Michael Smith had Michael van Gerwen so rattled he almost exited stage mid-set

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Michael Smith had Michael van Gerwen so rattled he almost exited stage mid-set
Michael Smith had Michael van Gerwen so rattled he almost exited stage mid-set

A bewildered Michael van Gerwen accidentally tried to leave the stage mid-set during his World Championship final defeat to Michael Smith

Bully Boy consigned Van Gerwen to his third final loss at Ally Pally in one of the finest matches in recent memory, claiming a 7-4 victory on Tuesday night.

The Dutchman was the favourite after cruising through the competition and took the opening set in the final but Smith hit back before a pivotal moment in the seventh set with the score at 3-3.

After Van Gerwen had earlier missed darts to claim the set, a rampant Smith took out 130 to level things up at 2-2. The Green Machine looked completely flustered as he tried to battle the onslaught, and tried to leave the stage.

However, he had to be called back and was told by referee Kirk Bevins to stay put for the fifth set. That was also won by Smith as he went 4-3 up, thanks to an incredible winning run of four sets in a row.

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Sky Sports commentator Wayne Mardle spotted the gaffe, insisting: "He goes to his table, he thought Michael Smith had won the set.

“He thought the set was over and they were going off for a break. His mind is gone, his head is in a shed.

“He’s got to compose himself here because, if this sets gets away from him, which it’s likely to do… He had a dart at double 18 and a dart at double nine to win this set 3-0.”

Michael Smith had Michael van Gerwen so rattled he almost exited stage mid-setThe Dutchman goes to leave the stage mid-set (Sky Sports)

Smith didn't look back from then on and won the all-time classic 7-4 to claim his very first world title. He admitted afterwards: "Michael let me off there and I finally took a chance I didn't deserve but I still got that chance.

"I told you when I got the Grand Slam, I will be a world champion and I want to do what this man (Van Gerwen) has done, I want to take over the sport but he is still here.

"I have said it for years, he is the best player in darts and we have got to take our chances and I finally took it."

Michael Smith had Michael van Gerwen so rattled he almost exited stage mid-setMichael van Gerwen has to be reminded to stay on stage (Sky Sports)

Speaking at the end of the match, the Dutchman conceded: "I wasn't playing too well in the last few sets, but you can only blame yourself for that. It doesn't take anything away from Michael, because I think he played brilliantly the whole game. Fair play to him. He deserved it.

"I wasn't what I wanted to be but that's part of the game unfortunately and you have to take it on the chin."

Liam Prenderville

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