Raymond van Barneveld won his first tournament of the year in Dublin
Last Updated: 07/10/13 9:41pm
Raymond van Barneveld with runner-up Peter Wright (Image PDC)
Raymond van Barneveld clinched his first ranking title of the year with a 6-3 defeat of Peter Wright in Sunday's Players Championship final in Dublin.
The Dutchman swept to the £10,000 first prize at the Citywest Hotel by producing some sublime darts in the final event before the partypoker.com World Grand Prix kicks off on Monday.
Having defeated the Essex pair of Steve Maish and Paul Barham in the opening two rounds, he then edged to a 6-5 victory over Jamie Caven in the last 32, taking the deciding leg by scoring 177 and then finishing 64 in two darts.
He would drop only four more legs in his next three games as he won through to the final by defeating Wayne Jones, Kevin Painter and Andrew Gilding, before seeing off Wright to take the title.
"It's a great boost for me ahead of the World Grand Prix, and my form's great going into the event," said van Barneveld. "I played some awesome darts on Saturday before I lost to Brendan Dolan, but the first two or three rounds today weren't as solid.
"I got lucky against Jamie Caven, winning 6-5, but after I was great and I'm really over the moon with the way I'm playing."
The win sealed van Barneveld's place in November's Cash Converters Players Championship Finals - which is based on prize money won in ProTour events - and was an ideal preparation for Tuesday's World Grand Prix opener with Stuart Kellett.
Wright's run to the final saw him pick up £5,000 in prize money as he continues to progress towards the world's top 16 and maintained his recent run of form.
The Lowestoft ace opened the day with a 6-3 victory over Northern Ireland's Daryl Gurney before whitewashing Mark Frost and Arron Monk and picking up deciding-leg wins over Ronnie Baxter and Robert Thornton.
He then defeated Michael van Gerwen 6-4 in a high-quality semi-final which saw both players average over 101, but was unable to defeat a second Dutchman in the decider.