Van den Bergh becomes sixth debutant to reach World Matchplay final

Dimitri Van den Bergh joins an elite group of players to reach the World Matchplay final on debut after a dream week in Milton Keynes.

Van den Bergh defeated three-time world champion Glen Durrant to book his place in his maiden major final at the Marshall Arena.

Having overcome Nathan Aspinall, Joe Cullen and Adrian Lewis beforehand, the Belgian fended off multiple comebacks from Durrant to run out a 17-15 winner.

Following his monumental victory on Saturday evening, Van den Bergh becomes just the sixth player to reach the World Matchplay final on debut, and the fourth excluding inaugural finalists Larry Butler and Dennis Priestley.

The two-time world youth champion now adds himself to a shortlist – which features former Premier League stars James Wade, Ronnie Baxter and Wayne Mardle.

Over two-and-a-half decades have passed since Butler famously lifted the inaugural Matchplay, but the American remains the only debutant to achieve the feat.

Just over a month had passed since Van den Bergh’s birth when Butler reigned victorious, though, the Belgian will be vying to emulate his achievement as he faces Gary Anderson on Sunday.

Meanwhile, Van den Bergh also adds himself to the small selection of players to have reached the final whilst unseeded.

The 26-year-old becomes the seventh unseeded thrower to attain the accomplishment, and the first in a staggering 14 years.

Once again, Butler, Baxter and Wade stand tall on the listings, while major champions Peter Evison, Richie Burnett and Mark Dudbridge have also achieved the accolade.

Only Butler and Evison have lifted the World Matchplay whilst unseeded, with Van den Bergh joining that list if he were to beat Anderson on Sunday.

(Featured Image: Lawrence Lustig/PDC)

About The Author

Ben Hudd Ben is a dedicated sports writer and aspiring sports journalist, covering all aspects of darts for the ever-growing Darts Planet TV. He has a passion for sport, particularly darts, cricket and football.

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