IT was so near, yet so far for debutant Dean Winstanley as he was edged out in an epic BDO World Darts Championship final with Martin Adams.
But the Conisbrough thrower is already hungry for success at next year’s Lakeside tournament after providing the story of the championships.
The 29-year-old former Intake resident was a relative unknown when he took to the oche for his first round clash with Martin Atkins last Monday.
But by Sunday’s decider - after beating Atkins, Robbie Green, Stephen Bunting and Jan Dekker - his was the name on everyone’s lips, even after his 7-5 defeat.
He said: “I’m completely over the moon with the whole week.
“It’s just been a fantastic time.
“To say it was my debut and I’ve reached the final, I can’t believe it.
“To have everybody in the crowd chanting ‘Deano’ even after I’d lost the final was a brilliant feeling.”
“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 final last Sunday but the more experienced man 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.
“I just lost it at that point and the match slipped away.”
As runner up, Winstanley picked up a £30,000 cheque and that, along with his success, has left him with some difficult decisions to make.
He will decide over the next few weeks whether to become a full professional player or go self employed.
Winstanley currently has no intention of joining the rival PDC where Mexborough’s Dennis Priestley plies his trade.
But he will accept the PDC’s invitation to November’s Grand Slam of Darts after his final appearance earned him a place for two years.
He is back in action for Yorkshire in a counties match with Surrey this weekend.