It will be of little consolation to beaten finalist Joe Cullen, but the Premier League darts final in Berlin has been hailed as one the greatest games in recent times.
Michael van Gerwen took his sixth Premier League title, but only just after being pushed all the way by The Rockstar. Both players breezed through their semi-finals 10-4 against Jonny Clayton and James Wade and then carried that form into the final which was as high on quality as it was on drama.
The players couldn’t be separated after 20 legs, meaning a final-leg decider on Cullen’s throw. The underdog had a dart to win it, only to agonisingly miss the double, and Van Gerwen clinched victory with his next visit. It was the Dutchman’s first major title for 18 months.
“I have been going through a really tough time, so to win this title means a lot to me,” said Van Gerwen. “I’m a happy man. Joe Cullen was phenomenal in that final. What a day!
Meanwhile, Cullen couldn’t hide his devastation after missing the opportunity to win the biggest title of his career to date.
“I am absolutely gutted,” he admitted. “I cannot believe I’ve lost, but credit to Michael, he is a great guy and a wonderful champion. I think the second leg cost me, missing three at 32 for a break of throw. I’m absolutely devastated.”
While Van Gerwen took home the trophy and the winner’s cheque of £275,000, darts was also the winner with a final befitting the wonderful atmosphere generated by the 11,000 fans inside the Mercedes-Benz Arena.
What did you think of the Premier League final? Tell us in the comments section below.
Darts players, pundits and fans have been taking to social media to heap praise on both players.
PDD commentator and former UK Open champion Paul Nicholson tweeted: “That has to be the best PL final ever. It was won and lost with the last two darts of the whole campaign. Both @MvG180 and @rockstar_13_ served up a classic AGAIN! That was so good, I could watch it again straight away.”
A fan said: “Brilliant. That’s why we love the darts. Both players deserve so much credit. As a MVG fan. I hope this is a turning point for him.” Another added: “That is what darts is all about! Both players pushing each other to bring out the best in each other!”
Another summed up an epic final by posting: “Sport is bloody brutal at times and in no other sport are there such finer margins. 17 nights of competition coming down to the width of a wire. #PremierLeagueDarts.”
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