Michael Van Gerwen showed both his character and darting genius at the O2 to thrillingly defeat a very motivated Phil Taylor in the final of the McCoys Premier League and had to overcome a three leg deficit at 2 – 5 in doing so.
The “Young Pretender” rushed off five legs in a row after the break to establish a lead that, in spite of Taylor’s tenacity in clawing back to 7 – 7 with a 160 check out, paved the way for a 10 – 8 score line by finishing the contest with a stunning 130 check out.
There have been very few times that Taylor, in his hugely successful career, has surrendered a lead in a final and it speaks volumes for his young opponent’s attitude that he did not allow this to undermine him. Many more experienced darts players have cracked in the past with Taylor breathing down their neck.
There could be no complaints about MVG’s right to the £150,000 cheque as he finished on top of the league prior to the KO stages and in the final had an average of just over 103.
The twenty-four year old Dutchman went into the final by defeating James Wade 8 – 4 in the semi-final. Wade made his opponent’s task easier by “being messy” and missing doubles.
The more experienced Taylor again saw off the threat from Barney in his semi-final but it was by no means a straightforward victory and Barney has no reason to beat himself up over this defeat.
There was also an impressive display by Michael Smith in the World Youth Championship Final. The young man from St Helens defeated Ricky Evans from Kettering by 6 – 1 and collected the £10,000 winner’s cheque. Who is to say that he cannot follow in MVG’s footsteps. After all, as Michael pointed out, MVG twice lost in the final of this event!