Posted on 01 January 2014.
MICHAEL VAN GERWEN has won the 2014 Ladbrokes World Darts Championship title, producing a thrilling performance to achieve his darting destiny with a 7-4 defeat of plucky Peter Wright at Alexandra Palace.
Almost a decade after he first emerged as a teenage prodigy in Holland, the 24-year-old has won darts’ biggest title as he claimed a £250,000 first prize and lifted the Sid Waddell Trophy as the new Ladbrokes World Darts Champion.
The triumph also lifts van Gerwen above previous World Champion Phil Taylor to the top of the PDC Order of Merit for the first time, and sees him become the sixth -and youngest – winner of the PDC World Championship. Van Gerwen raced into a four-set lead by winning 12 of the game’s opening 14 legs in a stunning start to the game, before Wright hit back to win the next two sets and halve the deficit.
However, Wright missed one dart at double top to win the seventh set, and van Gerwen recovered on double eight to move 5-2 up and then took the next set 3-1 to move just one set from the title.
Wright took the ninth and tenth sets 3-1 to continue his revival by pulling back to 6-4, but van Gerwen hit back from a leg down in the 11th set with a nerve-settling 124 finish before taking the deciding leg on double top to complete his triumph. The final also saw van Gerwen hit 16 180s and Wright land six maximums, as the World Championship record of 588 – set in 2012 – was smashed with a total of 603, earning a donation of £12,000 from Ladbrokes to Haven House Children’s Hospice, the PDC’s Official Charity.
Ladbrokes World Darts Final
Peter Wright 4-7 Michael van Gerwen
First Set – 1/3
Peter Wright 0-1 Michael van Gerwen
0-1 – van Gerwen starts brilliantly to win the first leg against the darts, thanks to a 91 finish. 0-2 – The Dutchman hits double eight to increase his lead, with Wright waiting on tops. 1-2 – Wright hits the first 180 of the final, before converting a two-dart 77 finish. 1-3 – van Gerwen misses two chances to win the opening set, but Wright is unable to set up a double for a 107 finish, allowing van Gerwen to return and hit double ten.
Second Set – 0/3
Peter Wright 0-2 Michael van Gerwen
0-1 – van Gerwen hits a trio of 140 scores to leave 81 after just nine-darts thrown, and he double 12 to take out an finish, for a 12-darter. 0-2 – The world number hits double top to break, capitalising on two missed darts at doubles from Wright. 0-3 – van Gerwen is off-target with one dart at double top only for Wright to commit the same error, which allows van Gerwen to return and hit double ten for a two sets lead.
Third Set – 0/3
Peter Wright 0-3 Michael van Gerwen
0-1 – van Gerwen hits a brilliant 177 to leave double 16, which he hits at the first attempt, for an excellent 13-darter. 0-2 – The Dutchman kicks-off the leg of scores of 180 and 140, before hitting double ten, for another 13-dart finish. 0-3 – van Gerwen wins a seventh straight leg, thanks to a clinical 108 finish.
Fourth Set – 1/3
Peter Wright 0-4 Michael van Gerwen
0-1 – Wright misses double top for a 116 finish, and van Gerwen lands the same double with an accuarte third dart.0-2, Wright misses double top for a 116 finish, and van Gerwen lands the same double with an accuarte third dart. 1-2 – van Gerwen fails with three attempts to win the set, and Wright wins just his second leg of the game on double 16, for a 63 finish. 1-3 – van Gerwen recovers impressively from the previous leg, hitting a second 180 before landing top to move further ahead.
Fifth Set 3/1
Peter Wright 1-4 Michael van Gerwen
1-0 – Wright makes a positive start to the fifth set, holding throw on double four. 1-1 – van Gerwen hits double top for a 56 finish to draw level. 2-1 – Wright hits a second 180 before going on to hit double 20, for a 13-darter. 3-1 – van Gerwen kicks-off the leg with two 140s, before Wright hits a 180 followed by brilliant 130 checkout, on double five, to win the set in style.
Sixth Set 3/1
Peter Wright 2-4 Michael van Gerwen
1-0 – van Gerwen posts a third 180 but wastes three chances to win leg, and Wright hits double 16 to break throw. 2-0 – Wright defies a 180 from his opponent, by hitting double 16 for a second leg running, to complete a 71 finish. 2-1 – Wright is made to pay for a missed dart at tops, as van Gerwen converts an 80 finish. 3-1 – Double 19 gives Wright the set as he takes a 100 finish.
Seventh Set 2/3
Peter Wright 2-5 Michael van Gerwen
1-0 – van Gerwen hits the 589th maximum of the championship – a record for the tournament – but two missed darts at doubles sees Wright nick the leg on double eight. 1-1 – The Dutchman holds throw to stop Wright’s winning run of legs. 2-1 – van Gerwen kicks-off the leg with a seventh 180, but Wright produces the more consistent scoring, and hits double eight to regain the lead. 2-2 – Both players land maximums, before van Gerwen converts a 64 finish on double eight. 2-3 – Vital leg sees Wright miss one dart at double top for an 80 finish, and van Gerwen keeps composure to find the double eight bed with his third dart, to go three sets clear.
Eighth Set 1/3
Peter Wright 2-6 Michael van Gerwen
0-1 – van Gerwen hits double ten, for a 14-dart finish. 1-1 – Both finalists hit 180s before Wright takes out an 81 finish on double six, with van Gerwen waiting on a two-darter. 1-2 – The Dutchman converts a two-dart 96 finish. 1-3 – van Gerwen hits a 180 to leave 36, but missed two chances to win the leg. Wright, though, missed four of his own to force a deciding leg, and the Dutchman hits double two to go four sets ahead for a second time.
Ninth Set 3/1
Peter Wright 3-6 Michael van Gerwen
1-0 – Wright fails with six chances to win the leg, only for van Gerwen to give his opponent a life by missing three darts at tops to break. Wright accepts the reprieve by landing double two with an accurate third dart. 1-1 – van Gerwen wins the second leg with a 14-darter, which featured a 180 from the Dutchman. 2-1 – The Dutchman dominates the leg with a 13th maximum, but three missed darts at double top see Wright steal it on double 18. 3-1 – Wright hits a sixth 180 – the 600th of the tournament – and hits double six with a brilliant third dart, to reduce the gap to 6-3.
Tenth Set 3/1
Peter Wright 4-6 Michael van Gerwen
1-0 – Wright breaks throw with an excellent 104 finish, on double top. 2-0 – The world number 16 lands double top for a second leg running, for a 76 finish. 2-1 – van Gerwen holds throw thanks to an accurate attempt at double 14. 3-1 – Wright hits double 13 at the first time of asking, to keep in the hunt.
Eleventh Set 2/3
Peter Wright 4-7 Michael van Gerwen
1-0 – van Gerwen misses three darts at doubles to break throw, and Wright hits double 16 at the first attempt. 1-1 – The Dutchman hits a 124 checkout on double eight, to draw level. 2-1 – Wright just misses two darts at double 18, but van Gerwen is unable to set up a double for a 100 finish, and Wright hits double nine. 2-2 – van Gerwen hits back-to-back 180s to raise of a nine-darter. It’s not to be as he misses his attempt at a seventh treble 20, but the leg is won in 11-darts, to go a leg away from the title. 2-3 – Two missed darts at double top spell the end for Wright, as van Gerwen takes out 72 on the same double, to realise his darting dream.