PAUL NICHOLSON won his second Players Championship in Crawley of 2011, defeating resurgent Terry Jenkins 6-3 in Sunday’s final at the K2 Centre.

Nicholson had been victorious in March by winning a Players Championship at the venue, ending over a year without a tournament win for the 32-year-old.

He added a further victory in Sunday’s event, scooping the £6,000 first prize with a comeback win as Jenkins suffered defeat in the final for a second successive day.

Nicholson defeated Nicky Bache, Mark Frost and Mark Walsh to reach the quarter-finals of Sunday’s event, where he edged out Steve Brown 6-5.

He also repeated that scoreline in a dramatic semi-final with Wes Newton, who hit back from 3-1 down to level at four-all but missed a dart at the bullseye for a 167 finish in the deciding leg before Nicholson checked out double 18 for a 13-dart winning leg.

Despite that high, Nicholson was slow to start in the final as Jenkins broke in 13 darts and took out 117 to lead 2-0.

Although Nicholson hit back with a 13-dart leg to get off the mark, Jenkins replied in 14 on double top to lead 3-1.

Nicholson took the fifth with a 112 finish, and punished missed doubles from Jenkins in the next two as the game’s momentum swung to see the Newcastle-born ace lead 4-3.

Nicholson added a 180 in a 14-darter to break throw and win a fifth leg, before finishing 126 on the bullseye to win the title in the next with a 12-darter.

“I wish we could play all tournaments here!” said Nicholson. “This is fast-becoming a favourite venue of mine and it’s great to win again.

“The first win was a bit of a monkey off my back and I also got through to the final on the Sunday last time, and that experience got me through this time.

“I’ve got a bit more fighting spirit in me this year and I’ve got no doubt in my game now. If I was behind last year I would have lost, but I’m a different animal now.

“I’m really looking forward to the major tournament now and that starts in Bolton in a fortnight at the UK Open. I’ve had some chequered experiences there in the last two years but I’ve made an oath that I won’t make any mistakes this year.

“I’ve moved to Lancashire now and believe I’ve got more fans there now, and going into a major in this form means I can’t help but be positive.”

Jenkins had been defeated by Gary Anderson in Saturday’s final, but claimed a total of £6,000 for the weekend as he showed great form in reply to missing out on the 888.com Premier League Darts Play-Offs.

Having defeated namesake Andy Jenkins and Holland’s Co Stompe 6-2 in his opening two games, he then overcame Darren Johnson 6-3 and defeated Mark Webster 6-5 in the quarter-finals.

He then saw off Scott Rand 6-4 in a tight semi-final, but paid for missed doubles in the final.

Rand’s run to the last four was his best performance on the PDC ProTour since turning professional a year ago, following two previous quarter-final appearances this year.

The Coventry-based player impressed with wins over Matt Clark, Jamie Caven, Matthew Edgar, Justin Pipe and John Henderson before being edged out by Jenkins.

In-form Newton continued his fine year with a sixth semi-final appearance, which included a superb 6-4 win over Vincent van der Voort in a high-quality quarter-final, which saw the Dutchman miss double 12 for a nine-dart finish.

Henderson’s run to the last eight improves his chances, alongside Rand and Steve Brown, of qualifying for the summer’s World Matchplay through the Players Championship Order of Merit after adding a further £1,000 to his year’s total.

Anderson’s bid to follow Thursday’s Premier League Darts win and Saturday’s title with another victory saw him lose out in the last 64 of Sunday’s event, as he suffered his first loss since May 5 with a 6-4 reverse against Spain’s Antonio Alcinas.

Players Championship Ten (Sunday)
First Round
Gary Anderson (1) Bye
Antonio Alcinas 6-2 Gary Mawson
Mark Dudbridge (32) 6-4 Wayne Atwood
Darren Johnson 6-4 Louis Blundell
Co Stompe (16) Bye
Michael Mansell 6-2 James Richardson
Terry Jenkins (17) Bye
Andy Jenkins 6-3 Steve Grubb
Colin Lloyd (8) Bye
Alex Roy 6-3 Adam Hunt
Steve Beaton (25) 6-1 Colin Monk
Roland Scholten 6-2 Simon Burt
Mark Webster (9) Bye
Matt Jackson 6-3 Wayne Mardle
Richie Burnett (24) 6-5 Matt Padgett
Michael Barnard 6-4 Robert Thornton
Ronnie Baxter (5) Bye
Michael Rosenauer 6-3 Peter Manley
Dennis Smith (28) 6-5 Paul Rowley
Steve Hine 6-5 Jason Crawley
John Part (12) Bye
Kevin Dowling 6-3 Reece Robinson
Andy Hamilton (21) Bye
John Henderson 6-0 Ashley Holgate
Jamie Caven (4) Bye
Scott Rand 6-2 Matt Clark
Tony Eccles (29) 6-2 Andy Relf
Matthew Edgar 6-3 John MaGowan
Justin Pipe (13) Bye
Mareno Michels 6-3 Gary Eastwood
Andy Smith (20) Bye
Devon Petersen 6-0 Andy Brown
Wes Newton (2) Bye
Ian White 6-4 Shaun Griffiths
Peter Wright (31) 6-5 Prakash Jiwa
Ken MacNeil 6-3 Michael van Gerwen
Mervyn King (15) Bye
Adrian Gray 6-0 Adrian Bolitho
Kevin Painter (18) Bye
Nigel Heydon 6-5 Brendan Dolan
Vincent van der Voort (7) Bye
Nick Fullwell 6-0 Dave Smith
Mick Todd 6-5 Mark Hylton (26)
Adam Smith-Neale 6-5 Nandor Bezzeg
Alan Tabern (10) Bye
Magnus Caris 6-4 Joe Cullen
Colin Osborne (23) Bye
Dave Ladley 6-4 Andy Hutchings
Mark Walsh (6) Bye
Chris Thompson 6-4 Barrie Bates
Terry Temple 6-2 Jelle Klaasen (27)
Gary Welding 6-2 Jon Archer
Paul Nicholson (11) Bye
Nicky Bache 6-3 Steve Evans
Wayne Jones (22) Bye
Mark Frost 6-2 Mark Jones
Simon Whitlock (3) Bye
Kevin McDine 6-0 Ryan Harrington
Steve Brown (30) 6-5 Brian Woods
Dave Chisnall 6-4 Steve Maish
James Wade (14) Bye
Peter Hudson 6-3 Jimmy Mann
Steve Farmer (19) Bye
Michael Smith 6-4 Darren Whittingham

Second Round
Antonio Alcinas 6-4 Gary Anderson
Darren Johnson 6-4 Mark Dudbridge
Co Stompe 6-4 Michael Mansell
Terry Jenkins 6-2 Andy Jenkins
Colin Lloyd 6-5 Alex Roy
Roland Scholten 6-3 Steve Beaton
Mark Webster 6-0 Matt Jackson
Michael Barnard 6-4 Richie Burnett
Ronnie Baxter 6-3 Michael Rosenauer
Steve Hine 6-3 Dennis Smith
John Part 6-2 Kevin Dowling
John Henderson 6-3 Andy Hamilton
Scott Rand 6-4 Jamie Caven
Matthew Edgar 6-5 Tony Eccles
Justin Pipe 6-5 Mareno Michels
Andy Smith 6-2 Devon Petersen
Wes Newton 6-2 Ian White
Peter Wright 6-1 Ken MacNeil
Mervyn King 6-2 Adrian Gray
Kevin Painter 6-2 Nigel Heydon
Vincent van der Voort 6-2 Nick Fullwell
Mick Todd 6-2 Adam Smith-Neale
Magnus Caris 6-5 Alan Tabern
Colin Osborne 6-0 Dave Ladley
Mark Walsh 6-2 Chris Thompson
Gary Welding 6-5 Terry Temple
Paul Nicholson 6-2 Nicky Bache
Mark Frost 6-4 Wayne Jones
Simon Whitlock 6-0 Kevin McDine
Steve Brown 6-4 Dave Chisnall
James Wade 6-2 Peter Hudson
Steve Farmer 6-5 Michael Smith
Losers £200

Third Round
Darren Johnson 6-2 Antonio Alcinas
Terry Jenkins 6-2 Co Stompe
Colin Lloyd 6-4 Roland Scholten
Mark Webster 6-1 Michael Barnard
Ronnie Baxter 6-4 Steve Hine
John Henderson 6-3 John Part
Scitt Rand 6-5 Matthew Edgar
Justin Pipe 6-5 Andy Smith
Wes Newton 6-3 Peter Wright
Kevin Painter 6-3 Mervyn King
Vincent van der Voort 6-0 Mick Todd
Magnus Caris 6-2 Colin Osborne
Mark Walsh 6-1 Gary Welding
Paul Nicholson 6-3 Mark Frost
Steve Brown 6-4 Simon Whitlock
Steve Farmer 6-2 James Wade
Losers £400

Fourth Round
Terry Jenkins 6-3 Darren Johnson
Mark Webster 6-3 Colin Lloyd
John Henderson 6-3 Ronnie Baxter
Scott Rand 6-3 Justin Pipe
Wes Newton 6-3 Kevin Painter
Vincent van der Voort 6-3 Magnus Caris
Paul Nicholson 6-3 Mark Walsh
Steve Brown 6-3 Steve Farmer
Losers £600

Quarter-Finals
Terry Jenkins 6-5 Mark Webster
Scott Rand 6-2 John Henderson
Wes Newton 6-4 Vincent van der Voort
Paul Nicholson 6-5 Steve Brown
Losers £1,000

Semi-Finals
Terry Jenkins 6-4 Scott Rand
Paul Nicholson 6-5 Wes Newton
Losers £2,000

Final
Paul Nicholson 6-3 Terry Jenkins
Winner £6,000
Runner-Up £3,000

Final – Leg by leg
Terry Jenkins v Paul Nicholson
0-0 – Paul Nicholson wins the bull and will throw first.
1-0 – Jenkins breaks in 13 darts on double top, with Nicholson waiting on 28.
2-0 – Nicholson is first to a finish but fails to check out 122 and Jenkins takes out 117 on double top.
2-1 – Nicholson opens with a 180 and finishes tops for a 13-dart leg.
3-1 – Jenkins hits a 14-dart finish to lead by two legs once more, landing double top.
3-2 – Nicholson takes out 112 to hit back.
3-3 – Jenkins misses five darts for the leg before Nicholson gains a reprieve for an earlier miss at double ten – for a 128 finish – by hitting the bed at the second time of asking to level.
3-4 – Both players hit 180s, but Jenkins misses two darts to punish further errant doubling from Nicholson, who returns to land tops and lead for the first time.
3-5 – Nicholson scores 100, 140 and 180 before finishing double 12 for a 14-darter to break.
3-6 – Jenkins opens with a 180, but Nicholson keeps pace with two 140s and finishes 126 on the bull for a 12-darter to win his second Players Championship in Crawley this year.

Source – PDC

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