Mighty Mike completes Crawley double

Lawrence Lustig / PDC

Michael van Gerwen completed a weekend double in the Speedy Services UK Open Qualifiers in Crawley, defeating Brendan Dolan 6-2 in the final at the K2 Centre in Crawley.

The 23-year-old Dutch star wrote his name into the history books alongside the likes of Phil Taylor, Raymond van Barneveld and Adrian Lewis with the double success as he continued his run of form with another superb day of darts.

Van Gerwen’s achievement sees him rise above James Wade to a career-high third in the PDC Order of Merit as he took the £6,000 first prize on the day to double his winnings for the weekend.

Having also won the final Players Championship of 2012, the Dutchman has now won three ProTour events in succession, and including the opening three weeks of the McCoy’s Premier League Darts is now unbeaten in his last 19 games.

His victims yesterday included Steve Farmer, Ryan De Vreede, Darron Brown and Keith Rooney before he saw off Premier League rival Wes Newton 6-1 in the last 16.

Van Gerwen then hit seven 180s and a 105.81 average in a 6-4 quarter-final win over Mervyn King before averaging 107.29 in his 6-2 semi-final defeat of Peter Wright.

The Dutchman raced into a 2-0 lead against Dolan in the final with legs of 15 and 14 darts before the Northern Irish ace punished a missed double 16 by hitting back in the third leg, following an earlier 180 with double ten.

Dolan, though, missed four darts to level the game in the next leg as van Gerwen posted double ten before hitting a 13-darter and a 68 finish in moving 5-1 up.

Dolan took out 84 to stay in the contest, but van Gerwen secured the win by finishing 114 on double top.

“It’s amazing because not a lot of people have won two tournaments in one weekend, so it’s a good achievement,” said van Gerwen. “I’m feeling very proud of myself at the moment and it’s so tough.

“Brendan had just beaten Raymond in the semi-finals and it’s never easy to beat him, but I did what I needed to do. I played good darts on both days, and I want to keep this going now.”

Dolan takes home £3,000 as runner-up and also secured his place in the top 32 of the rankings for June’s Speedy Services UK Open televised finals in Bolton, where he will enter at the third round stage in ‘The FA Cup of Darts’.

Dolan’s successes on the day culminated in a fine semi-final victory over Raymond van Barneveld, who was punished for failing to close out the win with missed doubles in the final two legs as the Northern Irish ace came from 5-4 down to edge victory.

He also overcame former UK Open champion Roland Scholten, Matthew Medhurst, Saturday’s runner-up Dave Chisnall, young Welshman Jamie Lewis, Stuart Kellett and Ronnie Baxter on the day.

Van Barneveld, the 2006 and 2007 UK Open champion, ensured his place in Bolton this June with impressive wins over Ian White, Jelle Klaasen, Steve Hine, Connie Finnan, Terry Jenkins and Simon Whitlock on the day.

Lowestoft’s Peter Wright joined him in the last four as he saw off Antonio Alcinas, Aden Kirk, Kevin Painter, Mark Webster, Johnny Haines and Ricky Evans.

Kettering’s Evans followed up his success in winning a PDC Tour Card at Qualifying School last month by reaching his first senior quarter-final in only the second ProTour event of the year.

He was joined in the last eight by Baxter, who continued his good form after reaching Saturday’s semi-finals, Mervyn King and Simon Whitlock.

The day also featured a second nine-dart finish of the weekend, with Robert Thornton’s achievement on Saturday matched by newcomer Kevin Thomas, who earned a £400 bonus for his perfect leg during a victory over Peter Hudson on his way to the last 16.


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