Michael van Gerwen retained his Dutch Darts Masters title with a brilliant victory over Daryl Gurney. The world number one was in sensational form, averaging 112.26 in Sunday’s showpiece final against the Northern Irishman in Venray.
Van Gerwen has won the Dutch Darts Masters crown for three years in succession and this is his eighth European Tour crown. This was Gurney’s maiden European Tour final, which sees him climb into the world’s elite top 32 for the first time in his career.
The final kicked off in explosive fashion. MvG held throw courtesy of a magnificent 152 checkout, but Gurney responded strongly; posting his first maximum before taking out 116 to level up proceedings.
The pair traded maximums in the third leg, but ‘The Green Machine’ held throw in 13-darts on D14. The Dutchman was throwing superbly and threatened a nine-darter in leg four, missing the elusive eighth dart at T19. Nevertheless, Michael broke throw in 11 darts to establish a two-leg cushion, as his average exceeded the 118 mark.
The fifth leg was a high quality-affair. Gurney left himself on 81 after just 9 darts, but he wasn’t afforded an opportunity to break throw, as van Gerwen converted a fine 84 finish on D12 for a 12-dart leg and a pivotal hold. Moments later, MvG secured his fourth straight leg with a 14-darter, to move within a leg of defending his title.
Gurney doubled his tally in the seventh leg, as he punished an indifferent visits from the world number one to break in 14-darts, but this simply delayed the inevitable. Van Gerwen fired in a timely maximum to leave D20 and he sealed the win in 13-darts, to claim the £25,000 winner’s cheque.
Earlier in the evening, van Gerwen progressed to the semi-finals with a fine 6-3 victory over Dave Chisnall. Both players averaged 103 and recorded four maximums apiece, but Van Gerwen’s incredible combination finishing proved decisive. He opened his account with a wonderful 148 finish, before sealing victory with a majestic 130 checkout.
In the semi-finals, ‘The Green Machine’ overcame comeback-king Mervyn King. King incredibly came from 5-0 down to defeat Benito van de Pas in the quarter-finals. Benito made an explosive start, before missing an incredible TEN match darts as King secured a remarkable win. Yet, King was unable to replicate his comeback heroics against MvG.
Van Gerwen averaged over 100 as he stormed into a commanding 4-0 lead and he moved to the cusp of victory with a sensational 170 finish. Nevertheless, just moments later he squandered four match darts, allowing King to register his first leg.
King doubled his tally in the seventh leg, but although van Gerwen continued to miss doubles, he eventually clinched a 6-2 triumph with his eighth match dart, to seal his place in the final.
Gurney’s passage to the final was mightily impressive. He produced undoubtedly the performance of the tournament in his pulsating quarter-final clash against Adrian Lewis. The Northern Irishman posted an incredible nine maximums in just ten legs, averaging 106.74 as he edged out Jackpot in a tussle littered with quality.
Gurney took the opening leg in 13 darts after posting his first maximum, although Lewis rallied and edged 3-2 ahead with a fine 11-darter. However, Daryl responded in kind, producing brilliant back-to-back 11 dart legs to move 4-3 ahead.
Lewis converted a fine 110 finish to restore parity at 4-4, but Gurney increased his 180 count in the latter stages, as he claimed the last two legs to secure victory and set up a semi-final clash against Mensur Suljovic.
Suljovic produced a fine performance to defeat a resurgent Simon Whitlock 6-3 and reach yet another European Tour semi-final. The Austrian averaged over 102 and took out a number of key finishes to defeat ‘The Wizard’. Nevertheless, Mensur was unable to replicate this display against Gurney, as he succumbed to a heavy 6-1 loss.
Gurney broke throw in the opening leg courtesy of a fine 75 finish, but Suljovic levelled up proceedings immediately with a brilliant 12-darter which preceded successive 180’s. The decisive moment came in leg four, as Suljovic missed four darts to hold throw for 2-2, and Gurney reeled off five straight legs to coast into the final.
Dutch Darts Masters – European Tour Event One
Sunday February 14
Michael van Gerwen 6-3 Dave Chisnall
Mervyn King 6-5 Benito van de Pas
Mensur Suljovic 6-3 Simon Whitlock
Adrian Lewis 4-6 Daryl Gurney
Michael van Gerwen 6-2 Mervyn King
Mensur Suljovic 1-6 Daryl Gurney
Michael van Gerwen 6-2 Daryl Gurney