MICHAEL VAN GERWEN'S amazing year continued with his 23rd tournament victory as he retained the Ladbrokes World Series of Darts Finals on Sunday night, edging out Peter Wright for a second successive year at Glasgow's Braehead Arena.
Dutch star van Gerwen had defeated Wright 11-10 in the inaugural World Series of Darts Finals a year ago, and after the pair again won through to the decider on Sunday it was the world number one who scooped the £30,000 first prize with an 11-9 victory.
The achievement saw van Gerwen claim a third successive televised title - following his wins in the World Grand Prix and European Championship in October - and backs up his World Series triumphs in Shanghai and Perth earlier in 2016.
Wright followed up Saturday's second round win over Daryl Gurney with a 10-7 quarter-final defeat of Joe Cullen, before seeing off Phil Taylor in the semi-finals for a second successive year.
Taylor hit back from 5-2, 6-4 and 8-6 down in a game of exceptional quality to win four straight legs and move to the brink of victory at 10-8, but crucially failed to close out the win as Wright - who landed 13 180s in the game - capitalised for a deciding-leg triumph.
Van Gerwen enjoyed a more comfortable run to the final as he brushed aside Saturday's narrow 6-5 win over Gerwyn Price with an unplayable 10-0 whitewash of Simon Whitlock in the quarter-finals before sweeping past Dave Chisnall 11-3 in the last four.
The final proved another close affair, with the lead changing hands three times as Wright claimed an early 4-3 advantage only to see van Gerwen win five of the next six legs to turn the contest on its head and move 8-5 up.
He also took two of the next three to edge to the brink of victory before Wright took three successive legs as he rallied to keep his hopes alive as van Gerwen stumbled at the winning line.
The Dutchman, though, posted his ninth 180 before finally sealing the win on double two.
"This is another great win for me," said van Gerwen. "I had to work really hard - Peter played really well but I'm really glad I won the game.
"I compete in tournaments to win and if you do win then you get great confidence, and I'm feeling good. I played okay this weekend and it's a good tournament in preparation for next week at the Grand Slam of Darts.
"Things are going well for me, I'm winning most of the tournaments and I'm a happy man."
Wright, who picked up £15,000 as runner-up, was left to rue defeat in a seventh televised final as he again lost out to van Gerwen.
"When you come home to Scotland, I try and play well for the fans and I think I do," said the world number five. "The crowd got me through in the semi-final to play against a great champion in Michael van Gerwen.
"I've found the right dart now and I'm sticking with it, and I'll get back on the practice board. Many people out there believe that when I win my first TV title I'm going to win lots after that, and I believe that too."
Chisnall had won through to the semis with a fine 10-6 win over Adrian Lewis in the quarter-finals to open Sunday afternoon's play, coming from 6-3 down to claim seven straight legs as he powered to victory.
Taylor, meanwhile, was a 10-3 winner against Benito van de Pas with a clinical performance as he hit ten doubles from 16 attempts only to fall to defeat against Wright in the semi-finals for a second successive year.
The £155,000 Ladbrokes World Series of Darts Finals followed the year's six international events in Dubai, Auckland, Shanghai, Tokyo, Sydney and Perth as part of the sport's global expansion.
The next PDC tournament sees van Gerwen defend another of his big titles at the SINGHA Beer Grand Slam of Darts, which will take place from November 12-20 at the Wolverhampton Civic Hall. For tickets, call 0870 320 7000 or visit www.theticketfactory.com/PDC .
Ladbrokes World Series of Darts Finals
Sunday November 6
Adrian Lewis 6-10 Dave Chisnall
Michael van Gerwen 10-0 Simon Whitlock
Benito van de Pas 3-10 Phil Taylor
Joe Cullen 7-10 Peter Wright
Best of 19 legs
Michael van Gerwen 11-3 Dave Chisnall
Peter Wright 11-10 Phil Taylor
Best of 21 legs
Michael van Gerwen 11-9 Peter Wright
Best of 21 legs
Second Round Losers £5,000
First Round Losers £2,500
Adrian Lewis v Dave Chisnall
Dave Chisnall put together a run of seven consecutive legs to overcome Adrian Lewis in the first quarter-final of the 2016 World Series of Darts Finals.
Lewis took a 6-4 lead in to the second break with neither player reaching their best standard.
Chisnall returned to the stage with the bit between his teeth and won the remaining six legs of the match, including checkouts of 129 and 110.
'Chizzy' averaged 107 in the last seven legs of the match to finish with a 110.86 match average.
|Adrian Lewis||6-10||Dave Chisnall|
|2||Breaks of Throw||4|
|6/14 42.86%||Checkout %||10/24 41.67%|
Michael van Gerwen v Simon Whitlock
Michael van Gerwen was in ruthless form as he whitewashed Simon Whitlock with an average of 109.71.
The world number one hit five maxiums and only gave his opponent one shot at a double in a match that lasted just 17 minutes.
|Michael van Gerwen||10-0||Simon Whitlock|
|5||Breaks of Throw||0|
|10/19 52.63%||Checkout %||0/1 0%|
Benito van de Pas v Phil Taylor
An average of 103.85 was easily enough for Phil Taylor to book his place in the semi-finals as he beat Benito van de Pas 10-3 in Glasgow.
The 16-time champion of the world rushed out the gates taking a 3-0 lead including a 106 checkout.
Van de Pas did close the gap to two legs but that was as close as he would get in the match.
Taylor went on to win seven of the next nine legs to seal his place in the last four.
|Benito van de Pas||3-10||Phil Taylor|
|1||Breaks of Throw||5|
|3/10 30%||Checkout %||10/16 62.5%|
Joe Cullen v Peter Wright
Peter Wright booked his place in the semi-finals with a solid 10-7 win over Joe Cullen.
The Scot through seven 180s on his way to the last four and took advatange of an out of sorts Cullen.
The Englishman had beaten home favourite Gary Anderson in the last 16 but could not transfer his form in to his clash with Wright.
Cullen averaged just 93.50 in comparison to Wright's 99.83. The Scot faces Phil Taylor in the semi-final, the man he beat at the same stage last year.
|Joe Cullen||7-10||Peter Wright|
|2||Breaks of Throw||3|
|7/14 50%||Checkout %||10/30 33.33%|
Michael van Gerwen 10-3 Dave Chisnall
Michael van Gerwen dealt Dave Chisnall a crushing semi-final defeat as the world number one moved in to the final in style.
The world numebr one raced in to a 4-0 lead to take the initiative and never looked back.
The Dutchman averaged over 108, including checkouts of 118 and 156 and said he was delighted with his perfomance.
"I know Dave is a good player but I was too good there." Said van Gerwen. "I'm playing really well and now I have to get ready for the final."
|Michael van Gerwen||10-3||Dave Chisnall|
|4||Breaks of Throw||0|
|11/16 68.75%||Checkout %||3/10 30%|
Phil Taylor 10-11 Peter Wright
Phil Taylor and Peter Wright produced one of the best matches the world series of darts has ever seen as Wright prevailed in a thrilling last leg decider.
The match started in superb style as the pair held throw in the opening five legs with Wright holding in 11, 14 and then 13 darts and Taylor taking out 127 and 146 on his throw.
Taylor kept with Wright hitting more huge checkouts including a 139 and a 149.
The 16-time champion of the world broke in the 17th leg to move 8-9 ahead before holding throw to move within a leg of the final.
Taylor missed five match darts in the 19th allowing Wright to hold throw and keep himself in the contest.
Wright hit seven perfect darts on the Taylor throw but the world number four still gave himself a match dart, which he again missed.
Wright broke back to take the match in to a deciding leg.
Taylor yet again had a dart to win the match, but he wired the bull giving Wright a shot at tops, which he took.
|Phil Taylor||10-11||Peter Wright|
|3||Breaks of Throw||3|
|10/26 38.46%||Checkout %||11/27 40.74%|
Michael van Gerwen v Peter Wright
0-1 - Double four gives Wright an early lead.
1-1 - van Gerwen lands a 180 before hitting double nine for a 13-darter to level.
2-1 - The world number one breaks throw by following another maximum with double ten for another 13-dart finish.
2-2 - The pair trade 180s before Wright breaks back on double eight.
3-2 - van Gerwen hits a 174 score as he moves back ahead with another 13-dart finish.
3-3 - Wright finishes 56 on tops to break back.
3-4 - van Gerwen misses the bull, and Wright takes out 96 on tops to move back ahead.
4-4 - Both players land their fourth 180 of the game before van Gerwen hits tops to level the game.
5-4 - Wright misses double 18 for a 156 checkout and three further darts at double nine before van Gerwen pounces to finish 130 on the bull for a break to regain the edge.
6-4 - Wright responds with a 180, but misses the bull to finish 123 and van Gerwen this time finishes 103 on tops to move two legs clear for the first time.
6-5 - Double top sees Wright hit back.
7-5 - van Gerwen restores his breathing space by hitting double top.
8-5 - van Gerwen takes out 86 on double seven for another break of throw to move three legs clear.
8-6 - The reigning champion opens with a 180, but four missed doubles allow Wright in on double 15 to respond.
9-6 - van Gerwen scores a 177 and posts double eight to move two legs away from victory.
10-6 - A two-dart 72 finish sees van Gerwen edge closer to glory.
10-7 - Wright lands two 180s to take his tally for the final to seven before landing tops for a 12-darter to keep his hopes alive.
10-8 - The pair trade 180s, but van Gerwen misses two match darts at double 16 to allow Wright in as a two-dart 81 finish breaks throw to continue his challenge.
10-9 - Wright takes out 56 on tops to reduce the gap to one leg.
11-9 - van Gerwen's ninth maximum pulls him clear before six more missed match darts give Wright a glimmer - but his five misses allow the Dutchman in on double two to finally secure the title.
|Michael van Gerwen||11-9||Peter Wright|
|5||Breaks of Throw||4|
|11/32 - 34%||Checkout %||9/27 - 33%|