Belfast Telegraph

Mighty Mike sets new record as he storms past Barney and into final

By Robert Jones

Michael van Gerwen stormed into the William Hill World Darts Championship final after a scintillating 6-2 victory over fellow Dutchman Raymond van Barneveld at Alexandra Palace.

The duo maintained their usual high standards throughout, with 'Mighty Mike' producing a tournament-record average of 114.05 in a sensational semi-final that also saw 29 maximums.

Van Barneveld took a 1-0 lead courtesy of 107, 131 and 96 checkouts to take the opening three legs but that did not affect Van Gerwen, who responded by taking the next with a 124 finish and sealing the set to level the scores.

The two shared the next two sets before 27-year-old Van Gerwen stepped up another gear to leave his opponent in his wake, despite the number 12 seed averaging over 109 in the match.

An 11-dart finish helped Van Gerwen to take the fifth set and a checkout of 47 secured the sixth as he moved 4-2 up before the world number one won five of the next seven legs to stun Van Barneveld, sealing victory with two double 18s. He will face Gary Anderson, who stayed on course to retain his title by beating Peter Wright 6-3 to reach his third successive final.

'The Flying Scotsman' came charging out of the blocks, winning five straight legs to kick off the contest as he stormed into a two-set lead in the best-of-11 match - which included a 127 checkout.

Wright hit back to halve the deficit courtesy of a 10-dart finish, however he could not convert that momentum as he missed six darts at doubles to let Anderson hit a 118 checkout en route to sealing the fourth set.

Wright won the next 3-2 in a nail-biting fifth set before levelling by taking the sixth by the same scoreline. But Anderson hit back by taking out a wonderful 157 checkout to nick the seventh.

Anderson stepped up a gear, reeling off the next three legs to leave him one set away from yet another final and a deflated Wright was unable to stop the 46-year-old defending champion from wrapping up victory in the ninth.

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