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World Grand Prix: van Gerwen Claims Crown

Michael van Gerwen lifted the World Grand Prix trophy for the second time after a hard fought victory in Sunday’s final against James Wade in Dublin.

The reigning World Champion, who has also won two World Series events and the World Cup this year, defeated Wade 5-3 to clinch the title and the £100,000 winner’s cheque.

World number one van Gerwen, who first won the prestigious double-start tournament in 2012, hit nine 180s as he claimed his sixth PDC major title.

The pivotal moment came after the first six sets were shared with Wade two legs in front in the seventh.

The 2010 and 2007 winner missed three darts for the set before van Gerwen rallied back, winning six straight legs to seal the triumph.

“This was an amazing tournament. The performance of everyone was so high so it is fantastic for me to win at this level,” said van Gerwen, who followed up earlier victories against Vincent van der Voort, Dean Winstanley, Meryvn King and Stephen Bunting.

“James has been excellent all week and maybe he deserves more than to be runner-up but there can only be one winner and I’m happy it was me.

“I play to be the best in the world and I’m very glad that I have cemented the number one position.

“It has been fantastic and I’m over the moon to have another major title to my name.”

Wade took the opening set by three legs to one before van Gerwen levelled by winning the deciding leg in the second.

Some ruthless finishing from Wade saw the left-hander move back in front, as checkouts of 71 and 117 helped him clinch set three.

van Gerwen kicked off the fourth set with an eleven-darter to win the first leg but Wade pegged him back with a fine 104 finish.

The Dutchman’s fifth 180 helped him edge back ahead and he bedded double eight to level the match.

And van Gerwen sneaked in front when he punished Wade for three missed darts at double ten in the fifth set decider by cleaning up 110.

‘Mighty Mike’ edged ahead in the sixth set by taking out 48 and looked set to double his advantage but Wade had other ideas, taking out a sensational 141 finish with his opponent waiting on 40.

The Aldershot ace then produced a perfectly timed 180 followed by a 61 checkout to move in front, before finishing 96 to square up the tie at three legs apiece.

Wade then moved two legs clear in set seven but missed three darts to win it, allowing van Gerwen to pull a leg back by taking out 48.

The world number one then fired in a 106 checkout to level, followed by an 86 to win the set and move within one of victory.

He then pinned double eight to edge ahead in the eighth set and he bedded tops to edge closer to the title.

van Gerwen’s ninth 180 put him in command of the following leg and it proved to be the last one when he sank a title-winning double top.

By Chris Murphy

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