Simon Whitlock beat Dennis Priestley to win Players Championship in Crawley
Last Updated: 04/11/12 12:15am
Simon Whitlock: In form and victorious in Crawley
Simon Whitlock continued his run of success by defeating veteran star Dennis Priestley 6-2 in the final of Saturday's Players Championship in Crawley.
The Australian, September's PartyPoker.net European Championship winner and last weekend's Dutch Darts Masters champion, picked up his second Players Championship win of the autumn with a determined display.
He saw off Richie Howson 6-3 in his first game but had to come from 5-2 down to see off Steve Farmer in a deciding leg and reach the last 16, where he edged out Richie Burnett.
Terry Jenkins was dispatched in the quarter-finals and another 6-4 scoreline, this time against up-and-coming Ian White, set up a showdown against two-time World Champion Priestley.
The world No 6 took the final's opening leg before Priestley hit a 180 and a 130 checkout to level - but it was Whitlock who took command by winning the next three on double ten, double six and double 19 for a 4-1 lead.
Whitlock fired home a 160 checkout for a 12-darter to move a leg away from the win, but missed two match darts in the next as Priestley finished double ten to keep his hopes alive.
The 62-year-old then traded 180s in the next, but missed double to to win a third leg and Whitlock pinned double top to seal the win.
"It feels fantastic," said Whitlock, who was also the Championship League Darts runner-up on Thursday.
"I'm looking forward to every single time I play at the moment - I love winning and I've got to keep trying to win more and more.
"I was 5-2 down against Steve Farmer in our match and I felt like giving up but then something kicked in to never say die, and I went on to win the tournament!
"Dennis has been around for a long time and is still a brilliant dart player, and fair play to him for reaching the final. He played really well - I enjoy playing him and he brings the best out of me, and you certainly don't want to draw him."
Priestley can take consolation in a run to the final that will effectively secure his qualification for the Ladbrokes World Darts Championship in December through the ProTour Order of Merit.
He had opened the day with a defeat of Vincent van der Voort before beating Les Wallace, Mervyn King, Dave Chisnall and Kevin Painter to reach the semi-finals, where he averaged over 100 in a 6-1 rout of in-form Michael van Gerwen.