UNIBET World Grand Prix
Michael van Gerwen is the Unibet World Grand Prix Champion after a 5-2 win over Gary Anderson in tonight final. Irelands Mick McGowan beats Radek Szaganski in the Irish Matchplay Final to qualify for the World Championships.
Brilliant van Gerwen completes Unibet World Grand Prix Treble
Michael van Gerwen claimed glory at the Unibet World Grand Prix for a third time with an incredible triumph over Gary Anderson in Saturday’s final at Dublin’s Citywest Hotel. The Dutchman followed up his 2012 and 2014 triumphs by erasing the memories of last year’s loss in the final to another Scot, Robert Thornton, with one of the greatest performances in the double-start event’s history.
The world number one was averaging 108 as he stormed into a three-set lead by winning nine of the opening 11 legs, and held off Anderson’s brief rally to scoop the £100,000 first prize and his 21st tournament win of the year. Van Gerwen raced through the first set without reply, hitting a 180 in only his second visit to the board and using just 43 darts to take the lead, before coming from a leg down to win the next two sets and take his match average to 110 in-running.
Anderson hit back in set four as he took three successive legs to finally get off the mark in set four, and finished 108 as he shared the opening four legs of the fifth. Van Gerwen, though, hit a crucial double ten to win the deciding leg to move into a 4-1 lead and deny the World Champion the chance to hit back. Anderson claimed his second set by winning the sixth without reply and also led in the next, but van Gerwen landed six perfect darts as he levelled before hitting double 16 to move 2-1 up and marvellous 160 checkout to seal the title.
The 160 finish, his second ton-plus finish of the game, followed seven 180s and moved his average to 100.29, the highest in a World Grand Prix final to surpass Phil Taylor’s 100.17 in the 2002 decider. Anderson, who takes home £45,000 as runner-up from his first World Grand Prix final, hit eight 180s in reply but was unable to hit back from his rival’s amazing start.
Unibet World Grand Prix Final (9 Sets)
(100.29) Michael van Gerwen 5-2 Gary Anderson (92.73)
First Set 1-0 – 51 on double 16 gives van Gerwen an opening leg hold. 2-0 – Van Gerwen breaks the Anderson throw as he takes out 56 on tops. 3-0 – 14 dart leg on double 16 gives van Gerwen the opening set.
Second Set 0-1 – Van Gerwen misses the bull for a 167 before Anderson hits double five for his first leg of the final. 1-1 – 101 on tops as van Gerwen holds throw. 2-1 – A break for van Gerwen as he hits double 18 3-1 – Double six gives van Gerwen the set and a 2-0 lead.
Third Set 0-1 – A break of throw for Anderson as he takes out 61 on double nine. 1-1 – 96 on double 18 for van Gerwen to break back. 2-1 – 98 on double 19 as van Gerwne holds. 3-1 – 70 on double 16 and van Gerwen moves three sets clear.
Fourth Set 0-1 – Tops for Anderson to hold throw. 0-2 – A break for Anderson as he hits double four. 0-3 – Anderson has a set on the board as he hits tops.
Fifth Set 1-0 – 36 on double 18 as van Gerwen holds throw. 1-1 – 108 checkout to level the set. 2-1 – 65 on tops for van Gerwen. 2-2 – Van Gerwen misses chances to take the set allowing Anderson to hit double ten. 3-2 – It’s a 4-1 lead for van Gerwen as he hits double ten.
Sixth Set 0-1 – A hold of throw for Anderson as he hits double two. 0-2 – Anderson breaks as he takes out 107. 0-3 – Double ten seals the set for Anderson.
Seventh Set 0-1 – A break for Anderson as he hits tops. 1-1 – Six perfect darts followed by double 16 as van Gerwen breaks back. 2-1 – Van Gerwen one away from the match as he punishes Anderson for not taking an opportunity to break. 3-1 – WOW! 160 out for van Gerwen to seal the title!
Tom Kirby Memorial Irish Matchplay Final
MICK McGOWAN became the first player to retain the Tom Kirby Memorial Irish Matchplay title with a narrow 6-5 win over Radek Szaganski at the Citywest Hotel in Dublin on Saturday, securing his place in the William Hill World Darts Championship in the process.
The Balbriggan thrower relaunched his career when he picked up the top domestic honour 12 months ago by edging out Tom Biggane, and repeated the success with a deciding-leg win over Cork-based Szaganski. A tight contest saw all 11 legs won with throw, with Szaganski missing the bull to snatch victory in the final leg before McGowan followed a 180 with a 60 finish.
McGowan is the first player since the tournament, named in honour of the late Irish professional Tom Kirby, was launched in 2008 to retain the title, and he said: “It’s a special night. “This trophy means so much to me and to defend it is absolutely fantastic. He was a great friend of mine and to win this the first time was brilliant, so to retain it is something really special.
“This year I’ve had a number of performances on stage and I’ve been getting better and better. This was a bit nervy but I got the job done.”
Mick McGowan 6-5 Radek Szaganski 1-0 – Reigning champion McGowan take the opeining leg. 1-1 – Double ten sees Cork-based Szaganski level. 2-1 – Szaganski hits a 180 but misses double 16 to allow McGowan back in on double four. 2-2 – McGowan misses the bull, and Szaganski finishes 46 to level. 3-2 – McGowan lands a 180 as he regains the lead. 3-3 – Szaganski takes out 36 to hit back. 4-3 – Szaganski lands his second maximum, but McGowan holds throw to move back ahead. 4-4 – Szaganski finishes 101. 5-4 – McGowan fires in a 180 as he moves a leg away from victory with a 46 finish. 5-5 – Szaganski sends the game into a decider with a maximum and double eight. 6-5 – McGowan posts a 180 before completing victory to retain the title, with Szaganski missing the bull to finish 83 before the Balbriggan thrower takes out 60.
Second Round Losers £8,500
First Round Losers £5,000
Final – Best of nine Sets
* All Sets are the best of five legs. There will be no tie-break in any Set. * All legs must begin and end with a double, meaning that a player must hit a double before he can begin scoring in each leg. * The order of play for the quarter-finals and semi-finals will be confirmed on www.pdc.tv.