Keegan Brown secured his first ProTour title for seven years with a dramatic 8-7 defeat of Nathan Aspinall in last night’s Players Championship 23 final in Barnsley.
Wednesday’s winner Aspinall was chasing back-to-back victories after winning through to another decider at the Metrodome.
However, the former World Youth Champion battled back from 7-6 down to snatch victory and the £12,000 top prize.
Brown had also led 2-0 and 6-4 during the final, only to see Aspinall survive missed match darts in leg 11, finish 170 to level at six-all and then land double two to move ahead.
Brown took the tie to a deciding leg, and he was first to a finish before returning from a missed double top to secure the title on double ten.
“I’m absolutely over the moon,” admitted Brown. “Nathan’s a champion, he’s a fighter but I thought to myself to stick with him, you get a chance with anyone.
“I think I’ve got luck on my side. I felt confident and it’s a long time since I felt confident.”
Brown had knocked out World Champion Peter Wright with a 7-4 success, and he also defeated Jose de Sousa, Darren Webster, Luc Peters, Danny Baggish and Chris Dobey on the day.
The Isle of Wight star’s only previous senior PDC title had come in 2015 at a Players Championship in Coventry, but Thursday’s win eases the pressure he was facing about potentially losing his Tour Card at the end of the year.
“Never give up,” he admitted. “I can’t tell you how many times over the last two years I wanted to pack it all away. My sponsors had faith in me, I kept plodding along and here we are.
“It’s been awful, but darts is a marathon, not a sprint and you have to keep plugging away. I wanted to save my Tour Card and it’s the only time I’ve ever probably believed in myself.”
Aspinall continued the fine form which had seen him win Wednesday’s opening event of the treble-header.
The former UK Open champion averaged 103 in wins over Rusty-Jake Rodriguez and Andrew Gilding, before he edged through a tight semi-final with Ted Evetts in a deciding leg.
World Youth Champion Evetts – who turned 25 on Wednesday – enjoyed his best run of the year as he overcame reigning UK Open champion Danny Noppert in one of five wins.
Wright overcame Michael Smith in a repeat of the World Championship final during his run to the last four, while Smith was joined by Alan Soutar, Shaun Wilkinson and Dobey in the quarter-finals.
The day also featured a nine-dart finish from Jack Main, although the achievement was not enough to help him win his first round tie with Rob Cross.
Last 16: Alan Soutar 6-4 Ricardo Pietreczko; Ted Evetts 6-5 Danny Noppert; Nathan Aspinall 6-4 Andrew Gilding; Shaun Wilkinson 6-4 Rob Cross; Michael Smith 6-1 Niels Zonneveld; Peter Wright 6-4 George Killington; Keegan Brown 6-2 Danny Baggish; Chris Dobey 6-3 Dirk van Duijvenbode
Quarter-Finals: Ted Evetts 6-2 Alan Soutar; Nathan Aspinall 6-1 Shaun Wilkinson; Peter Wright 6-3 Michael Smith; Keegan Brown 6-4 Chris Dobey
Semi-Finals: Nathan Aspinall 7-6 Ted Evetts; Keegan Brown 7-4 Peter Wright
Final: Keegan Brown 8-7 Nathan Aspinall