Ladbrokes Players Championship Finals
DARYL GURNEY claimed the 2018 Ladbrokes Players Championship Finals title with a dramatic 11-9 victory over Michael van Gerwen on Sunday in Minehead, as Dimitri van den Bergh claimed his second World Youth Championship.
An incredible finish to the £460,000 tournament saw Gurney show incredible resilience as he fought back from 9-8 down to win the final three legs for one of the biggest wins of his career.
There were tears of joy for emotional Gurney, who clinched the £100,000 title with a spectacular 85 checkout on the bullseye to end Van Gerwen’s three-year reign as champion in the event.
“I’m over the moon with that win, it means to much to me,” said former World Grand Prix champion Gurney.
“That was the best bullseye I’ve ever hit in my life, I was determined to make sure we didn’t go to a deciding leg and I was relieved to see it go in.
“I knew I was playing well, I was hitting everything in practice and after a sticky start I straightened up my throw and I grew in confidence from there.
“To win this tournament is an unbelievable feeling and I’m going to enjoy this moment.”
A tight opening to the final saw the first 12 legs all won on throw, before Van Gerwen took out 88 for a first break of the contest, only for a tenacious Gurney to break straight back.
World number one Van Gerwen broke throw once again to go 9-8 up, only for Gurney to show nerves of steel, taking out 88 in two darts to level at 9-9.
Gurney took out 32 to hold throw and go within a leg of the title, before a stunning 85 finish on the bull sealed a sensational win for the world number five.
For Van Gerwen it was a first televised ranking final defeat in 15 matches, but the Dutchman was keen to acknowledge the achievement of his rival.
“I think he played a phenomenal game,” said Van Gerwen, who avenged his Grand Slam of Darts loss to Gary Anderson in the semi-finals.
“To be fair I think I let myself down and Daryl punished me because my performance was not 100 percent.”
A dramatic day at the Butlin’s Minehead Resort had also seen Gurney overcome Chris Dobey and Danny Noppert to book his spot in a third TV final.
Van Gerwen and Anderson produced a thriller in the semi-finals, while Stephen Bunting, Jonny Clayton and Steve Lennon – on his 25th birthday – were knocked out alongside Dobey in the quarter-finals.
Belgium’s Dimitri Van den Bergh also enjoyed success on the Minehead stage as he retained the PDC Unicorn World Youth Championship title, defeating Martin Schindler 6-3 in the final.
Attention on the PDC circuit now switches to the build-up to the William Hill World Darts Championship, which will begin on December 13 at London’s Alexandra Palace.
Sunday November 25th
Afternoon Session (12.45 GMT)
Daryl Gurney 10-2 Chris Dobey
Danny Noppert 10-7 Stephen Bunting
Gary Anderson 10-4 Jonny Clayton
Steve Lennon 3-10 MvG
Evening Session (19.00 GMT)
Daryl Gurney 11-3 Danny Noppert
Gary Anderson 9-11 MvG
Daryl Gurney v MvG
Ladbrokes Players Championship Finals Prize Fund
Second Round Losers: £8,000
Last 32 Losers: £5,000
First Round Losers: £2,500
Nine-Dart Finish Bonus: £5,000
First Round: Best of 11 legs
Second Round: Best of 11 legs
Third Round: Best of 19 legs
Quarter-Finals: Best of 19 legs
Semi-Finals: Best of 21 legs
Final: Best of 21 legs
Plus PDC Unicorn World Youth Championship Final:
Martin Schindler (Germany) 3-6 Dimitri Van den Bergh (Belgium)
DIMITRI VAN DEN BERGH became the first player to retain the PDC Unicorn World Youth Championship with a 6-3 win over Martin Schindler in Sunday’s final at the Butlin’s Minehead Resort.
The pair had won through to the decider earlier in November when the last 96 faced off in the early rounds in Wigan, but it was Van den Bergh who clinched the £10,000 title.
Belgian youngster Van den Bergh, who hit a nine-dart finish at the Grand Slam of Darts, got off to a flying start, landing a stunning 151 finish to go 3-0 up, averaging 111 as he went half-way to retaining his title.
Schindler held his nerve with a last-dart-in-hand double five to keep the tie alive at 4-2 and also landed a 13-darter to stay in touch at 5-3.
Van den Bergh, though, was not to be stopped as he romped to the winning line, coming close to breaking his own record average in a World Youth Championship final with a 100.44 total as he kept hold of the trophy.
“It feels incredible.” said Van den Bergh. “I knew that I had the chance to make history and this is more beautiful than last year.
“Knowing that I’m back-to-back champion is something I will remember forever. I’m very, very happy that I played like I did because Martin is a fighter.“
Van den Bergh, 24, will now concentrate solely on the senior circuit, and has set his sights on emulating last year’s run to the quarter-finals of the William Hill World Darts Championship at Alexandra Palace.
“In the World Youth Championship I’ve done my best and shown the young players that if you believe in yourself you can follow your dreams,” he added.
“I will be stronger now at the World Championship and will be focused on taking it step by step.”