Dave Chisnall warmed up for the Premier League play-offs with a run to the final of the latest Players Championship event in Crawley.
The Morecambe darts ace was edged out 6-4 by unheralded world number 73 Joe Murnan in Sunday’s final as the Bolton man picked up his first PDC ranking title.
Chisnall on the other hand was denied a first ranking victory for 18 months as he went for a ninth PDC title.
It did however see him carry on his fine form ahead of his big night at London’s O2 Arena on Thursday where he takes on Gary Anderson in the Premier League semi-finals in his quest for a first PDC major.
In Sunday’s final, Murnan held his own with a 121 checkout and legs of 12, 14 and 15 darts to share the opening six legs, before breaking throw with a 14-dart leg, which featured a 180, to lead 4-3.
He then finished 67 for a 15-dart leg to lead 5-3, and though Chisnall hit back with a 14-darter it was the Bolton ace who finished tops in the next to complete the finest day of his career to date.
Chisnall’s run to the final included brilliant victories over the world’s top two players - Michael van Gerwen and Phil Taylor - and saw him pick up £5,000 prize money.
After opening the day with wins over Wayne Jones and Gary Stone, he then overcame Taylor 6-5 in the last 32, and after seeing off Andy Smith and PDC Unicorn World Youth Champion Keegan Brown - sealing the win with a 167 finish - he then defeated van Gerwen 6-4 in the semis.
Van Gerwen took out legs of 12 and 11 darts to pull back from 4-1 to 4-3 only for Chisnall to halt his fightback with a 152 checkout before completing the win with a 130 finish.
Chisnall will be hoping for more of the same if the pair come through their last four clashes at the O2, with van Gerwen meeting countryman Raymond van Barneveld in the other semi-final on Thursday night.
In the other Players Championship event on Saturday, Chisnall reached the fourth round before a 6-3 defeat to James Wade.