Night 13 in Birmingham did prove to be unlucky for some players with three players now confirmed as eliminated from the event, however two players also found it to be their lucky night as they ensured their place in the playoffs alongside the already-qualified Michael van Gerwen.
This means that heading into Night 14 in Aberdeen for the final week of the regular season of Premier League Darts, there is just one issue to be decided and that is whether it will be Gary Anderson or Daryl Gurney that makes it through to join the other three players at Wembley for the playoff and final next week.
So before we run through the games that will finish the season for each of the eight players left in the tournament, let’s take a look at how results went last week at the Arena Birmingham.
Night 13 Results
Peter Wright 7-4 Simon Whitlock
Peter Wright’s improvement in form over the last few weeks continued this week with a solid performance against Simon Whitlock, allowing Snakebite to leapfrog over the Wizard of Oz to move up one place in the table and leaving Whitlock bottom of the Phase 2 pile. Wright started well and move into a 4-1 lead in the match before Whitlock then made it 4-2, Wright bounced back to make it 5-2 before Whitlock then won two games back to back to make it 5-4, but Wright then did likewise to claim a 7-4 victory in a see-saw battle where Whitlock will rue several missed doubles that could have changed the outcome of the game.
Rob Cross 2-7 Michael van Gerwen
Michael van Gerwen produced the performance of the Premier League season against the unfortunate Rob Cross in Birmingham last week, with the Dutchman averaging an incredible 111.57 average over the course of the match as he defeated the current World Champion. Cross had little chance as van Gerwen raced away with the first four legs, including one 11-dart leg to go 4-0 up before Cross struck back to make it 5-2, but the World Number 1 then closed out the game winning the last two legs to claim top spot in the table and the £25,000 prize that goes with it.
Daryl Gurney 6-6 Michael Smith
Michael Smith just needed three legs to ensure a place in the playoffs, rattled them off quickly in this clash with Daryl Gurney, taking a 3-1 lead in the game. However Gurney threw in seven 180s in this match to battle back and level the game at 4-4 with two fabulous checkouts of 147 and 167 aiding his cause. Gurney then led 6-5 after the 11th leg but Smith rallied in the last to hit a vital 81, finishing on the bullseye, to claim a point and second place in the table.
Gary Anderson 3-7 Raymond van Barneveld
That point for Gurney meant that Gary Anderson needed a draw to confirm his place in the playoffs next week, but the Scot ran into the in-form Raymond van Barneveld in Birmingham. The Dutchman was in blistering form as he moved three legs clear at the start of the game. Anderson pulled one leg back but then Barney claimed the next two to move 5-1 up. Daryl Gurney’s ears pricked up at the score, but Anderson claimed two more legs before Barney rattled off the last two to earn a 7-3 win. A result which ensures Anderson needs at least a couple of legs next week against Michael van Gerwen to claim his spot in the playoffs.
Current Premier League Table
- Players in italics are eliminated from the second phase
- The * indicates players that are eliminated from the playoffs.
- Players in Bold have qualified for the playoffs.
|Pos||Player||Ply||Legs For||Legs Ag||Pts||Leg Agg||3 Dart Avg||Checkout %age|
|1||Michael van Gerwen||15||98||53||23||+45||103.82||46.23%|
|6||Raymond van Barneveld*||15||74||82||15||-8||94.84||38.74%|
Night 12 180’s – 17
Most Individual 180s on Night One – Daryl Gurney 6
Total Tournament 180’s – 377
Premier League Darts Night 13 Preview – Thursday 3rd May
The final evening of action in the regular season for the Premier League Darts comes from the BHGE Arena in Aberdeen and once again it features all eight players in action once across the final four games of the regular season and there is the potential for a stunning turnaround in the qualification for the playoffs.
Daryl Gurney faces Peter Wright in the penultimate game of the evening, knowing that Wright’s form has blown hot and cold in the Premier League this season. He’s twice beaten Michael van Gerwen, but has also suffered a number of heavy defeats, exactly the result Gurney needs if he is to reel in Gary Anderson.
Anderson, on home soil, will face Michael van Gerwen who has been blowing opponents away in the competition so far and if the Dutchman hits his best form and Anderson doesn’t respond, then the Scot could lose heavily and that would open the door for Gurney who can only qualify if he wins by six legs or more and Anderson loses by six legs or more.
Michael Smith (6/5) v Raymond van Barneveld (8/5) (10/3 the draw)
With little on the line for either of these players both can relax and enjoy their final game of the Premier League season, although Michael Smith will likely want to cement second place in the league table, if only for pride alone. The St Helen’s star wasn’t in the best of health earlier this week and it is likely he won’t have practised as much as he would have liked before the game. Barney’s hit a rich vein of form but its come a little too late as he has not been beaten in four matches and I fancy him to just pinch this one due to Smith’s illness earlier in the week. I’m backing van Barneveld to win 7-5 in a close encounter.
Simon Whitlock (9/2) v Rob Cross (2/5) (9/2 the draw)
Another two players that have little to play for, but Rob Cross will want some revenge after he was thumped on Week 2 of the Premier League by Whitlock when the Aussie was joint top of the table with Michael Smith. Since then Cross has found better form but the World Champion hasn’t won any of his last four games (drawing two, losing two) and he will want to put that right ahead of the playoffs next week at Wembley. Whitlock has won just one of his last six games although that was against Gary Anderson, but I feel the Aussie will be the loser here. I’m backing Cross to gain some degree of revenge here with a 7-4 win.
Peter Wright (11/8) v Daryl Gurney (6/4) (3/1 the draw)
Quite simply, Daryl Gurney must win this game either 7-0 or 7-1 in order to stand any chance of winning and while Peter Wright has suffered defeats of that magnitude in the Premier League this season, the Scot is looking a bit more like his old self in recent weeks and that looks to be a big ask for the Irishman, who has been beaten just four times in the event this season, but who has only won four games too. Draws seem to follow Gurney around and if Wright grabs two legs, I can see him being a bit disheartened here. As such I have this one down as a 6-6 draw.
Michael van Gerwen (8/15) v Gary Anderson (7/2) (4/1 the draw)
If the last game sees Daryl Gurney win 7-0 or 7-1, then the pressure will be on Gary Anderson to secure two legs to ensure he reaches the playoffs. Against any other player, that would be easy for the Scot in front of his home fans. But against Michael van Gerwen it can be extraordinarily difficult. That said, if Anderson is already through due to Gurney’s performance in the last game, the pressure will be off and we could be treated to a Premier League classic here. I’m backing the latter and I think inspired by his home crowd Anderson will edge a thriller 7-5.