Gary Anderson 6 Michael van Gerwen 3(best of 11 sets)

The ‘Flying Scotsman’, Gary Anderson upset the form book lastnight at the Alexandra Palace to put reigning PDC Darts World Champion andnumber one seed, Michael van Gerwen out of this year’s event. Anderson wentinto the four man semi-final line-up as the only man to have not won the Worldtitle still in the event, but fully justified his place in such esteemed companywith a sparkling 6-3 victory over the Dutch favourite for the title this year. Ina fabulous advert for the game of darts, both players contributed to the spectaclewith three-dart match averages of 102.20 for Anderson and 101.35 for van Gerwen,an indication of the high class darts displayed throughout their time on theoche.

Anderson started the brighter as he took the first set bythree legs to one, with ‘Mighty Mike’ struggling to assert his usual dominanceon the match. It looked to be settling into a similar pattern in the second setas the Scot established a two leg lead, but van Gerwen found his form to takeout a 100+ checkout and went through the gears to take the next two legs andlevel the match at one set apiece.

Set three was an oddity with the standard of scoringincredibly high, but van Gerwen’s finishing letting him down as Anderson tookit 3-1. The Dutchman’s three-dart average for that set was a mammoth 113, yethe found the consistent finishing of his opponent good enough to keep him atbay.

It became three sets to one in Anderson’s favour as he took set four, asthe weight of scoring fell for both players and shrewd shot choice paid off forhim in the decisive fifth leg leaving his favourite double top finish.

As the top seed began to expose a few chinks in Anderson’sarmour, it soon became level pegging at three sets all, with sets five and sixgoing to the Dutchman.

The fourth seed looked to be finally succumbing to the persistenceof his shaven headed adversary as he missed doubles at vital times.

The seventh set proved to be pivotal in the outcome ofthe match as Anderson dug deep and twice came from a leg down to take it 3-2, toestablish a 4-3 set lead. Leg four was a particularly painful one for vanGerwen as he missed double 18 three times to miss out on the chance to clinchthe set.

It proved to be the turning point of the semi-final asAnderson’s growing confidence ensured he closed the match out by winning the next two sets (includinga ten-darter in set eight) and hencetaking the match 6-3 overall. Van Gerwen had briefly suggested a fightback whenhe checked out on 149 in set nine, but in truth he looked to be a somewhatdispirited figure by the end as his usual form seemed to desert him at thecrucial moments.

He should not havebeen too downhearted though, as he played well and will be back next year in anattempt to regain his title, but for once it was Anderson’s night as the Scot wonthrough to play in his second World final. Both players could hold their headsup high afterwards for contributing to such rich entertainment, includingtwenty maximum 180s between them for the match (11-9 to van Gerwen).