Michael van Gerwen still king after smashing Rob Cross 11-5 to win Premier League of Darts

MICHAEL VAN GERWEN showed why he remains the Premier League King of Darts.

The world No1 smashed Rob Cross 11-5 in the Unibet playoff final at the O2 Arena.

Michael van Gerwen kisses his trophy after securing a fifth title
PA:Press Association

And the Dutchman, 30, is now the first man since Phil Taylor to win a fourth successive Premier League crown. It is also his fifth title in total.

Van Gerwen, who broke down in tears on the oche, said: “It never gets old this feeling of winning. I have been here before many times. What a phenomenal title this is.

“It is a difficult tournament. Rob has been chasing me this year. He has really annoyed me, but I am glad it was not enough.

“When you win the trophy it makes all the weeks travelling and being on the road worth it. It has been a hard last few months.”

Cross, 28, said: “The Premier League has been brilliant for me. I have enjoyed myself. I wasn’t too bad. I believe I can do double what I did there. I had a bad year but rectified that this year.

“Michael is in his prime now and it’s most deserved. Hopefully I can keep going and I can get better.

“If I could have gone 5-5, it would have been a different game. I will get him. I will.”


Cross, who battered James Wade 10-5 in the semi-finals with a 100.31 average, must have feared the worst heading into this final.

Voltage has had an awful record against the formidable Van Gerwen in this year’s competition.

In their previous two meetings, Van Gerwen was a comfortable winner in Dublin (7-2) and Cardiff (8-2) respectively.

And to rub salt into the wounds he nicked top spot in the league in the last match in Leeds to scoop the £25,000 bonus.

Van Gerwen, who beat Northern Ireland’s Daryl Gurney 10-7 to set up the clash, was clearly in the mood to stick the knife in again.

He raced into a 5-1 lead and an embarrassing annihilation appeared to be on the cards.

To Cross’ credit, he refused to buckle and managed to pull it back to 5-4.

But Van Gerwen soon asserted his authority as he won six of the next seven legs to secure the £250,000 first prize.

Meanwhile, the PDC board will decide next week whether to continue the Contenders segment of the 10-man Premier League format for 2020.

A different local player – a ‘contender’ – was used every week until Judgement Night following the sudden withdrawal of Scot Gary Anderson through injury.

PDC chairman Barry Hearn said: “People rubbished it on social media but then within seven days they all said it was a good idea. I thought it worked.

“It was one of our better ideas. It will be on the agenda and I am sure it will be unanimously agreed again.”


Michael van Gerwen was in imperious form to beat Rob Cross
PA:Press Association


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