Van Gerwen storms to glory
By Paul Woodage 30/11/2020
Magnificent Michael van Gerwen claimed his sixth Players Championship Finals title with a thrilling victory over Mervyn King.
The Dutch darting juggernaut returned to the winner’s circle in style with a dramatic last leg shoot-out win over an old foe. It was just over eight years ago when Van Gerwen began his remarkable run of dominance with victory over Mervyn King in the final of the Grand Prix. Fast forward to 2020 and, in a repeat of that history making feat, MVG once again denied the King a crown and began what could be the second coming.
In what will be remembered as one of the best finals in the tournament’s history, Van Gerwen was pushed all the way by the 53-year-old veteran from Ipswich. The World No.1 controlled the match but couldn’t shake King off. Eventually the game went to a deciding leg and it was MVG who held his nerve and his throw to get over the line 11-10.
It’s the first time since his UK Open success in March that darts fans had seen Van Gerwen lift a trophy on television. That is about as baron as it gets for the Green Machine and it left him visibly emotional.
He said: "I've worked hard for this, and to come back stronger and stronger like this means a lot to me.
"Of course, it's been a long time since I won a title so I'm glad I played a very nice tournament. I played well and I'm glad to have my hands back on the trophy.
"I had to play my best performance I could because Mervyn was playing a phenomenal game. I couldn't get rid of him and he kept pushing me to the end.
"I needed a couple of really good finishes but I was thinking 'don't let this slip out of your hands'. That was the only thing that I was worrying about."
"I've been out of form for a few months and you need to battle back. You have to fight back and I'm glad I did."
Earlier in the day, Van Gerwen made his intentions abundantly clear, posting an astronomical 110 average to see off compatriot, Dirk van Duijvenbode. The Titan himself played quite brilliantly but was unable to live with a resurgent Green Machine as he powered to victory in emphatic style.
In the semi final, Van Gerwen eventually managed to get the better of rival, Gerwyn Price in another pulsating contest between two giants of the game. The Iceman is enjoying another massively successful year and was going for a fourth major television title in just three months, but it was the Dutchman who got his nose in front towards the end of the game and claimed an 11-8 victory.
King had been a man inspired all weekend as he closed in on his maiden PDC major. Damon Heta was the favourite ahead of their quarter final clash but with King 7-2 down in a race to ten and staring defeat in the face, seemed to berate himself into action. Whatever he did clearly worked as he battled back to overcome the classy Aussie and win 10-8.
What looked like a huge mountain to climb for King in the semi final eventually turned out to be a small hill as he brushed aside a very under par Peter Wright. The reigning World Champion failed to click into gear and King ran out a comfortable 11-4 victor without really putting his foot on the gas.
Sadly for King, his quest must go on as once again he was unable to get the better of Van Gerwen in a major TV final.
Ladbrokes Players Championship Finals
Sunday November 29
Mervyn King 10-8 Damon Heta
Peter Wright 10-6 Michael Smith
Gerwyn Price 10-9 Joe Cullen
Michael van Gerwen 10-5 Dirk van Duijvenbode
Mervyn King 11-4 Peter Wright
Michael van Gerwen 11-8 Gerwyn Price
Michael van Gerwen 11-10 Mervyn King
Regional events for boys & girls with a spectacular climax