Brendan Dolan won his first PDC title in 488 days on day one of the second block of PDC Super Series events.
The History Maker looked in fantastic form all day, eventually defeating Michael Smith 8-6 in the final to win Players Championship 5.
It helps solidify his place in the World Matchplay qualification spots, and moves him back to number 33 in the world.
Dolan delights on day one of Super Series
Not many people expected Dolan to be in the final of the first day of Super Series action. However, The History Maker produced a fantastic display to take home his first title since November 2019.
Dolan started brilliantly, firing in a 111.2 average to defeat Jason Lowe. He then beat Jason Lowe, before cruising past World Champion Gerwyn Price 6-3.
Averages of 106.4 and 109.5 saw him beat Damon Heta and Scott Mitchell to make the semi finals, before coming through against Joe Cullen 7-4, dropping just 18 legs in his six games en route to the final.
Smith had dropped just 14 legs before the final, and five of them were in his first round match against Gavin Carlin. Victories over Berry van Peer, Luke Woodhouse, Lisa Ashton and Ryan Searle saw him into a last four clash with Alan Soutar, which he won 7-6 despite averaging 11 points higher.
The final started cagey, with both holding throw three times in the first six legs. The Bully Boy however struck the first blow, taking out 20 with Dolan on double 16 to move 4-3 ahead. The Northern Irishman though responded brilliantly, hitting 82 for an 11 dart immediate break back to level once more.
Both players then held twice, leading the match to get to 6-6, before missing darts to take the 13th leg. Dolan cleaned up 40, to go within one of the title. The 14th leg was a similar story, as both players missed chances. When Bully Boy could not hit double 16 to force a decider, Dolan cleaned up 26 on double four with his final dart in hand, to get over the line and win a title that few saw coming.
What else happened?
Alan Soutar continues to impress after winning his Tour Card at Q-School.
Following a last 16 exit at the UK Open, he made his maiden PDC semi final. He beat Danny Baggish, Glen Durrant, William Borland, Peter Wright and Dirk van Duijvenbode, before losing to Smith in a last leg decider. It also means he’s in contention to qualify for the World Matchplay in his first year.
Joe Cullen also made the semi final, continuing The Rockstar’s good start to the year which has already seen him pick up a Pro Tour title. He found some monster averages, before losing to eventual winner Dolan 7-4.
It looked early on that Dirk Van Duijvenbode was set to win his first ever PDC title. He won four games with over 100 average, before he lost to Soutar in the last eight.
Lisa Ashton also made the last 16 before losing to Michael Smith. She beat Adrian Lewis to win her board, hitting a fantastic 125 checkout with two bulls.
Finally, congratulations to Richie Edhouse and Wayne Jones. They both hit nine dart legs in Milton Keynes today, meaning there’s still been a nine darter in every Super Series event so far.