Players Championship news: Joe Cullen wins in Wigan to secure second title of the year

Joe Cullen backed up last month’s Masters win by claiming the third edition of the Players Championship this season.

The 32-year-old powered to an 8-4 victory over Australia's Damon Heta to win his second title of the year and ninth of his career. 

Cullen is enjoying the best form of his career having won the Masters last January and reached his first Premier League final last Thursday.

The Rockstar got off to a slow start in Saturday's Players Championship but lost just five legs across his opening three victories over Florian Hempel, Gordon Mathers and Vincent van der Voort.

Daryl Gurney provided far more resistance in the Last 16 stage, but the Northern Irish man struggled on the doubles.

Cullen was able to punish SuperChin for his finishing woes and ultimately enjoyed a 6-4 victory.

Jose de Sousa provided another stern challenge in the quarter-final, however Cullen kept his cool and secured a slender 6-5 victory over his Portuguese opponent.

World number 110 Connor Scutt also put on a valiant challenge, but was unable to stop the Rockstar who booked his place in the final with a 7-5 victory.

Cullen clashed with Damon Heta in the showpiece and things seemed relatively straight forward as the Bradford man took a 5-1 lead in the race to eight.

Damon Heta celebrates against Peter Wright during day eleven of the William Hill World Darts Championship at Alexandra Palace, London. Picture date: Tuesday December 28, 2021.

The Australian rallied and pulled the score back to 5-4 but missed three darts at double to level the game. Instead, Cullen found his second wind and secured the title with an 8-4 win.

As well as claiming his ninth career title, Cullen also pocketed £12,000 which moves him up to fourth place in the PDC ProTour Order of Merit.

This leaves the 32-year-old just £8,000 away from second-placed Peter Wright and £31,000 short of world number one Gerwyn Price.

Cullen, who beat Price during Thursday's Premier League event in Liverpool, will now look to win another Players Championship crown on Sunday before travelling to Belfast for the latest instalment of the Premier League. 

READ MORE: PDC ProTour 2022 calendar: Schedule, events, results, prize money and where to watch

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