MICHAEL VAN GERWEN hit top gear as he powered into the 888.com European Championship semi-finals with a 111 average against Dave Chisnall on Sunday afternoon, as Raymond van Barneveld, Terry Jenkins and Mervyn King joined him in the last four.

World Champion van Gerwen followed up his earlier wins over Justin Pipe and Brendan Dolan with a sensational display to end the number eight seed’s hopes of claiming his first major title in Germany.

Chisnall played his part in a thriller, hitting five doubles from eight attempts and six 180s as he averaged over 100 in reply, but after van Gerwen created an early 3-1 lead the Dutchman never relinquished the advantage.

Van Gerwen pushed out to 6-2 up as he maintained a 111 average throughout the full match, with Chisnall hitting back to 6-5 as he took out 121 on the bull in a run of three successive legs only to see the world number one show his class with three 180s in the final four legs.

“I played quite well and with a tournament like this you can win a tournament – but there’s a lot of work to do still,” said van Gerwen, whose 111 average is the highest of this year’s event.

“Dave made me play well and the game had everything – it was a fantastic game to play in and I enjoyed it.

“I’m in the semi-finals again but I hope I can do a bit better this year. I can build on this and I want to keep this form going.

“I’ve never won this tournament before, so that’s the biggest aim.”

Chisnall said: “I thought I played really well there, but Michael showed why he’s the World Champion. I missed a couple of doubles and he punished me, and the better man won.”

Van Gerwen now takes on Raymond van Barneveld in an all-Dutch semi-final, after the five-time World Champion produced a superb comeback from 6-4 down to defeat Peter Wright 10-7.

Wright hit back from an early 2-0 deficit to move 3-2 up, and after van Barneveld levelled in the eighth leg he would miss doubles in the next two as the Scot capitalised.

Wright firstly finished 52 on tops to move 5-4 up, before taking a two-leg lead with a crowd-pleasing 125 finish of bullseye, 25 and bullseye.

Van Barneveld, though, refused to buckle and pounced on missed doubles from Wright to level at six-all, and though the world number four took the 13th leg, the Dutchman took out 111 and 144 in a run of four straight legs to claim victory.

“It was an amazing game and I’m so happy to be in the semi-finals,” said van Barneveld. “I had to keep the pressure on Peter because he’s a fantastic player, but I had to wait until he missed a couple of doubles and take my chance.

“The 125 finish was probably the key moment. I congratulated Peter because it was a fantastic finish but I told myself to play my own game and keep enjoying the game.”

Wright said: “It was a fantastic game of darts and it was a pleasure to play Raymond. It was nice to hit some form and Raymond seems to bring the best out of me, and I don’t mind losing a game like that.”

Van Barneveld added: “Michael is the world number one and World Champion, but he’s not undefeatable.

“If you keep him under pressure, maybe he will make mistakes – but if you give him opportunities he will rip your head off! I’m ready for him and I like to play him.”

The other semi-final will be an all-English affair, after Mervyn King and Terry Jenkins booked their spots in the last four.

King picked up a 10-5 quarter-final win over another Dutchman, Jelle Klaasen, as he reached his first European Championship semi-final with a strong performance.

“Neither of us scored as well as we can do, but my finishing was what won me the game,” said King. “I struggled a bit with my scoring but when I got a chance I took it, so I’m happy.

“I was hoping that we were both going to hit form and give the fans a treat, but it didn’t quite happen for us.

“I have to improve for the semi-finals but I’ll have a couple of hours away from the board and then start preparing for the semi-finals.”

Klaasen admitted: “I missed too many doubles – I missed four darts to lead 4-2 and after that it was downhill for me, and Mervyn finished everything. He played well.”

Jenkins, meanwhile, is aiming to reach the ninth major final of his career following a 10-7 defeat of Stephen Bunting.

Lakeside Champion Bunting had knocked out Phil Taylor on Saturday night, but was unable to repeat the heavy scoring which had produced ten 180s in that game as Jenkins claimed victory.

Bunting held a slender 2-1 lead early on, but Jenkins turned the game on its head with a run of five successive legs to move 6-2 up before holding off a brief rally from the St Helens man to complete the win.

“I got off to a good start and I was whacking everything in, but I let it slide a bit towards the end and Stephen started coming back,” said Jenkins, the UK Open runner-up in March. “I panicked a bit but I kept my cool in the end.”

The defeat for Bunting took some of the gloss from his victory over Taylor, but he said: “At the end of the day, that was just another game and Terry’s another fantastic opponent that I had to get ready for.

“He played out of his skin and did a job on me. Terry got off to a fantastic start and it was always going to be difficult for me from that far behind.

“I kept trying to plug away and felt like Terry was letting me in, but it wasn’t to be.”

The £250,000 tournament concludes on Sunday evening, with the semi-finals followed by the final at the RWE Sporthalle in Germany.

888.com European Championship Darts Results

Sunday October 26

Afternoon Session (1.45pm-6pm local time, 12.45pm-5pm UK)
Mervyn King 10-5 Jelle Klaasen
Stephen Bunting 7-10 Terry Jenkins
Michael van Gerwen 10-5 Dave Chisnall
Raymond van Barneveld 10-7 Peter Wright
Best of 19 legs

Evening Session (7.45pm-12am local time, 6.45pm-11pm UK)
Terry Jenkins v Mervyn King
Michael van Gerwen v Raymond van Barneveld
Best of 21 legs

van Gerwen/van Barneveld v Jenkins/King
Best of 21 legs

Mervyn King v Jelle Klaasen
0-1 – Double 18 sees Klaasen make a confident start.
1-1 – King levels the game, posting a 180 and finishing double eight for a 13-darter.
1-2 – Klaasen moves back ahead on double eight.
2-2 – A double 18 finish sees King level with a 13-darter.
3-2 – Klaasen misses four darts at double top, and King secures the game’s first break of throw by finishing 48 on double eight.
4-2 – King finishes 47 to move two legs clear.
5-2 – King breaks throw again by taking out 76 on tops.
6-2 – Double 18 sees King win a fifth successive leg.
6-3 – Klaasen claims his first leg in six, hitting a 180 and finishing double two.
6-4 – The Dutchman lands his second 180 before finishing double 18 to break and halve the deficit.
7-4 – Klaasen’s third 180 in as many legs is followed by a 177 from King to leave 24, and when the Dutchman misses double 11 his rival is on hand to finish double 12.
7-5 – Double four sees Klaasen claim his fifth leg of the contest.
8-5 – King opens the leg with a 180 and finishes tops to move three legs clear.
9-5 – Tops moves King a leg away from the win.
10-5 – Klaasen is unable to hit back, and King lands double 16 to seal the win.

Stephen Bunting v Terry Jenkins
1-0 – Jenkins fires in an early 180, but Bunting follows immediately with his first maximum before taking out 61 on double 18 to win the opener.
1-1 – Jenkins pins double top at the first time of asking to level.
2-1 – Jenkins misses a single 16 to leave a double when on a 116 finish, and Bunting finishes 41 on double four.
2-2 – Jenkins lands another maximum before finishing 76 on tops to level the game once more.
2-3 – An 11-darter sees Jenkins claim the first break of throw as he hits double 16, maintaining a flawless finishing ratio and moving his average up to 109.
2-4 – Jenkins takes out 74 on the bull to move two legs clear.
2-5 – A fourth successive leg sees Jenkins pull away from Bunting, as he lands a 180 and finishes 56 on tops.
2-6 – Jenkins scores 170 to leave 91 before taking out the combination on double 16 to establish a four-leg cushion.
3-6 – Bunting wins his first leg in six, capitalising on two misses at tops from Jenkins by finishing double three.
3-7 – Bunting opens with his second 180 of the game, but Jenkins takes out 98 on double 19 to regain his advantage.
4-7 – Double 16 sees Bunting hit back with a 13-darter to move his average above 100.
5-7 – Bunting breaks throw by defying a 180 from Jenkins with double four to pull back to just two legs behind his rival.
5-8 – Bunting lands a third 180, but misses the bull and two darts at double eight as Jenkins steps in to finish double ten for a potentially pivotal leg.
5-9 – Jenkins opens with a 180 and lands double eight to move a leg away from the semis.
6-9 – Bunting finishes 74 on tops to hit back – but needs to win the next four legs if he is to claim victory.
7-9 – Bunting’s revival continues as he lands a fourth 180 and finishes double 16 to win his second successive leg.
7-10 – Jenkins misses three match darts, but Bunting’s revival comes to an end as he misses two darts at double seven, allowing his rival back in to seal victory and a semi-final place on double four.

Michael van Gerwen v Dave Chisnall
0-1 – Chisnall makes a confident start with a 12-darter, opening the match with a 180 before finishing 98 on tops.
1-1 – van Gerwen betters his rival’s opening leg by finishing an 11-darter by taking out 89 on double 16.
2-1 – Chisnall opens the leg with a 180, but misses a dart at tops to allow van Gerwen in to break throw by taking out 61.
3-1 – Double eight moves van Gerwen into a two-leg lead.
3-2 – van Gerwen opens the leg with a 180, but Chisnall fires in a maximum of his own before finishing tops for a 13-darter to hit back.
4-2 – Chisnall lands a 180 to leave 36, but van Gerwen finishes 97 to move two legs clear again.
5-2 – van Gerwen opens the leg with 140 and 180 before finishing double nine for a 13-darter.
6-2 – van Gerwen maintains an average of 111 as the pair trade 180s in leg eight, with tops moving the Dutchman four legs clear.
6-3 – Chisnall fires back with a 180 and double 16.
6-4 – Chisnall takes out 121 on the bull for a break of throw to reduce the gap to two legs.
6-5 – A miss at double top from van Gerwen allows Chisnall back as double three pulls him back to one leg behind his rival.
7-5 – van Gerwen lands a 180 and double four as he wins his first leg in four to earn some breathing space.
8-5 – van Gerwen opens with another maximum before punishing Chisnall’s miss for a 121 finish by taking out tops.
9-5 – A seventh 180 of the game helps van Gerwen pull clear before he lands double 16 to move to the brink of victory.
10-5 – van Gerwen secures a superb win in style by taking out 140 on double ten.

Raymond van Barneveld v Peter Wright
1-0 – van Barneveld secures an immediate break of throw by finishing double eight for a 13-darter.
2-0 – The Dutchman finishes 76 on double 18 to move two legs up.
2-1 – Wright claims his first leg of the game by finishing 89 for an 11-darter.
2-2 – Wright fires in a first 180 of the game before hitting double eight to level matters with a break of throw.
2-3 – Wright takes out 69 on double 18 to move in front with a third successive leg, taking his average to 107 in the process.
3-3 – Double 19 sees van Barneveld level the game once more.
3-4 – Wright regains the edge by finishing 76 on double eight.
4-4 – Double ten sees the Dutchman hit back to level.
4-5 – The duo trade 180s, with van Barneveld missing a dart at tops to allow Wright in to hit the same bed to avoid a possible break.
4-6 – van Barneveld lands another 180 but is punished again for missing tops – with two darts this time – as Wright breaks with a superb 125 checkout by thrilling the crowd with a bullseye, 25, bullseye combination.
5-6 – van Barneveld is first to a double but this time misses double 16 – only to be given a reprieve this time as Wright misses two darts at double four, allowing him to break by returning to hit the bed.
6-6 – Wright misses tops for a 117 finish, and van Barneveld lands double 16 again to level the game.
6-7 – Wright regains the lead with a fine 13-darter, hitting a 180 and double 18.
7-7 – Double eight sees van Barneveld level the match once more.
8-7 – van Barneveld tees up a potential nine-darter with two 180s, as Wright adds a maximum of his own. The Dutchman misses a seventh treble 20, and goes close to losing the leg when Wright wires the bull for a 128 checkout, allowing him back to finish 111 to break throw and move back ahead.
9-7 – van Barneveld lands another 180, his fifth of the game, before taking out 76 on double four to move a leg away from the win.
10-7 – Wright kicks off the leg with a 180, but misses two darts at tops and van Barneveld steps in to complete his brilliant comeback with a 144 checkout on double 12.

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