MICHAEL VAN GERWEN lifted the Unibet World Grand Prix title for a fourth time with a 5-2 win over Peter Wright at the Citywest Convention Centre in Dublin on Saturday.
World number one Van Gerwen landed two vital ton-plus finishes and fired in seven 180s to notch up an 18th title of the year at the double-start event, which he first won in 2012.
Despite an edgy start, the Dutchman produced a 101 checkout to go 3-2 up in sets before reeling off the last two sets in impressive style to land the trophy and the £100,000 top prize.
"I had to fight really hard to win that one," said Van Gerwen. "All credit to Peter, he made it difficult.
"At the start of this game I didn't play well but I showed winning instinct inside me to survive.
"Everyone wrote me off but I took the recent defeats on the chin and fought back even harder and played a phenomenal tournament.
"I'm building my preparation for the World Championship and I'm growing in confidence with every win - they should all be afraid of me."
Starring in his first Dublin final and bidding for a fourth title of the year, world number two Wright got off to a good start but was unable to convert his superior average into a lead.
Van Gerwen claimed a tight first set with a superb 110 finish in the deciding leg, before Wright claimed the second without reply courtesy of some superb darts.
That pattern continued as Van Gerwen took the third in a fifth leg before Wright won the fourth 3-1.
With the pair tied at 2-2, the crucial moment of the match came at the end of the fifth set as Wright missed a set-dart and was punished by Van Gerwen who landed a stunning 101 checkout to take a 3-2 lead.
The Dutchman, who defeated Steve Lennon, Darren Webster, Dave Chisnall and Daryl Gurney en route to the final. found his groove in the final two sets to drop only one further leg as he ran out a worthy champion.
"Michael is a fantastic player but he only won tonight because I let him off so much," said Wright, who saw off Steve West, Jermaine Wattimena, James Wilson and Mensur Suljovic to reach the Citywest showdown.
"My form this year has been up and down, I had an awesome game against Mensur on Friday but unfortunately I couldn't do it again in the final.
"I enjoy my darts and I mix it with the best, maybe next time I will go all the way."
The next PDC televised tournament will be the Unibet European Championship from October 25-28 in Dortmund, live on ITV4. For tickets, visit the PDC Europe website.
Saturday's Dublin showpiece was preceded by the final of the Tom Kirby Memorial Irish Matchplay championship, where Northern Ireland's Kevin Burness defeated Mick McGowan 6-3.
Newtownards' Burness will now make his William Hill World Darts Championship debut in December.
Pictures courtesy of Lawrence Lustig.
Unibet World Grand Prix
Sunday September 30
Jeffrey de Zwaan 2-0 Kim Huybrechts
Ron Meulenkamp 2-1 Joe Cullen
Darren Webster 2-0 Stephen Bunting
Raymond van Barneveld 2-1 Ricky Evans
Dave Chisnall 2-0 Max Hopp
Daryl Gurney 2-0 John Henderson
Michael van Gerwen 2-0 Steve Lennon
Gary Anderson 2-0 Jonny Clayton
Monday October 1
Jermaine Wattimena 2-0 Mervyn King
Ian White 2-0 Josh Payne
Gerwyn Price 2-0 Danny Noppert
Peter Wright 2-0 Steve West
Steve Beaton 2-0 Rob Cross
Mensur Suljovic 2-0 James Wade
James Wilson 2-1 Simon Whitlock
Adrian Lewis 2-1 Michael Smith
Tuesday October 2
Dave Chisnall 3-0 Raymond van Barneveld
Gary Anderson 3-0 Jeffrey de Zwaan
Daryl Gurney 3-2 Ron Meulenkamp
Michael van Gerwen 3-0 Darren Webster
Wednesday October 3
Mensur Suljovic 3-0 Ian White
Gerwyn Price 3-1 Steve Beaton
Peter Wright 3-0 Jermaine Wattimena
James Wilson 3-2 Adrian Lewis
Thursday October 4
Mensur Suljovic 3-2 Gerwyn Price
Peter Wright 3-2 James Wilson
Daryl Gurney 3-0 Gary Anderson
Michael van Gerwen 3-1 Dave Chisnall
Friday October 5
Peter Wright 4-3 Mensur Suljovic
Michael van Gerwen 4-1 Daryl Gurney
Saturday October 6
Michael van Gerwen 5-2 Peter Wright