Michael van Gerwen hit a magnificent nine-dart finish en route to beating fellow Dutchman Raymond van Barneveld in the semi-finals of the European Championship in Mulheim on Sunday night.
The world number one had lost his last two TV games against Barney, but he outclassed his former idol to secure a 11-6 victory and a place in tonight’s final, where he will face Terry Jenkins.
Van Gerwen hit nine 180s and recorded a three-dart average of 103.56.
Barney capitalised on a sluggish start from Van Gerwen, hitting double eight to break in the opening leg, before taking out 12 for a 2-0 lead.
It could easily have been 3-0 to Barney, but he missed two darts at double 18, allowing Van Gerwen, who had wasted two full visits at tops, to nail double two and get on the scoreboard.
The next two legs went comfortably with throw, meaning that Barneveld went into the first break 3-2 ahead.
Van Gerwen should have broken immediately after the interval, but he missed three darts at tops, before Barney took out 48 to move 4-2 ahead.
Fuelled by his frustration at missing those doubles, Van Gerwen exploded into life in leg seven, holding throw with a stunning nine-darter. He kicked in with 177, followed by a 180 and then a 144 checkout on double 12.
After three more legs had gone with throw, Van Gerwen trailed 5-4 going into the final leg of the second session.
With Barney waiting on 96, MVG broke back in style, cleaning up 161 with a dead-centre bullseye to level the match.
When play resumed, Van Gerwen hit double 16 at the first time of asking to move ahead for the first time in the game.
The Green Machine’s hot streak continued in leg 12, as he secured another break by taking out 100 in two darts.
However, Van Gerwen then missed two darts at 36 on his own throw, opening the door for Barney, who broke back by taking out 107.
Van Barneveld was unable to level the match, though. He was broken back straight away, as Van Gerwen pinned double eight to move 8-6 in front.
He missed double eight in leg 15, but Van Gerwen hit double four for a 9-6 advantage going into the third interval.
Van Gerwen claimed another break after the interval, before sealing the win with a 12-darter.