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01st Jan 2019

Michael van Gerwen proves just too good in World Championship final

It never looked in doubt

Darragh Murphy

Michael van Gerwen was just too good on the night.

The heavy favourite came good on Tuesday evening to claim his third PDC World Championship title against Michael Smith, who had his chances but failed to find enough consistency to threaten the Dutchman’s relentless challenge.

Van Gerwen secured a 7-3 victory on New Year’s Day, having survived some nervy moments midway through the match.

The world number one opened up with back-to-back sets and showed no real signs of weakness, finishing significantly better and scoring higher en route to a four set lead.

Smith couldn’t find a double to save his life in the early stages but gave himself some hope in the fifth, getting his first set on the board with a 124 checkout in the deciding leg.

The Alexandra Palace crowd firmly got behind the Englishman at that point and suddenly, Smith was throwing for successive sets with a bull finish off 124.

Van Gerwen steadied the ship with a 3-1 win in the seventh set and survived a big scare in the next to ease some pressure but Smith displayed some admirable desire to pull back the ninth set and make matters interesting.

There was already an air of inevitably about the outcome, however, and MVG did exactly what so many expected him to do by closing out the annual competition in style.

Van Gerwen takes home £500,000 and the Sid Waddell trophy after a quite remarkable tournament and will be most pundits’ pick to do the same in 12 months’ time.