Joe Cullen
Joe Cullen

Darts results: Joe Cullen defeats Michael van Gerwen to win the International Darts Open

Joe Cullen won the second European Tour title of his career by defeating Michael van Gerwen in the International Darts Open final in Riesa.

Just over a year after overcoming MVG 8-5 to claim his maiden title in front of a crowd at the European Darts Championship, the Bradford thrower repeated the same impressive feat by the same scoreline to maintain his 100% record against the world number one in finals, even if it is 'only' two out of two.

Cullen's fourth ranking title overall - and first of the season - seals his spot at the Grand Slam of Darts, while the ยฃ25,000 first prize lifts him back into the world's top 16 and also secures him top seeding for next weekend's televised European Championship in Germany.

The Rockstar played superbly in all departments against van Gerwen and despite losing the opening leg to a 116 checkout, he rattled in a couple of 13-darters and another two in 14 to open up a 5-3 lead.

MVG wouldn't lie down and stayed in touch at 5-4 and 6-5 down but he was unable to earn a dart at a double in the next two legs as Cullen held his nerve to claim the title.

The 31-year-old averaged 97.19 compared to the Dutchman's 91.37, hit four of the five 180s in the match and pinned eight of his 14 attempts at doubles as MVG spurned nine of his 14.

Cullen said: "Michael just didn't get going, luckily for me. I didn't think I was too great either but I won and surely I must be in the Grand Slam now?! I don't think I've come close to losing [this weekend] but I've done enough in every game and I've won the title."

MVG has now failed to win a European Tour event in a season for the first time since 2012 but considering there's only been four of them this year, it's hardly reason to add more fuel to the 'crisis' talk, especially considering he also reached last weekend's final against Jose De Sousa.

Cullen began his campaign by defeating Robert Marijanovic 6-1 with a 101.27 on Saturday while he only needed to post a mark of 89.24 to see off Dave Chisnall by the same scoreline during Sunday's afternoon session.

He defied Ross Smith's 100 average - albeit with a 99 of his own - during the quarter-finals as he overcame Gerwyn Price's conqueror 6-4 before easing past Michael Smith 7-3 to reach his second ranking final since the sport resumed back in July.

Cullen's ruthlessness on the outer ring was crucial in his victory over Bully Boy, who had only dropped four legs in his previous four matches, as he pinned seven of his nine doubles.

Van Gerwen averaged under 90 in both of his first two victories this weekend against Madars Razma (6-4) and Andy Hamilton (6-5), who missed a match dart at bullseye, but he upped his game dramatically to see off James Wade 6-3 with a mark of 102.

His averaged dropped to below 90 once again during an arduous battle with Mensur Suljovic - but an otherwise arduous semi-final did reach a thrilling climax as the Austrian missed match darts in the penultimate leg before MVG punished him with a match-winning 140 checkout in the decider.


International Darts Open: Tournament results

Friday October 23
First Round (Best of 11 legs)
Afternoon Session

  • Jason Lowe 6-5 Scott Marsh
  • Andreas Harrysson 6-3 Benito van de Pas
  • Andy Hamilton 6-2 Simeon Heinz
  • Ross Smith 6-1 Mario Vandenbogaerde
  • Franz Roetsch 6-4 Brendan Dolan
  • Ron Meulenkamp 6-2 Michael Rosenauer
  • Steve West 6-3 Toni Alcinas
  • Danny Noppert 6-1 Sebastian Pohl

Evening Session

  • Robert Marijanovic 6-0 Jamie Lewis
  • Martin Schindler 6-1 Tytus Kanik
  • Scott Baker 6-4 Michael Unterbuchner
  • Martijn Kleermaker 6-5 Arsen Ballaj
  • Madars Razma 6-4 Kai Fan Leung
  • Max Hopp 6-1 Jelle Klaasen
  • Gabriel Clemens 6-1 Philipp Hagemann
  • Jesus Noguera 6-0 Maik Kuivenhoven


Saturday October 24
Second Round
Afternoon Session

  • Jamie Hughes 6-4 Steve West
  • Adrian Lewis 3-6 Danny Noppert
  • Michael Smith 6-2 Martin Schindler
  • Joe Cullen 6-1 Robert Marijanovic
  • Daryl Gurney 3-6 Scott Baker
  • Dave Chisnall 6-3 Ron Meulenkamp
  • James Wade 6-3 Andreas Harrysson
  • Rob Cross 3-6 Franz Roetsch

Evening Session

  • Krzysztof Ratajski 6-5 Martijn Kleermaker
  • Stephen Bunting 5-6 Andy Hamilton
  • Nathan Aspinall 6-5 Jason Lowe
  • Mensur Suljovic 6-4 Gabriel Clemens
  • Michael van Gerwen 6-4 Madars Razma
  • Gerwyn Price 5-6 Ross Smith
  • Jose De Sousa 3-6 Max Hopp
  • Ian White 3-6 Jesus Noguera


Sunday October 25
Afternoon Session
Third Round (Best of 11 legs)

  • Michael van Gerwen 6-5 Andy Hamilton
  • James Wade 6-2 Nathan Aspinall
  • Krzysztof Ratajski 6-5 Franz Roetzsch
  • Mensur Suljovic 6-2 Jamie Hughes
  • Ross Smith 6-4 Max Hopp
  • Joe Cullen 6-1 Dave Chisnall
  • Michael Smith 6-1 Jesus Noguera
  • Danny Noppert 6-2 Scott Baker

Evening Session

Quarter-finals (Best of 11 legs)

  • Michael van Gerwen 6-4 James Wade
  • Mensur Suljovic 6-5 Krzysztof Ratajski
  • Joe Cullen 6-4 Ross Smith
  • Michael Smith 6-1 Danny Noppert

Semi-finals (Best of 13 legs)

  • Michael van Gerwen 7-6 Mensur Suljovic
  • Joe Cullen 7-3 Michael Smith

Final (Best of 15 legs)

  • Joe Cullen 8-5 Michael van Gerwen

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