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World of Sport

03rd Jan 2023

Michael van Gerwen goes to walk off the stage prematurely in moment of Ally Pally confusion

Niall McIntyre

In a brief moment of confusion, Michael van Gerwen went to walk off the stage during the seventh set of this World championship final, thinking that the set was over.

But there were still darts to throw and, at that point of the match, Michael Smith was throwing the best of them.

Van Gerwen had looked in pole position then, leading by two legs to one in the seventh set, but, as he went to pack up his darts and walk off the stage, he obviously thought it was three to one in legs and four to three in sets.

The Dutch man misread the score-board and it wasn’t long before he missed the trick.

Bully boy came from nowhere to steal that set, closing it out with a sensational 130 check-out, and from there he went on to reel off the next three.

The St Helens was on fire at that stage. Unable to find the trebles and being scored out of it by his opponent, Van Gerwen was going through something of a crisis.

This was darts from the land of the gods.

MVG displayed resolve to narrowly shade the tenth set of the night but for him, that was as good as it got. He did streak into a 2-0 lead in the eleventh but this was Michael Smith’s destiny, as he came from two legs down to win three two.

And for the first time in his life, he got his hands on the Sid Waddell trophy as the champion of the world.

Amidst the mayhem, Michael Smith threw a nine darter, Wayne Mardle lost his voice in the commentary box and the Ally Pally crowd sang ‘darts is coming home.’ It was.