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Michael van Gerwen had time to engage in a spot of minds as he stormed to a seventh Premier League Darts title.
Just a week on from pulling out of the Aberdeen night due to a shoulder injury, the Green Machine was on top form at the O2 as he successfully defended the title he won in dramatic fashion against Joe Cullen last year.
There was no such drama on this occasion as Van Gerwen, who fended off a Michael Smith fightback to win his semi-final 10-8, defeated pre-match favourite Gerwyn Price 11-5. It was a supreme performance from the three-time world champion and went some way to making up for his gut-wrenching defeat to Smith in the Ally Pally final in January.
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The 34-year-old was in such control he even had time for mind games in the match, as noticed by eagle-eyed fans. Early in the match, Price laid up on tops with 170 needed and Van Gerwen not on a finish. MVG then cheekily scored 170 as well to set up a finishing attempt.
The Weekly Dartscast account tweeted: “Did anyone else see Michael van Gerwen go and score 170 with his set up visit on purpose after Gerwyn Price had just laid up on tops when he wanted 170?”
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A fan replied: “I did chuckle when he did that. Just because he could.” A third added: “Yes, I'm here for this kind of Darts.”
Van Gerwen’s triumph was significant as it took him one ahead of the great Phil Taylor in the list of all-time Premier League winners.
Speaking after the final, he said: “You always have to peak at the right moments. I had to do something special today.” He then warned: “I'm not done yet. There's more to come.”
A devastated Price, who thrashed Jonny Clayton in his semi-final, said: "I just couldn't find any trebles, this is one that got away."
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- Gerwyn Price
- Michael van Gerwen
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