Joe Murnan won his first PDC ranking title with a brilliant 6-4 victory over Dave Chisnall at Sunday’s Players’ Championship at K2.
The Bolton ace picked up the £10,000 first prize and put himself in line to qualify for July’s BetVictor World Matchplay as he went all the way to glory on the PDC ProTour for the first time.
Ranked 73rd in the world going into the weekend, Murnan had lost his PDC Tour Card at the end of 2014 but bounced back by reaching the German Darts Championship quarter-finals in February.
He will now move into the world’s top 64 following this triumph, although more significantly jumps up the ProTour Order of Merit into the provisional qualifying places for the World Matchplay this summer - and in line to compete in other major tournaments during 2015.
Murnan opened Sunday’s tournament with a 6-4 win over number seven seed Vincent van der Voort.
He then saw-off youngsters Adam Hunt, Dimitri Van den Bergh and Josh Payne to reach the quarter-finals, where he was a 6-3 winner against Betway Premier League star Stephen Bunting.
Murnan then overcame Daryl Gurney 6-3 in the semi-finals before recording an impressive triumph over another Premier League ace, high-flying Dave Chisnall.
Murnan then overcame Daryl Gurney 6-3 in the semi-finals before recording an impressive triumph over another Premier League ace, high-flying Chisnall.
Murnan held his own with a 121 checkout and legs of 12, 14 and 15 darts to share the final’s opening six legs, before breaking throw with a 14-dart leg, which featured a 180, to lead 4-3.
He then finished 67 for a 15-dart leg to lead 5-3, and though Chisnall hit back with a 14-darter it was the Bolton ace tho finished tops in the next to complete the finest day of his career to date.
Chisnall’s run included brilliant victories over the world’s top two players - Michael van Gerwen and Phil Taylor - and saw him pick up £5,000 prize money.
After opening the day with wins over Wayne Jones and Gary Stone, he then overcame Taylor 6-5 in the last 32, and after seeing off Andy Smith and PDC Unicorn World Youth Champion Keegan Brown - sealing the win with a 167 finish - he then defeated van Gerwen 6-4 in the semis.
Michael van Gerwen 6-2 Andrew Gilding
Dave Chisnall 6-4 Keegan Brown
Joe Murnan 6-3 Stephen Bunting
Daryl Gurney 6-5 Brendan Dolan
Dave Chisnall 6-4 Michael van Gerwen
Joe Murnan 6-3 Daryl Gurney
Joe Murnan 6-4 Dave Chisnall
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