Last Thursday’s Premier League Darts Night Three from the Metro Radio Arena in Newcastle had its fair share of incredible darts, controversy, drama and surprises in what was a fantastic evening of darts for the fans in the North East to enjoy.
There were plenty of questions to be answered heading into Night Three including could Simon Whitlock and Michael Smith continue their blistering starts to the Premier League this season? Would Michael van Gerwen bounce back from his defeat to Peter Wright last week, would the four new boys register their first collective win in the tournament and how would Gary Anderson’s back hold up this week?
Let’s take a closer look at how Thursday night’s action unfolded:
Night Three Results
Mensur Suljovic 2-7 Michael Smith
Mensur Suljovic’s woes continued as Bully Boy Michael Smith earned his third victory in a row in the Premier League to take over at the top of the table, ahead of Simon Whitlock’s clash with Raymond van Barneveld in the final game of the night. Smith dominated the game in truth, with his finishing especially strong as he heaped pressure on Suljovic from the off to eventually wrap up a comprehensive 7-2 victory.
Daryl Gurney 6-6 Gerwyn Price
Gerwyn Price came back from a 5-1 deficit in this game to earn himself a second draw in three games in the Premier League in an exciting match between two debutant players. In truth, Gurney should have won the game after taking a 5-1 lead but the Irishman’s form dropped allowing Price to work his way into the game and in the end, the Welshman probably just about earned a share of the points in a cracking match for the North East fans to enjoy.
Peter Wright 4-7 Rob Cross
Rob Cross put his dismal start to the Premier League behind him somewhat with a solid 7-4 victory over Peter Wright in the third game of the night. After finding some form in the UK Open qualifiers prior to the event, Cross earned his first win in the Premier League with a solid 7-4 victory over Wright with some much better darts and better finishing. Controversy followed at the end of the game though with Wright refusing to shake Cross’ hand following the game.
Gary Anderson 3-7 Michael van Gerwen
One of the best ever Premier League matches saw Michael van Gerwen produce a stunning performance to average 110 and dominate on the checkouts as he earned a superb victory over Anderson who was also averaging over 110 in the game and also checked out a maximum 170 finish in an incredible game where van Gerwen his seven darts on his way to a 9 darter, only for Anderson to snatch the leg with a 170 finish. If both players continue in this form, they will be almost impossible to beat for the remainder of the event.
Simon Whitlock 7-4 Raymond van Barneveld
This could have been a very tricky fixture for the league leader, but Simon Whitlock continued his superb form on the doubles to earn a deserved 7-4 victory over Raymond van Barneveld. Once again, the Dutchman’s tendency to blow hot and cold cost him as he missed key doubles, which Whitlock capitalised on time and time again to earn another victory which keeps him clear of Michael Smith in the Premier League table after three weeks.
Current Premier League Darts Table
|Pos||Player||Ply||Legs For||Legs Ag||Pts||Leg Agg||3 Dart Avg||Checkout %age|
|3||Michael van Gerwen||3||19||12||4||+7||104.18||50.00%|
|5||Raymond van Barneveld||3||17||18||3||-1||95.82||34.69%|
Night One 180’s – 32
Most Individual 180s on Night One – Michael van Gerwen (7)
Total Tournament 180’s – 85
Premier League Darts Night Four Preview
After nights in Ireland, Wales and England, the Premier League stars head for the first time ever to Germany, to the Mercedes-Benz Arena in Berlin for the fourth week of Premier League darts. At least one of the 100% records in the league will go this weekend as the top two Michael Smith and Simon Whitlock clash in what should be an intriguing matchup.
Michael Smith (6/5) v Simon Whitlock (7/4) (3/1 the draw)
The two players with 100% records collide in Berlin in what should be a cracking start to the night’s darts. Of the two players Whitlock has the higher average and has he better double stats too, which seems to give the Aussie the advantage here, but Smith is a streaky player and he seems to be bang on form at the right time. This will be close but I am taking Michael Smith to edge this one by a very hard-fought 7-5 scoreline.
Gerwyn Price (7/4) v Mensur Suljovic (6/5) (3/1 the draw)
Along with Daryl Gurney, I think Price and Suljovic have struggled as debutants this year in the Premier League, but Price has at least claimed two draws. Mensur Suljovic has been unlucky to lose all three of his games but I think he will likely draw plenty of support from the German crowd and I think of the two players, the Austrian’s better scoring power and better checkout average will be enough for him to clinch a 7-5 win.
Michael van Gerwen (1/4) v Daryl Gurney (7/1) (11/2 the draw)
Michael van Gerwen and Gary Anderson played out arguably the best game in Champions League history last week in terms of high scoring and finishing with the Dutchman coming out on top as a 7-3 winner in a stunning victory. It’s hard to see Gurney offering any sort of resistance if van Gerwen can find that sort of form again and I think as a result, the Dutchman will land his second win in a row here. Van Gerwen should take this one comfortably 7-3.
Rob Cross (5/6) v Raymond van Barneveld (12/5) (10/3 the draw)
There was plenty of controversy in Rob Cross’ game with Peter Wright last week when Wright appeared to decline Cross’ handshake offer at the end of his 7-4 victory. That win will boost Cross who has endured a miserable start to 2018 after being named World Champion at the start of the year. Barney has been playing decent darts but missing crucial doubles at key times and I think Cross is in the mood to punish Barney here. I’m backing Cross to win this one 7-5.
Peter Wright (19/10) v Gary Anderson (Evens) (10/3 the draw)
The two Scots clash in Berlin in what promises to be a key match up for both their hopes of making it into the playoffs later in the event. A bad back compromised Gary Anderson in his opening match with Michael Smith but he has been much better the past two weeks, but ran into an in form Michael van Gerwen last week. Peter Wright was unhappy after his defeat to Rob Cross last Thursday but I think he’ll bounce back here. I think this will be a close one and I would not be surprised to see this game end up with both players sharing the points in a battling draw.