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SIMON WHITLOCK won his first ranking title for almost two years by defeating Andy Hamilton 6-4 in the final of Sunday^s Players Championship at the Barnsley Metrodome.

The Australian ace, who has lost in the McCoy^s Premier League Darts and Cash Converters World Cup finals this year, picked up his first Players Championship victory since October 2010 as he edged out Hamilton for the £6,000 first prize.

Whitlock had been a quarter-finalist in Saturday^s Players Championship, and continued his form to go all the way 24 hours later.

He defeated Tony Littleton, Scott Rand and Kim Huybrechts to ensure another last eight spot, and was pushed all the way to the 11th leg by Steve Maish before progressing to the semis, where he battled past Dennis Priestley 6-2.

Whitlock then found himself 2-0 down in the final before hitting back to level at two-all, with the next four also shared as the Australian posted a second 11-darter to square the match at four-all.

He then broke for the first time on double eight before hitting his fourth 180 of the final and double 16 to seal the win.

Hamilton had been a semi-finalist on Saturday, but avenged his defeat to Michael van Gerwen with a win over the young Dutchman on his way to the decider, taking a 6-2 win his their last four clash.

The World Championship finalist also overcame Johnny Haines, Ian Moss, Liam Kelly, Wayne Jones and Nigel Heydon on the day, but was denied his first ranking win since 2007 by the defeat to Whitlock.

Saturday^s winner Van Gerwen claimed a further £2,000 prize money in his run to the semis, missing double 12 for a nine-darter against Hamilton and averaging almost 107 in a win over Jamie Caven.

Two-time World Champion Dennis Priestley won through to the last four on home soil in Barnsley, with the 62-year-old showing his class with wins over Michael Smith, Steve Hine and Justin Pipe on the day.

Pipe and Heydon were amongst the quarter-final losers on the day, where they were joined by Steve Maish - who reached the last eight for the first time in two years - and Prakash Jiwa, who impressed with his wins over Gary Anderson and Dean Winstanley.

Terry Jenkins, a semi-finalist on Saturday, continued his form by averaging close to 107 in his third round win over Brendan Dolan, only to be denied in the last 16 by van Gerwen.

The weekend^s two events were the last Players Championships to count towards qualification for next month^s World Grand Prix in Dublin, with the field to be confirmed next Sunday following the European Championship in Germany.

Players Championship 12

Barnsley Metrodome, Sunday September 16
First Round
Justin Pipe (1) Bye
Terry Temple 6-3 Jim Walker
John Part (32) 6-4 Andrew Gilding
Ross Smith 6-5 Barrie Bates
Vincent van der Voort (16) 6-2 John Henderson
Magnus Caris 6-4 Gareth Pass
Arron Monk 6-3 Mark Webster (17)
John Walton 6-4 Steven Pearson
Ian White (8) Bye
Steve Hine 6-3 Denis Ovens
Peter Wright (25) 6-4 Andy Jenkins
Mark Frost 6-1 Andy Relf
Ronnie Baxter (9) Bye
Brian Woods 6-1 Stephen Hardy
Dennis Priestley 6-5 Michael Smith (24)
Martin Perring 6-0 Andy Firth
Simon Whitlock (5) Bye
Tony Littleton 6-4 Alex Roy
Scott Rand (28) 6-3 Stuart Kellett
Michael Barnard 6-5 Mark Dudbridge
Kim Huybrechts (12) 6-0 Jamie Lewis
Alan Tabern 6-4 Keegan Brown
Paul Nicholson (21) 6-3 Chris Thompson
Darren Webster 6-0 Daniel Day
James Wade (4) Bye
Shaun Griffiths 6-3 Joe Murnan
William O^Connor 6-5 James Richardson (29)
Mark Jones 6-1 Matt Clark
Richie Burnett (13) 6-4 Dennis Smith
Peter Hudson 6-3 Bernd Roith
Steve Maish 6-2 Mark Walsh (20)
Sam Hill 6-4 Chris Aubrey
Dave Chisnall (2) Bye
Les Wallace 6-3 Reece Robinson
Wayne Jones (31) 6-0 John Scott
Roland Scholten 6-1 Adam Smith-Neale
Paul Barham 6-5 Colin Osborne (15)
Liam Kelly 6-3 Steve Farmer
Andy Hamilton (18) 6-4 Johnny Haines
Ian Moss 6-5 Mark Forman
Mervyn King (7) Bye
Nick Fullwell 6-1 John Bowles
Robert Thornton (26) 6-1 Keith Stephen
Steve Brown 6-2 Scott Coleman
Colin Lloyd (10) Bye
Richie Howson 6-0 Devon Petersen
Nigel Heydon 6-2 Andy Smith (23)
Kevin Dowling 6-4 Dave Ladley
Michael van Gerwen (6) Bye
Kevin McDine 6-5 Gino Vos
Jamie Caven (27) 6-2 Ted Hankey
Mareno Michels 6-2 Adrian Gray
Terry Jenkins (11) Bye
James Hubbard 6-5 Michael Mansell
Brendan Dolan (22) 6-5 Steve Grubb
Darren Johnson 6-1 Mark Lawrence
Wes Newton (3) Bye
Daniel Starkey 6-4 Paul Rowley
Joe Cullen (30) 6-2 Matthew Edgar
Tony West 6-1 Darren Whittingham
Prakash Jiwa 6-4 Gary Anderson (14)
Gaz Cousins 6-3 Mick Todd
Dean Winstanley 6-4 Steve Beaton (19)
Adrian Bolitho 6-3 Simon Burt

Second Round
Justin Pipe 6-0 Terry Temple
John Part 6-2 Ross Smith
Magnus Caris 6-5 Vincent van der Voort
Arron Monk 6-0 John Walton
Steve Hine 6-4 Ian White
Peter Wright 6-0 Mark Frost
Brian Woods 6-5 Ronnie Baxter
Dennis Priestley 6-1 Martin Perring
Simon Whitlock 6-2 Tony Littleton
Scott Rand 6-0 Michael Barnard
Kim Huybrechts 6-4 Alan Tabern
Darren Webster 6-5 Paul Nicholson
James Wade 6-1 Shaun Griffiths
Mark Jones 6-4 William O^Connor
Richie Burnett 6-5 Peter Hudson
Steve Maish 6-2 Sam Hill
Dave Chisnall 6-3 Les Wallace
Wayne Jones 6-1 Roland Scholten
Liam Kelly 6-3 Paul Barham
Andy Hamilton 6-1 Ian Moss
Nick Fullwell 6-5 Mervyn King
Robert Thornton 6-2 Steve Brown
Colin Lloyd 6-2 Richie Howson
Nigel Heydon 6-2 Kevin Dowling
Michael van Gerwen 6-5 Kevin McDine
Jamie Caven 6-1 Mareno Michels
Terry Jenkins 6-4 James Hubbard
Brendan Dolan 6-5 Darren Johnson
Wes Newton 6-0 Daniel Starkey
Joe Cullen 6-4 Tony West
Prakash Jiwa 6-2 Gaz Cousins
Dean Winstanley 6-2 Adrian Bolitho
Losers £200

Third Round
Justin Pipe 6-2 John Part
Arron Monk 6-5 Magnus Caris
Steve Hine 6-3 Peter Wright
Dennis Priestley 6-2 Brian Woods
Simon Whitlock 6-4 Scott Rand
Kim Huybrechts 6-5 Darren Webster
Mark Jones 6-5 James Wade
Steve Maish 6-2 Richie Burnett
Wayne Jones 6-4 Dave Chisnall
Andy Hamilton 6-1 Liam Kelly
Robert Thornton 6-5 Nick Fullwell
Nigel Heydon 6-5 Colin Lloyd
Michael van Gerwen 6-4 Jamie Caven
Terry Jenkins 6-1 Brendan Dolan
Joe Cullen 6-5 Wes Newton
Prakash Jiwa 6-4 Dean Winstanley
Losers £400

Fourth Round
Justin Pipe 6-3 Arron Monk
Dennis Priestley 6-5 Steve Hine
Simon Whitlock 6-4 Kim Huybrechts
Steve Maish 6-5 Mark Jones
Andy Hamilton 6-3 Wayne Jones
Nigel Heydon 6-3 Robert Thornton
Michael van Gerwen 6-5 Terry Jenkins
Prakash Jiwa 6-2 Joe Cullen
Losers £600

Dennis Priestley 6-5 Justin Pipe
Simon Whitlock 6-5 Steve Maish
Andy Hamilton 6-5 Nigel Heydon
Michael van Gerwen 6-5 Prakash Jiwa
Losers £1,000

Simon Whitlock 6-2 Dennis Priestley
Andy Hamilton 6-2 Michael van Gerwen
Losers £2,000

Simon Whitlock 6-4 Andy Hamilton
Winner £6,000
Runner-Up £3,000

Final - Leg-By-Leg
Simon Whitlock v Andy Hamilton
0-1 - Hamilton takes out 99 to win the opening leg.
0-2 - Hamilton lands a 171 and steps in following Whitlock^s missed tops to break throw and double his lead on double eight.
1-2 - Whitlock scores 180, 140 and 145 before finishing 36 on double 18 for an 11-darter.
2-2 - Double four for Whitlock sees him level matters.
2-3 - Hamilton is first to a finish, courtesy of three ton-plus scores, as he regains the lead on double eight.
3-3 - Whitlock levels with a fine 14-dart finish, ending on double ten.
3-4 - Whitlock misses two darts to break on 63 and Hamilton returns to edge back ahead on double eight.
4-4 - Whitlock opens with a 180 and also scores 99 and 134 before taking out 88 for another 11-darter.
5-4 - Whitlock breaks by finishing double eight.
6-4 - Whitlock hits a 180 to leave 64 after 12 darts and takes out the finish on double 16 to claim his ranking title since October 2010.

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