Teenager James Hubbard was crowned as the PDC Unicorn World Youth Champion following a 6-3 win over Michael van Gerwen at The O2 London during the 2012 Premier League Darts finals night.

The 19-year-old from Norfolk showed no nerves in a brilliant opening as he hit an 11-dart finish and led 3-0 before holding off the Dutchman’s fightback to claim the £10,000 first prize.

“It feels amazing,” he said. “When you start playing darts, this is what you dream of, and to play in front of 10,000 people is a dream come true for me, and to come out as World Champion is amazing.

“I was nervous before the game but Simon Whitlock was brilliant and gave me lots of advice, and the start I made on stage was terrific and settled me down.

“I didn’t think I’d win it to be honest because Michael’s so experienced and such a brilliant player. You always believe in yourself, but when I hit that double top it was the most amazing feeling of my life.”

PDC UNICORN WORLD YOUTH CHAMPIONSHIP FINAL
JAMES HUBBARD 6-3 MICHAEL VAN GERWEN

Hubbard, who only turned professional last November, produced an impressive display to condemn van Gerwen to defeat in the final for a second successive year, following his previous loss to Arron Monk in January 2011.

The 19-year-old took command from the start after opening the game with an 11-darter and taking a 3-0 lead, to mean that van Gerwen’s fightback eventually came in vain.

“It feels amazing,” he said. “When you start playing darts, this is what you dream of, and to play in front of 10,000 people is a dream come true for me, and to come out as World Champion is amazing.

“I was nervous before the game but Simon Whitlock was brilliant and gave me lots of advice, and the start I made on stage was terrific and settled me down.

“I didn’t think I’d win it to be honest because Michael’s so experienced and such a brilliant player. You always believe in yourself, but when I hit that double top it was the most amazing feeling of my life.”

Despite stepping on stage in front of 10,000 fans at London’s O2 Arena, Hubbard showed no nerves with a superb opening, hitting scores of 140, 180 and 145 in the opening leg as he finished double nine for an 11-darter.

He then scored 171 to leave 32 in the next as he broke throw on double eight, after van Gerwen missed tops, and a nerveless 81 finish of treble 15 and double 18 for a 14-darter moved him 3-0 up.

Van Gerwen replied in 14 darts to get off the mark, finishing 76 on double eight, before Hubbard landed two 140s and a 120 before hitting double ten to lead 4-1.

The Norfolk prospect faltered for the first time with five misses at doubles in the sixth leg, as van Gerwen posted double 16 and then produced a quality 12-darter – featuring a 180 and a 102 finish of single 20, bullseye and double 16 – to reduce the gap to 4-3.

However, the Dutchman could only watch on in the next after leaving 74, as Hubbard finished 51 on tops to move to the brink of victory, and when van Gerwen missed double 15 to take out 88 he stepped in to land tops for the title and a £10,000 first prize.

Leg-By-Leg
0-1 – Hubbard makes a brilliant start, hitting 140, 180, 145 and finishing double nine for an 11-darter.
0-2 – Hubbard lands a 171 to leave 32, and when van Gerwen misses tops he returns to land double eight and break throw.
0-3 – Hubbard finishes 81 with treble 15 and double 18 to move three legs clear.
1-3 – van Gerwen finishes 76 in two darts to win his first leg of the game.
1-4 – Hubbard scores 140, 140 and 120 before missing tops for a 101 finish, but he has enough cushion to return and land double ten with his third dart.
2-4 – Hubbard misses double 19, double eight and three darts at double four before van Gerwen lands double 16.
3-4 – van Gerwen hits a 180 to leave 102, and takes out the combination with single 20, bull and double 16.
3-5 – Hubbard hits tops to move one leg away from the title.
3-6 – van Gerwen misses double 15 for an 88 finish, and Hubbard hits tops for the victory.

The night also featured a special performance of the charity single ‘Got My Ticket For The Darts’, as Chas Hodges & The Premier League Boys were joined on stage by Taylor, Wade, Hamilton, Gary Anderson, Raymond van Barneveld, Adrian Lewis, Kevin Painter and PDC Chairman.

The song has been released to raise money for Haven House Children’s Hospice, and is available for 99p from iTunes.