Super van Gerwen KO’s Kellett

Michael van Gerwen continued his incredible run of success on the PDC ProTour with a 6-1 victory over Stuart Kellett in the final of Sunday’s Players Championship 2 at the Robin Park Tennis Centre in Wigan, claiming his sixth ranking title of 2013.

Players Championship

Mighty Mike – Lawrence Lustig/PDC

The Dutch star’s amazing form saw him follow up five triumphs in the Speedy Services UK Open Qualifiers by taking the £10,000 first prize as the year’s first Players Championship weekend concluded.

After defeating youngster Shaun Griffiths 6-4 in his opening game, van Gerwen overcame both Vincent van der Voort and Colin Lloyd 6-1 and mounted a comeback against Peter Wright as he edged out the Scot 6-5 in the quarter-finals.

He also trailed in the semis against veteran Swindon ace Dennis Smith, who led 4-3 only to see the world number two take out finishes of 161 and 114 – for a second time in the game – to move ahead before hitting double eight to complete the win.

Although he shared the opening two legs of the final against Cheshire’s emerging star Kellett, van Gerwen hit top gear with legs of 11 and 12 darts to move 4-1 up.

He followed up two earlier 180s and a 177 by landing a 171 as he took the sixth leg on double ten, after Kellett missed the bull to hit back, and then sealed a comprehensive victory with a third maximum of the game in another 11-darter as an 87 checkout secured the title with a 105.79 average.

Van Gerwen had stated following Thursday’s McCoy’s Premier League Darts win over Andy Hamilton that he intended to win “at least one” of the Players Championships in Wigan, and he said: “It’s job done for me!

“It was a very good day and I’m really happy with the win. I played very well, especially in the final, and I can be proud of my game at the moment.

“I also had a good game against Peter Wright where I was 5-3 down and came back to win the game, so when you do that you know you’re in form. I want to win a couple more of these events too this year.”

Kellett followed up his run to the final of March’s UK Masters event at the Butlins Minehead Resort by reaching his second PDC decider in fine fashion – defeating World Champion Phil Taylor 6-4 as he too came from 4-3 down in the semis.

The 31-year-old from Northwich had defeated Joe Murnan, Jamie Lewis, Andy Hamilton, Wayne Jones and Ronnie Baxter as he progressed through Sunday’s tournament, and took home £5,000 prize money to increase his chances of qualifying for July’s World Matchplay and his challenge for a top 32 spot.

Taylor’s semi-final appearance was his best finish this year on the ProTour, as he followed up two previous quarter-finals by defeating Gaz Cousins, Reece Robinson, Ricky Evans, Mark Walsh and Dave Chisnall on the day.

Taylor was joined in the last four by Swindon ace Smith, who notably overcame three-time World Champion John Part in the first round and also saw off Kevin McDine, Andy Pearce, Ted Hankey and Colin Osborne on the day.

Chisnall reached a second quarter-final of the weekend before he was defeated by Taylor, while Osborne’s run to the quarter-finals was his best performance on the circuit since last October in Killarney.

Peter Wright was in the last eight for a sixth time this year as he gave van Gerwen his toughest test of the day, and Ronnie Baxter reached his fifth quarter-final of 2013 before losing out to Kellett.

Two-time World Champion Hankey reached the Last 16 for the first time on the ProTour since last July, overcoming John Henderson, Paul Nicholson – in a game which saw him hit three ton-plus checkouts – and world number four James Wade, before he went down narrowly to Smith after missing one dart for victory in the decider.

Jamie Caven ended the hopes of Raymond van Barneveld in the third round with a brilliant 144 finish to win the deciding leg of their clash before he was edged out in the same manner by Baxter in the Last 16.

Saturday’s runner-up Ronny Huybrechts also reached round four before losing to Chisnall, with Lloyd, Jones, Walsh, Ian White and Scott Rand also progressing to that stage, while Robert Thornton’s bid to win a second Players Championship of the weekend was ended by Jones in the third round.

The next Players Championships of 2013, each worth £50,000 per tournament following this year’s increase from £35,000 per event, will be held again in Wigan on May 25 & 26.

Players Championship 2
Robin Park Tennis Centre, Wigan – May 5

First Round
Michael van Gerwen (1) Bye
Shaun Griffiths 6-3 Denis Ovens
Vincent van der Voort (32) 6-2 Dave Honey
Darren Johnson 6-2 Richie Howson
Colin Lloyd (16) 6-0 Keegan Brown
Connie Finnan 6-3 Ken MacNeil
Gary Anderson (17) 6-2 Steve Hine
Darren Webster 6-5 Colin Fowler
Ian White (8) 6-1 Steve West
Andy Jenkins 6-2 Jerry Hendriks
Arron Monk (25) 6-3 Terry Temple
Matthew Dicken 6-3 Mark Jones
Peter Wright (9) 6-5 Michael Smith
James Hubbard 6-1 Tony Littleton
Richie Burnett (24) 6-3 Mark Dudbridge
Johnny Haines 6-5 Andrew Gilding
Dennis Smith 6-3 John Part (5)
Kevin McDine 6-5 Jyhan Artut
Kevin Painter (28) 6-3 Lee Palfreyman
Andy Pearce 6-5 Magnus Caris
Paul Nicholson (12) 6-1 Kentaro Suzuki
Ted Hankey 6-3 John Henderson
James Wade (21) 6-2 Joey Palfreyman
Peter Hudson 6-1 Steve McNally
Kim Huybrechts (4) 6-4 Michael Mansell
Jarkko Komula 6-3 Co Stompe
Colin Osborne (29) 6-5 Mark Hylton
Veijo Viinikka 6-5 Chris Aubrey
Matthew Edgar 6-2 Mervyn King (13)
James Richardson 6-3 Martyn Turner
Scott Rand 6-4 Brendan Dolan (20)
David Pallett 6-1 Nick Fullwell
Dave Chisnall (2) Bye
Darron Brown 6-4 Matt Clark
Steve Beaton (31) 6-3 William O’Connor
Darren Whittingham 6-2 Steve Grubb
Justin Pipe (15) 6-5 Josh Payne
Ryan Harrington 6-4 Kurt Van De Rijck
Ronny Huybrechts 6-5 Terry Jenkins (18)
Jamie Robinson 6-3 Alex Roy
Adrian Lewis (7) 6-0 Marc Dewsbury
Mark Cox 6-2 John Bowles
Mark Walsh (26) 6-3 Tomas Seyler
Kevin Dowling 6-5 Paul Amos
Phil Taylor (10) 6-3 Gaz Cousins
Reece Robinson 6-1 Steve Brown
Mark Webster (23) 6-1 Jelle Klaasen
Ricky Evans 6-0 Stephen Hardy
Raymond van Barneveld (6) 6-3 Roland Scholten
Campbell Jackson 6-4 Ross Smith
Jamie Caven (27) 6-5 Ryan De Vreede
Prakash Jiwa 6-2 Charl Pietersen
Ronnie Baxter (11) 6-1 Jim Walker
Michael Barnard 6-4 Dan Russell
Andy Smith (22) 6-5 Alan Tabern
Antonio Alcinas 6-4 Mark Frost
Robert Thornton (3) 6-2 Jani Haavisto
Adam Hunt 6-2 Paul Barham
Wayne Jones (30) 6-2 Adrian Gray
Joe Cullen 6-5 Dean Winstanley
Andy Hamilton (14) 6-1 John Scott
Daryl Gurney 6-3 Bernd Roith
Stuart Kellett (19) 6-0 Joe Murnan
Jamie Lewis 6-4 Nigel Heydon

Second Round
Michael van Gerwen 6-4 Shaun Griffiths
Vincent van der Voort 6-3 Darren Johnson
Colin Lloyd 6-4 Connie Finnan
Darren Webster 6-5 Gary Anderson
Ian White 6-0 Andy Jenkins
Arron Monk 6-3 Matthew Dicken
Peter Wright 6-3 James Hubbard
Johnny Haines 6-2 Richie Burnett
Dennis Smith 6-5 Kevin McDine
Andy Pearce 6-3 Kevin Painter
Ted Hankey 6-5 Paul Nicholson
James Wade 6-4 Peter Hudson
Kim Huybrechts 6-4 Jarkko Komula
Colin Osborne 6-3 Veijo Viinikka
Matthew Edgar 6-5 James Richardson
Scott Rand 6-1 David Pallett
Dave Chisnall 6-2 Darron Brown
Steve Beaton 6-1 Darren Whittingham
Justin Pipe 6-2 Ryan Harrington
Ronny Huybrechts 6-2 Jamie Robinson
Adrian Lewis 6-2 Mark Cox
Mark Walsh 6-4 Kevin Dowling
Phil Taylor 6-5 Reece Robinson
Ricky Evans 6-4 Mark Webster
Raymond van Barneveld 6-2 Campbell Jackson
Jamie Caven 6-1 Prakash Jiwa
Ronnie Baxter 6-1 Michael Barnard
Andy Smith 6-5 Antonio Alcinas
Robert Thornton 6-4 Adam Hunt
Wayne Jones 6-4 Joe Cullen
Andy Hamilton 6-5 Daryl Gurney
Stuart Kellett 6-3 Jamie Lewis
Losers £250

Third Round
Michael van Gerwen 6-1 Vincent van der Voort
Colin Lloyd 6-3 Darren Webster
Ian White 6-4 Arron Monk
Peter Wright 6-1 Johnny Haines
Dennis Smith 6-4 Andy Pearce
Ted Hankey 6-1 James Wade
Colin Osborne 6-5 Kim Huybrechts
Scott Rand 6-2 Matthew Edgar
Dave Chisnall 6-3 Steve Beaton
Ronny Huybrechts 6-4 Justin Pipe
Mark Walsh 6-5 Adrian Lewis
Phil Taylor 6-5 Ricky Evans
Jamie Caven 6-5 Raymond van Barneveld
Ronnie Baxter 6-4 Andy Smith
Wayne Jones 6-5 Robert Thornton
Stuart Kellett 6-4 Andy Hamilton
Losers £500

Fourth Round
Michael van Gerwen 6-1 Colin Lloyd
Peter Wright 6-4 Ian White
Dennis Smith 6-5 Ted Hankey
Colin Osborne 6-1 Scott Rand
Dave Chisnall 6-1 Ronny Huybrechts
Phil Taylor 6-4 Mark Walsh
Ronnie Baxter 6-5 Jamie Caven
Stuart Kellett 6-3 Wayne Jones
Losers £1,000

Quarter-Finals
Michael van Gerwen 6-5 Peter Wright
Dennis Smith 6-4 Colin Osborne
Phil Taylor 6-4 Dave Chisnall
Stuart Kellett 6-2 Ronnie Baxter
Losers £1,500

Semi-Finals
Michael van Gerwen 6-4 Dennis Smith
Stuart Kellett 6-4 Phil Taylor
Losers £2,500

Final
Michael van Gerwen 6-1 Stuart Kellett
Winner £10,000
Runner-Up £5,000

Final – Leg-By-Leg
Michael van Gerwen v Stuart Kellett
0-0 – Michael van Gerwen wins the bull and throws first.
1-0 – van Gerwen hits a 180 and lands tops to win the final’s opening leg.
1-1 – van Gerwen lands two 140s as he’s first to a finish, but misses five darts at doubles to win the leg to allow Kellett back on double 18.
2-1 – van Gerwen finishes 72 on double four to hold throw with a 15-dart finish.
3-1 – The Dutchman breaks for the first time, hitting scores of 177 and 140 in leaving 84 after nine darts before landing double 12 for an 11-dart finish.
4-1 – van Gerwen then scores 180, 135 and 140 before landing double ten for a 12-darter to extend his advantage.
5-1 – The World number two hits a 171, and when Kellett misses the bull to finish 124, he returns to post double ten once more.
6-1 – van Gerwen posts his third 180 of the game as he leaves 87 after nine darts, and he goes on to take out the combination on double 18 for another 11-darter as he secures a sixth ProTour win of the year.