Template - Date: MvG’s World Grand Prix Victory
MICHAEL VAN GERWEN lifted the Unibet World Grand Prix title for a fourth time with a 5-2 win over Peter Wright at the Citywest Convention Centre in Dublin on Saturday.
World number one Van Gerwen landed two vital ton-plus finishes and fired in seven 180s to notch up an 18th title of the year at the double-start event, which he first won in 2012.
Despite an edgy start, the Dutchman produced a 101 checkout to go 3-2 up in sets before reeling off the last two sets in impressive style to land the trophy and the £100,000 top prize.
“I had to fight really hard to win that one,” said Van Gerwen. “All credit to Peter, he made it difficult. “At the start of this game I didn’t play well but I showed winning instinct inside me to survive.
“Everyone wrote me off but I took the recent defeats on the chin and fought back even harder and played a phenomenal tournament. “I’m building my preparation for the World Championship and I’m growing in confidence with every win – they should all be afraid of me.”
Starring in his first Dublin final and bidding for a fourth title of the year, world number two Wright got off to a good start but was unable to convert his superior average into a lead.
Van Gerwen claimed a tight first set with a superb 110 finish in the deciding leg, before Wright claimed the second without reply courtesy of some superb darts. That pattern continued as Van Gerwen took the third in a fifth leg before Wright won the fourth 3-1.
With the pair tied at 2-2, the crucial moment of the match came at the end of the fifth set as Wright missed a set-dart and was punished by Van Gerwen who landed a stunning 101 checkout to take a 3-2 lead.
The Dutchman, who defeated Steve Lennon, Darren Webster, Dave Chisnall and Daryl Gurney en route to the final. found his groove in the final two sets to drop only one further leg as he ran out a worthy champion.
“Michael is a fantastic player but he only won tonight because I let him off so much,” said Wright, who saw off Steve West, Jermaine Wattimena, James Wilson and Mensur Suljovic to reach the Citywest showdown.
“My form this year has been up and down, I had an awesome game against Mensur on Friday but unfortunately I couldn’t do it again in the final. “I enjoy my darts and I mix it with the best, maybe next time I will go all the way.”
Photos courtesy of Lawrence Lustig.
Saturday October 6th (8pm SKY Sports)
Michael van Gerwen 5-2 Peter Wright
Preceded by Tom Kirby Memorial Irish Matchplay final
Winner qualifies for the World Championship
Kevin Burness 6-3 Mick McGowan
KEVIN BURNESS defeated Mick McGowan 6-3 to win the 2018 Tom Kirby Memorial Irish Matchplay final on Saturday, securing his William Hill World Darts Championship debut in the process.
Northern Irishman Burness was making his PDC big stage debut and was broken in the opening leg by Ireland’s McGowan, who was looking to lift the title for a record-breaking third time. Burness then found his groove and broke straight back to start a run of five successive legs and go within a leg of a first Alexandra Palace appearance.
McGowan survived a match dart and won the next two legs, but the comeback was short-lived as Burness sealed the biggest victory of his career. “It means everything to me to win this trophy,” said Burness.
First Round – Best of three sets
Second Round – Best of five sets
Quarter-Finals – Best of five sets
Semi-Finals – Best of seven sets
Final – Best of nine sets
All sets are the best of five legs, and all legs must begin and end with a double.
|Second round losers||(8)||£8,500|
|First round losers||(16)||£5,000|