Dave Chisnall enjoyed a fine run at the European Darts Matchplay in Austria before a 6-4 defeat to Michael van Gerwen in Sunday’s final.
The Morecambe ace was in supreme form throughout the European Tour event in Innsbruck but saw his fortunes turn in the ninth leg of the decider.
With the final locked at 4-4 the world number one produced a clinical 11-dart leg to break the Chisnall throw and move 5-4 in front before going on to secure the £25,000 first prize.
The game’s first two legs had also gone against the throw, with van Gerwen’s double 16 cancelled out by a 13-darter from Chisnall, who took out 48 to edge ahead.
The pair then traded 14-dart finishes before van Gerwen was handed a reprieve for five missed darts in leg six as Chisnall wasted four darts to open up a two-leg cushion, allowing the Dutchman back to level on double five.
Chisnall then hit back-to-back 180s to kick off leg seven and although he couldn’t complete the perfect nine-darter, he regained the lead at 4-3.
But van Gerwen sealed the ninth leg in just four visits to move to within a leg of victory, which he completed with a 70 finish and trademark fist-pump.
Chisnall saw off William O’Connor and Terry Jenkins - in a dramatic deciding leg - to reach the last eight, and was in superb form to see off Peter Wright and David Pallett with 6-3 wins on the final night.
He said: “I’m happy to get to the final in front of such a great crowd, but Michael just had a little bit more on the day and I threw a few tired darts.”
Van Gerwen, who won his fifth PDC European Tour title of 2015, said: “I didn’t like losing in the final last week (to Michael Smith at the European Darts Trophy) so I am delighted to win here.
“The final is always different and I’m really glad I did because Dave is such a good player.”