Ireland’s William O’Connor won his first PDC title after beating Nathan Aspinall 8-4 in the final of Players Championship 13 in Barnsley.
The first day of a mid-week ProTour double-header at the Barnsley Metrodome saw the world number 52 pick up his maiden PDC crown, coming through the 128-player field to pocket the £10,000 prize.
O’Connor, who reached his first PDC final last summer, in the European Darts Matchplay, went one better in Barnsley, averaging 98.7 across the day and hitting 19 maximums.
The Irishman’s route to the title began with a narrow 6-5 win over Rowby-John Rodriguez in the first round, before back-to-back 6-2 victories against Luke Humphries and Luke Woodhouse took the 32-year-old into a last 16 for the first time this season.
O’Connor produced a stunning display in the fourth round, averaging 105.8 to beat Steve Beaton 6-4, and he followed that up with a win over Jeffrey de Zwaan in a last-leg decider to progress to the semi-finals.
O’Connor’s second 100+ average came in the last four, as he averaged 102.2 in a 7-5 victory over Premier League star Daryl Gurney, before he saw off UK Open champion Aspinall 8-4 in the final.
“I’m a bit overwhelmed by it but I’m so happy to have won my first title,” he said.
“I’ve been playing well all year but haven’t had any good results, so maybe I’ve used all my luck in one day.
“I’m happy to move up the rankings a bit and now I want to add a couple more titles to my name and see where it takes me.
“I have the game to win more, I just need to be more consistent and produce a lot better than I have been doing over the years, but the same can be said for many players on tour.”
For Aspinall, it was a first final since winning the UK Open last month. The World Championship semi-finalist defeated Matthew Edgar (6-1), Keegan Brown (6-4), Boris Koltsov (6-4), Robert Owen (6-0), Christian Kist (6-3) and Adrian Lewis (7-4) to reach the final.
The tournament also marked the return of two-time world champion Gary Anderson, appearing in a PDC event for the first time in six weeks, but his day was cut short after losing 6-1 to Geert Nentjes in the first round.
Picture: Lawrence Lustig/PDC