Michael van Gerwen created Premier League history by winning his seventh title to move clear of the great Phil Taylor; Sky Sports is back for the World Cup of Darts at Frankfurt’s Eissporthalle from June 15-18 as Australia defend the title
By Raz Mirza & Megan Wellens at The O2
Last Updated: 25/05/23 10:40pm
Michael van Gerwen won the Premier League title for a record-breaking seventh time after defeating Gerwyn Price 11-5 in the final at the O2 with a 105.4 average.
The Dutchman, who joined Taylor on six wins 12 months ago, overtook him after a masterful performance to beat Welshman Price with a blistering display of arrows.
Van Gerwen, whose participation was in doubt after withdrawing from last week’s final weekly round in Aberdeen with a shoulder injury, has dominated this competition since winning his first title 10 years ago.
No one loves the O2 stage quite like him and after edging a thrilling semi-final against rival Michael Smith, where he won 10-8, he got the better of Price in the final.
Premier League – Finals Night at London’s O2
|Semi-finals||Gerwyn Price||10-2||Jonny Clayton|
|Michael Smith||8-10||Michael van Gerwen|
|Final||Gerwyn Price||5-11||Michael van Gerwen|
There was nothing to separate the darting duo of Price and Van Gerwen in the first five legs before the Dutch ace broke throw with a jaw-dropping 139-170 to open up a 4-2 advantage.
MVG underlined his incredible scoring power by holding in the next and then breaking again with an astonishing 128 finish on double 10 to move 6-2 ahead and averaging 108.
Price responded with a fabulous 161 bullseye finish to reduce the arrears, but Van Gerwen knew he was just four legs away from the title at the interval.
However, four missed darts from the Dutchman allowed ‘The Iceman’ in for double 12 to trail 7-4, but MVG hit straight back with an 11-darter before sinking double 2 to edge ever nearer to glory.
An exhibition 150 on double 18 moved Van Gerwen one away at 10-5 and it was all over in the next leg as he retained his crown.
Most Premier League titles
7 – Michael van Gerwen
6 – Gerwyn Price
2 – Gary Anderson
1 – James Wade, Raymond van Barneveld, Glen Durrant, Jonny Clayton
“I have been working really hard lately. Obviously, I had problems last week, we all know Gerwyn Price is in fantastic form, Michael Smith won the last three weeks,” said the 34-year-old.
“I get questions all the time about when I am going to do it again so I put the pressure on myself. I keep doing that but today it motivated me and I think that is probably what made me win.
“I think today I played some fantastic darts. What more can you wish for than to win this trophy?
“You always have to pick the right moments but to come back here in the O2 and play like guys like Michael Smith, Gerwyn Price in the final, you have to play your A game.
“I had to do something special today and I was really glad I was able to do it. I worked hard for this.”
Price is still searching for his first title and a brilliant campaign, where he won four of the weekly rounds, ends in ultimate disappointment.
He was crestfallen after the loss, saying: “I just couldn’t find the trebles, the doubles, I couldn’t find anything, that’s how it goes sometimes.
“I’m gutted. I just felt this one is the one that got away, I was missing by so far, I wasn’t even close, I don’t know what happened.”
MVG gets revenge for world championship defeat
Van Gerwen faced Smith in a repeat of January’s historic world championship final, but it was the St Helens star who made the better start by pinning a huge 128 finish for an early break of throw.
MVG then broke in 12 darts to snatch the lead from the world No 1 before reeling off four legs on the spin for a 5-2 lead.
The Dutchman continued to throw some staggering darts, moving 7-3 up at the break and averaging 108.29.
Smith responded with a 114 checkout after the restart to reduce the deficit to three legs and a crucial 86 checkout saw ‘Bully Boy’ peg it back to 8-6.
Van Gerwen then squandered five darts at doubles, letting Smith in for a roof-raising 91 on the bullseye to trail 8-7, but MVG quickly regained his compose to move one leg away from victory.
Smith then saved the match thanks to a skin-saving 123 checkout on the bull after ‘Mighty Mike’ failed with two match darts, but it was all over in the next leg as Van Gerwen made it through to his ninth Premier League final.
Price wins all-Welsh showdown
The first semi-final was an all-Welsh affair and it was Price who came out on top against Jonny Clayton with a storming 10-2 victory.
Price got off to a blistering start to take the first five legs without reply, Clayton averaging less than 86.
Despite ‘The Ferret’ stopping the rot, Price’s consistency on the trebles continued, taking out a 12-darter in the seventh leg.
From there it was easy for ‘The Iceman’ and despite Clayton making it 8-2, he completed the win thanks to a fabulous 131 on tops.
What’s next on Sky Sports?
The annual World Cup of Darts will expand to 40 teams from the previous 32 in a revamped format which will feature a group stage and doubles matches throughout four days of action at Frankfurt’s Eissporthalle from June 15-18 as Australia defend the title.
In a radical change to previous years, the tournament will see Iceland, Ukraine and Bahrain set to make their debuts.
Catch all the action from the World Cup of Darts from June 15-18 – live on Sky Sports.
Source : Sky Sports