Van Gerwen denies Schindler to scoop Players Championship 8 title

Michael van Gerwen (Kelly Deckers, PDC)

Michael van Gerwen denied Martin Schindler a first ProTour triumph to continue his own run of success with a second ranking title of 2022 in Sunday's Players Championship 8.

The Dutchman claimed the German Darts Championship title a fortnight ago, and took the Β£12,000 title to conclude the German-based ProTour weekend with an 8-4 defeat of Schindler in the final at the H+ Hotel in Niedernhausen.

German ace Schindler had battled through to reach his maiden Players Championship final, but was unable to match the three-time World Champion.

Van Gerwen has recently claimed two Cazoo Premier League night wins as well as his European Tour success, and added a first Players Championship of the year in dominant fashion.

He dropped just two legs in wins over Radek Szaganski and Jim Moston to open the day, before seeing off Geert De Vos and Danny Noppert by a three-leg margin to reach the quarter-finals.

There, he posted a third 101 average of the day to overcome Brendan Dolan 6-4, and was a 7-5 semi-final winner in a tight contest with Luke Humphries.

Van Gerwen dominated the early stages of the final with Schindler, opening up leads of 3-0, 5-1 and 6-2 before legs of 14 and 11 darts saw the German cut the gap to just two legs.

Van Gerwen, though, restored breathing space with a superb 126 checkout for a 12-darter before wrapping up victory in 13 darts in the next leg.

"I think I did the right things at the right moments and that makes you win finals like this," said Van Gerwen. "I didn't play phenomenal but I think I did okay today.

"You want to keep pushing and keep performing well and that takes a lot of energy out of you, but I'm not here to play a few rounds, I want to win these tournaments. It gives you more confidence and more energy.

"The only medicine for getting back on track is winning games and winning tournaments. That's the only thing you can do.

"I was hanging in there and I never gave up, and I think today my focus was there and absolute will to win was there, and that's the only thing that matters."

Schindler's superb day included a huge 108 average in his second round win over Luc Peters, a whitewash of Rowby-John Rodriguez and victories over Steve Beaton, Jamie Hughes, Daryl Gurney and Adrian Lewis.

He had reached a Players Championship semi-final last weekend and the last 32 at the UK Open, with Sunday's run to a first ProTour final continuing his fine form in March.

"Martin is a good player, especially for the German market, and he's doing a good job for himself," added Van Gerwen.

"He's a really good dart player and you need to make sure you keep your focus going and put him under pressure, because he can play really well and you don't want to give him the confidence."

Humphries won through to the semi-finals in his bid to claim a second Players Championship title of the year, defeating James Wade in the last eight in a repeat of the 2021 UK Open final in the process.

He was joined in the last four by two-time World Champion Lewis, who enjoyed his best run since October with wins over Damon Heta and Stephen Bunting on the day.

Bunting, Wade, Dolan and Gurney completed the quarter-final line-up, while Jamie Hughes knocked out Saturday's Players Championship 7 winner Gerwyn Price on his way to the last 16.

While Price lost out in the last 32, he had posted the day's highest average of 110.95 in a second round defeat of Germany's Lukas Wenig.

The year's Players Championships continue next weekend with a treble-header from April 1-3 in Barnsley, with Β£300,000 in prize money on offer across the three days. Coverage will be streamed through PDCTV and bookmakers' websites worldwide.

See full results in the Match Centre.

See match stats through DartConnect.

2022 Players Championship 8
Sunday March 27, H+ Hotel, Niedernhausen
Last 16

Martin Schindler 6-2 Jamie Hughes
Daryl Gurney 6-5 Krzysztof Ratajski
Stephen Bunting 6-3 Rob Cross
Adrian Lewis 6-5 Damon Heta
Michael van Gerwen 6-3 Danny Noppert
Brendan Dolan 6-4 Danny Jansen
James Wade 6-3 Keane Barry
Luke Humphries 6-3 Jermaine Wattimena

Martin Schindler 6-2 Daryl Gurney
Adrian Lewis 6-4 Stephen BuntingΒ 
Michael van Gerwen 6-4 Brendan Dolan
Luke Humphries 6-5 James Wade

Martin Schindler 7-2 Adrian Lewis
Michael van Gerwen 7-5 Luke Humphries

Michael van Gerwen 8-4 Martin Schindler