Van Gerwen Retains German Darts Masters Title

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Van Gerwen Retains German Darts Masters Title

MICHAEL VAN GERWEN made it a perfect ten of European Tour titles as he came from behind to end Peter Wright's German Darts Masters dreams and retain his crown in front of a sell-out crowd at the BallhausForum in Munich.

In a repeat of the Coral UK Open final earlier this month, neither player found their rhythm straight off in the final and it took van Gerwen 19 darts to open his account before Wright won two legs in a row, the second with double-double 18s.

And the Scot gave himself daylight at 3-1 courtesy of a 158 check-out before van Gerwen ramped up the pressure and eventually levelled with an 85 finish in leg eight.

From then on, van Gerwen looked the likely winner and when Wright missed double 16 to force a deciding leg, the world number one clinched the £25,000 winner's cheque with a 70 finish.

It was a difficult route to the final for the van Gerwen, but he showed his class throughout on day three. In the quarter-finals he produced a final leg worthy of a world number one and averaged 108 as he avoided a potential upset against Chris Dobey.

Dobey produced the performance of his life, rattling in finishes of 86, 130, 143 and 87 to put van Gerwen on the back foot needing to win both the last two legs.

But the Dutchman lived up to his billing and after levelling the match with a 111 check out he pulled out an 11-darter with two maximums and a showbiz double 12, double 10 finish to edge through.

In the semi-finals, he came through a scrappy clash with the in-form Joe Cullen to secure a 6-1 victory and reach the final two.

Cullen couldn't find the form that had seen him demolish Gary Anderson 6-0 in the previous round and was easily brushed aside, despite a 180 in the opening leg which was the tournament's 200th.

A 130 check-out helped van Gerwen to a 2-0 lead and even though Cullen avoided being blanked by taking the fifth leg, the result was never in doubt.

Wright was also impressive throughout and coasted in to the semi-finals with a 6-2 despite a brave display from James Richardson

Richardson averaged 110 over the first half of the match but fell away as Wright remained consistent throughout and wrapped up the win with a 101.78 average.

After opening up a 3-1 lead, Wright's advantage was cut in half as Richardson took out 100 in the fifth leg but the world number five then assumed control to book his place in the last four.

The Scot then made it through to a fourth career European Tour final with a 6-4 victory over number two seed Michael Smith - who beat Ian White to reach the final four.

In an encounter when neither player found top gear, Wright recorded the game's only break of throw in the third leg with the highest finish either player could muster - 86 - and it proved decisive.

Smith, visibly unwell on stage, couldn't regain parity and Wright kept his composure to reach the last two.

But come the final, it was an all too familiar story for Wright as he succumbed to defeat at the hands of van Gerwen once more.

German Darts Masters

European Tour Event Two

Ballhausforum, Dolce Hotel, Munich

Monday March 28

Evening Session (7pm-11pm local time, 6pm-10pm UK time)

Quarter-Finals

Peter Wright 6-2 James Richardson

Ian White 4-6 Michael Smith

Joe Cullen 6-0 Gary Anderson

Chris Dobey 5-6 Michael van Gerwen

Semi-Finals

Peter Wright 6-4 Michael Smith

Joe Cullen 1-6 Michael van Gerwen

Final

Peter Wright 4-6 Michael van Gerwen