Damon Heta beats Gary Anderson to claim third career title

Damon Heta ended his 18-month wait for a title after storming to victory at the fifth Players Championship event of the season.

The Australian enjoyed an 8-6 win over Gary Anderson in the final to not only win his third career title but also bank £12,000 in prize money. 

Heta's first career success came in 2019 when he won the Brisbane Darts Masters. The 34-year-old followed that up with a second title on the ProTour a year later.

Anderson, who won Thursday's Premier League event in Nottingham, continued his strong form in Barnsley but fell at the final hurdle.

The two-time World Champion led in the final having produced two early 12 dart legs. However, Heta receovered from 4-3 down and produced his own 10-dart leg to move 6-4 in-front.

Gary Anderson in action at the Players Championship, 19 March 2022

There was more quality darts on offer from Anderson who produced back-to-back 14 dart legs in order to level the contest.

Nevertheless, Heta kept his cool and won the next two legs to end the final with a stellar 107.27 average.

Heta had defeated Dimitri Van den Bergh 7-4 in their semi-final, and also saw off Danny Jansen, Jimmy Hendriks, Keane Barry, Steve Beaton and Daryl Gurney on his way to the title.

"It's massive for me," said Heta, who finished eight doubles from 13 attempts in the final and shared ten 180s with Anderson.

"I knew how well Gary was playing, he was playing sensational darts, but I'm accustomed to the scene now and you've got to take whatever opportunity you've got.

"To win today is massive because I went all last year playing well, I made some finals but not to get a win was a bit disheartening.

"To get a win over another Premier League player is massive for me. I'm always looking up, I've still got everything to gain.

"I don't think I played my best stuff today but I took my chances. I played some decent players that no doubt could win this thing, but I played my own game."

Anderson, in contrast, looked on course to claim his first Players Championship win in over two years after a brilliant showing in Barnsley.

After averaging 107 in his opening win over Jason Lowe, the Flying Scotsman then knocked out Michael van Gerwen 6-4 in round two.

The Scot then averaged 109 to edge out Simon Whitlock, 101 against Chris Dobey, 113 in a quarter-final win over Rob Cross and 104 in his semi-final success against Joe Cullen.

Cullen had landed a nine-darter during his third-round win over James Wilson, with emerging star Josh Rock also achieving perfection for the first time on the professional circuit in his memorable first round defeat of Dave Chisnall.

The Players Championship double-header in Barnsley concludes on Sunday with Players Championship 6, which will see 128 players competing for £100,000 in prize money.

Coverage from two streams simultaneously will be available through PDCTV.

PHOTO CREDIT: Damon Heta (Kais Bodensieck, PDC Europe) and Gary Anderson (Taylor Lanning, PDC)

READ MORE: Gary Anderson ends 'soul-destroying' run to climb off bottom of Premier League table

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