Dimitri van den Bergh survives missed matchdarts from Luke Humphries to win 2024 UK Open title in incredibly dramatic final

Dimitri van den Bergh has claimed the UK Open title for the first time in his career after an incredibly dramatic final that saw both the Belgian and Luke Humphries miss multiple matchdarts.

After both players missed chances to take the opening leg of the match, van den Bergh was the man to take it and hold his throw. Taking out 304 in six darts in the next leg, the Belgian moved two clear. Despite some scrappy finishing in leg 3, van den Bergh's scoring allowed him time and on his return, he made it 3-0. Humphries got off the mark in leg 4 but the session was van den Bergh's. 4-1 at the break.

With the pressure on Humphries, the world champion responded well initially, holding throw in leg 6 but van den Bergh returned serve with a hold of his own and then after 'Cool Hand Luke' missed a cluster of darts for leg 8, van den Bergh punished to move 6-2 clear. With the last two legs of the session being split the players headed off with van den Bergh 7-3 in front.

With Humphries breaking through in leg 11 and then kicking off the following leg with back-to-back maximums, the momentum seemed to have completely switched. After Humphries was unable to take out the 9-darter however, van den Bergh pinned a stunning 130 checkout to regain his four leg lead. Despite that moment of magic, Humphries was definitely moving up through the gears and he won the next two legs to get back to 8-6. Van den Bergh had his chance to end the session on a high but missed a dart for the leg, Humphries didn't miss, taking out 116 to get back to one leg behind at 8-7.

Winning his sixth of the last seven legs, Humphries levelled up at 8-8 with a 15-darter. Fair play to van den Bergh though, a pop-pop 97 restored his lead and nudged him ever closer to the title. Pinning tops for 76 in the next leg, van den Bergh broke the Humphries throw and moved to the brink at 10-8.

A strange moment then followed as the Belgian took an age before restarting the next leg, getting the crowd on his back in the process. Nevertheless, the method seemed to have worked for van den Bergh as he was first to the double. Five tournament darts came and went though, before Humphries punished to nail the bullseye and keep himself alive. After two 180s in the next leg, van den Bergh earned himself a sixth match dart but that too was squandered with Humphries sending the final to a decider. In a dramatic final leg, Humphries fired his 6th maximum of the contest and was first to a finish. Then it was his turn to miss though, a dart apiece at double 16 and double 8 before van den Bergh finally sealed the deal on double top.

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