Darts: Nearly is not enough for the ambitious Dave Chisnall
(Photo by Luke Walker/Getty Images)

Five runners up medals in PDC major finals, yet glory still evades Dave Chisnall, and is something that will make an eventual title, should he get one, that little sweeter. 

Since joining the PDC circuit in 2011, Chisnall has shown glimpses of pure excellence. He has blown some of the world’s best away with scintillating performances that continue to generate the same response from fans of ‘surely this year will be his year’.  

Chisnall is ambitious, and rightly so. He is someone who believes he deserves a major and will battle away until that becomes a reality.

But, Chizzy has struggled to replicate his World Championship form into 2021. He has appeared in eight Player Championship competitions without making the quarter finals thus far, with the most recent two ending quite abruptly with first round defeats. The Masters in January resulted in an early round two exit, but the UK Open was certainly his best showing this year. The 40-year-old secured three well-earned victories to reach the quarter finals, but was eventually edged out 10-9, by Luke Humphries who was in excellent form.

Premier League Exclusion

After the conclusion of the World Championships, nine initial names were selected for the Premier League as usual. However, with Covid-19 still impacting the sport at the highest level, the challenger aspect of the competition was replaced with a permanent 10th member spot up for grabs. 

The intention of introducing competition for the much-desired 10th spot was to hand a chance to as many players on the brink of selection as possible. Subsequently, Chisnall and his Merseyside counterpart, Michael Smith, were joint favourites to join the competition, but Jonny Clayton’s flawless performance at the Masters meant that the Welshman grabbed the all-important 10th spot on the Premier League circuit. 

Whilst there was no denying that Clayton is one of the most in-form players in the world, Chisnall would have classed himself unlucky on missing out on the Premier League once again. He believed that he should have been picked for last year’s tournament too, but was pipped by Glen Durrant to a spot – the man who eventually won the competition. 

2020 World Championships proved his Excellence

It may not have been the excitable experience that players have grown accustomed to at Alexandra Palace, but Chisnall certainly enjoyed the 2020 World Championships. Dominant displays in the early rounds against Keegan Brown and Danny Noppert, set up a clash with a confident Dimitri van den Burgh, but Chizzy secured a 4-2 victory to progress to the quarter-finals to face Michael van Gerwen – a player that has often got the better of the 40-year-old.

When the pair clashed in the quarter finals on the world’s biggest stage, van Gerwen was hopeful of extending his run to 28 games without defeat against the Englishman. However, Chizzy produced one of the best darting performances in recent years to absolutely whitewash The Green Machine 5-0. Chisnall threw 14 180s and averaged 107 to stun the three-time world champion and secure his place in the semi-final. 

Adding more glamour to Chisnall’s victory, was the fact that it was van Gerwen’s heaviest defeat ever in the competition – a memorable night for the St Helens-born man which dramatically cut his odds for World Championship glory. 

The semi-final proved to be one step too far for Chsinall, and he was unable to replicate the form that got him to the last four. He came up against Gary Anderson, who like van Gerwen prior to the 5-0 victory, he had previously struggled to perform against. The Scotsman rather comfortably secured a 6-3 win. 

Despite adding to a long list of last four appearances without a major trophy, Chisnall performed brilliantly throughout and proved that on his day, he is a frightening player to come up against. Chizzy’s search for silverware goes on and he will be more eager than most to find glory in 2021.