A review of Friday's Boylesports World Grand Prix semi-finals as Dave Chisnall defeated Glen Durrant to set up a Dublin final with Michael van Gerwen.
Dave Chisnall is one win away from finally breaking his major title duck after defeating Glen Durrant 4-1 at the Boylesports World Grand Prix - but to fulfil his dream he'll need to beat defending champion Michael van Gerwen in Saturday's final.
Chizzy, so often the nearly man after suffering defeats in four televised finals and five semis during an otherwise stellar career that's entertained millions of fans around the world, showed no signs of letting the tension get to him as he edged the last three sets in deciding legs.
The Chisnall of old may have bucked under the pressure but this season the buoyant St Helens man has been made of much sterner stuff, winning three titles - including his first on a stage since 2013.
He's maintained his momentum, which has also helped him reach two other PDC finals, at the unique double-start major in Dublin all week, with impressive performances against Gerwyn Price (2-1), Stephen Bunting (3-0) and UK Open champion Nathan Aspinall (3-1) prior to this latest outstanding display at the Citywest Convention Centre.
The 2013 runner-up, who was tipped up on these pages at 50/1 each-way pre-tournament, averaged 91.17, threw seven 180s and nailed two 100+ checkouts including the big 170 while he clinically pinned 12 of his 21 darts at finishing doubles.
The only area he'll feel the need to make improvements on is his starting doubles, having missed 39 of those in the 21 legs played while he failed to get away in seven visits throughout the match.
However, one of those visits came in the very first leg of the match but he still won it despite the three-time BDO world champion getting away first time and went on to take the set 3-0, closing it out with a fine 13-darter.
Durrant, playing in his second major PDC semi-final of an incredible debut season having also memorably reached the last four of the World Matchplay, stormed back by clean sweeping the second set thanks to stunning checkouts from 154 and 87 as Chizzy failed to even have an attempt at a finishing double.
Chisnall was punished for missing a dart at tops for a 120 checkout in the opening leg of the third but then came the Big Fish to complete a superb 12-darter that paved the way for him to clinch the set in a deciding leg.
The 39-year-old had to come from 1-0 and 2-1 down in the fourth set, with a splendid 140 checkout sealing a parity restoring 12-darter before making Duzza pay for a miss at tops in the decider.
The Teessider, who averaged 87.2, hit five maximums and converted nine of his 21 double attempts, was on the brink of defeat when trailing 2-0 in the fifth set but a 112 checkout helped him get level only for Chisnall to complete the job with a 14-darter until little pressure due to his opponent's failure to get away first time.
As Chizzy prepares for his second World Grand Prix final, Durrant will leave Dublin with his head held high and in confident mood as a big winter of majors gathers pace.
Chisnall's opponent on Saturday night will not only be the defending champion, who is seeking his fifth Dublin title, but also the man who beat him in two of his four major finals at the 2016 Masters (11-6) and 2016 Players Championship Finals (11-3).
In total they have met 58 times, with MVG winning 47 occasions while there have also been two draws in the Premier League.
Even more ominous is the fact that only one of Chizzy's nine victories over the world champion has come on TV and that was way back at the 2013 World Grand Prix quarter-final, while his last win of any kind game back in February 2016. They have played 26 times since then, with Chisnall's best result being a draw.
Van Gerwen's continued his rampant pursuit of a 36th PDC major and a 50th televised title in all with a crushing 4-0 victory over Chris Dobey although it could have been so much different had Hollywood not spurned some crucial doubles.
The world number one, who has 10 titles to his name this season including the televised Masters, Premier League, Melbourne Masters and New Zealand Masters, punished him for three missed attempts in the opening leg and went on to take the set 3-1.
Dobey had performed fantastically against Ricky Evans (2-0), Gary Anderson (3-1) and Ian White (3-2) to reach his maiden televised semi-final and a fightback was on the cards when leading 2-0 in the second set thanks to legs of 13 and 14 darts.
However MVG roared back to level before landing a real body blow with a stunning checkout of 156 clinched the set.
The Northumberland thrower, who is yet to win a PDC title of any kind, led 1-0 and 2-1 in the third set only for van Gerwen to knock the wind out of his sails by pinching it in a decider.
MVG wrapped up the whitewash victory without reply in the fourth set and finished the match with an average of 91.41 compared to Dobey's 83.56 and pinned 12 of his 29 finishing doubles although he hit two fewer 180s with three.
The Dutchman, priced at 2/9 favourite with Sky Bet for victory, said: "It feels phenomenal to be in the final. I love this tournament and it's a great feeling when you play well and reach the final.
"Chris has done so well this week but I kept him under pressure. He had nothing to lose and has got a lot of talent, but it was difficult for him tonight.
"I think I did the right things at the right moments, like the 156 to win the second set. It wasn't as easy as the score would say and I can improve, so I have to prepare myself right for the final.
"My record against Dave is great but I still have to make sure I perform in the final. I have to keep putting him under pressure to that he starts missing but he's been brilliant in this tournament so far."
Chisnall, who is 10/3, said: "I enjoyed it and I'm over the moon to be in the final. Glen's such a good player and he made it tough for me. He's a three-time World Champion and he never gave up.
"I scored well but my starting wasn't brilliant and I struggled to hit tops tonight. Double 18 saved me a few times too and the 170 was special, but the fourth set was the crucial one.
"It was nip and tuck and Glen could have won that fourth set, so the 25 I took out was massive. I'm very happy to be through but I want to play better in the final.
"I was poor in the 2013 final and I only won two legs, but that's gone now and I want to win the title this time."
World Grand Prix: Friday results & Saturday schedule
Friday October 11 (7pm)
TV Coverage: Sky Sports
Semi-Finals (Best of seven sets)
- Dave Chisnall 4-1 Glen Durrant (3-0, 0-3, 3-2, 3-2, 3-2)
- Michael van Gerwen 4-0 Chris Dobey (3-1, 3-2, 3-2, 3-0)
Saturday October 12 (8pm)
TV Coverage: Sky Sports
Final (Best of nine sets)
- Michael van Gerwen v Dave Chisnall
Related darts links
- 2019 PDC event calendar & results
- 2019 Premier League darts results
- 2018 PDC event calendar & results
- 2018 Premier League darts results
- Sky Bet's darts odds