MICHAEL VAN GERWEN clinched his 26th European Tour title and a sixth of the year as he defeated William O'Connor 8-2 in the final of the European Darts Matchplay on Sunday.

The world number one hit a nine-dart leg against Ryan Joyce on Saturday evening before backing up last month's Gibraltar Darts Trophy crown with another European Tour triumph to continue his dominance in 2018.

The fourth staging of the tournament at the edel-optics.de Arena saw runner-up O'Connor enjoy his best ever run in a European Tour event, but Van Gerwen produced a sensational display in the final, averaging 105.17 as he picked up the £25,000 prize.

Van Gerwen hit an astonishing tournament average of 103.06 which had begun as he defeated Joyce in round two and powered past Robert Thornton 6-1 to reach the quarter-finals.

The final session of the weekend saw the Dutchman see off a determined Ian White 6-4, followed by a 7-4 victory over Stephen Bunting to reach the final.

"I am delighted to win this trophy and I'm pleased with how I played this weekend," said Van Gerwen, who has lost just two matches on the European Tour in 2018.

Van Gerwen, O'Connor (PDC)

William played really well all weekend, it was a phenomenal performance from him but there can only be one winner and luckily it was me.

"Of course, it’s always hard to win titles like this but you need to have a strong mindset to beat these top players.

"It was a great feeling to hit the nine-darter in front of such a great crowd – it’s been well overdue on the European Tour and I’m glad it was me who hit it."

O'Connor broke the Dutchman's throw in the opening leg of the contest, before Van Gerwen reeled off the next six legs in stunning style.

The Irishman pulled one back to make it 6-2, only for Van Gerwen to take the final two legs of the match and return to the winners' enclosure on the European Tour.

O'Connor_600

O'Connor's impressive run to his first ever PDC ranking final saw the Republic of Ireland World Cup of Darts star record impressive victories over Martin Atkins, World Champion Rob Cross, Kim Huybrechts, Mensur Suljovic and Andy Boulton.

The Hamburg event was also a significant one for Boulton, who won through to his first ever European Tour semi-final, and for Bunting, who reached his first semi-final on the continent in almost two years.

The PDC European Tour continues from August 31-September 2 with the German Darts Championship in Hildesheim, Germany with coverage to be broadcast at PDCTV-HD and through a series of bookmakers' websites worldwide.

2018 European Darts Matchplay
Friday June 29

First Round
Afternoon Session

Boris Koltsov 6-2 Robert Owen
Jason Lowe 6-5 Keegan Brown
Paul Rowley 6-3 Darren Johnson
William O'Connor 6-1 Martin Atkins
Maik Langendorf 6-1 Michael Barnard
Justin Pipe 6-3 Vincent van der Voort
Martin Schindler 6-1 Mario Robbe
Robert Marijanovic 6-3 Jermaine Wattimena

Evening Session
Chris Dobey 6-1 Jamie Bain
Robert Thornton 6-4 Rene Eidams
Darius Labanauskas 6-2 Mike De Decker
Jelle Klaasen 6-3 Dragutin Horvat
Ryan Joyce 6-1 Mark Wilson
Andy Boulton 6-4 Cristo Reyes
Max Hopp 6-4 Dirk van Duijvenbode
Luke Humphries 6-5 Ronny Huybrechts

Saturday June 30
Second Round
Afternoon Session

Justin Pipe 6-3 Simon Whitlock
Jason Lowe 6-5 Jonny Clayton
Gerwyn Price 6-3 Maik Langendorf
Paul Rowley 6-4 Mervyn King
Robert Thornton 6-5 James Wilson
Joe Cullen 6-3 Martin Schindler
Kim Huybrechts 6-4 Chris Dobey
Darren Webster 6-3 Luke Humphries

Evening Session
Andy Boulton 6-4 Steve Beaton
Ian White 6-2 Max Hopp
Mensur Suljovic 6-3 Boris Koltsov
Michael van Gerwen 6-2 Ryan Joyce
Daryl Gurney 6-5 Robert Marijanovic
William O'Connor 6-4 Rob Cross
Stephen Bunting 6-5 Darius Labanauskas
Jelle Klaasen 6-4 Michael Smith

Sunday July 1
Third Round
Afternoon Session

Michael van Gerwen 6-1 Robert Thornton
Ian White 6-2 Darren Webster
Justin Pipe 6-4 Joe Cullen
Stephen Bunting 6-5 Daryl Gurney
Andy Boulton 6-1 Jelle Klaasen
Gerwyn Price 6-2 Jason Lowe
Mensur Suljovic 6-2 Paul Rowley
William O'Connor 6-5 Kim Huybrechts

Evening Session
Quarter-Finals
Michael van Gerwen 6-4 Ian White
Stephen Bunting 6-3 Justin Pipe
Andy Boulton 6-5 Gerwyn Price
William O'Connor 6-3 Mensur Suljovic

Semi-Finals
Michael van Gerwen 7-4 Stephen Bunting
William O'Connor 7-3 Andy Boulton

Final
Michael van Gerwen 8-2 William O'Connor