MICHAEL VAN GERWEN and James Hubbard will contest the final of the PDC Unicorn World Youth Championship next year after winning through from the Last 64 in Crawley on Friday afternoon.

The pair will compete for the £10,000 first prize during the Premier League Darts Play-Offs at The O2 on Thursday May 17, after producing some fine darts at the K2 Centre.

The duo also won spots in next week’s William Hill Grand Slam of Darts – where 19-year-old Hubbard will make his televised debut – and have secured two-year PDC ProTour Cards to compete on the professional circuit.

Dutch ace Van Gerwen – who lost to Arron Monk in last year’s final but topped the Youth Tour Order of Merit this year with four tournament victories – overcame his nerves to defeat Shaun Griffiths 5-3 in their semi-final.

The 22-year-old led 4-1 before missing a handful of match darts in the next two legs, but recovered to hit a superb 12-dart leg, which included a 140 finish, in winning his place in the final.

Van Gerwen, the number one seed, defeated fellow Dutchmen John de Kruijf and Gino Vos, Wales’ Kurt Parry and Market Drayton’s Darren Whittingham earlier in the event.

“I’m very happy,” said van Gerwen. “This is my last year on the Youth Tour and I’m very determined to leave with the World Youth Championship title.

“Losing to Arron Monk in last year’s final was very hard for me and it’s made me more determined to do better. I was the number one seed for this and I felt a lot of pressure, but I’m proud to have got through to the final.

“I’m pleased for James too because he played really well and it should be a good final. He’s one of the young players who can go a long way now on the Youth Tour.”

Hubbard, a 19-year-old from Wymondham in Norfolk, will emulate his father Vic in progressing to compete on the PDC circuit next year after securing his place in the final.

He impressed with wins over Scotland’s Michael Airnes, Birmingham’s Matt Gallett, Holland’s Dirk van Duijvenbode and Welsh ace Jamie Lewis to reach the semis.

There, he defeated number two seed Paul Barham 5-2 with a fine performance against the Essex star, who also won four Youth Tour events this year but fell one step short of the World Youth Championship final.

“It’s massive for me,” said Hubbard. “I work with my Dad as a painter and decorator and he’s already said that I can have time off to play in the Grand Slam and on the professional circuit next year.

“This is a big day for me and I’m very proud. A couple of times I won 5-4 and had to pull out a great final leg, but I’m pleased that I managed to do that and then perform well against Paul in my semi-final.

“It’s amazing now that I’ll be playing in the Grand Slam of Darts and that I’ve qualified for a Tour Card, and it’s going to be a great experience.”

Lewis and Whittingham were joined in reaching the quarter-finals by Leicester’s Sam Hill and Rhys Dudley, who won through a knockout at the Rileys Club Reading last weekend and knocked out Swindon’s professional Chris Aubrey, Finland’s Teemu Harju and Doncaster’s Brandon Walsh to progress to the last eight.

Spain’s Sergio Garcia was amongst the Last 16, but reigning champion Monk was a first round victim against Worcester qualifier Matthew Dicken, with St Helens’ Michael Smith also losing in round one, to Wolverhampton’s Ash Khayat.

PDC Unicorn World Youth Championship
First Round
Michael van Gerwen (1) 5-1 John de Kruijf
Kurt Parry 5-1 Thomas Humphrey
Adam Hunt 5-0 David Coyne
Gino Vos 5-2 Curtis Hammond
Ricky Evans (8) 5-3 Benjamin Songhurst
Aden Kirk 5-0 Steve Haggerty
Marc Evans 5-2 Liam Deveries
Darren Whittingham 5-4 Shaun Narain
Ash Khayat 5-3 Michael Smith (5)
Nick Kenny Bye
Max Hopp 5-1 Jonathan Mulley
Sam Hill 5-4 Josh Jones
Shaun Griffiths (4) 5-2 Ryan Maher
Ryan Hogarth 5-0 Lee Hodson
Matthew Dicken 5-2 Arron Monk
Jimmy Hendriks 5-2 Guy Holland
Paul Barham (2) 5-3 David Williams
Joe Hunt 5-0 Daniel King-Morris
Sergio Garcia 5-3 Franz Schrammel
Leon Bailey 5-4 Adam Smith-Neale
Rhys Dudley 5-2 Chris Aubrey (7)
Teemu Harju 5-1 Ryan Harrington
Matt Howard 5-2 Co Stompe Jnr
Brandon Walsh 5-4 Richard North
Reece Robinson (6) 5-3 James Thompson
Jamie Lewis 5-2 David Pallett
Oskar Lukasiak 5-1 James Hajdar
Jamie Landon 5-3 Steven Addison
Joe Cullen (3) 5-2 Nicholas Ellis
Dirk van Duijvenbode 5-1 Michael Finch
Matt Gallett 5-0 Robbie King
James Hubbard 5-1 Michael Airnes

Second Round
Michael van Gerwen 5-3 Kurt Parry
Gino Vos 5-4 Adam Hunt
Aden Kirk 5-2 Ricky Evans
Darren Whittingham 5-0 Marc Evans
Ash Khayat 5-4 Nick Kenny
Sam Hill 5-0 Max Hopp
Shaun Griffiths 5-4 Ryan Hogarth
Matthew Dicken 5-3 Jimmy Hendricks
Paul Barham 5-1 Joe Hunt
Sergio Garcia 5-3 Leon Bailey
Rhys Dudley 5-3 Teemu Harju
Brandon Walsh 5-1 Matt Howard
Jamie Lewis 5-4 Reece Robinson
Jamie Landon 5-3 Oskar Lukasiak
Dirk van Duijvenbode 5-4 Joe Cullen
James Hubbard 5-3 Matt Gallett

Third Round
Michael van Gerwen 5-4 Gino Vos
Darren Whittingham 5-1 Aden Kirk
Sam Hill 5-3 Ash Khayat
Shaun Griffiths 5-3 Matthew Dicken
Paul Barham 5-3 Sergio Garcia
Rhys Dudley 5-3 Brandon Walsh
Jamie Lewis 5-3 Jamie Landon
James Hubbard 5-4 Dirk van Duijvenbode
Losers £625

Quarter-Finals
Michael van Gerwen 5-3 Darren Whittingham
Shaun Griffiths 5-3 Sam Hill
Paul Barham 5-1 Rhys Dudley
James Hubbard 5-4 Jamie Lewis
Losers £1,250

Semi-Finals
Michael van Gerwen 5-3 Shaun Griffiths
James Hubbard 5-2 Paul Barham
Losers £2,500

Final
Michael van Gerwen v James Hubbard
Best of 11 legs
To be played on Thursday May 17 at The O2 in London
Winner £10,000
Runner-Up £5,000
Both finalists also invited to play in 2011 William Hill Grand Slam of Darts and awarded PDC ProTour Cards for 2012 & 2013, plus entry fees paid