Darts: Dirk van Duijvenbode wins maiden PDC title at Players Championship 11
(Photo by Luke Walker/Getty Images)

Dirk van Duijvenbode claimed a maiden PDC title at Players Championship 11 in a tightly-contested 8-6 win over Martijn Kleermaker. 

Aubergenius met his Dutch opponent in a final where both players were striving for a first title in the PDC, but the pair demonstrated the composure and scoring power of the elite. 

With the top 16 seemingly out of reach for the Dutchman, victory in Niedernhausen has all but cemented some more time in the top 32. 

Van Duijvenbode powers through to claim maiden title

The 28-year-old eased past David Evans and Jelle Klaasen in round's one and two respectively before winning the next three games by the same 6-4 scoreline against Jeff Smith, Krzysztof Ratajski and Scott Mitchell.

Van Duijvenbode came up against a bang in form Andy Boulton in the semi-final, but a spirited performance steered the Dutchman to a 7-5 victory and one step closer to the £10,000 prize money. 

Going into the final, the 28-year-old was considered a heavy favourite, but Kleermaker's form and subsequent confidence was not to be under-estimated, and he certainly proved why in the final. 

Kleermaker's route to the final justified by scintillating performances

The route to the final for the man who is ranked 63rd in the world was not to be sniffed at. 

He started the day with a convincing 6-3 victory over John Henderson before edging through against Gabriel Clemens 6-5. 

A fourth round tie against Michael Smith certainly caught the attention of the darting world, with the two speed machines playing out an exciting match, with the Dutchman eventually prevailing, winning 6-3 in the process. 

Kleermaker then faced Brendan Dolan in the semi final - the only competitor left who had previously won a PDC title. Despite Dolan's composure and early pressure, the 30-year-old found his stride, aiding the 7-5 win. 

The final: As it happened

Kleermaker's nervy start was punished by the clinical van Duijvenbode who raced into a 2-0 lead, but in a flash, the 63rd ranked player equalled the scoring at 2-2. 

In an opening six legs that saw six breaks, van Duijvenbode regained the two leg advantage, with both players then holding out to a 6-4 scoreline, before six brilliant darts from Kleermaker broke the van Duijvenbode throw. 

At 6-6, van Duijvenbode broke once more to stick his nose ahead at a crucial point in the game whilst denying The Dutch Giant the opportunity to lead for the first time in the contest. 

Van Duijvenbode then held in the 14th set to collect the £10,000 prize money and answer the pundits who have been calling out for the Dutchman to win a PDC title. 

What else happened on day three of the third PDC Super Series of 2021?

Alan Soutar's incredible run of avoiding defeat in the first round of each Players Championship events came to an abrupt end, losing 6-2 to Rob Cross - a stellar effort from the Scotsman. 

In a day where the top guns under-performed, Michael van Gerwen, who was hoping to use these events in Germany as a confidence builder, lost 6-1 to Geert De Vos. The Dutchman also narrowly avoided a first round exit against Gary Blades, a player who has not won a game in this year's Super Series thus far.

Chas Barstow continued his recent form with a 6-4 win against Jose de Sousa. The unranked 42-year-old followed his impressive display against The Special One with a 6-0 demolishing of Boris Koltsov.

Kim Huybrechts also inflicted a defeat on his World Cup teammate, beating Dimitri Van den Bergh 6-4. DreamMaker has been in exceptional form on the Premier League stage, but his troubles on the floor remain. 

Players Championship 11 results

Quarter-finals

Andy Boulton 6-5 Damon Heta

Martijn Kleermaker 6-5 Ritchie Edhouse

Scott Mitchell 4-6 Dirk van Duijvenbode 

Rob Cross 5-6 Brendan Dolan

Semi-finals 

Andy Boulton 5-7 Dirk van Duijvenbode 

Brendan Dolan 5-7 Martijn Kleermaker

Final

Dirk van Duijvenbode 8-6 Martijn Kleermaker

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