James Wade is the European Matchplay champion!
The Team Unicorn star put months of near misses behind him to win a thrilling Euro Tour final 6-5 against Dave Chisnall. He had lost his last four finals but survived a Chisnall fightback to take the title.
It is Wade's first tournament victory for 14 months and his 18th win in all on the PDC Pro Tour....and what a day it was for 'The Machine' who pocketed £25,000 and firmly put his Premier League disappointment behind him.
He beat World Champion Gary Anderson and World No.1 Michael van Gerwen on his way to the title in Hamburg.
On Sunday in Germany, he stormed to a brilliant 6-2 victory in the all Unicorn last 16 clash with Anderson. Next came a fantastic last leg win over Benito van de Pas in the quarter-finals.
Wade trailed 4-5 but then hit a 112 check-out to stay in it, and followed that with a brilliant 121 finish to win the deciding leg against the throw. Next he ended Van Gerwen's winning run on the Euro Tour. The Dutchman had won the first three Euro events of 2016, but Wade won comprehensively 6-2.
The final was another thriller!
Wade crucially broke the Chisnall throw to lead 3-1 and extended his lead to 5-2. He was on the brink before Chizzy produced some fine darts. He nailed a 140 finish, followed that with check-outs of 124 and 78 on the bull and it was into another deciding leg.
Chisnall had one match dart. He missed and a relieved Wade took out 82 to claim the big prize.
Meanwhile the Unicorn quartet of Michael Smith, Anderson, Terry Jenkins and Jamie Caven were all beaten at the last 16 stage.....Anderson of course lost to Wade, while Smith went down in a last leg decider to Mensur Suljovic and Caven was beaten 6-3 by Wright. Jenkins was knocked out 6-3 by Max Hopp.
On his Team Unicorn debut, Chris Dobey lost a 2nd Round thriller 6-5 to Jelle Klaasen. At the same stage Kim Huybrechts and Ian White were also beaten. In round one, both Joe Cullen and Devon Petersen were sent through the exit door in Hamburg.
But many congratulations to James Wade!
Results - Q/Finals:
Michael van Gerwen 6-5 Jelle Klaasen
James Wade 6-5 Benito van de Pas
Peter Wright 6-4 Max Hopp
Dave Chisnall 6-4 Mensur Suljovic
Dave Chisnall 6-3 Peter Wright
James Wade 6-2 Michael van Gerwen
James Wade 6-5 Dave Chisnall
Meanwhile, it’s been a busy weekend on the PDC Unicorn Development Tour at Robin Park in Wigan.....and a hugely successful weekend for Ross Twell, who won two of the four events!
The other winners were Dean Reynolds and Aden Kirk, who beat Unicorn's Keegan Brown 4-3 in the final. There were semi-final appearances for Dimitri van den Bergh, Dirk van Duijvenbode and Adam Hunt on his Unicorn debut.
By STUART PYKE
Photo courtesy Lawrence Lustig / PDC