European Darts Matchplay ‘ET11’
Joe Cullen claimed his maiden European Tour title with a sensational performance to defeat Michael van Gerwen 8-5 in the European Darts Matchplay final in Mannheim on Sunday night.
The Bradford ace claimed the third ranking title of his career in brilliant fashion as he overcame World Champion Van Gerwen with a clinical and confident showing.
Having never previously won past the semi-finals on the European Tour, Cullen saw off William O’Connor, Glen Durrant and James Wade on Sunday to book his spot in the decider at the Maimarkthalle. He showed no nerves against the World Champion, opening the final with a 180 and claiming four of the opening five legs to move 4-1 up, including a 14-darter to break throw.
Van Gerwen responded in the sixth, only to see Cullen power home a 170 checkout to bring the German crowd to their feet as he opened up a 5-2 lead. Van Gerwen showed his class with three legs in a row to level the final, but Cullen regained the edge with success 13-darters to lead 7-5 – punishing misses from the Dutchman to break – before an 88 finish for a 14-darter secured the £25,000 title.
“To beat Michael in the final is amazing,” said Cullen, who averaged over 101 in the final.“It’s the biggest moment in my career, it’s great.
A four-time European Tour winner in 2019, Van Gerwen saw his bid to add further honours ended in the final for a second successive week, having lost out to Mensur Suljovic in the Austrian Darts Championship last Sunday.
Van Gerwen had avenged that loss by seeing off Suljovic 6-4 in the third round, before edging out Krzysztof Ratajski in the quarter-finals and then storming past Dave Chisnall with a 7-1 semi-final win.
Wade survived a missed match dart against Wayne Jones in the third round before seeing off Jonny Clayton 6-4 in the quarter-finals, but lost out in his bid for a second European Darts Matchplay title to Cullen.
Chisnall, June’s Danish Darts Open winner, saw his hopes of a second European Tour title of the year ended in crushing style by Van Gerwen in the last four after he had seen off Ricky Evans and Rob Cross on the day.
Durrant averaged 110 in an outstanding 6-3 third round win over Gerwyn Price earlier on Sunday, while Ratajski survived a missed match dart from Adrian Lewis in their last 16 tie. Cullen’s success sees him move back into the world’s top 16 as he jumps three places to 15th following the Mannheim triumph.
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Sunday September 8th
Afternoon Session (12.00 BST)
THIRD ROUND (11)
Michael van Gerwen 6-4 Mensur Suljovic
Adrian Lewis 5-6 Krzysztof Ratajski
Daryl Gurney 4-6 Rob Cross
Dave Chisnall 6-1 Ricky Evans
Ian White 5-6 Jonny Clayton
James Wade 6-5 Wayne Jones
William O’Connor 3-6 Joe Cullen
Gerwyn Price 3-6 Glen Durrant
Evening Session (18.15 BST)
QUARTER FINALS (11)
Michael van Gerwen 6-5 Krzysztof Ratajski
Rob Cross 5-6 Dave Chisnall
Jonny Clayton 4-6 James Wade
Joe Cullen 6-2 Glen Durrant
SEMI FINALS (13)
Michael van Gerwen 7-1 Dave Chisnall
James Wade 5-7 Joe Cullen
Michael van Gerwen 5-8 Joe Cullen
Last 16: £3,000
Last 32: £2,000
Last 48: £1,000
FIRST ROUND (11)
Scott Taylor 6-5 Matthew Edgar
Bradley Brooks 6-4 Mark McGeeney
Ryan Meikle 6-3 Brett Claydon
Dennis Nilsson 3-6 Marvin Wehder
Cody Harris 6-4 Ross Smith
Dirk van Duijvenbode 6-5 Krzysztof Kciuk
John Henderson 6-3 Ryan Joyce
Gabriel Clemens 6-2 Steffen Siepmann
Florian Hempel 3-6 Simon Stevenson
Jamie Hughes 6-5 Wesley Plaisier
Keegan Brown 6-3 Simon Whitlock
Maik Kuivenhoven 3-6 Karsten Koch
Robert Thornton 5-6 Kim Huybrechts
Michael Smith 6-3 Steve Lennon
Max Hopp 5-6 William O’Connor
Jeffrey de Zwaan 4-6 Wayne Jones
SECOND ROUND (11)
Dave Chisnall 6-2 Ryan Meikle
Jonny Clayton 6-4 Scott Taylor
James Wade 6-2 Bradley Brooks
Adrian Lewis 6-2 Dirk van Duijvenbode
Glen Durrant 6-3 Cody Harris
Daryl Gurney 6-4 John Henderson
Gerwyn Price 6-3 Simon Stevenson
Rob Cross 6-0 Marvin Wehder
Ricky Evans 6-3 Karsten Koch
Ian White 6-3 Gabriel Clemens
Krzysztof Ratajski 6-5 Keegan Brown
Michael van Gerwen 6-2 Michael Smith
Mensur Suljovic 6-1 Kim Huybrechts
Peter Wright 5-6 William O’Connor
Nathan Aspinall 3-6 Wayne Jones
Joe Cullen 6-3 Jamie Hughes