Kicking off the Semi-Finals in Gottingen we had a fantastic match in prospect as the World no.1 Michael van Gerwen faced off with the no.5 seed Michael Smith. Sparks always fly when these two meet, and there have been some absolute belters over the years especially on the European Tour.
As you’d expect Van Gerwen came flying out of the blocks, and he raced into a 2-0 lead, in those opening two legs, Smith hadn’t really got out of first gear, but that would soon change as ‘Bully Boy’ produced a superb 130 finish on the bull to close the gap in what was a 12-dart leg for the St Helens man. Van Gerwen however, was soon on hand to return the favour as he produced a 12-dart leg of his own in reply to Smith’s 130 finish as MvG took out 90 in an exemplary fashion as he went bullseye and D20 to increase the lead to 3-1. Van Gerwen was now in top gear as he produced some spellbinding stuff as he moved 5-1 to-the-good as he took two legs in just 26 darts. An 11-dart leg with two maximums to claim the seventh leg was extraordinary from the World no.1.
Van Gerwen moved within a leg of the final as he produced a fantastic 120 finish, not only has Van Gerwen produced some tip-top scoring, but his finishing has been exemplary. Van Gerwen nearly wrapped things up in perfect style as he missed a dart at D18 for a majestic 144 finish, that miss allowed Smith to take out 57 to close the gap to 6-2, but it was a lot to ask for the no.5 seed, and in the very next leg, Van Gerwen completed the rout as he pinned D20 for a 13-dart leg to cement his place in yet another European Tour final. In the 7-2 victory, Van Gerwen averaged 102.07 to go with 58.33% on the doubles which summed up a very professional job to book his place in yet another European Tour final.
Joining Van Gerwen in the final is James Wade who completed an impressive 7-5 victory over Hampshire’s Richard North. It was a closely contested affair, and Wade had to really dig in when he needed to. The averages were identical, it was a case of of great timing from ‘The Machine’ who of course we all know is the expert when it comes to taking his chances when they’re presented to him. Wade dominated the opening periods of the contest, and he broke clear with a sumptuous 136 finish as he moved 3-1 clear in the match.
However, North wasn’t going away as he stuck with Wade, but ‘The Machine’ still had a two-leg advantage throughout the course of the match. But, that soon changed as North piled in a fantastic 112 checkout to move within a leg of Wade at 5-4 as he broke the throw of the Aldershot-ace. However, Wade was very much focused on reaching the final, and that showed as ‘The Machine’ strung together two fantastic legs (13 & 15 darts) as he cemented his place in the final of the European Darts Trophy.
European Darts Trophy – THE FINAL (Best of 15 legs)
Michael van Gerwen – James Wade