JAMES WADE claimed the first major title of his career with an 18-7 win over Terry Jenkins at the Stan James World Matchplay on Saturday night.

Wade, 24, picked up the £50,000 winners’ cheque with a sensational performance at the Winter Gardens to see off the in-form number five seed.

Wade produced a stunning display of finishing to defeat Adrian Lewis in the semi-finals, and took out three ton-plus finishes in the decider.

Jenkins never recovered from finding himself 6-1 down early on in the contest as Wade bettered last year’s run to the final by claiming the trophy this time around.

“It’s a dream come true,” said Wade, who moves up to third in the world behind Phil Taylor and Raymond van Barneveld as a result of this win.

“I’ve worked so hard for this day throughout my career. It’s unbelievable.”

Wade made a stunning start, winning six of the first seven legs and taking out 134 and 121 finishes.

Jenkins had won leg two, after Wade missed a dart at double top, and took two out of three to move into the second break of the game just 7-3 down.

Wade, though, restored his advantage with back-to-back legs, and then reeled off four in a row to move 13-4 up.

Jenkins – who knocked out Phil Taylor in the semi-finals – kept battling and produced a 120 finish in pulling back to 15-7.

But Wade was not in the mood to allow his lead to slip any further, with double ten and double two moving him to within a leg of victory.

He then landed three ton-plus scores in the next to set up a 13-darter, and landed double top for the title.

“I was nervous for the first ten legs but then I went into auto-pilot – I went into my Wadey World, which is quite a fun place at the moment!

“It still hasn’t sunk in. To win a TV tournament was a dream of mine, and this is the second biggest one of them all.

“My aim this year was to win a place in next year’s Premier League, and now I’m up to third in the world I should be there, so it’s the icing on the cake in many ways.”

Jenkins praised Wade’s superb finishing throughout the tournament, saying: “I’ve never seen anybody finish like that in my life.

“I felt I played quite well, although I started off quite slowly and let him get a bit of a lead.

“Then I started scoring and thought maybe that would slow him down, but it didn’t! I can’t take anything away from him, he played brilliantly.

“It was a bit frustrating, everybody I seem to play performs like that but, at the end of the day, it will make me a better player and one day I will win a major title.

“I’m pleased with this week, how could you not be after reaching four televised finals within a year? There’s a lot of players who would love to swap places with me.”

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