Van Gerwen wins fourth Premier League darts title – cheered on by footballer Van Persie

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    Michael van Gerwen is a multiple winner of all PDC major events

    Michael van Gerwen produced one of the greatest performances in a PDC major final to beat Michael Smith and win his fourth Premier League crown.

    The world number one averaged 112.37 in overcoming Smith 11-4 for a third title in a row at London’s O2 Arena.

    Van Gerwen was averaging more than 122 as he raced into an 8-2 lead, before tailing off as he clinched victory.

    Earlier, Smith reached his first major final by beating mentor Gary Anderson, while Van Gerwen saw off Rob Cross.

    The Dutchman already holds the highest-ever televised average in darts – 123.40 in the 2016 Premier League – which was also against St Helens thrower Smith.

    The 29-year-old looked like eclipsing it as he rattled in three 11-dart legs and two 12-darters, with a 73% checkout percentage, in his first eight winning legs.

    His scoring fell away slightly as Smith pulled back a couple of legs, before Van Gerwen sealed the win by taking out 112.

    “I think I played a phenomenal game, one of my best ever,” Van Gerwen said.

    “I know I had a big job to do to win the game but I was focussed on doing something extra – I wanted to break the record average but I fell just short.

    “I had to be at my best to beat Michael, he is one of the big boys now.”

    Netherlands striker Robin van Persie was in the crowd to cheer on his fellow Dutchman

    Van Gerwen has now won Premier League titles in 2016, 2017 and 2018, to go with his victory in 2013 and picks up a cheque for £250,000.

    He is just two behind Phil Taylor’s six trophies.

    Smith, 27, rounded off a superb competition by hitting six 180s in the final, to Van Gerwen’s seven maximums, but could not live with his opponent’s quality.

    “Even at 8-2 down I was battling to win legs, which I might not have done before this year when I might’ve thrown the towel in,” Smith said.

    “I will be back next year, determined to go one better and lift the title.”

    Results

    Final:

    Michael van Gerwen 11-4 Michael Smith

    Semi-finals:

    Michael van Gerwen 10-6 Rob Cross

    View the original article: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/darts/44163425

    Michael Smith 10-6 Gary Anderson

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