Glen Durrant beats Michael van Gerwen 7-2 in battle of world champions on way to Players Championship 15 title victory

Glen Durrant took his tally of titles in his first year on the PDC circuit to two with victory in Players Championship 15 in Barnsley on Saturday.

The reigning BDO world champion followed up his success in Players Championship 4 in February by beating Lithuania’s Darius Labanauskas 8-1 in the final.

In the semi-finals, Durrant produced an eye-catching result as he defeated current PDC world champion Michael van Gerwen 7-2, in what was the first competitive meeting between the two reigning world champions.

Durrant, who on Friday came through both UK Qualifiers for the next two European Tour events, has all but secured his place at the World Matchplay, while the £10,000 pocketed for Saturday’s win pushes the 48-year-old up to 68th on the PDC Order of Merit.

“It feels absolutely fantastic, I can’t put it into words how happy I am right now,” Durrant said.

“Last weekend on the Euro Tour was really difficult for me but this weekend has been perfect. I had a fabulous week in practice and I knew I was playing well.

“I was determined to enjoy today but to win another title is pretty special. I joined the PDC for moments like this.

“Before I played Michael (van Gerwen) I asked if I could have his shirt which I immediately regretted as it showed weakness, but he didn’t play his best game and I was able to capitalise.

“I’ve totally exceeded the initial targets I set myself at the start of the year and soon my goals will be changing but I’m not putting too much pressure on myself at the moment.”

Durrant’s route to PDC title number two began with 6-0 whitewash wins against Matthew Edgar and Simon Stevenson, before 6-4 victories over Kyle Anderson and Danny Noppert, the latter a repeat of the 2017 Lakeside final, took him into the quarter-finals.

Another 6-4 win, this time against PDC World Championship runner-up Michael Smith, set up an intriguing clash with world number one van Gerwen, which Durrant won convincingly as well as the final against Labanauskas to claim the title.

Labanauskas made history by becoming the first player from Lithuania to reach a PDC ranking final. The soon to be World Cup debutant, who was ranked 91st before play, and is now up to 83rd, claimed wins over Gabriel Clemens, Bradley Brooks, Cristo Reyes, Steve Beaton, Ryan Meikle and Ron Meulenkamp to advance to the decider.

Watch the Players Championship 15 final below

Players Championship 15
Last 16
Michael van Gerwen 6-3 Peter Hudson
Chris Dobey 6-3 Vincent van der Meer
Michael Smith 6-5 Justin Pipe
Glen Durrant 6-4 Danny Noppert
Ian White 6-3 Krzysztof Ratajski
Ron Meulenkamp 6-3 David Pallett
Darius Labanauskas 6-5 Steve Beaton
Ryan Meikle 6-3 Nathan Rafferty

Quarter-Finals
Michael van Gerwen 6-5 Chris Dobey
Glen Durrant 6-4 Michael Smith
Ron Meulenkamp 6-5 Ian White
Darius Labanauskas 6-2 Ryan Meikle

Semi-Finals
Glen Durrant 7-2 Michael van Gerwen
Darius Labanauskas 7-4 Ron Meulenkamp

Final
Darius Labanauskas 8-1 Glen Durrant

Listen to Episode 104 of the Weekly Dartscast podcast with special guests Steve Beaton and Stuart Pyke via the player below

Picture: Lawrence Lustig/PDC

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