GARY Anderson fell at the final hurdle in his bid to lift the World Matchplay title for the second time.

The 2018 winner (pictured below, by Mike Egerton/PA Wire) came up short against Belgium’s Dimitri Van den Bergh on Sunday evening in Milton Keynes’ Marshall Arena.

The two men had faced each other in the PDC Home Tour in May, with Musselburgh’s Anderson winning 5-2.

However, it was the 26-year-old Belgian who was victorious on this occasion with a surprise 18-10 victory to claim the £150,000 winner’s cheque.

Anderson told PDC TV: “He played well right from the off, I just wasn’t there tonight. All credit to Dimitri, he is a lovely lad and deserves his win tonight.”

Anderson, 49, lifted the title two years ago in Blackpool when he edged out Mensur Suljovic 21-19.

However, it never looked on the cards that he would regain the title this time.

Van den Bergh took an 8-7 lead into the third interval and never looked back as he went on to claim his first ranking tournament win.

Anderson’s impressive form in the lead-up to the final was not on display as he hit just a single 180 throughout the 28 legs.

He said: “I’ve got a few weeks off now to sort a few things out, I had a few issues with my grip and darts dropping low but no excuses, he deserves it.”

The two-time world champion had looked in good form throughout the tournament, which was played in an empty arena.

A 10-5 win over Justin Pipe in the first round was followed by an 11-8 triumph over number nine seed James Wade in the second round.

Anderson, who was crowned world champion in 2015 and 2016, then defeated Australia’s Simon Whitlock 16-12 in the quarter-finals before an 18-16 victory over Michael Smith set up the clash with the unseeded Van den Bergh, who knocked out three seeds – Nathan Aspinall, Adrian Lewis and Glen Durrant – on his way to the final.