Michael van Gerwen is the 2013 McCoy’s Premier League Darts Champion

Michael van Gerwen won the 2013 McCoy’s Premier League darts title in style, hitting bull for a brilliant 132 checkout to beat defending champion Phil Taylor 10-8, in a high quality game of darts that saw both players post 100+ averages.

Premier League Darts

Mighty Mike Wins! Lawrence Lustig/PDC

Premier League debutant Van Gerwen, who topped the table after 14 weeks of league play drew first blood in the final – taking the opening leg with throw in 13 darts. However, it was Taylor who commanded the game early on and established a 5-2 lead.

Double trouble for the 16 times World Champion after the interval allowed van Gerwen to reel off 5 legs in succession and put himself in the driving seat.

Taylor levelled the match at 7 each with a 160 finish after van Gerwen had refused a shot at the bull, instead leaving 32 for his anticipated return visit. The Dutchman then restored his two leg advantage, but missed two match darts before The Power finished 72 on tops.

With Taylor requiring 40 and MvG back on 132 the match appeared to be heading towards a deciding leg, Mighty Mike had other ideas though hitting the magical bull outshot  to pick up his second PDC major title and £150k.

McCoy’s Premier League Darts Final Result

Premier League darts

Disappointed Taylor – Lawrence Lustig/PDC

Michael van Gerwen 10 v 8 Phil Taylor
Best of 19 legs

McCoy’s Premier League Darts
May 16 – The O2, London
Schedule of Play

McCoy’s Premier League Darts Semi-Finals
Raymond van Barneveld 4 v 8 Phil Taylor
Michael van Gerwen 8 v 4 James Wade
Best of 15 legs

The pairing of Raymond van Barneveld and Phil Taylor opened the evening’s play and their semi-final clash by trading 180’s. The first 6 legs were shared before Taylor achieved the all important break of throw to move 4-3 ahead.

A hold for Taylor was backed up with a 164 finish to once again break the throw and heart of the Barney, giving him a 3 leg advantage at 6-3. Double 10 in the next made it 5 legs without reply for The Power and put him a break away from victory.

6 perfect darts for RvB briefly kept him contention – having missed the potential nine dart opportunity he almost threw the leg away after making a meal of killing it off. Eventually checking out on double 2.

Taylor went on to book his final place in the next, completing an 8-4 victory. The evenings second semi-final saw Michael van Gerwen earn the right to join Taylor in the final as the explosive Dutchman dispatched James Wade by the same scoreline.

The Unicorn World Youth Championship final was contested after the semi-finals where impressive youngster Micheal Smith took the honours with a 6-1 victory of Ricky Evans.

World Youth Champion

The future of darts? Lawrence Lustig/PDC

PDC Unicorn World Youth Championship Final
Ricky Evans 1-6 Michael Smith

PDC Match Report

MIGHTY Michael van Gerwen crowned his debut McCoy’s Premier League Darts season by claiming the title in sensational fashion by coming from behind to defeat reigning champion Phil Taylor 10-8 in the final at The O2 in London.

Van Gerwen has enjoyed a superb first year in the tournament, finishing at the top of the league table following the 14 weekly rounds before emerging triumphant in the Play-Offs to claim the £150,000 title.

The 24-year-old Dutch ace firstly overcame James Wade 8-4 in the semi-finals, taking leads of 5-1 and 7-2 before holding off the 2009 champion’s fightback and some nervous doubling of his own to win through to the decider.

Taylor, who had seen off Raymond van Barneveld 8-4 in another high-quality semi-final, then raced into leads of 3-1 and 5-3 in the final before van Gerwen dominated the second half of the contest.

He took five successive legs to move into a 7-5 lead before Taylor levelled with a stunning 160 checkout, punishing his opponent for opting not to throw at the bullseye in the 14th leg.

Van Gerwen, though, regained his composure to move to the brink of victory at 9-7, and though Taylor punished two missed match darts to keep his hopes alive in the next, the Dutchman took out a sensational 132 bullseye finish to wrap up the title.

“It feels amazing,” said van Gerwen, who hit nine 180s and averaged 103.29 in the final.

“After the 14 weeks I was the best player because I was top of the table but I showed my class again today. I didn’t play my best game against James, but in the final after the break I showed that I deserved this trophy.

“I’m so happy with this trophy. In the first half of the final, Phil was the better player but after the break I played really well and my finishing was good at the right moments.

“I’d already missed two darts to win the game but they were right on the wire and it was a bit unlucky, but after that the 132 was amazing, absolutely great.”

Van Gerwen had played at The O2 a year ago when he lost to James Hubbard in the PDC Unicorn World Youth Championship final – but he has surged up to second in the world rankings since, winning the World Grand Prix and reaching the World Championship finals in the process.

“Last year after I lost in the World Youth Championship final I said to myself that I hoped one day I could play here with the big boys, and a year later I win it, which is incredible,” added van Gerwen.

“Not many people have beaten Phil Taylor in finals and he doesn’t like losing finals, so to do this gives me a lot of confidence because he’s the greatest player ever.

“It’s my biggest title yet and I hope I can win a lot more of these titles in the future.”

Taylor had been bidding to win a seventh Premier League Darts title and averaged over 104 in both of his matches during the Play-Offs, but had to settle for the £75,000 runner-up prize.

“I’m annoyed at myself for missing doubles but Michael was brilliant and the 132 to win the final was a great shot,” said Taylor. “If I could have got to nine-each then anything could have happened, but it wasn’t to be.

“I thought the 160 was going to rock him, but then he kicked in for the next leg with a 180, and it was a blow-for-blow game.

“He deserved to win and I’ll go back and work hard for the next tournament now. I’m after him!”

Van Barneveld suffered the agony of a sixth defeat in the Premier League semi-finals since he first appeared in the event in 2006, although he played his part in a superb contest with Taylor.

The Dutch star opened their semi with a 180 and finished 116 to lead 3-2, only for Taylor to take the next five legs to put himself in command at 7-3, taking out a stunning 164 checkout in the process as he moved into the decider.

“Phil played his best game of the season against me and deserved to win,” said van Barneveld. “It’s hard to get in your rhythm against him but he was awesome.

“I probably missed just one or two crucial doubles but it was a fantastic game from Phil. He was ready for me.”

Wade, the 2009 champion, was appearing in the semi-finals for a fourth time, but admitted that he was disappointed with his finishing as he went down to van Gerwen.

“I wasn’t good enough and Michael was, and that’s the story of it,” said Wade. “He punished me for being messy, and he’s a great player.

“I missed too many doubles and that’s the part of my game which wins me games and should have pulled me through this. If I was hitting my doubles like I normally would, I’d have been in the final.”

Another young prospect enjoyed glory at The O2 on Thursday, as St Helens’ Michael Smith swept past Kettering’s Ricky Evans 6-1 to win the PDC Unicorn World Youth Championship title.

Evans had taken out 106 to win the final’s opening leg, but Smith won the next six without reply to pick up a £10,000 first prize.

“It’s a great feeling,” said Smith, who is managed and mentored by former Premier League Darts champion Gary Anderson. “Ricky got off to a good start but I was waiting for him to run out of steam and for the occasion to get to him.

“When I got 2-1 up and opened with a 180, I knew I had him and I wanted to enjoy every leg. My finishing was too good for him, my doubles went in first or second dart and I outscored him, so I’m really pleased.

“It felt terrifying on that stage but I’ve been on the big stage before and I wanted to play the board, and I did that.

“Michael van Gerwen lost twice in the World Youth Championship final and you only have to see where he is now to know that anything’s possible. I’m nearly in the world’s top 32 but I want to push on and try and get into the top 16.”

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