Darts results: Watch Michael van Gerwen hit a televised nine-dart finish at the Players Championship Finals

Michael van Gerwen (Picture: Lawrence Lustig/PDC)
Michael van Gerwen (Picture: Lawrence Lustig/PDC)

The wait for a televised nine-dart finish in 2019 is over after Michael van Gerwen hit a perfect leg during his dramatic victory over Adrian Lewis at the Players Championship Finals.

The world number one sparked wild scenes of celebration at the Butlin's Minehead Resort when following up two successive visits of 180 and 177 with a stunning finish from 144 on his way to the third round.

Returning in the evening, van Gerwen threatened to throw another but instead had to settle for a 105.96 average on his way to a 10-6 victory over James Wade, which sealed a quarter-final place.

In the afternoon session, van Gerwen was almost guilty of taking his eye off the job at hand as he missed four match darts in the next leg to allow Lewis back into it with a 13-darter, before he then forced a decider.

Van Gerwen had the advantage of throw and although he was up against it when Lewis left himself 40 after 12 darts, the world champion held his nerve to take out 76 and complete a remarkable win.

It's the Dutchman's 22nd perfect leg of a sensational career and the sixth he's managed in front of the live TV cameras, having memorably last achieved it against Rob Cross at the UK Open of 2016.

Until today, there had been a record 46 perfect legs on the PDC circuit in 2019, which smashed the previous mark of 29 set in 2015 and subsequently equalled in 2018, but none of them had been in front of the live television cameras.

The last person to achieve that feat was Dimitri van den Bergh at the 2018 Grand Slam of Darts on November 14 during his second-round win over Stephen Bunting, until van Gerwen ended the drought.

Alan Norris had been the only player previously in the event to achieve a nine-darter, with his achievement coming on Stage Two in the 2016 tournament.

"The nine-darter is always nice," said Van Gerwen. "Adrian was pushing me and put me under pressure, so you have to do the right things at the right moments."

Van Gerwen had gone on to stress that he'd have to do better, and that's exactly what he did - even if a second nine-darter proved elusive - to go from 6-6 with Wade to running out a comfortable winner.

He said: "I think it was a great game to watch against James. I had to dig deep but I missed some darts early on and I was behind him so I had to work really hard.

"I did the right things at the right moments against both Adrian and James but now I have to focus on the final day. I know I have got more in my power and I want to show that."

MVG is favourite to bounce back from last week's disappointment at the Grand Slam of Darts and add to his haul of 13 titles this season, and eighth on TV.

Next for the four-time champion is a meeting with Mervyn King, who averaged 105.09 in a surprisingly comprehensive 10-4 victory over Rob Cross that was sealed with a 131 checkout .

The 2010 finalist followed up his fine 6-4 win over Dave Chisnall in round two with another superb performance, despite battling the pain of a sciatic nerve problem.

"I'm really pleased to be through because when my sciatica starts then you can't get rid of it, and if the game with Rob had gone on much longer I might not have lasted," said King, who beat MVG in Minehead at the UK Open back in March.

"I'll rest now and get myself ready for the quarter-finals because I've beaten Michael before and I can do it again."

Staying in this half of the draw, Ian White earned himself a ninth televised quarter-final after he averaged 107.46 in a 10-4 victory over Michael Smith that was far more one-sided than his battling 6-5 triumph over Vincent van der Voort during the afternoon.

Diamond has not won any of his previous eight - the last of which coming at the World Series of Darts Finals - but he'll be favourite to break new boundaries in his career when he faces William O'Connor.

"It's nice to be through," said White. "I'm playing good darts and I want to keep this going tomorrow. I had a tough game in the afternoon but everything went in for me tonight and I felt good."

O'Connor secured his spot in the last eight of a televised singles tournament for the first time after following up his eye-catching 6-3 victory over Poland's Krzysztof Ratajski with an even more impressive 10-7 success over German star Gabriel Clemens.

"Gabriel has been in savage form so it's a huge game to get over him, and I'll prepare for one big game on Sunday now in the last eight and see how that goes," said the 33-year-old from Ireland.

"I want to be more consistent and I have to work on that, but I have my chance now and I want to take it."

In the top half of the draw, Gerwyn Price's bid for back-to-back TV titles continues apace after convincing wins against Keegan Brown and Mensur Suljovic.

The two-time Grand Slam of Darts champion whitewashed Brown 6-0 in a ruthless display before upping his average above the hundred mark in a 10-4 victory over Suljovic, where he defied a slow start to run out an easy winner.

"I'm happy to get through to the last day but I've got a lot more in the tank and hopefully I can bring it out tomorrow," said Price.

"I was slow out of the blocks against Mensur so to average 102 is great - but I will need to play better to take this title. I won't take anything for granted, I'll just focus on my next game."

The Welshman goes on to face Stephen Bunting, who aside from van Gerwen's heroics was the star of Saturday as he averaged 104.62 and 107.03 in defeats of Jose de Sousa and Ryan Meikle.

After a 6-3 win in the afternoon, former BDO champion Bunting was knocking around the 115 mark for much of his stroll against Meikle, the promising 23-year-old who found this a step to far.

Raymond van Barneveld's farewell season could reach a high in Minehead as he defeated Joe Cullen 6-3 before thrashing Glen Durrant 10-3.

The five-time world champion even won a leg in which the three-time Lakeside king missed double 12 for a nine-darter despite being back on 301 at the time.

"I feel good and I'm happy because I've been playing well," said Van Barneveld. "It's a massive win against a three-time World Champion, and even though Glen wasn't at his best I'm really happy to be through.

"I've been practising hard on my doubles and I've got nothing to lose. I was under pressure earlier in the year to qualify for things but that's gone now and I'd love to play a couple of games more and maybe reach the final here."

Van Barneveld's quarter-final opponent will be Chris Dobey, who whitewashed James Wilson in round two before coming from 5-2 down to defeat John Henderson 10-5.

Dobey also reached the last eight 12 months ago, and admitted: "I'm relieved to be through to the final day and hopefully I can keep progressing.

"I'm confident in my game, I'm playing well and my doubles are going in. I felt good today and against John I came back with all guns blazing."

CLICK HERE FOR FULL TOURNAMENT RESULTS & SCHEDULE

Saturday results and Sunday schedule

Afternoon Session (12.45pm)
Second Round (Best of 11 legs)
Main Stage (TV Coverage: ITV4)

  • Gerwyn Price 6-0 Keegan Brown
  • James Wade 6-1 Ricky Evans
  • Mensur Suljovic 6-5 Danny Noppert
  • Luke Woodhouse 3-6 Gabriel Clemens
  • Adrian Lewis 5-6 Michael van Gerwen
  • James Wilson 0-6 Chris Dobey
  • Ramond van Barneveld 6-3 Joe Cullen
  • Jamie Hughes 4-6 Rob Cross

Stage Two

  • Simon Whitlock 3-6 John Henderson
  • Ryan Meikle 6-5 Darius Labanauskas
  • Jose De Sousa 3-6 Stephen Bunting
  • Ian White 6-5 Vincent van der Voort
  • Krysztof Ratajski 3-6 William O'Connor
  • Glen Durrant 6-5 Max Hopp
  • Dave Chisnall 4-6 Mervyn King
  • Michael Smith 6-4 Brendan Dolan

Evening Session (7pm)
Third Round (Best of 19 legs)
TV Coverage: ITV4

Main Stage

  • Gerwyn Price 10-4 Mensur Suljovic
  • James Wade 6-10 Michael van Gerwen
  • Glen Durrant 3-10 Raymond van Barneveld
  • Mervyn King 10-4 Rob Cross

Stage Two

  • Stephen Bunting 10-2 Ryan Meikle
  • William O'Connor 10-7 Gabriel Clemens
  • Chris Dobey 10-5 John Henderson
  • Ian White 10-4 Michael Smith

Sunday November 24
Afternoon Session (12.45pm)
Quarter-Finals (Best of 19 legs)
TV Coverage: ITV4

Main Stage

  • Stephen Bunting v Gerwyn Price
  • Raymond van Barneveld v Chris Dobey
  • Michael van Gerwen v Mervyn King
  • Ian White v William O'Connor

Evening Session (7pm)
TV Coverage: ITV4
Semi-Finals (Best of 21 Legs)

  • Two Matches

Final (Best of 21 legs)

  • Winner SF 1 v Winner SF 2

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