Van Gerwen hit a magic 9 dart finish on his way to defeating James Wade in his semi-final and almost followed it up with another one just missing out when the eighteenth dart missed the double twelve.
Wade did his best to try and fight his way into the contest which, improbably he did, but the firepower that Van Gerwen brings to the dartboard was too much for Wade and he succumbed to “Mighty Mike” eventually losing 6- 4.
By rights Wade should have been out of the contest after the first set but Van Gerwen showed horrible finishing there, missing an incredible eleven shots at a double to lose his throw and gift Wade the first set.
The green machine may have the big shots in his armoury but his finishing leaves a lot to be desired.
Wade was a clear 10 points behind on the average score for the match and should not have been given a look in.
By contrast Phil Taylor handed Barneveld his arse on a plate – which is exactly what he deserved for displaying resigned body language right from the start of the contest. Barneveld looked like a man who believed Phil Taylor’s pre match rhetoric:
“If he doesn’t fear me now – I will make him fear me!”
Barneveld did not play badly, but his resigned expression was that of a man who knew that no matter how many appeals he went through there would be finality on death row.
Mentally he was ill prepared for this confrontation with his nemesis and it showed badly. Only making a match of it too late in the contest to stop Taylor progressing.
And so to the final match up.
I hope you got on the pre match bet and backed Van Gerwen because if Phil Taylor does win this final then you’ll get a refund from Betvictor and that is what defensive betting is all about.
If you want to have a punt anyway:
Van Gerwen is undoubtedly the new talent on the rise but he is an unpolished diamond coming up against one of the most beautifully cut and polished nuggets who ever graced the game. Van Gerwen may be the future but Phil Taylor is the current reality.
When I backed Murray to beat Djokovic in the US Open it was more for a feeling that his time had come rather than thinking he was the better player. It was clear that he was on equal footing and only a matter of time until he did eventually win a grand slam.
Van Gerwen is not ready to take over the mantle of succession. He has undoubted raw talent but when he comes up against a ruthless Taylor his lack of finishing prowess will be exposed cruelly and will show how much more the 23 year old has to improve before he starts to become a consistent winner – as I am sure he will become.
Also I think nerves will play a part – the Alexandra Palace is a big venue and there will be a huge amount of noise and pressure on the Dutchman.
Let’s not forget the previous two time winner Adrian Lewis had two darts to knock Van Gerwen out and Taylor has largely been untroubled apart from Barneveld’s late attempt at a rally in the semi.
Interestingly Taylor has started on a fitness campaign which has seen him drop over four stones in weight and can only benefit the 52 year olds play.
Taylor to win a closely fought contest and possibly be outscored on the average but his consistency and superior percentage on the double will see him regain his championship crown.