GARY Anderson’s bid for a hat-trick of darts world titles came to an end on Sunday evening.

The Musselburgh man was looking to be crowned PDC World Champion for the third time at the competition, which came to a close on Tuesday.

Anderson lifted the trophy in 2015 and 2016 but came unstuck against a ruthless Michael van Gerwen.

The Dutchman swept aside Anderson, winning 6-1, as he reached the final against Michael Smith in a bid to regain his crown.

Van Gerwen won the title in 2014 and 2017 – defeating Anderson in the final in the latter of those triumphs – and looked every inch the top seed in a brilliant performance against the county man, who in contrast struggled to find his best form.

Anderson at least avoided a whitewash by winning the sixth set but that was where his resistance ended.

Not surprisingly, van Gerwen was thrilled with his performance, telling Sky Sports: “I think I played really well, especially early doors.

“Gary couldn’t find his form in the beginning and I took advantage of that.

“I didn’t give him any time to breathe in this game. After the 5-0 I was getting confident.”

Earlier, Anderson had survived a scare to beat world number 36 Chris Dobey in the last 16 last Thursday, after trailing by two sets and 3-2 before coming through to win.

Anderson needed three darts at double six to wrap up the nervy victory.

That win had followed another tight match when he defeated Jermaine Wattimena 5-3 in the seventh and deciding set in the previous round.

Following the Dobey win, Anderson faced a quarter-final against Dave Chisnall and looked in far better form, impressing in a 5-2 win on Saturday.

However, van Gerwen proved too strong in the semi-final the following day.