NEW Forest darts ace Scott Mitchell achieved one of his major career goals by winning the England National Singles title on an enthralling day of action in Sussex.

Bransgore's Mitchell fell at the last hurdle in this competition four years ago but he overcame all obstacles on Saturday to seal his 18th BDO ranking-tournament success.

The 47-year-old launched his marathon effort by beating precocious teenager Harry Jackson 4-3, a triumph that stood Mitchell in strong stead for a series of nailbiting encounters that culminated with a compelling 5-3 victory over Paul Hogan in the final.

He won last-leg deciders in four of his eight matches and toppled Belgian former World Trophy winner Geert De Vos 5-3 in his last-four contest.

Mitchell said: "Being national singles champion was one of the major things I wanted to tick off my bucket list.

"I have been close a couple of times and did wonder if it was ever going to happen for me. But I had my chance this weekend and, luckily enough, I was able to take it.

"Playing Harry in the first game really set me up for the day. He is only 18 and has no fear, so I knew it was a tough one to start with.

"If you have an easy game first up and are not really pushed, you can fall asleep in the next one – but I had to be on it for the whole day.

"And when those last legs do start going your way, you begin to think your name is on the trophy."

Mitchell went into the competition after a three-week break from the sport following his last-16 exit from May's World Trophy.

After getting his campaign up and running by edging out Jackson, 2015 World champion Mitchell won in similar style against Carl Batchelor.

He swept aside Ben Hazel and Shaun Carroll, then tested the nerves of his army of supporters in Selsey as he pipped Sven Verdonck 4-3.

Mitchell beat Ross Montgomery in identical fashion, then closed out his success with a pair of nerveless performances to defeat De Vos and Hogan.

"I beat some big names and big rivals," said Mitchell. "I was fortunate that this time it was my go and I was that bit mentally stronger than my opponents.

"It was magic to win it. That is my 18th ranking title and I did not think I would ever get one.

"Because the BDO do not have many tournaments in this part of the world, this is my equivalent of a home event

"People who have known me all my life were there and, as always, the Dorset darts family helped me through, so to win was really special. Their support and hollering was superb.

"Having that little break from the game definitely helped as well.

"To not pick up the darts for a while was refreshing and I went into the competition with no real expectations. I could just concentrate on trying to play."