DARYL GURNEY won his first ranking title with a superb 6-3 defeat of Kim Huybrechts to claim Players Championship Seven in Barnsley on Saturday.
The Waterside ace's emergence continued as he claimed the £10,000 title in his first Players Championship final, following up last month's run to the Coral UK Open semi-finals by going all the way on this occasion.
Wins over Germany's Martin Schindler, Dutchman Vincent Kamphuis and Spain's Cristo Reyes took Gurney into the last 16, where he knocked out in-form Australian Simon Whitlock.
Gurney then edged out Irish youngster Steve Lennon 6-5 in the quarter-finals and overcame Gerwyn Price in 10 legs at the last four stage to book his spot in the final.
There, Gurney came from a leg down to lead 4-1 against Huybrechts, taking out 112 for one of two breaks of throw, and though the Dutchman pulled back two legs, finishes of 76 and double five secured Gurney the title.
The 31-year-old's only previous ranking final had been at the 2016 Dutch Darts Masters, where he lost out to Michael van Gerwen, while his win comes weeks after he was included in the World Series of Darts field for the PDC U.S. Masters in July.
"I'm nearly speechless!" admitted Gurney. "I've made so many semi-finals and quarter-finals, everything but getting to the final, and then I get to the final and the first chance I get I win it - I can't believe it.
"Today I won a couple of 6-5s and I didn't let it get to me. I played well today and it's unbelievable.
"There's a lot of players out there who believe they can win one of these, but you can't say you've won anything until you step over that bit of ground that says you're a winner.
"My consistency has been there probably since the start of the year, and the only thing that was really missing in my eyes was getting to a final. To get to a final and win it was the overall plan."