IMPERIOUS Michael van Gerwen took victory in the Peperami Gibraltar Darts Trophy on Sunday, defeating Dave Chisnall 6-2 in the final to retain the title on 'The Rock' and win his third successive PDC European Tour event of 2016.
The world number one has been unstoppable on the European Tour this year, and followed up his victories in the Dutch Darts Masters and German Darts Masters by taking the title in Gibraltar.
However, van Gerwen would not have it all his own way on the final day, as he followed up his third round win over Mervyn King in the afternoon session with a nervy, narrow quarter-final victory over Gibraltar's Dyson Parody.
Parody landed seven 180s in a thrilling display as he became the first Gibraltarian in the last eight of a PDC European Tour event, but the home favourite crucially missed three match darts before van Gerwen prevailed in a decider.
Following that scare, van Gerwen was clinical as he restricted Kim Huybrechts to just two darts at doubles in a ruthless 6-0 semi-final victory, averaging 109.92 in the process, before powering past Chisnall in the decider.
Chisnall kicked off the final with a 180, but had to come from two legs down - after van Gerwen took out 82 and 107 - to level by checking out a 13-dart finish and 124 on the bull to level.
Van Gerwen, though, kicked off leg five with two 180s as he regained the lead with an 11-darter, before finishing 106 and 124 in successive legs to lead 5-2, and a fourth straight leg sealed the £25,000 top prize.
Chisnall also stared defeat in the face in a tight quarter-final as he survived three missed match darts from Mensur Suljovic before matching van Gerwen with a brilliant 6-0 semi-final win over Ian White.
However, the St Helens ace was forced to settle for the £10,000 runner-up prize as he missed out on a second European Tour title in his fifth final.
Huybrechts edged out World Champion Gary Anderson 6-5 in the quarter-finals as all four games at the last eight stage went the distance, with the other contest seeing White survive a missed match dart from Peter Wright - for a 6-4 victory before he prevailed.
The PDC European Tour continues next weekend with the HappyBet European Darts Matchplay taking place in Hamburg, where the Inselparkhalle will host the sport's top names from May 13-15. A limited number of tickets for the opening day on Friday May 13 are available via www.pdc-europe.tv.
The HappyBet European Darts Matchplay will be streamed through www.LIVEPDC.TV and live through a series of bookmakers' websites. The schedule of play and draw will be available on Thursday May 12 at www.pdc.tv.
Live Scores will be available at the PDC Live Scores website, http://live.dartsdata.com .
Fans visiting Gibraltar can find out further information of activities to enjoy during their stay, or discover more about the destination, through www.visitgibraltar.gi .
Peperami Gibraltar Darts Trophy
Sunday May 8
Michael van Gerwen 6-5 Dyson Parody
Kim Huybrechts 6-5 Gary Anderson
Ian White 6-5 Peter Wright
Dave Chisnall 6-5 Mensur Suljovic
Michael van Gerwen 6-0 Kim Huybrechts
Dave Chisnall 6-0 Ian White
Michael van Gerwen 6-2 Dave Chisnall
Final - Leg-By-Leg
Michael van Gerwen v Dave Chisnall
1-0 - Chisnall opens with a 180, but van Gerwen also lands a maximum before finishing 82 to break throw immediately, after his rival misses double 14 for a 121 finish.
2-0 - van Gerwen doubles his lead by taking out 107 to claim a second successive 15-dart leg.
2-1 - Chisnall finishes double 18 for a 13-darter to respond with his first leg.
2-2 - Chisnall levels with a break of throw, taking out 124 on the bull.
3-2 - van Gerwen kicks off with two 180s to set up a possible nine-darter, and though he is unable to achieve a perfect leg, he returns - following a Chisnall maximum - to land double 18 for an 11-dart finish.
4-2 - The Dutchman holds throw to regain his two-leg cushion with a 106 finish.
5-2 - van Gerwen wins a third successive leg with another break of throw, taking out 124.
6-2 - The world number one seals victory, trading 180s with Chisnall before returning from two missed match darts by punishing a miss from his rival at the bull to land double 16 for glory to retain the title.
Michael van Gerwen 6-2 Dave Chisnall
11 100+ 9
4 140+ 6
0 170+ 0
5 180 3
103.89 Average 103.19
124 High Finish 124
3 Breaks of Throw 1
6/9 - 67% Checkout % 2/5 - 40%