Home » VIDEO. Michael van Gerwen rises again in the final against Luke Littler and takes victory again after a difficult Premier League period

VIDEO. Michael van Gerwen rises again in the final against Luke Littler and takes victory again after a difficult Premier League period

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It was the second mutual meeting in the final, which Van Gerwen previously won at ‘Night 2’ in Berlin. Now a week before ‘Ahoy’ it didn’t seem nearly good enough in the final battle, until Van Gerwen mentally brought out the best in himself.

Littler had another strong evening (he won the previous two evenings), first beating Rob Cross and then Luke Humphries 6-5. In the last game he recorded an average of 107.2. Van Gerwen knew he could compete after his victories over Nathan Aspinall and Michael Smith. And they were just as important, in view of the points in the rankings. Both could still breathe down the Vlijmen native’s neck on the way to a place in the best four and a place in the final on May 23.

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He is a lot more confident after this win and his previous three evening victories in a row. Against Littler, Van Gerwen started anything but well in terms of average, but for some reason Littler does not always reach his best level against the impressive darts great. And if Van Gerwen then blasts over it with muscle-ball darts, such as the 125 finish via the bull, triple 20 and tops with which he broke Littler back to 2-2, then that will happen.

Littler even threw a 9 (!) in the leg that followed, but Van Gerwen struggled on his doubles to take the lead. Littler took that gift, albeit with great difficulty, for a 3-2 lead. This was not the level seen before from both, with averages around 83…

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But then the switch seemed to turn for Van Gerwen, who visibly continued to fight. The relief after each leg that followed was enormous. And there were many. Van Gerwen shot to 5-4 with 12 arrows and finally defeated Littler with a 95 finish.

Early exit

Van Gerwen seemed to be on his way to an early exit in his first game of the evening. After a 2-1 lead, he suddenly found himself trailing 4-2 against Aspinall. His comeback was impressive. In 12 darts he eventually threw himself at 4-4 and with a great 152 finish, Van Gerwen again took the lead: 5-4. Thirteen arrows later, the fourth leg in a row and the win was a fact: 6-4.

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Van Gerwen started phenomenally against Smith. He threw himself to a 1-0 lead in 12 darts, but missed his chance to break through tops at 2-1. Smith tied the score: 2-2. Shortly afterwards, Smith narrowly missed a 170 finish (in the single bull) to break Van Gerwen and the three-time world champion gave himself a 4-3 lead via double 10.

Shortly afterwards the first break of the match was a fact, when Van Gerwen finished bull and tops via the ankle: 5-3. He couldn’t live on that for long. Smith brought the match back into balance with a 107 finish, but Van Gerwen edged the Englishman towards the decision. While he initially missed a spectacular 128 finish, a turn later he did throw the necessary double 4: 6-4 in two darts.

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