HE provided the big story of the BDO World Darts Championship, but Dean Winstanley is already hungry for more after his near miss in his debut at Lakeside.
The Conisbrough thrower lost an epic tussle in the final against three time world champion Martin Adams, concluding a blistering week of action where he swept through the field to the decider.
And after proving himself worthy of a place among the BDO elite, the 29-year-old new world number one is looking to go one better in next year’s tournament.
He told the Times: “I’ve made an impression this time around and I think I’ve justified my place.
“People didn’t really know me before but getting to the final has made a lot of people sit up and take notice.
“And I’ve reached world number one without even winning the world title.
“I went so close this time, I know I can do it.
“Next year I want to go one better and I can’t wait.”
The father of five was neck and neck with Adams for much of the two hour-plus long final last Sunday, but the more experienced of the two sealed a second consecutive world title by taking the final three sets for a 7-5 triumph.
Winstanley actually seemed to be the more likely to win when he went 5-4 ahead with Adams fading.
But he pointed to an interruption from the crowd while throwing at a double as the reason for the downturn which cost him the match.
He said: “I had him, I know I had him and it was in my grasp.
“The big man with the beard was running scared.
“In the last two sets if I could just have held my nerve I would have had him.
“But I just couldn’t control myself when the crowd got a bit erratic.
“Someone shouted out ‘miss’ as I was taking my throw and security dragged them out but there were people still doing it.
“I just lost it at that point and the match slipped away.
“I’ve no excuses, it’s just one of those things.
“You just can’t do anything about people like that in the crowd.”
The third leg of the 11th set provided a major talking point in the epic match.
Winstanley and Adams were level at 1-1 in legs and 5-5 in sets when a more reserved approach from the usually gung-ho Conisbrough thrower seemed to cost him.
He needed 164 and superbly landed trebles 20 and 18 to leave him needing the 50.
But with Adams requiring a similarly large check out, Winstanley chose to land single 10 and leave himself another visit.
Adams stepped up and checked out to go in front.....
* PICK UP A COPY OF THIS WEEK’S SOUTH YORKSHIRE TIMES FOR MORE ACTION AND PICTURES FROM “DEANO’S” EPIC BATTLE WITH MARTIN ADAMS.