TERRY Jenkins claimed his first ranking title for two years with a 6-3 win over Stephen Bunting in Players Championship Ten at Crawley’s K2 Centre.
The 50-year-old from Ledbury began the run to his third final of 2014 by beating Joe Murnan and Jamie Robinson before averaging over 107 in a classy 6-2 victory over three-time world champion John Part in the last 32.
The Bull, who has never won a major title despite reaching number four in the world rankings, fought hard in the last 16 as he came from 5-3 down to defeat Andrew Gilding 6-5.
He then produced a superb quarter-final performance with a 6-1 success over Dean Winstanley, recording a 107 average for the second time in the day.
The Herefordshire ace’s fine run looked to be over after he went 5-1 down to world top-10 player Andy Hamilton in their semi. But he staged a brilliant comeback and won the last five legs to secure a final place in dramatic fashion.
Jenkins, who reached his eighth major final at the Coral UK Open in March, led three times in the early stages against Bunting only for the 2014 Lakeside champion to reply each time.
With matters finely balanced at 3-3, Bunting looked on course to win the seventh leg against the throw after leaving 64 following 12 darts only for Jenkins to hit a fabulous 148 check-out to edge ahead for the fourth time.
Jenkins carried the form into the eighth leg as he broke his opponent’s throw by hitting double four before romping to victory in the next with a 13-dart finish to claim the £10,000 first prize.
Bunting, who has shone since switching to the Professional Darts Corporation (PDC) at the start of the year, continued to rise up the Order of Merit with a second Pro Tour final appearance.
He overcame a tough first-round opponent in PDC Unicorn world youth champion Keegan Brown, winning 6-4, before defeating Adrian Gray 6-3.
Bunting claimed the scalp of world number one Michael van Gerwen in the last 32 following a deciding-leg win before advancing to the quarter-finals with a 6-4 success over Gerwyn Price.
He edged out Darren Webster in a deciding leg before coming through another tight contest in the semis against Justin Pipe.
The victory guaranteed the St Helens star £5,000 for reaching the final but a second PDC ranking title proved elusive as Jenkins’ 148 check-out was the decisive moment of the final.