Colin Lloyd ended almost two years without a ranking title by defeating Andy Hamilton 6-5 in the final of Sunday’s Players Championship at the K2 Centre in Crawley.

The former World Matchplay champion secured his place in this month’s tournament at the Winter Gardens in Blackpool and returns to the world’s top 16 following the £6,000 triumph – which was his first win since taking victory at the same venue in September 2010.

Lloyd had recently reached a Players Championship semi-final in Birmingham and hit a nine-darter last week in Berlin at the European Tour event, and continued the form by going all the way in Crawley.

He picked up three successive 6-3 wins in his early victories over Mareno Michels, Gareth Cousins and Aaron Turner before whitewashing Dean Winstanley in the last 16.

Lloyd then saw off Terry Jenkins 6-4 in the quarter-finals and won his semi-final against Ian White by the same scoreline – avenging a defeat to the Stoke thrower at the same stage in April – as he moved into the final against Hamilton.

The pair could not be split for the first six legs before Hamilton produced a hammer blow with a brilliant 152 checkout to break in the seventh, before finishing 72 to lead 5-3.

Lloyd, though, took out 130 on double five to hit back and punished one missed match dart from Hamilton – at double 16 for a 112 finish – by posting double ten to force a decider, which he edged on double five.

“It’s been a while but I’m very happy to have won,” said Lloyd. “I’ve played some good stuff today and battled hard.

“I won my board, and to play Dean Winstanley straight after was a tough game because he’d just beaten James Wade. I never let him get going and got through that and took out some big shots against Terry Jenkins.”

He added: “Andy’s a great player and the 152 seriously hurt, because I was in control of that leg. I went 5-3 down but held my throw and broke him when I got a shot and then won the decider, so I’m happy that I did that.

“I’m over the moon because winning this guarantees that I’ll be in the World Matchplay.

“I love playing in Blackpool and can look forward to that – but I’m looking forward to the European Tour event in Germany next week first because I’m throwing some great stuff at the moment and I’m enjoying myself.

“I think I’ve got the respect of the players back now where they know I’m not just a pushover any more. Someone said to me that while I’ve got a smile on my face I’m dangerous, and someone will have to do a lot to wipe the smile off my face because I’m back to cause some damage!”

Lloyd’s triumph denied Hamilton his first ranking title for five years, but he took home £3,000 as runner-up after reaching his second final inside a month.

The World Championship finalist overcame Belgium’s Kurt Van De Rijck, Spain’s Carlos Rodriguez and Holland’s Michael van Gerwen to reach the last 16, before wins over Arron Monk and Mark Hylton pushed him into the last four against another Belgian, Kim Huybrechts.

Huybrechts led 4-1 at one stage, but Hamilton won the next five legs without reply to win his place in the decider.

Huybrechts’ run to the semis saw him reach the last eight or better in a PDC ProTour event for the eighth time this year, as he continues his progression towards the world’s top 32.

White is another player whose consistency in the ProTour events will see him qualify for the World Matchplay as he followed up a quarter-final in Saturday’s Players Championship by reaching the last four on Sunday.

Justin Pipe and Simon Whitlock joined Jenkins and Hylton in reaching the last eight, while Ted Hankey overcame Mark Webster and Mark Walsh in reaching the last 16 – although he will now miss out on qualification for the World Matchplay.

The qualifiers for the World Matchplay will be decided following next weekend’s £82,100 European Tour event in Dusseldorf, with the world’s top 16 joined by 16 qualifiers from the ProTour Order of Merit.

Players Championship Ten
Sunday July 1 – K2 Centre, Crawley

First Round
Justin Pipe (1) Bye
Steve Hine 6-4 Devon Petersen
James Richardson (32) 6-2 Matt Clark
Chris Thompson 6-5 Steve Grubb
Colin Osborne (16) 6-5 John Bowles
Brian Woods 6-3 John Henderson
Peter Wright (17) 6-2 Stuart Kellett
Ian Moss 6-2 Chris Aubrey
Mark Webster (8) 6-3 John Scott
Ted Hankey 6-3 Gareth Pass
Mark Walsh (25) 6-3 Ian Jopling
Darren Johnson 6-3 Andy Relf
Matthew Edgar 6-2 Mervyn King (9)
Les Wallace 6-4 Robert Thornton
Ian White (24) 6-3 Joe Cullen
Damien Sherwood 6-1 Andrew Palmer
James Wade (5) Bye
Alex Roy 6-5 Kevin McDine
Dean Winstanley 6-3 Co Stompe (28)
Richie Howson 6-3 Mick Todd
Colin Lloyd (12) 6-3 Mareno Michels
Gareth Cousins 6-2 Stephen Hardy
Vincent van der Voort (21) 6-1 Adrian Gray
Aaron Turner 6-1 Ryan Harrington
Ronnie Baxter (4) Bye
Jim Walker 6-5 Nigel Heydon
Adrian Lewis (29) 6-3 Shaun Griffiths
Roland Scholten 6-5 Darren Whittingham
Terry Jenkins (13) 6-2 Steve Maish
Liam Kelly 6-5 Prakash Jiwa
Antonio Alcinas 6-3 Michael Smith (20)
Dave Ladley 6-3 Scott Coleman
Dave Chisnall (2) Bye
Mark Hylton 6-3 Reece Robinson
Scott Rand (31) 6-3 Barrie Bates
Adam Smith-Neale 6-5 Paul Barham
Kevin Painter (15) 6-4 William O’Connor
Paul Rowley 6-5 Wayne Jones
Steve Beaton (18) 6-4 Andy Jenkins
Sam Hill 6-4 Matthew Waddoups
Michael van Gerwen (7) Bye
Keith Stephen 6-5 James Hubbard
Andy Hamilton (26) 6-3 Kurt Van De Rijck
Carlos Rodriguez 6-0 Ashley Holgate
Arron Monk 6-0 Paul Nicholson (10)
Michael Mansell 6-1 Keegan Brown
Brendan Dolan (23) 6-4 Magnus Caris
Jerry Hendriks 6-3 Simon Burt
Simon Whitlock (6) Bye
Michael Barnard 6-5 Steve Brown
Andy Smith (27) 6-0 Gary Butcher
Peter Evison 6-3 Jamie Lewis
John Part (11) 6-3 Joe Murnan
Jelle Klaasen 6-1 Mark Jones
Jamie Caven (22) 6-4 Alan Tabern
Kevin Dowling 6-1 Mark Frost
Wes Newton (3) Bye
Andrew Gilding 6-3 Nick Fullwell
Peter Hudson 6-3 Denis Ovens (30)
Steve Farmer 6-2 Ross Smith
Kim Huybrechts (14) 6-4 Terry Temple
Dennis Smith 6-1 Mark Dudbridge
Richie Burnett (19) 6-3 Johnny Haines
Darren Webster 6-3 Daniel Day

Second Round
Justin Pipe 6-5 Steve Hine
James Richardson 6-0 Chris Thompson
Colin Osborne 6-4 Brian Woods
Peter Wright 6-2 Ian Moss
Ted Hankey 6-5 Mark Webster
Mark Walsh 6-2 Darren Johnson
Les Wallace 6-4 Matthew Edgar
Ian White 6-3 Damien Sherwood
James Wade 6-4 Alex Roy
Dean Winstanley 6-0 Richie Howson
Colin Lloyd 6-3 Gareth Cousins
Aaron Turner 6-3 Vincent van der Voort
Jim Walker 6-2 Ronnie Baxter
Roland Scholten 6-4 Adrian Lewis
Terry Jenkins 6-4 Liam Kelly
Dave Ladley 6-3 Antonio Alcinas
Mark Hylton 6-3 Dave Chisnall
Adam Smith-Neale 6-4 Scott Rand
Kevin Painter 6-3 Paul Rowley
Steve Beaton 6-4 Sam Hill
Michael van Gerwen 6-2 Keith Stephen
Andy Hamilton 6-3 Carlos Rodriguez
Arron Monk 6-3 Michael Mansell
Brendan Dolan 6-3 Jerry Hendriks
Simon Whitlock 6-5 Michael Barnard
Andy Smith 6-0 Peter Evison
John Part 6-3 Jelle Klaasen
Jamie Caven 6-0 Kevin Dowling
Andrew Gilding 6-2 Wes Newton
Peter Hudson 6-4 Steve Farmer
Kim Huybrechts 6-1 Dennis Smith
Darren Webster 6-1 Richie Burnett
Losers £200

Third Round
Justin Pipe 6-1 James Richardson
Peter Wright 6-2 Colin Osborne
Ted Hankey 6-3 Mark Walsh
Ian White 6-1 Les Wallace
Dean Winstanley 6-2 James Wade
Colin Lloyd 6-3 Aaron Turner
Jim Walker 6-4 Roland Scholten
Terry Jenkins 6-1 Dave Ladley
Mark Hylton 6-5 Adam Smith-Neale
Steve Beaton 6-1 Kevin Painter
Andy Hamilton 6-5 Michael van Gerwen
Arron Monk 6-5 Brendan Dolan
Simon Whitlock 6-1 Andy Smith
John Part 6-1 Jamie Caven
Peter Hudson 6-2 Andrew Gilding
Kim Huybrechts 6-1 Darren Webster
Losers £400

Fourth Round
Justin Pipe 6-3 Peter Wright
Ian White 6-0 Ted Hankey
Colin Lloyd 6-0 Dean Winstanley
Terry Jenkins 6-3 Jim Walker
Mark Hylton 6-4 Steve Beaton
Andy Hamilton 6-3 Arron Monk
Simon Whitlock 6-5 John Part
Kim Huybrechts 6-5 Peter Hudson
Losers £600

Quarter-Finals
Ian White 6-2 Justin Pipe
Colin Lloyd 6-4 Terry Jenkins
Andy Hamilton 6-4 Mark Hylton
Kim Huybrechts 6-2 Simon Whitlock
Losers £1,000

Semi-Finals
Colin Lloyd 6-4 Ian White
Andy Hamilton 6-4 Kim Huybrechts
Losers £2,000

Final
Colin Lloyd 6-5 Andy Hamilton
Winner £6,000
Runner-Up £3,000

Final – Leg-By-Leg
Colin Lloyd v Andy Hamilton
0-0 – Colin Lloyd wins the bull and throws first.
1-0 – Lloyd hits a 180 with his second throw and takes out 86 on double eight to win the opening leg.
1-1 – Lloyd lands a 170 in being first to a finish, but misses tops and three darts at double ten to allow Hamilton in to finish 65 in two darts.
2-1 – Lloyd posts scores of 140 and 137 before landing double ten for a 14-dart leg.
2-2 – Hamilton levels with a 14-darter, taking out 72 on double 18.
3-2 – Lloyd misses three darts at tops, but returns when Hamilton is unable to finish 112 to land double ten at the third time of asking.
3-3 – Hamilton squares the game again by posting double eight with his first dart at the double.
3-4 – Hamilton finishes a brilliant 152 checkout to break throw for the first time in the game and take the lead.
3-5 – Hamilton takes out 74 on tops to move a leg away from the match.
4-5 – Lloyd opens with a 180 and takes out 130 on double five to keep the game alive with a 12-darter.
5-5 – Lloyd misses the bull for a 130 finish, but Hamilton misses double 16 for a 112 game shot and Lloyd lands double ten to force a decider.
6-5 – Lloyd is first to a finish and posts double five for the win.

Source – PDC