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World Grand Prix final: Van Gerwen set to blunt The Thorn’s fine form

| 10.10.2015

Sam Barnard, Assistant Sports Editor | October 10, 2015

Michael van Gerwen is the sole top name to survive the shock-fest that has been the 2015 World Grand Prix, and the Dutchman looks unstoppable in his bid to regain the title in Dublin on Saturday evening.

Mighty Mike saw off fellow former world champion Mark Webster in the second semi on Friday night to secure a third final at this ‘double in, double out’ event, and is the odds-on favourite at 1/6 with Coral to claim a hat-trick.

Welshman Webster, who finally looks back to his best, drew first blood in their duel, with an early break of throw, but the deadly Dutchman immediately hit back and used that momentum to eventually power past The Spider and triumph 4-1.

Robert Thornton, meanwhile, now stands in the way of Van Gerwen continuing an impressive year of major trophies, after he added The Masters, Coral UK Open and World Matchplay to his growing collection.

The Thorn had to come from behind to beat giant-killer Mesur Suljovic in the first semi-final of the night, and is a temping 4/1 shout to shock his much younger opponent, who is almost half his age.

Darts - Betway Premier League Darts - Brighton Centre

It was underdog Suljovic who got the ball rolling by holding his throw, however, and took the first set after breaking Thornton, who got a 180 in each of the first three legs, in the fourth.

The 48-year-old Scot’s further four maximums in the second set, though, helped him level the scores.

Austrian Suljovic fought back to lead again, but it was ultimately The Thorn’s incredible match total of 11 180s that saw him through after coming back from 2-1 down to reach his major tournament final since 2013.

Thornton may be up against it to add the World Grand Prix title to his previous UK Open and BDO World Masters success, but is a great shout at 11/10 to get more maximums than Van Gerwen (who achieved just three against Webster) on the night.

This will be the 19th meeting between the duo, with world number one Mighty Mike boasting a 13-4 winning record with one being a draw.

In fact, the Dutchman is on a run of seven straight victories against the Scot, and usually beats him without too much fuss, including his 5-2 triumph in the last World Championship in the quarters. Van Gerwen is 3/1 to win by that scoreline once more.

Van Gerwen 3

After seeing off Webster, the 26-year-old had some words for Thornton, saying: “Robert is a fantastic player. He’s a fighter and never gives up. It’s going to be a hard battle for me.” Before adding: “I know how to win this title, he doesn’t.”

This match may not be set up to be a classic, but Van Gerwen needs to keep winning if he is to ever overtake his idol Phil Taylor’s ridiculous major trophy haul.

Coral’s betting tip: Van Gerwen beat Thornton 5-2 in the 2015 PDC World Championship, and is a fantastic 3/1 chance to win by that scoreline again, to thus lift his third World Grand Prix title and 11th major.



Sam Barnard

Sam has been writing for Coral since January 2014, and is the assistant editor of the news site. As well as the main betting sports, football, tennis and cricket, he covers the likes of golf, F1 and darts too, the latter of which has become a particular favourite. Sam enjoys playing as much as writing about sports, but niggling injuries have limited his participation in recent years, so is happy to mainly watch the pros such as Manchester United, Yorkshire CCC, Raymond van Barneveld and even Gibraltar national football team instead.