Championship League - MvG finally gets it Wright!
MICHAEL VAN GERWEN won through to the Championship League Darts Winners Group at the fifth time of asking in Wednesday's Group Five of the internet-streamed event - but was pushed all the way by brilliant Peter Wright in their final.
The Dutch star has competed in the previous four days of this year's Championship League Darts, losing to Andy Hamilton and Terry Jenkins in finals along the way.
However, he finally secured a spot in the big-money Winners Group on Thursday October 24 by producing some scintillating darts in Group Five.
He finished second to Wright in the final league table, winning five of his seven league games, before coming from 4-2 down to defeat Mervyn King 6-4 in the semi-finals.
He also trailed by the same scoreline in a superb final as Wright made a brilliant start to the final, but surged through to claim the win.
Van Gerwen had taken the final's opening leg with double ten, before Wright hit tops for a 14-darter and then hit a 12-darter to break throw.
The Dutch ace hit back to break in leg four with a superb 11-darter, which featured two 174 scores, only for Wright to take out 68 and then finish 116 for a 12-darter as he moved 4-2 up.
A missed double nine, for a 91 finish, in the seventh leg opened the door for van Gerwen as he finished 72 for a 14-darter before trading 180s with Wright as he levelled with a 12-dart finish.
Van Gerwen then added another maximum and double 16 to lead 5-4 with a 12-dart finish, before hitting his fifth 180 of the contest in an 11-dart leg as he sealed a brilliant win, averaging 110.95 to his opponent's 112.44.
"It's been a very hard few days, especially in the final today," said van Gerwen. "Both me and Peter were at the top of our game, and it was an amazing game.
"I'd lost twice in the final 6-5, so I'm very glad I won today. Peter is in great form and is doing well all the time, but I couldn't have done much better in the final few legs and I did it at the right time.
"It's been an amazing five days for me, I've learned a lot and it was very hard to get through, but I finally made it.
"I did well in Group Four, I played well and I didn't do much wrong, but Terry threw a nice 96 finish to win the final while I'm on tops - sometimes that happens but you need to learn from your disappointment, and I did.
"I'm with the big boys in the final group now and I can have a couple of days off, and I know I'll be one of the favourites in that group, along with Phil."
Wright had topped the Group Five league table with six victories from his seven league games, having overcome van Gerwen 6-4 in their round-robin contest and only lost to Ronnie Baxter, being edged out 6-5.
The new world number 16 then swept past Gary Anderson 6-3 in the semi-finals, but will now compete in a third successive day of the internet-streamed event on Thursday.
Anderson had won through to the last four for a second successive day, with his narrow 6-5 win over Kim Huybrechts in the final round of league games seeing him finish fourth ahead of the Belgian.
Mervyn King also won four league games on the day to finish in third place, but his semi-final loss to van Gerwen means that he returns to Crondon Park GC in Essex on Thursday to compete in a fourth group of this year's event.
Huybrechts, who won three games on the day, will also return for Group Six alongside Paul Nicholson, who was matched by Mark Webster and Ronnie Baxter with two victories but survived ahead of the pair on leg difference.
Essex's Colin Lloyd, debutant Ian White and Jamie Caven join the five Group Five survivors in Thursday's Group Six, with play commencing at 10.30am.
Championship League Darts will be streamed live online worldwide to LIVEPDC.TV Subscribers, and streamed online through a series of bookmakers' websites around the world who are listed at www.pdc.tv.
Prize money is paid at £50 per leg won in the league phase as the eight players meet each other once, before prize money rises to £100 per leg in the Play-Offs.
Championship League Darts
Group Five - Wednesday October 16
Board One Board Two
Michael van Gerwen 6-4 Mervyn King Ronnie Baxter 4-6 Mark Webster
Gary Anderson 6-5 Paul Nicholson Kim Huybrechts 4-6 Peter Wright
Mark Webster 3-6 Michael van Gerwen Mervyn King 6-1 Ronnie Baxter
Peter Wright 6-2 Gary Anderson Paul Nicholson 3-6 Kim Huybrechts
Mark Webster 2-6 Kim Huybrechts Michael van Gerwen 6-2 Paul Nicholson
Peter Wright 5-6 Ronnie Baxter Mervyn King 6-4 Gary Anderson
Kim Huybrechts 3-6 Michael van Gerwen Mark Webster 1-6 Paul Nicholson
Mervyn King 3-6 Peter Wright Ronnie Baxter 6-2 Gary Anderson
Ronnie Baxter 3-6 Kim Huybrechts Gary Anderson 6-5 Michael van Gerwen
Paul Nicholson 5-6 Mervyn King Peter ! Wright 6-5 Mark Webster
Gary Anderson 6-4 Mark Webster Mervyn King 6-4 Kim Huybrechts
Paul Nicholson 6-2 Ronnie Baxter Michael van Gerwen 4-6 Peter Wright
Ronnie Baxter 2-6 Michael van Gerwen Mark Webster 6-5 Mervyn King
Peter Wright 6-2 Paul Nicholson Kim Huybrechts 5-6 Gary Anderson
Peter Wright 6-3 Gary Anderson Michael van Gerwen 6-4 Mervyn King
Peter Wright 4-6 Michael van Gerwen
Final League Table & G5 Prize Money
Pl W L Won Lost Leg +/- £Won Pts £Total
Peter Wright 7 6 1 41 26 +15 £2050 12 £3050
Michael van Gerwen 7 5 2 39 26 +13 £1950 10 £3150
Mervyn King 7 4 3 36 32 +4 £1800 8 £2200
Gary Anderson 7 4 3 32 37 -5 £1600 8 £1900
Kim Huybrechts 7 3 4 34 32 +2 £1700 6
Paul Nicholson 7 2! 5 29 33 -4 £1450 4
Mark Webster 7 2 5 27 39 -12 £1350 4
Ronnie Baxter 7 2 5 24 37 -13 £1200 4