Michael van Gerwen has claimed his first Players Championship title of the year defeating Peter Wright to kick off the PDC Summer Series in some style on Day One in Milton Keynes.

Van Gerwen defeated Wright in an absolute thriller which the World Number One looked to be cruising in at 5-2 up. The World Champion came back to hit the front and it looked like he was going to grab the title.

But a brilliant deciding leg saw ‘Mighty Mike’ conclude a brilliant day which saw him troubled early on by William Borland and Callan Rydz.

He hit his stride though towards the end to set up a tie with his great rival who was also outstanding and was unlucky not to walk away with another PDC ProTour title.

To begin the tie, Van Gerwen claimed a 16-dart hold to begin proceedings with Wright unable to threaten his throw early on. A 91 set up saw Wright first to a finish and with Van Gerwen not on a finish, he had at least six to hold.

He was threatened though with a 130 from Van Gerwen but he didn’t get a shot at 52 with a 110 checkout from Wright to not give him any opportunity.

Van Gerwen was first to a finish again in 105 but Wright was sat on 127. The World Champion missed the bull for it though and Mighty Mike breathed a sigh of relief to hold at 2-1.

The holds of throw continued as Wright aimed to dispel the pressure from Van Gerwen setting up 68 but pressure was applied with a 138 to leave double 20. Last dart in hand saw Wright pin 68 to make it 2-2.

A perfect response from Van Gerwen saw him smash in a 180 and a 134 but Wright hit a 180 of his own to be just behind with an outside chance of a break. He had a chance of 91 but he missed double nine to break.

Van Gerwen was straight back and hit double six to hold dodging a bullet in the process. This gave him impetus and he was first to a finish on Wright’s throw leaving 130 with the latter on 201.

A classy 130 checkout (T20, T18, D8) saw him break in style. Once more a timely 180 followed leaving 97 but Wright himself left 87 to pounce on any mistake.

But he missed double five for an 87 checkout and Van Gerwen pinned double 10 to make it 5-2. The procession was set to continue but an excellent 112 checkout from Wright saw him keep himself in it.

He left 116 with Van Gerwen on 56 to break back and go one away from parity and he left it on 72 but MVG threatened missing bull for 170.

Wright missed double six for a 72 checkout but Van Gerwen couldn’t clean up and it was parity. A 125 set up left it interesting for Van Gerwen but Wright hit the front with a 99 checkout.

A 174 saw Van Gerwen leave 150 as he looked for a last gasp break. A 94 (double 20, double 18) checkout couldn’t be hit and Wright went one away.

A 72 checkout kept Van Gerwen in contention. All was up to Wright but he faltered and he left 89 on ‘Snakebite’s throw. He missed it though on double five and a brilliant maximum left 116. He couldn’t find his way through though and a double two sent it to a decider.

Van Gerwen left 76 while Wright left 64 but it was the former who claimed it to end an absolute thriller.

Players Championship 9
Last 16

Danny Noppert (94.5) 6 | 3 (91.7) Stephen Bunting
Michael van Gerwen (102.0) 6 | 1 (89.3) Jamie Hughes
Mensur Suljovic (94.2) 6 | 5 (96.2) Darren Webster
Gabriel Clemens (97.5) 6 | 5 (93.8) Steve Beaton
Peter Wright (96.9) 6 | 2 (86.0) Rob Cross
Glen Durrant (1004.) 6 | 5 (99.3) Jason Lowe
Krzysztof Ratajski (97.0) 6 | 2 (91.1) Eddie Lovely
Dave Chisnall (104.0) 6 | 1 (89.5) Ricky Evans

Quarter-Finals

Michael van Gerwen (94.9) 6 | 0 (89.4) Danny Noppert
Gabriel Clemens (91.9) 6 | 2 (86.1) Mensur Suljovic
Peter Wright (108.5) 6 | 3 (99.0) Glen Durrant
Krzysztof Ratajski (95.5) 6 | 3 (93.2) Dave Chisnall

Semi-Finals

Michael van Gerwen (106.8) 7 | 3 (92.7) Gabriel Clemens
Peter Wright (105.8) 7 | 2 (105.3) Krzysztof Ratajski

Final

Michael van Gerwen (104.5) 8 | 7 (100.5) Peter Wright

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Author: Samuel Gill