MICHAEL VAN GERWEN 3 – 2 Andy Hamilton
Michael van Gerwen won through to his first PDC major semi-final, after seeing off Andy Hamilton in a dramatic last leg decider at the PartyPoker.com World Grand Prix in Dublin on Friday.
van Gerwen hit some impressive shots when under extreme pressure from the world number seven, but twice missed four match darts before finally sealing his place in the last four by breaking Hamilton’s throw in the decider.
‘Mighty Mike’ broke the throw immediately but three missed darts at double top allowed ‘The Hammer’ to level.
Hamilton took out 86 on the bull to edge ahead but van Gerwen squared up proceedings once more, with the aid of his first maximum.
The Dutchman punished his opponent for a missed dart a double 16, taking out 88 to win the first set.
Hamilton took the first two legs in the second set before van Gerwen posted double eight to reduce the deficit.
He then went off with a 160, as he levelled up with a break.
A second 180 from ‘Mighty Mike’ wasn’t enough to prevent Hamilton levelling the set count.
van Gerwen grabbed a break of throw in the opening leg of set three and he doubled his lead on double top.
‘The Hammer’ pulled a leg back but van Gerwen took the set with a 52 checkout.
The Dutch star’s third maximum helped him level the fourth set, after Hamilton had broken his throw.
The 2006 World Master just missed double 12 for a 141 finish, but edged back in front, and a leg away from victory, by posting double six.
Hamilton levelled the set and then kept the match alive with a stunning 160 finish, after van Gerwen had missed four darts to take the win.
The World Championship runner-up moved ahead in the deciding set but van Gerwen cleaned up 66 under pressure.
The 23-year-old then showed incredible composure to take out 115 for a timely break of throw.
van Gerwen, throwing for the match for the second time, once again missed four darts for a semi-final spot, as Hamilton stepped in to force a dramatic deciding leg.
But ‘Mighty Mike’ was not be denied, as he slotted in a 180 before hitting double two to book his place in the semi-finals.
The Dutchman will take on Wez Newton on Saturday, after ‘The Warrior’ came back from two sets down to defeat Paul Nicholson.
Mervyn King also progressed after he swept past Robert Thornton with a straight sets victory.
‘The King’ takes on Brendan Dolan in the last four.
By Chris Murphy
Image courtesy of Lawrence Lustig/PDC