World Matchplay: Michael van Gerwen beats James Wade in final

Michael van Gerwen
Michael van Gerwen is number one in the PDC'S Order of Merit

World number one Michael van Gerwen beat James Wade 18-12 to win his first World Matchplay title in Blackpool.

Van Gerwen won five straight legs to move 10-6 ahead in the final and held on to clinch the £100,000 first prize.

"It means a lot to me because, after the World Championship, this is the biggest ranking event," said the 26-year-old Dutch thrower.

Wade had ended Phil Taylor's 38-match winning run at the World Matchplay in the semi-finals.

Before Saturday's defeat, 16-time world champion Taylor had claimed seven successive Matchplay titles and had not been beaten at the event since a semi-final loss to Terry Jenkins in 2007.

"It's an honour to be in the final but I let myself down a little bit," said Aldershot's Wade, the 2007 champion. "From start to finish I struggled, and I wasn't good enough."

The 32-year-old added: "I'm happy to be in the final and to mix it with the best players in the world again, but I'm not happy with how I played.

"It's almost as if someone cut my arm off, and the most simple shots became hard work."