defending champion Michael van Gerwen in fifth.
Despite late trouble on the doubles, ‘The Asp’ held on to clinch a crucial 8-6 victory over Gerwyn Price on Wednesday, and afterwards spoke of the mental resilience required to succeed in this long-haul competition.
“This is the hardest thing I’ve ever done, mentally, in my life,” admitted Aspinall. “It’s so hard.
“I want to win it, I want to be in the top four and I want to beat the best players in the world.
“This last seven days, people can’t understand how hard it is for us guys, it’s mentally draining.
“It’s not the hardest job in the world, but mentally, day in, day out on that stage you have to perform to the best of your ability and it’s tough.
“It just means so much to me, it’s a long time away from the family and it’s mentally challenging.
“I’m certainly getting my money’s worth, I think I’ve played nearly every leg possible over the last week!”
The 29-year-old has been involved in numerous close-run contests in Milton Keynes, with each of his last six games having gone the distance.
He boasts a tournament average of 98.4 and is now odds-on with the bookmakers to secure a place on finals night, which is scheduled to be held at London’s O2 Arena.
Aspinall added: “I needed that win [against Price] after a disappointing three days.
“I didn’t perform to my best against Michael [Smith] and I felt like I should have beaten Van Gerwen.
“It was important to come back and get two points to keep me in the run-in for the top four.
“You can’t celebrate too much because there’s another tough game the next day but I think if I can beat Peter [Wright] – I’m nearly there.
“I really want to do it, I believe I’ve got the game to do it and I think the way I’ve performed this year, I’ve played well enough to make the top four.
“If I could do it in my debut year, I’d be very happy, then it’s all down to one night.
“If I wasn’t to make it, it’s still been a great first Premier League and all I’ll take is positives from it.”
Nathan Aspinall claimed his second PDC ranking title of 2020 at Players Championship Seven with an 8-4 victory over Brendan Dolan in the final in Barnsley on Saturday.
The world number seven, who triumphed at Players Championship Two last month, continued his blistering run of form to reel off six consecutive legs and overpower Dolan in the final.
Dolan looked to be heading for his third ranking title since last August as he forged a 4-2 lead, but only for ‘The Asp’ to produce a stunning surge to seal the £10,000 title.
“I played steady at times and not so well at others but I’m really happy,” admitted Aspinall.
“I’m full of confidence and was determined to have a good run this weekend.
“I know what I can produce and I know how good I am and there is no reason why I can’t win more titles.
“The other half is booking our wedding soon so I need the money!”
Aspinall began his run by defeating Alan Tabern 6-3 before dispatching Geert Nentjes 6-4 and averaging 104.3 in a 6-3 defeat of Chris Dobey.
The 2019 UK Open champion then averaged 102.6 in seeing off Vincent van der Voort 6-2 before thrashing a below-par Michael van Gerwen 6-1 in the Quarter-Finals with a 93.2 average to the Dutchman’s 87.
The Stockport star raised his game considerably in the Semi-Finals, averaging 105.5 in a commanding 7-3 win over Danny Noppert – who averaged 103 in a high quality contest.
Aspinall took the opening leg of the final before Dolan responded with three in a row and maintained a two-leg cushion at 4-2.
Aspinall held throw in leg seven before following up a 180 with a magnificent 136 checkout to break and level the match.
A third 180 and a 90 checkout handed ‘The Asp’ the lead, and after Dolan missed three darts at doubles, Aspinall landed double two to make it 6-4.
Aspinall continued the turnaround by clinching leg 11 before converting a blocked double ten to wrap up victory.
Dolan began the day by averaging 107 in a 6-4 win over Adrian Gray and went on to defeat the likes of Dave Chisnall and James Wade en route to the final, landing checkouts of 170 and 146 against the latter.
Elsewhere, Derk Telnekes reached his first Quarter-Final since joining the PDC in January, notably thrashing World Champion Peter Wright 6-1 in the Last 16 before bowing out to Dolan in a deciding leg.
Wade reached his first Semi-Final of the season with four consecutive ton-plus averages along the way in wins over Mickey Mansell, Andrew Gilding, Glen Durrant and Ian White.
Sunday sees the 128-man field return to action for Players Championship Eight, with Krzysztof Ratajski withdrawing from the event in order to return to Poland due to travel restrictions.
Saturday March 14
Michael van Gerwen 6-4 Damon Heta
Brian Raman 6-4 Steve West
John Henderson 6-5 Scott Baker
Jelle Klaasen 6-3 Ross Smith
Jermaine Wattimena 6-4 Darren Penhall
Scott Waites 6-1 Joe Murnan
Toni Alcinas 6-5 Steve Beaton
Vincent Van der Meer 6-5 Andy Boulton
Nathan Aspinall 6-3 Alan Tabern
Geert Nentjes 6-1 Jamie Lewis
Chris Dobey 6-3 David Pallett
Conan Whitehead 6-3 Barrie Bates
Martijn Kleermaker 6-1 Joe Cullen
Wesley Harms 6-3 Gary Blades
Vincent van der Voort 6-4 Steve Lennon
Kyle Anderson 6-3 Callan Rydz
Krzysztof Ratajski 6-4 Jan Dekker
Robert Collins 6-4 Cristo Reyes
Jesus Noguera 6-4 Justin Pipe
William Borland 6-5 Darren Webster
Michael Smith 6-3 Dirk van Duijvenbode
Benito van de Pas 6-4 Maik Kuivenhoven
Keegan Brown 6-1 Darius Labanauskas
Luke Humphries 6-2 Mark McGeeney
Daryl Gurney 6-1 Wayne Jones
Steffen Siepmann 6-5 Mike van Duivenbode
Jason Lowe 6-2 Mervyn King
Luke Woodhouse 6-4 Stu Wilson
Rob Cross 6-2 Peter Jacques
Nick Kenny 6-1 Jitse Van der Wal
Danny Noppert 6-5 Matthew Edgar
Ted Evetts 6-2 Ron Meulenkamp
Ian White 6-2 Jeff Smith
Kim Huybrechts 6-3 Josh Payne
William O’Connor 6-5 Graham Usher
Mike De Decker 6-3 Aaron Beeney
Jeffrey De Zwaan 6-0 Carl Wilkinson
Simon Stevenson 6-2 James Hubbard
Devon Petersen 6-2 Jose De Sousa
Kai Fan Leung 6-3 James Wilson
James Wade 6-3 Reece Robinson
Mickey Mansell 6-4 Jonathan Worsley
Lisa Ashton 6-2 Gabriel Clemens
Andrew Gilding 6-3 Harry Ward
Glen Durrant 6-4 Scott Mitchell
Robert Thornton 6-4 Ryan Joyce
Madars Razma 6-5 Simon Whitlock
Adam Huckvale 6-1 Gavin Carlin
Peter Wright 6-3 Nathan Derry
Arjan Konterman 6-2 Kirk Shepherd
Eddie Lovely 6-5 Dimitri Van den Bergh
Adam Hunt 6-4 Marko Kantele
Scott Taylor 6-5 Jonny Clayton
Derk Telnekes 6-0 Michael Barnard
Gary Anderson 6-0 Stephen Bunting
Rowby-John Rodriguez 6-5 Bradley Brooks
Dave Chisnall 6-2 Steve Brown
Richard North 6-3 Martin Schindler
Ricky Evans 6-4 Ryan Murray
Ryan Meikle 6-4 Andy Hamilton
Jamie Hughes 6-4 Ryan Searle
Ciaran Teehan 6-3 Christian Bunse
Brendan Dolan 6-4 Adrian Gray
Niels Zonneveld 6-5 Krzysztof Kciuk
Michael van Gerwen 6-2 Brian Raman
John Henderson 6-4 Jelle Klaasen
Jermaine Wattimena 6-5 Scott Waites
Vincent Van der Meer 6-0 Toni Alcinas
Nathan Aspinall 6-4 Geert Nentjes
Chris Dobey 6-5 Conan Whitehead
Martijn Kleermaker 6-2 Wesley Harms
Vincent van der Voort 6-3 Kyle Anderson
Krzysztof Ratajski 6-4 Robert Collins
William Borland 6-4 Jesus Noguera
Michael Smith 6-5 Benito van de Pas
Luke Humphries 6-3 Keegan Brown
Daryl Gurney 6-5 Steffen Siepmann
Jason Lowe 6-2 Luke Woodhouse
Rob Cross 6-1 Nick Kenny
Danny Noppert 6-5 Ted Evetts
Ian White 6-5 Kim Huybrechts
William O’Connor 6-5 Mike De Decker
Simon Stevenson 6-5 Jeffrey De Zwaan
Kai Fan Leung 6-4 Devon Petersen
James Wade 6-0 Mickey Mansell
Andrew Gilding 6-5 Lisa Ashton
Glen Durrant 6-5 Robert Thornton
Madars Razma 6-2 Adam Huckvale
Peter Wright 6-2 Arjan Konterman
Eddie Lovely 6-4 Adam Hunt
Derk Telnekes 6-4 Scott Taylor
Gary Anderson 6-4 Rowby-John Rodriguez
Dave Chisnall 6-5 Richard North
Ricky Evans 6-5 Ryan Meikle
Ciaran Teehan 6-3 Jamie Hughes
Brendan Dolan 6-4 Niels Zonneveld
Michael van Gerwen 6-3 John Henderson
Jermaine Wattimena 6-5 Vincent Van der Meer
Nathan Aspinall 6-3 Chris Dobey
Vincent van der Voort 6-3 Martijn Kleermaker
Krzysztof Ratajski 6-2 William Borland
Luke Humphries 6-3 Michael Smith
Daryl Gurney 6-1 Jason Lowe
Danny Noppert 6-5 Rob Cross
Ian White 6-3 William O’Connor
Kai Fan Leung 6-5 Simon Stevenson
James Wade 6-5 Andrew Gilding
Glen Durrant 6-4 Madars Razma
Peter Wright 6-2 Eddie Lovely
Derk Telnekes 6-3 Gary Anderson
Dave Chisnall 6-5 Ricky Evans
Brendan Dolan 6-4 Ciaran Teehan
Michael van Gerwen 6-3 Jermaine Wattimena
Nathan Aspinall 6-2 Vincent van der Voort
Krzysztof Ratajski 6-5 Luke Humphries
Danny Noppert 6-0 Daryl Gurney
Ian White 6-1 Kai Fan Leung
James Wade 6-2 Glen Durrant
Derk Telnekes 6-1 Peter Wright
Brendan Dolan 6-2 Dave Chisnall
Nathan Aspinall 6-1 Michael van Gerwen
Danny Noppert 6-2 Krzysztof Ratajski
James Wade 6-5 Ian White
Brendan Dolan 6-5 Derk Telnekes
Nathan Aspinall 7-3 Danny Noppert
Brendan Dolan 7-1 James Wade
Nathan Aspinall 8-4 Brendan Dolan
Nathan Aspinall produced a scintillating set of displays to clinch the second Players Championship title of the season in Barnsley, defeating Gerwyn Price 8-2 in the final.
The world number eight landed a nine-dart finish and a 117.5 average in a blistering Quarter-Final win over Peter Wright on his way to capturing a fourth PDC title.
An incredible contest between Aspinall and Wright produced a combined average of 115.59 – the highest combined match average recorded in PDC history.
Aspinall began the day by thrashing Carl Wilkinson 6-1 before dispatching Peter Jacques 6-4 and recovering from 5-3 down to defeat Keegan Brown 6-5 in the Last 32.
He then saw off veteran Jason Lowe 6-3 before a jaw-dropping display to defeat World Champion Wright – who averaged 113.7 – sealing the deal with a 137 checkout.
Aspinall sealed his spot in the final emphatically by whitewashing Gabriel Clemens 7-0 with a 103.2 average.
The reigning UK Open and US Masters champion continued his red hot form into the final with Price, running out an 8-3 winner to claim his second ProTour title.
“I’ve never thrown darts like that, the last two hours of play I just felt like I wasn’t going to miss,” admitted Aspinall.
“To throw such a big average against the World Champions makes it even more special.
“This weekend I’ve felt brilliant and I’ve beaten some quality players, I’m very happy to win my second ProTour title.
“I’m still on cloud nine to be in the Premier League. I’m still new to this game, I’m still learning.
“I know what I can do and I want to show it more consistently.”
Aspinall took out 93 to lead 4-2 in the final before breaking throw with double 16 in leg seven.
The Stockport star then finished 60 and 81 to make it 7-2 before Price grabbed a consolation leg with an 81 checkout of his own, but Aspinall quickly killed off the game in the following leg.
A further two players also achieved perfect legs on the day, with Scott Baker landing his first career nine-darter in a 6-5 defeat to Danny Noppert just minutes before Keegan Brown achieved the feat in defeating Krzysztof Kciuk.
Dirk van Duijvenbode enjoyed a superb run to his first ProTour Semi-Final just weeks after regaining a Tour Card at Qualifying School, defeating Ricky Evans and Glen Durrant along the way.
Jamie Hughes pulled off an impressive 6-5 scalp of Michael van Gerwen in the Last 16, while Saturday’s winner Gary Anderson crashed out in Round One at the hands of Steve Beaton.
Canada’s Jeff Smith, who reached the final of Saturday’s Players Championship One, continued his impressive return to the ProTour after a seven-year absence by reaching the Last 16.
Two-time BDO Champion Scott Waites also made it to the Last 16 stage, along with fellow PDC newcomer Jason Lowe.
Sunday February 9
Michael van Gerwen 6-3 Harry Ward
Mike De Decker 6-4 Ciaran Teehan
Mervyn King 6-1 Cristo Reyes
Ryan Searle 6-4 Adrian Gray
Jamie Hughes 6-2 Robert Thornton
Barrie Bates 6-4 Jesus Noguera
Jermaine Wattimena 6-5 Joe Murnan
Kai Fan Leung 6-0 Steffen Siepmann
Mensur Suljovic 6-3 Damon Heta
Maik Kuivenhoven 6-3 Ron Meulenkamp
Stephen Bunting 6-2 Aaron Beeney
Gabriel Clemens 6-2 Jelle Klaasen
James Wade 6-1 Nathan Derry
Martin Schindler 6-0 Callan Rydz
Steve West 6-4 Chris Dobey
Derk Telnekes 6-4 Gary Blades
Peter Wright 6-3 Marko Kantele
Nick Kenny 6-4 Robert Collins
Brendan Dolan 6-2 Jamie Lewis
William O’Connor 6-4 Devon Petersen
Adrian Lewis 6-4 Boris Krcmar
Justin Pipe 6-0 Richard North
Jose De Sousa 6-2 Kim Huybrechts
Wesley Harms 6-5 Rowby-John Rodriguez
Dave Chisnall 6-5 Luke Humphries
Matt Clark 6-4 Jonathan Worsley
John Henderson 6-4 Vincent Van der Meer
Jason Lowe 6-1 Matthew Edgar
Nathan Aspinall 6-1 Carl Wilkinson
Peter Jacques 6-0 Max Hopp
Keegan Brown 6-2 Krzysztof Kciuk – *Brown hits a nine-darter*
Steve Brown 6-3 Harald Leitinger
Ian White 6-1 Alan Tabern
Mike van Duivenbode 6-2 Mark McGeeney
Scott Waites 6-4 Vincent van der Voort
Geert Nentjes 6-4 Steve Lennon
Jonny Clayton 6-4 Darren Webster
Conan Whitehead 6-4 Ryan Meikle
Ross Smith 6-3 Jeffrey De Zwaan
Martijn Kleermaker 6-3 Bradley Brooks
Daryl Gurney 6-2 Andy Boulton
Jeff Smith 6-3 Darren Penhall
Danny Noppert 6-5 Scott Baker – *Baker hits a nine-darter*
Adam Hunt 6-3 Simon Stevenson
Glen Durrant 6-4 Jan Dekker
Martin Atkins 6-1 James Wilson
Ricky Evans 6-1 Gavin Carlin
Dirk van Duijvenbode 6-2 William Borland
Gerwyn Price 6-5 Toni Alcinas
John Michael 6-5 Reece Robinson
Ryan Joyce 6-3 Simon Whitlock
Yordi Meeuwisse 6-4 Josh Payne
Darius Labanauskas 6-5 Rob Cross
Lisa Ashton 6-3 Christian Bunse
Michael Smith 6-2 Karel Sedlacek
Luke Woodhouse 6-3 Daniel Larsson
Krzysztof Ratajski 6-3 Ted Evetts
Niels Zonneveld 6-2 Madars Razma
Ryan Murray 6-3 Dimitri Van den Bergh
Mickey Mansell 6-5 Benito van de Pas
Andy Hamilton 6-4 Joe Cullen
Kirk Shepherd 6-2 David Pallett
Steve Beaton 6-5 Gary Anderson
Wayne Jones 6-1 Michael Barnard
Michael van Gerwen 6-4 Mike De Decker
Ryan Searle 6-5 Mervyn King
Jamie Hughes 6-2 Barrie Bates
Jermaine Wattimena 6-4 Kai Fan Leung
Maik Kuivenhoven 6-3 Mensur Suljovic
Gabriel Clemens 6-3 Stephen Bunting
James Wade 6-5 Martin Schindler
Steve West 6-3 Derk Telnekes
Peter Wright 6-1 Nick Kenny
Brendan Dolan 6-2 William O’Connor
Adrian Lewis 6-1 Justin Pipe
Jose De Sousa 6-1 Wesley Harms
Dave Chisnall 6-4 Matt Clark
Jason Lowe 6-4 John Henderson
Nathan Aspinall 6-4 Peter Jacques
Keegan Brown 6-5 Steve Brown
Ian White 6-1 Mike van Duivenbode
Scott Waites 6-1 Geert Nentjes
Jonny Clayton 6-5 Conan Whitehead
Ross Smith 6-3 Martijn Kleermaker
Jeff Smith 6-5 Daryl Gurney
Danny Noppert 6-3 Adam Hunt
Glen Durrant 6-0 Martin Atkins
Dirk van Duijvenbode 6-3 Ricky Evans
Gerwyn Price 6-2 John Michael
Ryan Joyce 6-5 Yordi Meeuwisse
Darius Labanauskas 6-2 Lisa Ashton
Michael Smith 6-2 Luke Woodhouse
Niels Zonneveld 6-4 Krzysztof Ratajski
Mickey Mansell 6-3 Ryan Murray
Kirk Shepherd 6-4 Andy Hamilton
Steve Beaton 6-5 Wayne Jones
Michael van Gerwen 6-2 Ryan Searle
Jamie Hughes 6-1 Jermaine Wattimena
Gabriel Clemens 6-2 Maik Kuivenhoven
James Wade 6-4 Steve West
Peter Wright 6-2 Brendan Dolan
Jose De Sousa 6-1 Adrian Lewis
Jason Lowe 6-2 Dave Chisnall
Nathan Aspinall 6-5 Keegan Brown
Scott Waites 6-3 Ian White
Ross Smith 6-3 Jonny Clayton
Jeff Smith 6-1 Danny Noppert
Dirk van Duijvenbode 6-1 Glen Durrant
Gerwyn Price 6-0 Ryan Joyce
Michael Smith 6-4 Darius Labanauskas
Mickey Mansell 6-1 Niels Zonneveld
Kirk Shepherd 6-5 Steve Beaton
Jamie Hughes 6-5 Michael van Gerwen
Gabriel Clemens 6-4 James Wade
Peter Wright 6-2 Jose De Sousa
Nathan Aspinall 6-3 Jason Lowe
Ross Smith 6-1 Scott Waites
Dirk van Duijvenbode 6-5 Jeff Smith
Gerwyn Price 6-5 Michael Smith
Mickey Mansell 6-2 Kirk Shepherd
Gabriel Clemens 6-2 Jamie Hughes
Nathan Aspinall 6-4 Peter Wright – *Aspinall hits a nine-darter*
Dirk van Duijvenbode 6-4 Ross Smith
Gerwyn Price 6-0 Mickey Mansell
Nathan Aspinall 7-0 Gabriel Clemens
Gerwyn Price 7-4 Dirk van Duijvenbode
Nathan Aspinall 8-3 Gerwyn Price
Reigning champion Michael van Gerwen aims to book his place in a fifth World Championship final at the expense of new sensation Nathan Aspinall at Alexandra Palace on Monday.
Van Gerwen has upheld his ruthless record in the sport’s show-piece, winning through to a seventh time in his last eight appearances at Ally Pally, but will not be content to stop there.
The world number one is out to move another step closer to retaining the world title for the first time and extending his unbeaten run in this competition to 11 matches.
The reigning Premier League and World Grand Prix champion dropped just one set in seeing off Jelle Klaasen (3-1), Ricky Evans (4-0) and Stephen Bunting (4-0) en route to the Quarter-Finals, before recovering from a slow start to dispatch Darius Labanauskas 5-2 in the Last Four.
By his own admission, Van Gerwen has not been at his vintage best over the festive period so far, but will look to go through the gears over the long format which has so often played into his hands.
Aspinall put his name on the darting map by reaching the Semis as a 500/1 outsider last year and has not looked back since, claiming his first major title at the UK Open in March before backing it up with a debut World Series triumph at the U.S Masters.
The Stockport ace followed up his opening win over America’s Danny Baggish with a superb all-round display to see off Polish ace Krzysztof Ratajski 4-3 with a 98.5 average before pulling off what he described as one of the biggest wins of his career as he defeated two-time World Champion Gary Anderson 4-2.
Aspinall, who has made the Ally Pally stage his second home since he first set foot on it 12 months ago, held off a stern challenge from Dimitri van den Bergh to prevail 5-3 in Sunday’s Quarter-Finals.
World number 12 heading into the tournament, ‘The Asp’ is now provisionally in the world’s top ten and will look to cap off a fairy-tale year by booking his place in the sport’s show-piece fixture.
This will be the fifth meeting between the two players, having shared two wins apiece since 2015, the most recent of which going the way of Aspinall in the Last 16 of September Gibraltar Trophy.
The second Semi-Final gets underway from 9.15pm GMT and will be contested over the best of 11 sets, best of five legs per set.
A tie-break will be in operation, where the final set must be won by two clear legs. If the score reaches 5-5, the 11th leg will be sudden-death.
Either third seed and Grand Slam champion Gerwyn Price or seventh seed and 2014 world finalist Peter Wright will await the winner in the final on New Year’s Day.
Van Gerwen: “I will put everything right for the next match.
“Nathan is having a great year and I think we can have a fantastic game but if I play to my top level I will have too much for him.
“Nathan looks up to me, I know that, but I’m going to use that against him.”
Aspinall: “I love being here and I want to put on a show for the fans, which is what I will aim to do.
“I bet him last time I played him, in fact I was 5-0 up against him so I know I can beat the guy, it’s a longer format and bigger occasion but I thin he knows that I can beat him.
“It’ll be a tough game, a good game, and hopefully I can come out on top.”