Michael van Gerwen beats Phil Taylor to claim Premier League title
Dutchman also saw off Adrian Lewis in London
By Paul Prenderville
Last Updated: 20/05/16 8:53am
Michael van Gerwen thrashed Phil Taylor to claim his second Premier League title with an 11-3 victory at the O2 Arena on Thursday.
World number one Van Gerwen was barely troubled throughout Finals Night, seeing off Adrian Lewis in his semi-final to set up a date with 'The Power' who beat defending champion Gary Anderson in their last-four encounter.
Playing in his fourth consecutive Premier League final, MVG wasted little time in getting out of the traps, racing into a 7-3 lead at the interval and it was the tenth leg just before the break that proved so crucial.
With Taylor needing tops, MVG took out 100 with two double tops of his own and that seemed to suck the life out of Taylor, who had led 2-1.
As he had done earlier in the night, Van Gerwen returned with ruthless efficiency, taking out four unanswered legs to claim a comprehensive victory over Taylor, who remains without a major title since the 2014 Grand Slam of Darts.
For Van Gerwen, it is a second Premier League title and a first since 2013 and after topping the regular standings for a fourth straight year as well as setting a new world-record TV average during Week Four, he appears an unstoppable force.
"There were two moments for me - the sixth leg and that 100 finish in leg 10," Wayne Mardle told Sky Sports.
"Instead of going 6-4, it went 7-3 and that absolutely devastated Phil Taylor and he was a spent force. Phil was finding it hard to keep tabs with Michael anyway and at that point, that 100 finish was just what he did not need.
"He [Taylor] came back from the break and he looked beaten. He had a couple of legs, but Michael quelled his enthusiasm and he couldn't get up and running again."
Van Gerwen has now won the Masters, the Dutch and German Masters as well as the UK Open this season and will have his sights fixed on the rest of the majors after a stunning start to the year.
However, Mardle says it will be difficult for the Dutchman to secure a clean sweep, he missed out on the Premier League and World Championship last year despite a fantastic season.
"It will be tough to win everything," explained Mardle, "because last year he was as dominant as we have seen anyone, apart from Phil Taylor.
"But he [MVG] couldn't win the world title - that went to Gary Anderson - and he couldn't win this [Premier League]. He has put this right tonight... but to win it all, I am not sure."
Earlier in the night, Van Gerwen had beaten an out-of-sorts Lewis with a blistering display after the interval.
'Jackpot' had mounted a comeback to close to within two legs at the break but a trademark surge through the gears from van Gerwen left Lewis trailing and four straight legs was enough to seal a 10-4 victory and a place in the final.
In the other semi-final, Anderson had matched Taylor to trail 5-4, but 'The Power' registered a crucial break at the interval which turned the game in his favour.
Anderson could not get going and despite a late rally from the 'Flying Scotsman', Taylor held on to claim a 10-7 victory and a place in the final - although it was to be Van Gerwen who had the final say.