The double-week of Premier League Darts in Rotterdam this week always looked likely to be a decisive one for many players with all players playing at least twice and four playing three times. In the end, it was indeed decisive, but perhaps more decisive in deciding the final playoff players than many would have expected.
Rotterdam served up its fair share of big performances and some very surprising results too and at the end of the two nights of action, the Premier League table now looks more clear than it has at any other point in the tournament.
Let’s begin with a bumper review of Night 11A and 11B’s results before we take a look at how the table now stands after those 10 matches and due to the double week, I am going to do this in a slightly different format than I do usually.
Night 11A Results
- Michael Smith 2-7 Gary Anderson
- Rob Cross 7-4 Daryl Gurney
- Raymond van Barneveld 7-3 Simon Whitlock
- Peter Wright 7-5 Michael van Gerwen
- Rob Cross 3-7 Gary Anderson
If any player can come out of the first night more than happy with their work on the evening it is the Scot Gary Anderson. The former 2x World Champion was up first against Michael Smith, a player ranked above him in the table, but Anderson was in superb form and secured a superb 7-2 win. He then followed that up with another victory in the last game of the evening, also against a player above him in the table, Rob Cross. Anderson once again imperious as he took a thrilling 7-3 win against the in form current World Champion.
Cross didn’t end the night empty handed. He gained revenge for a defeat in Belfast to Daryl Gurney in the opening stage of the tournament by beating the Irishman 7-4 in the second match of the evening, a result which keeps Cross well in contention in the top four.
Raymond van Barneveld was inspired by his loyal home crowd to defeat Simon Whitlock 7-3 in the third game of the night and then came the real shock of the evening as another Dutch favourite, Miichael van Gerwen went down to the previously out-of-sorts Peter Wright 7-5. That win was the second time Wright has beaten van Gerwen in the tournament this season.
Night 11B Results
- Simon Whitlock 1-7 Michael Smith
- Daryl Gurney 3-7 Gary Anderson
- Rob Cross 6-6 Peter Wright
- Michael van Gerwen 5-7 Raymond van Barneveld
- Daryl Gurney 7-1 Simon Whitlock
Michael Smith started Thursday night’s action with a fabulous win over Simon Whitlock who was put to the sword in a 7-1 defeat. Whitlock then found Daryl Gurney in equally dominant form in the final game of the night, going down to the Irishman by the same scoreline, ensuring that Whitlock would finish bottom of the table come the end of the evening once the other results were confirmed.
Gurney opened up his evening with a 3-7 defeat to Gary Anderson in the second match of the night, the Scotsman continuing his brilliant form from the night before. Rob Cross and Peter Wright then shared 12 legs in an enjoyable 6-6 draw before the next big shock of the week came when the Dutch derby saw Raymond van Barneveld defeat Michael van Gerwen 7-5 in a thriller that enthralled the Dutch fans.
After the matches on Thursday this left the Premier League Darts table as follows:
Premier League Table
(players in italics are eliminated)
|Pos||Player||Ply||Legs For||Legs Ag||Pts||Leg Agg||3 Dart Avg||Checkout %age|
|1||Michael van Gerwen||12||78||44||18||+34||103.85||45.88%|
|6||Raymond van Barneveld||13||61||73||12||-12||94.54||36.97%|
Night One 180’s – 11A – 27, 11B – 32
Most Individual 180s on Night One – 11A – Gary Anderson & Rob Cross (7), 11B – Daryl Gurney (7)
Total Tournament 180’s – 330
Premier League Darts Night 12 Preview – Thursday 26th April
Night 12 of the tournament will take place at the Manchester Arena and there are five scheduled matches due to take place on the evening, the final night when two players will have to play two games as the final two weeks of fixtures in Birmingham and Aberdeen will see players play just once.
We are now at the point where a win for one player, or a defeat for another rcould well signal the end of their Premier League hopes, with Simon Whitlock already looking like he is out of the running and Peter Wright already needing to win out to stand any chance of a place in the playoffs. Let’s take a look ahead to the games taking place on Thursday and our tips for each. Remembering we did top Raymond van Barneveld to come out on top of the Double Dutch battle at odds of 7/1 last week!
Peter Wright (11/10) v Michael Smith (7/4) (10/3 the draw)
If Peter Wright is to somehow perform a miracle and qualify for the playoffs then he needs to win here and hope that Michael van Gerwen can beat Michael Smith in the last game of the night before moving on to the final two weeks of action. Smith bounced back well from losing on Wednesday to win well on Thursday and Wright secured two good results against van Gerwen and Cross last week to show he is almost back to his best. This will be close, but I am backing Wright to just sneak a win here 7/5.
Daryl Gurney (6/1) v Michael van Gerwen (2/7) (11/2 the draw)
After suffering two defeats last week, Michael van Gerwen hung on to top spot in the Premier League but he will be itching to get back to winning ways as the Dutchman has made it clear that he values winning this qualifying stage perhaps more than the tournament itself. Daryl Gurney has been in decent form of late but defeats to Rob Cross and Gary Anderson have dented his hopes of a playoff spot and Gurney needs a big win here to create a chance for himself. I can’t see it and I’m backing van Gerwen to win this one 7-4.
Simon Whitlock (6/1) v Gary Anderson (3/10) (5/1 the draw)
After a good start in the tournament, Simon Whitlock’s form has just deserted him at a crucial time and the Wizard of Oz now finds himself bottom of the eight players left in the tournament. He already needs a miracle to reach the playoffs and he’s not likely to get it here against Gary Anderson. The Scot is in brilliant form after three superb wins last week all against top players and I am backing Anderson to put together another great performance here and win 7-3.
Raymond van Barneveld (13/5) v Rob Cross (8/11) (7/2 the draw)
Could Barney make another late charge for the playoffs? If he is to do so then he’ll need to defeat Rob Cross, who won one, drew one and lost one of this three games last week. Barney was inspired by the Dutch crowd to two great wins in Rotterdam but he has struggled at times in the UK and I think Cross will be seeking the one win that should assure him of a playoff spot. I am backing this one to be close but I think Cross just sneaks the win here 7-5.
Michael Smith (6/1) v Michael van Gerwen (3/10) (5/1 the draw)
Michael van Gerwen is the huge favourite here as two of the top four clash in a game that most players chasing a playoff spot will need the Dutchman to win. Bullyboy has played some good darts of late but he does blow hot and cold and he does struggle at times against the top players. I think this will be a decent game but I am backing van Gerwen to win this one 7-4.