John Henderson recorded the biggest win of his career as he ended Michael van Gerwen‘s hopes of claiming a fourth title in six years at the World Grand Prix in Dublin on Sunday night.
Dutch star Van Gerwen claimed his maiden PDC televised title at the 2012 World Grand Prix, and has mastered the double-start format in 2014 and 2016 to complete a hat-trick of triumphs.
The World Champion and world No 1 was the odds-on favourite to claim his fourth World Grand Prix win but his hopes were ended in spectacular fashion by Scottish ace Henderson on Sunday night.
Having lost out in the group stage of last month’s Champions League of Darts, Van Gerwen was determined to get back to winning ways. However, world No 32 Henderson held his nerve despite being pegged back at 1-1 in sets, by nailing double top in the deciding leg of the match to complete a remarkable feat.
Sunday’s action opened with a top-quality clash between Alan ‘Chuck’ Norris and ‘The Force’ Justin Pipe at Dublin’s Citywest Hotel.
Pipe nailed a magnificent 170 checkout on his way to winning the opening set, but Norris levelled things up thanks to 101 and 102 finishes before winning the decider with a classy 81 on the bull and now faces Van Gerwen’s conqueror Henderson.
The doyen of Dutch darts Raymond van Barneveld punished Kyle Anderson for missing two darts for the opening set to win comfortably 2-0 in the end.
Van Barneveld, a former two-time runner-up in the Emerald Isle, had the fans in orange jumping for joy with a calm and composed performance.
Northern Ireland’s Daryl Gurney had the backing of the Dublin crowd after coming on leaps and bounds this year.
And he had spectators on their feet after taking the lead against Adrian Lewis with a champagne 132 checkout which was the highlight of the first set. But the Stoke-on-Trent thrower responded with a whopping 124 on his way to taking the match to a decider.
But ‘SuperChin’ turned on the afterburners to whitewash Lewis in the third set and set up a meeting with Joe Cullen.
Darren Webster narrowly failed with a 147 to claim victory against Cullen and was punished as ‘The Rockstar’ stayed calm to battle back with six maximums to win through with a 2-1 success.
Dave Chisnall produced a spellbinding performance in seeing off Jelle Klaasen 2-0 with three ton-plus finishes and an impressive 101.10 three-dart average.
Rob Cross – who won Friday’s Players Championship to continue his amazing first year on the circuit – made his World Grand Prix debut against veteran thrower Steve Beaton, who was making his 14th appearance on the Dublin stage.
But it was ‘The Adonis’ who rolled back the years to claim an upset 2-0 win against one of the hottest players around and will now meet Van Barneveld.
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Kim Huybrechts looked to be cruising to victory against 2015 World Grand Prix champion Robert Thornton before the Scot staged a superb 2-1 comeback win.
Thornton earned a reprieve to qualify following the withdrawal of Phil Taylor from competing in Dublin, and won seven out of the last eight legs, including a fabulous 157 checkout in the deciding set, to defeat the Belgian.
The biggest names in darts are competing at Dublin’s Citywest Hotel for the 2017 World Grand Prix and you can watch all the action with us only on Sky Sports
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