Ryan Joyce denies Gerwyn Price to scoop second Players Championship title

Ryan Joyce ended a three-year wait for a second PDC ranking title with a dramatic deciding-leg win over Gerwyn Price in the final of Players Championship 26.

Joyce, whose maiden triumph came in July 2020, battled back from 6-4 down to deny Price with a 107 checkout in the deciding leg at the Barnsley Metrodome.

Joyce, appearing in his third ProTour final of the year, looked set to be edged out by the irrepressible Welshman, only to launch a terrific late fightback.

Price seized the early initiative with back-to-back 14-darters, and a sublime 11-dart hold in leg four saw him restore his two-leg cushion.

Joyce responded with a 12-darter and also piled in a 131 checkout in leg seven, but he was unable to make inroads on the Price throw, as the Premier League runner-up stretched his lead to 6-4.

Joyce, however, turned the contest on its head during a crucial three-leg spell to move to the brink of victory at 7-6.

The 2021 World Champion hit back with a 110 finish to force a decider, but Joyce was undeterred, replying with a 107 checkout to secure the £12,000 title.

“I played really well today,” reflected Joyce. “This is one of the best days of my career. It’s up there with the one [title] I won a few years back, and hopefully I can build on this now.”

Joyce, who now moves back inside the world’s top 40, attributes a change in lifestyle and some advice from Masters champion Chris Dobey as the catalysts for his revival over recent months.

“I’ve been trying to eat more healthily and lose a little bit of weight,” added the former World Championship quarter-finalist.

“I’ve lost a couple of stone since June and it does make you feel better, it gives you the energy to practice more.

“I also have to give credit to Chris Dobey. I felt like I was struggling with my scoring a few months ago, and he really helped me.

“I cannot underestimate the power of that five-minute lesson with Chris. It was the turning point for me.”

Joyce kicked off Thursday’s campaign with a 6-3 win over fellow North East star Callan Rydz, before averaging almost 106 in a deciding-leg defeat of Alan Soutar.

The 38-year-old continued his charge with comeback wins over Daniel Klose, Mervyn King and Jose de Sousa, rallying from 5-3 down to deny the Portuguese in a dramatic Quarter-Final.

Joyce then prevailed in a high-quality Semi-Final against Ritchie Edhouse, recording winning legs of 12, 12, 14, 14, 13, 14 and 11 darts to triumph 7-4 with a 105 average.

Price, meanwhile, was bidding to become the first player to win four Players Championship titles this year, and opened his challenge with a hard-fought 6-4 victory over Graham Usher.

After whitewashing Ross Montgomery in Round Two, Price powered through to the Last Eight with 6-1 routs of Mario Vandenbogaerde and Chris Landman – averaging 106 and 103 in the process.

The Welshman then reeled off straight legs to deny Chris Dobey in the Quarter-Finals, before prevailing in an epic Semi-Final against Luke Humphries – a repeat of the recent World Grand Prix final in which the Englishman had taken the title.

Humphries fired in a magnificent 139 checkout to force a last-leg shoot-out, only for Price to conjure up his third 11-dart leg of the contest to progress with an average of 105.

Humphries had defeated Wednesday’s winner Gary Anderson in the Quarter-Finals, averaging 105 to halt the Scot’s 18-match winning run on the ProTour.

Humphries was joined in the semis by an impressive Edhouse, who claimed the scalps of former World Cup winner Damon Heta, UK Open champion Andrew Gilding and two-time World Champion Peter Wright.

Wright boosted his hopes of Players Championship Finals qualification by reaching the Last Eight alongside his World Cup partner Anderson.

Dobey won the stand-out game of the day in Barnsley, defying a staggering 111.83 average from Rob Cross to triumph with a 107 average of his own in a breath-taking Third Round contest.

Players Championship 26 Results

Thursday October 19

First Round
Ryan Joyce 6-3 Callan Rydz
Alan Soutar 6-5 Callum Goffin
Daniel Klose 6-2 Dave Chisnall
Nick Kenny 6-5 Madars Razma
Rowby-John Rodriguez 6-5 Martin Schindler
William O’Connor 6-2 Shaun Wilkinson
Ryan Searle 6-1 Niels Zonneveld
Mervyn King 6-3 Danny van Trijp
Maik Kuivenhoven 6-5 Brendan Dolan
Keane Barry 6-4 Scott Waites
Arron Monk 6-4 Danny Noppert
Andy Boulton 6-1 Martin Lukeman
Jose De Sousa 6-4 Jose Justicia
Rusty-Jake Rodriguez 6-2 James Wilson
Vincent van der Voort 6-3 Michael Smith
Jim Williams 6-4 Geert Nentjes
Cameron Menzies 6-3 Raymond van Barneveld
Jules van Dongen 6-3 Berry van Peer
Damon Heta 6-2 Richard Veenstra
Ritchie Edhouse 6-5 Adam Gawlas
Andrew Gilding 6-3 Owen Bates
Ricky Evans 6-5 Mickey Mansell
Stephen Bunting 6-1 Jeffrey De Zwaan
Radek Szaganski 6-5 Danny Jansen
Dimitri Van den Bergh 6-2 Ted Evetts
Nathan Rafferty 6-2 Simon Whitlock
Josh Rock 6-4 Martijn Kleermaker
Vladimir Andersen 6-3 Jamie Clark
Daryl Gurney 6-5 Jimmy Hendriks
Jamie Hughes 6-0 Keegan Brown
Peter Wright 6-4 Ryan Meikle
Jermaine Wattimena 6-0 Robbie Knops
Gian van Veen 6-1 Brian Raman
Mensur Suljovic 6-5 Boris Krcmar
Luke Humphries 6-2 Tony Martinez
Ronny Huybrechts 6-1 Graham Hall
Ross Smith 6-0 Joe Murnan
Stephen Burton 6-3 Dylan Slevin
Matt Campbell 6-4 Ricardo Pietreczko
Florian Hempel 6-3 Richie Burnett
Scott Williams 6-2 Gabriel Clemens
Ian White 6-3 Adam Smith-Neale
Jonny Clayton 6-3 Steve Beaton
Lee Evans 6-3 Devon Petersen
Darius Labanauskas 6-1 Mike De Decker
Josh Payne 6-3 Bradley Brooks
Gary Anderson 6-3 Jeffrey Sparidaans
John O’Shea 6-4 Jacques Labre
Luke Woodhouse 6-2 Connor Scutt
Mario Vandenbogaerde 6-4 Jurjen van der Velde
Gerwyn Price 6-4 Graham Usher
Ross Montgomery 6-5 Darren Webster
James Wade 6-4 Owen Roelofs
Nick Fullwell 6-5 Christian Kist
Jeff Smith 6-3 Joe Cullen
Chris Landman 6-3 Cam Crabtree
Chris Dobey 6-1 Adam Warner
Wesley Plaisier 6-5 George Killington
Rob Cross 6-3 Karel Sedlacek
Kim Huybrechts 6-3 Steve Lennon
Kevin Doets 6-4 Nathan Aspinall
Robert Owen 6-5 Pascal Rupprecht
Krzysztof Ratajski 6-1 Damian Mol
Robert Grundy 6-3 Kevin Burness

Second Round
Ryan Joyce 6-5 Alan Soutar
Daniel Klose 6-3 Nick Kenny
William O’Connor 6-0 Rowby-John Rodriguez
Mervyn King 6-3 Ryan Searle
Keane Barry 6-4 Maik Kuivenhoven
Andy Boulton 6-4 Arron Monk
Jose De Sousa 6-5 Rusty-Jake Rodriguez
Jim Williams 6-3 Vincent van der Voort
Cameron Menzies 6-5 Jules van Dongen
Ritchie Edhouse 6-5 Damon Heta
Andrew Gilding 6-5 Ricky Evans
Stephen Bunting 6-4 Radek Szaganski
Dimitri Van den Bergh 6-4 Nathan Rafferty
Josh Rock 6-2 Vladimir Andersen
Daryl Gurney 6-2 Jamie Hughes
Peter Wright 6-3 Jermaine Wattimena
Mensur Suljovic 6-3 Gian van Veen
Luke Humphries 6-2 Ronny Huybrechts
Stephen Burton 6-3 Ross Smith
Matt Campbell 6-3 Florian Hempel
Ian White 6-3 Scott Williams
Lee Evans 6-3 Jonny Clayton
Darius Labanauskas 6-1 Josh Payne
Gary Anderson 6-4 John O’Shea
Mario Vandenbogaerde 6-5 Luke Woodhouse
Gerwyn Price 6-0 Ross Montgomery
James Wade 6-1 Nick Fullwell
Chris Landman 6-1 Jeff Smith
Chris Dobey 6-1 Wesley Plaisier
Rob Cross 6-0 Kim Huybrechts
Kevin Doets 6-3 Robert Owen
Robert Grundy 6-2 Krzysztof Ratajski
Losers: £750

Last 32
Ryan Joyce 6-4 Daniel Klose
Mervyn King 6-5 William O’Connor
Keane Barry 6-5 Andy Boulton
Jose De Sousa 6-4 Jim Williams
Ritchie Edhouse 6-1 Cameron Menzies
Andrew Gilding 6-1 Stephen Bunting
Dimitri Van den Bergh 6-3 Josh Rock
Peter Wright 6-4 Daryl Gurney
Luke Humphries 6-1 Mensur Suljovic
Matt Campbell 6-4 Stephen Burton
Lee Evans 6-5 Ian White
Gary Anderson 6-5 Darius Labanauskas
Gerwyn Price 6-1 Mario Vandenbogaerde
Chris Landman 6-4 James Wade
Chris Dobey 6-4 Rob Cross
Robert Grundy 6-4 Kevin Doets
Losers: £1,250

Last 16
Ryan Joyce 6-3 Mervyn King
Jose De Sousa 6-3 Keane Barry
Ritchie Edhouse 6-3 Andrew Gilding
Peter Wright 6-3 Dimitri Van den Bergh
Luke Humphries 6-3 Matt Campbell
Gary Anderson 6-3 Lee Evans
Gerwyn Price 6-1 Chris Landman
Chris Dobey 6-2 Robert Grundy
Losers: £2,000

Ryan Joyce 6-5 Jose De Sousa
Ritchie Edhouse 6-4 Peter Wright
Luke Humphries 6-2 Gary Anderson
Gerwyn Price 6-3 Chris Dobey
Losers: £3,000

Ryan Joyce 7-4 Ritchie Edhouse
Gerwyn Price 7-6 Luke Humphries
Losers: £4,000

Ryan Joyce 8-7 Gerwyn Price
Winner: £12,000
Runner-up: £8,000

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Maiden PDC title joy for Ryan Joyce at Players Championship Ten

Ryan Joyce claimed his first PDC ranking title at Players Championship Ten after a dramatic comeback win over Dave Chisnall in the final.

Joyce, the world number 44, had previously never been beyond the Semi-Finals of a PDC ProTour event, but battled back from the brink to open his title account in style.

The Tynesider looked down and out at 7-3 down to the world number ten but survived five match darts on his way to reeling off five straight legs for glory.

“I thought the game was gone,” admitted Joyce, a World Championship quarter-finalist in 2018. “It’s unbelievable – it hasn’t sunk in yet.”

“I was trying to enjoy the rest of the match and make the score more respectable, but Dave tightened up a bit, he missed his chances and I punished him.

“To win an event like this, you need a couple of rounds where you get the rub of the green and I got that today. I don’t want to be a one-hit wonder and I’ve got to build on this.”

Joyce is now in the provisional qualifying places for the upcoming Betfred World Matchplay, with the 32-player field set to be confirmed on Sunday following the final day of the PDC Summer Series.

“I haven’t been thinking about the World Matchplay,” added Joyce. “I’ve got to take it one game at a time over the next three days and see how I play, so I’ll go into Friday with the same mentality.”

Joyce also revealed that some words of encouragement from South African star Devon Petersen had inspired him going into Thursday’s event.

“I’m not the most consistent player but I know I’ve got it in me,” he said. “I got beaten in the first round on Wednesday and it was a poor game, I didn’t play well.

“I was talking to Devon Petersen this morning and I said I’ve lost a bit of confidence in my throw. He showed me a practice game and had a few words of encouragement, and I felt a different player.”

Joyce averaged above 100 in wins over Andy Hamilton and Chris Dobey, while also defeating World Youth Champion Luke Humphries and Latvia’s Madars Razma.

He then saw off Premier League leader Glen Durrant 6-5 in the Quarter-Finals and averaged 102 in a clinical 7-3 Semi-Final success over Gary Anderson.

Chisnall took command the early stages of the final, pulling clear to lead by four legs on two occasions as he moved to the brink of victory.

Joyce won the next three before four missed doubles from Chisnall in leg 14 allowed him to level the tie, and when his rival missed the bull in a high-quality deciding leg he stepped in on double 16 for glory.

Following early wins over Aaron Beeney and Jamie Lewis, Chisnall defeated the Dutch trio of Benito van de Pas, Maik Kuivenhoven and Martijn Kleermaker to reach the Semi-Finals.

There, he was a 7-5 winner over Nathan Aspinall before his five missed match darts proved fatal in the final against Joyce.

Aspinall was denied by Chisnall in his bid to win a third Players Championship of the year, having defeated World Champion Peter Wright and James Wade in his run to the semi-finals.

Anderson was aiming to win his second Players Championship of 2020, with his five wins on the day including a 110 average in a whitewash of Ryan Murray.

Kleermaker enjoyed his best run since joining the PDC circuit in January as he reached the Quarter-Finals alongside Durrant, Wright and Clayton.

Wednesday’s winner Van Gerwen was defeated by Dutch compatriot Maik Kuivenhoven in a deciding leg in the Last 32, with Gerwyn Price also losing out in Round Three despite an earlier 116 average against Steve Lennon.

The PDC Summer Series continues on Friday with Day Three at the Marshall Arena in Milton Keynes, with a further £75,000 in prize money on offer.


Players Championship Ten Results

Thursday July 9

First Round
Steve Lennon 6-2 James Hubbard
Madars Razma 6-3 Kim Huybrechts
Devon Petersen 6-1 Nathan Derry
Luke Humphries 6-5 Danny Noppert
Ryan Joyce 6-4 Andy Hamilton
Chris Dobey 6-4 Jose De Sousa
Simon Stevenson 6-3 Scott Waites
Joe Cullen 6-2 Scott Baker
Dirk van Duijvenbode 6-5 Darius Labanauskas
Niels Zonneveld 6-2 Steve Beaton
Jelle Klaasen 6-4 Andrew Gilding
Glen Durrant 6-5 Adrian Gray
Richard North 6-1 Ross Smith
Jan Dekker 6-4 Justin Pipe
Kai Fan Leung 6-5 John Henderson
Mensur Suljovic 6-0 Nick Kenny
Matthew Edgar 6-3 Harald Leitinger
Gary Anderson 6-2 Max Hopp
Ryan Murray 6-3 Ron Meulenkamp
Daryl Gurney 6-1 Steve West
Boris Krcmar 6-2 Ryan Meikle
Gabriel Clemens 6-1 Barrie Bates
Matthew Dennant 6-2 Robert Collins
Ian White 6-1 Cameron Menzies
Bradley Brooks 6-1 Conan Whitehead
Martin Atkins 6-5 Dimitri Van den Bergh
Martin Schindler 6-3 Reece Robinson
Brendan Dolan 6-3 Wayne Jones
Christian Bunse 6-3 Arjan Konterman
Jonny Clayton 6-1 Lisa Ashton
Ted Evetts 6-4 Joe Murnan
Peter Wright 6-1 Carl Wilkinson
Andy Boulton 6-1 Nathan Rafferty
Ricky Evans 6-4 Steve Brown
Jonathan Worsley 6-3 Karel Sedlacek
James Wilson 6-5 Michael Smith
Alan Tabern 6-3 Mike De Decker
Jermaine Wattimena 6-4 Graham Usher
Josh Payne 6-3 Peter Jacques
Nathan Aspinall 6-2 Geert Nentjes
Scott Mitchell 6-5 Simon Whitlock
Harry Ward 6-3 Keegan Brown
Mickey Mansell 6-4 Derk Telnekes
James Wade 6-3 Michael Barnard
Jeff Smith 6-1 Gavin Carlin
Luke Woodhouse 6-5 Jamie Hughes
Ciaran Teehan 6-5 Darren Penhall
Krzysztof Ratajski 6-2 David Pallett
Kirk Shepherd 6-5 Callan Rydz
Matt Clark 6-5 Ryan Searle
Martijn Kleermaker 6-3 Stephen Bunting
Rob Cross 6-4 Rowby-John Rodriguez
Jason Lowe 6-1 William Borland
Adrian Lewis 6-3 Vincent Van der Meer
Mike van Duivenbode 6-3 Jitse Van der Wal
Michael van Gerwen 6-2 William O’Connor
Mervyn King 6-3 Adam Hunt
Vincent van der Voort 6-3 Krzysztof Kciuk
Maik Kuivenhoven 6-1 Robert Thornton
Dave Chisnall 6-3 Aaron Beeney
Jamie Lewis 6-4 Gary Blades
Benito van de Pas 6-2 Jeffrey De Zwaan
Mark McGeeney 6-2 Darren Webster

Second Round
Gerwyn Price 6-0 Steve Lennon
Madars Razma 6-5 Devon Petersen
Ryan Joyce 6-3 Luke Humphries
Chris Dobey 6-2 Simon Stevenson
Dirk van Duijvenbode 6-5 Joe Cullen
Niels Zonneveld 6-2 Jelle Klaasen
Glen Durrant 6-5 Richard North
Jan Dekker 6-4 Kai Fan Leung
Matthew Edgar 6-4 Mensur Suljovic
Gary Anderson 6-0 Ryan Murray
Daryl Gurney 6-1 Boris Krcmar
Gabriel Clemens 6-3 Matthew Dennant
Bradley Brooks 6-5 Ian White
Martin Atkins 6-4 Martin Schindler
Christian Bunse 6-5 Brendan Dolan
Jonny Clayton 6-0 Ted Evetts
Peter Wright 6-4 Andy Boulton
Ricky Evans 6-2 Jonathan Worsley
James Wilson 6-4 Alan Tabern
Jermaine Wattimena 6-4 Josh Payne
Nathan Aspinall 6-1 Scott Mitchell
Mickey Mansell 6-5 Harry Ward
James Wade 6-4 Jeff Smith
Ciaran Teehan 6-4 Luke Woodhouse
Krzysztof Ratajski 6-1 Kirk Shepherd
Martijn Kleermaker 6-3 Matt Clark
Jason Lowe 6-5 Rob Cross
Adrian Lewis 6-3 Mike van Duivenbode
Michael van Gerwen 6-1 Mervyn King
Maik Kuivenhoven 6-2 Vincent van der Voort
Dave Chisnall 6-2 Jamie Lewis
Benito van de Pas 6-3 Mark McGeeney
Losers: £500

Last 32
Madars Razma 6-4 Gerwyn Price
Ryan Joyce 6-4 Chris Dobey
Niels Zonneveld 6-1 Dirk van Duijvenbode
Glen Durrant 6-4 Jan Dekker
Gary Anderson 6-5 Matthew Edgar
Gabriel Clemens 6-3 Daryl Gurney
Martin Atkins 6-3 Bradley Brooks
Jonny Clayton 6-3 Christian Bunse
Peter Wright 6-3 Ricky Evans
Jermaine Wattimena 6-5 James Wilson
Nathan Aspinall 6-1 Mickey Mansell
James Wade 6-2 Ciaran Teehan
Martijn Kleermaker 6-4 Krzysztof Ratajski
Jason Lowe 6-4 Adrian Lewis
Maik Kuivenhoven 6-5 Michael van Gerwen
Dave Chisnall 6-4 Benito van de Pas
Losers: £1,000

Last 16
Ryan Joyce 6-5 Madars Razma
Glen Durrant 6-1 Niels Zonneveld
Gary Anderson 6-1 Gabriel Clemens
Jonny Clayton 6-2 Martin Atkins
Peter Wright 6-2 Jermaine Wattimena
Nathan Aspinall 6-3 James Wade
Martijn Kleermaker 6-3 Jason Lowe
Dave Chisnall 6-4 Maik Kuivenhoven
Losers: £1,500

Ryan Joyce 6-5 Glen Durrant
Gary Anderson 6-4 Jonny Clayton
Nathan Aspinall 6-2 Peter Wright
Dave Chisnall 6-2 Martijn Kleermaker
Losers: £2,250

Ryan Joyce 7-3 Gary Anderson
Dave Chisnall 7-5 Nathan Aspinall
Losers: £3,000

Ryan Joyce 8-7 Dave Chisnall
Winner: £10,000
Runner-up: £6,000