Dimitri takes Townsville by storm

DIMITRI Van den Bergh proved why he is the rising star of world darts by winning the Townsville leg of News Corp's International Pro Darts Showdown Series on Thursday night.

In front of a packed crowd, which included North Queensland Cowboys stars and former Australian cricketer Andrew Symonds, the reigning world youth champion defeated 16-time world champion Phil Taylor in the final 7-5 to cap off a brilliant night of darts.

At one point in the final both Taylor and the 23-year-old Belgian were on a three-dart average of about 111, such was the quality of darts shown.

Van den Bergh ended with an average of 108 with Taylor also impressive with 102.

Taylor had earlier whitewashed both Townsville player Jeremy Fagg and Geelong's Lucas Cameron 7-0 in the quarter-finals and semi-finals.

Van den Bergh, who came on the month-long tour for the last two legs in place of Simon Whitlock who had PDC commitments in the UK, was the other form player, defeating Andy Hamilton in the last eight 7-2 before beating Kyle Anderson 7-3 in the semi.

Anderson had earlier been involved in a thrilling 7-6 win over Rhys Mathewson.

In the quarter-final Van den Bergh produced some magic darts as the Townsville crowd warmed to the youngster from Antwerp.

He threw five maximum 180s and had finishes of 121 and 122 before hitting the bullseye with a 127 checkout for an average of 110.

Van den Bergh also hit the bull to defeat Taylor in the final, his second 10-darter of the night as the raucous crowd chanted his name.

While Van den Bergh picked up 20 points for the win, it will not be enough for him to take the series trophy, which looks to be heading Taylor's way.

The 16 points he picked up for second place on Thursday night puts him on 48 with Anderson on second with 32.

The Townsville leg of the inaugural series, which had previously been to Brisbane and the Gold Coast, was deemed a big hit not only by the big crowd but by News Corp which organised the North Queensland leg of the tour at the Townsville Stadium.

The International Pro Darts Series finishes off in Mackay on Saturday and Sunday.