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MICHAEL VAN GERWEN won the Coral UK Open for the first time with a brilliant display to defeat rival Peter Wright 11-5 in Sunday^s final at the Butlins Minehead Resort.

The world number one followed up some sensational displays throughout the weekend in Minehead - including a 114 average against Kim Huybrechts as he missed double 12 for a nine-darter - by going all the way to the £60,000 title.

He had overcome South Africa^s Devon Petersen in Sunday afternoon^s quarter-finals and defied ten 180s and a 108 average from emerging Suffolk ace Andrew Gilding to win 10-8 in a tight semi-final as he progressed to the decider.

Wright shared the final^s opening six legs before a key 11-darter in the seventh broke throw for the Dutchman and a 164 checkout helped him establish a lead he would never give up.

The Scot pulled back to 6-5, but paid for missed doubles as van Gerwen swept through the next five legs as he claimed the title.

The win means that van Gerwen currently holds the World Grand Prix, European Championship, The Masters and UK Open titles as he extended his lead at the head of the PDC Order of Merit ahead of Phil Taylor.

The triumph also continued an incredible run for van Gerwen so far in 2015, having won The Masters, three UK Open Qualifiers and a European Tour event during a peerless February, while he is also unbeaten following five Premier League games.

"It is an amazing feeling to win this title," said van Gerwen. "This is a really big tournament to win and a difficult tournament too, and I^ll enjoy this.

"In the semi-finals I was under real pressure against Andrew Gilding and it makes me the player who I am that I can deal with that because it was my hardest game of the weekend.

"I was confident going into the final but I don^t like losing any final so I was nervous and I^m really glad the winner was me. It wasn^t a great game, but I did the right things at the right time and kept believing in myself.

"The final was really hard but I^ve played really well on my way to the final, as did Peter. Winning tournaments is the best feeling in the world and this is my second TV title this year

"I^m loving playing darts at the moment and it has been a great start to 2015 for me, but I have more to come. I love this game and I love entertaining the crowds so I hope I can keep doing this."

Wright had knocked out Phil Taylor in the quarter-finals before whitewashing Stephen Bunting to reach the final, but he fell to defeat in a televised final against van Gerwen for a third time.

"It^s been a long weekend and I think I ran out of energy in the final, and Michael was too good," said Wright, who also lost to van Gerwen in the 2014 World Championship and Dubai Masters finals.

"I^m really pleased to have got to the final though and I^m getting closer to a big TV title. There^s a lot of potential going forward with these darts after only nine or ten days using them.

"I want to win titles like Michael is doing at the moment and I want to get to number one in the world, so I^ll get back on the practice board and prepare for the events coming up."

Gilding takes home a career-best £17,000 prize money after he won through to his first major TV quarter-final with a superb weekend of darts in Minehead.

He had opened his challenge with a whitewash of Kevin Painter and then defeated Jelle Klaasen, James Wade and Mensur Suljovic as he reached the last four, where he pushed van Gerwen all the way in an impressive display.

The run moves Suffolk-based Gilding inside the world^s top 32 for the first time, and he admitted: "My goal for this year was to break into the top 32 so it^s happened quite quickly and I^m ahead of schedule.

"This weekend has been a fantastic experience for me and I want to carry on playing how I am. The only advantage the other players have over me is experience and I^m rapidly gaining that as we go on."

Bunting also continued his fine form in major televised events as he reached the semi-finals, enjoying wins over Michael Smith, Dave Chisnall, William O^Connor and Mervyn King before being outplayed by a clinical Wright display in the semi-finals.

The £300,000 tournament had seen 147 players in action on Friday across eight stages at the Butlins Minehead Resort, which had welcomed 4,500 fans for a super weekend of darts.

Coral UK Open
Sunday March 8
Evening Session
Peter Wright 10-0 Stephen Bunting
Michael van Gerwen 10-8 Andrew Gilding
Best of 19 legs

Michael van Gerwen 11-5 Peter Wright
Best of 21 legs

Semi-Finals Match Information
Peter Wright stormed into the Coral UK Open final with a ruthless 10-0 whitehash of Stephen Bunting in a one-sided semi-final.

Wright continued the form which had seen him knock out Phil Taylor in the quarter-finals earlier in the day as he landed a 180 in a 14-darter to open the game before piling home a 161 checkout in leg two.

He added another 180 in taking leg three and punished two missed doubles from Bunting to win the fourth, taking his average to 113 in-running in the process.

Bunting landed a 180 in the fifth leg, but Wright took out 66 with a bullseye, double 16 combination and landed another maximum in taking a six-leg lead.

Wright took out double 16 to continue his procession in leg seven, and when Bunting missed tops in the eighth he took out 84 on double six to move two legs away from the win before another pair of double 16 checkouts sealed his spot in the final.

"Stephen didn^t play anything like he can but I went out there and I didn^t want to let anyone down, especially Phil after our cracking game," said Wright.

"I wanted to go out there and be ruthless, and you^ve got to because Phil would have been. I^ll get back on the practice board now and get ready for the final."

Michael van Gerwen joined Wright in the final by coming through a epic semi-final against Andrew Gilding, who hit ten 180s, a ten-dart finish and averaged 108.37 as he fell narrowly short of his first major final.

The Suffolk thrower came from a leg down to lead 2-1 and 3-2 before being punished for a missed double nine to break in leg six as van Gerwen levelled.

Gilding replied in style with a ten-dart finish, scoring 140, 180 and 145 before finishing double 18 to complete a brilliant leg and move 4-3 up.

Van Gerwen took out 105 to level and then took the tenth with a brilliant 12-darter, as the pair traded 180s, to square the contest at five-all.

Double two edged Gilding back ahead, but van Gerwen landed double eight and then capitalised on a miss at double five from his opponent by posting double 16 to break - only to see an 11-darter in reply level the game at seven-each.

Van Gerwen, though, found an extra gear to finish 62 in two darts for another break before landing a 180 and finishing 87 on the bull to move 9-7 up.

Gilding hit two 180s in a 12-darter to keep his hopes alive but van Gerwen was too strong in the next leg as he took out 78 on tops to finally end his opponent^s challenge and put himself into a first UK Open final.

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