Dave Chisnall reflected on what might have been after reaching a first William Hill World Darts Championship quarter-final.
Morecambe’s world number seven was knocked out in the last eight by Gary Anderson 5-3 in a thrilling clash at London’s Alexandra Palace.
A contest of extraordinary quality included 33 180s - just one short of the record set by Anderson in his final victory against Adrian Lewis last year.
Anderson then went on to lose to Michael van Gerwen in Monday’s final.
“We were both just matching each other, that’s what brings out good games,” said Chisnall.
“It wasn’t just one of us hitting 180s.
“It’s not exciting seeing just one player do everything and win easy.
“It was a good game, that’s the best I played all tournament.
“I’ll just work on it for next year.”
Chisnall equalled the previous record for the most 180s hit by a player as he fired in 21 maximums - equalling Raymond van Barneveld’s record from the 2007 World Championship final - but was still unable to stop Anderson charging into the semi-finals.
The number two seed edged the first two sets - which were littered with 14 maximums - before Chisnall hit back to level.
The Morecambe ace went on to lead the seventh set 2-0 with the match poised at three sets apiece, but Anderson stormed back to take a 5-3 win.
Seeing set seven slip from his grasp left Chisnall rueing a missed opportunity.
“I thought I was going to go 4-3 up but you can’t miss those crucial darts,” said the 36-year-old.
“I had my chance and I blew it but I’ll learn from it.
“I knew I could get back in the game because I’ve got the same scoring power as Gary Anderson.
“We can both hit big 180s.
“It’s just that crucial double that’s killed me is the seventh set.
“If I win that he’s under pressure and I’m cruising.
“I’ll just have to tighten up a little bit. I’m happy with the way I played.”
lDave Speak was the winner of the Vantage Skoda Darts Open held in aid of St John’s Hospice.
Nearly 60 entrants battled it out at Morecambe Cricket Club on Tuesday, December 27, with Speak seeing off Jo Clements in a fine final.
£400 was raised for the hospice on the day with support also shown for the Neil Marshall Memorial Fund, Speak being the former Lancaster City captain’s father-in-law.