Rock wins first European Tour title as Van Gerwen falls in semis

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Rock wins first European Tour title as Van Gerwen falls in semis

Michael van Gerwen was unable to rebound from Premier League disappointment by winning the Dutch Darts Championship as he suffered a semi-final exit at a tournament won by Josh Rock.

Van Gerwen was thumped 10-5 by Luke Humphries in the Premier League semi-finals on Thursday as his hopes of a third straight title in that event and record-extending eighth overall were thwarted.

The 34-year-old reached the last four in his homeland on Sunday following 6-1 demolitions of Chris Dobey and Danny Noppert but then surrendered leads of 4-0 and 6-4 to lose 7-6 to Jonny Clayton.

Michael van Gerwen, Premier League Darts (PA Images)

Image: Michael van Gerwen was beaten in the semi-finals

Rock took the title – his first on the European Tour – following an 8-4 success against Clayton in the final, with the Northern Irishman emotional as he was presented with the trophy in Rosmalen.

Rock: Biggest win of my career

The 23-year-old, who is now up to a career-high 18th on the PDC Order of Merit, said: “This is the biggest win of my career, 100 per cent.

“I said this weekend I was here to win the tournament. Jonny is one of the nicest men in darts. I love him to bits, but my name is on the trophy, and I’m so happy.

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“I have lost in so many finals, but I keep believing that I will win, and obviously today I proved that I can.

“I have always said my next one was going to be a major title and that’s my main focus, but I have proved that I can win on the big stage now.”

Rock earlier rallied from 5-3 down to see off Cameron Menzies 6-5 in the last 16 and then defeated Gerwyn Price 7-3 in the quarter-finals, before reeling off six legs in a row to beat Martin Schindler 7-3 in the semi-finals from 3-1 down.

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Ross Smith hit a sensational nine-dart finish during his second-round loss to Dimitri Van den Bergh on Saturday

Clayton, meanwhile, beat defending champion Dave Chisnall 6-3 in the last 16, before dispatching Ryan Searle 6-2 in the quarter-finals and then Van Gerwen in the last four.

Watch the World Cup of Darts on Sky Sports

Darts is back on Sky Sports from Thursday June 27 with the World Cup of Darts in Frankfurt, at which Van Gerwen and Noppert will team up for Netherlands, Rock will partner Brendan Dolan for Northern Ireland and Humphries and Michael Smith will star for England.

Wales will once again be represented by defending champions Price and Clayton, with Peter Wright and Gary Anderson playing for Scotland and William O’Connor and Keane Barry the partnership for Ireland.

    Dutch Darts Championship – Sunday’s results

    Josh Rock 8-4 Jonny Clayton

    Jonny Clayton 7-6 Michael van Gerwen
    Josh Rock 7-3 Martin Schindler

    Jonny Clayton 6-2 Ryan Searle
    Michael van Gerwen 6-1 Danny Noppert
    Martin Schindler 6-5 Luke Woodhouse
    Josh Rock 6-3 Gerwyn Price

    Last 16
    Jonny Clayton 6-3 Dave Chisnall
    Ryan Searle 6-1 Jeffrey de Graaf
    Danny Noppert 6-5 Jermaine Wattimena
    Michael van Gerwen 6-1 Chris Dobey
    Luke Woodhouse 6-5 Ritchie Edhouse
    Martin Schindler 6-4 Dimitri Van den Bergh
    Gerwyn Price 6-1 Gian van Veen
    Josh Rock 6-5 Cameron Menzies

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