MICHAEL VAN GERWEN 5-1 Wez Newton
Michael van Gerwen booked his place in his first PDC major final after a brilliant performance saw him storm past Wez Newton at Dublin’s Citywest Hotel on Saturday.
The players couldn’t be separated in the early exchanges with each of the first four sets going to deciding legs.
Both players took one of the first two sets, before ‘Mighty Mike’ kicked on, winning the next four to progress.
“It feels great,” said van Gerwen, whose Pro Tour title in Dublin on Saturday was his fourth of 2012.
“To get through to the final in a tournament like this, in a place like this, with a crowd like this is very special.
“It gives me a big confidence boost to play that well in a semi-final. I am very happy with my game.
“I’ve been working very hard for this and I’m so pleased to be in the final and I’m sure I can win this.”
‘Mighty Mike’ stamped his authority on the game from the off, starting with a 160 but a 180 followed by a brilliant 150 checkout gave Newton the first leg.
van Gerwen broke back before producing a fantastic finish of his own, taking out 136 to move a leg in front.
Newton levelled but it was the Dutchman that took the first set by cleaning up 48.
van Gerwen posted double eight to take the first leg of the second set, breaking his opponent’s throw, but ‘The Warrior’ levelled.
Newton took out 89 on the bull to hold before van Gerwen hit double four to set up a set decider, which the world number six won after ‘Mighty Mike’ took eleven darts to hit his starting double.
van Gerwen scored 174 to set up 16, which he took out to hold his throw in the set three opener.
Newton also held but the Dutch ace hit double twelve to regain the advantage.
The former World Master then hammered home his first 180 but Newton produced another stunning checkout, this time 152, to force a decider for the third consecutive set.
van Gerwen moved a set in front once more with a neat 104 finish.
He then hit a 177 in the first leg of the fourth set but was unable to break Newton’s throw.
‘Mighty Mike’ posted double ten to draw level before ‘The Warrior’ edged back in front.
van Gerwen once again made sure the set would go to a deciding leg, which the 23-year-old won, hitting double eight to open up a two set advantage.
The young Dutchman took the lead in the fifth set before doubling it with a 13 dart leg.
He then moved into a four sets to one lead, hitting double two to move a set away from the final.
van Gerwen grabbed a break of throw immediately in the sixth set before an 84 checkout sealed a fifth consecutive leg, leaving him needing just one more to progress.
His second maximum couldn’t prevent Newton from stopping the rot.
The Fleetwood flinger was only delaying the inevitable though, as ‘Mighty Mike’ took out 72 to reach his first televised final since winning the World Masters in 2006, aged 17.
van Gerwen will face either Brendan Dolan or Mervyn King in Sunday’s final.
By Chris Murphy
Image courtesy of Lawrence Lustig/PDC