GERWYN Price lit up The SSE Arena with two nine-dart finishes on his way to being crowned winner on Night 3 of the Cazoo Premier League in Belfast.
‘The Iceman’ kept his cool throughout as he averaged over 105 in all three games (highest being 108.90) in victories over Michael Smith , Michael van Gerwen and James Wade.
This was the first time that the Premier League had returned to Northern Ireland since April 2019 and it was certainly back in the city with a bang.
Price’s first 9-dart finish of the night came when he checked out 144 during the game of the night versus van Gerwen, with his second coming during the 6-4 victory over James Wade in the night’s final, where he took out 141. Price’s pair of 9-darters were the first in the Premier League since Portuguese Josè da Sousa hit one against Nathan Aspinall last April in Milton Keynes.
Speaking after his victory over Wade in the final Price said:
“Tonight I felt like I couldn’t miss. I’m playing well, I’m feeling good in myself and I think it’s part and parcel to do with me being back in the gym and looking after myself. I’m back to almost my best, well I think I might be there.”
The Welshman also admitted that he was disappointed not to have hit a third nine darter on the night as he was in such brilliant form. As if that wasn’t enough, the world number one also hit the highest finish of the night, hitting a 170 on the bullseye to seal a 6-3 win in his opening game against Smith.
Price now moves on to seven points after his victory and into second place in the table as well as pocketing a £10,000 prize for being the night’s winner.
Tonight’s runner-up, ‘The Machine’ Wade, picked up 3 points for his good showing. Wade dispatched last week’s winner Jonny Clayton in his opening game before earning a 6-4 victory over reigning world champion Peter ‘Snakebite’ Wright in the semi-finals.
Despite still not having made a final,. Michael van Gerwen showed continued signs of improvement in his run to the semi-finals. The Dutchman opened up with a 6-3 win over Joe Cullen before falling to eventual Night 3 winner Price in a deciding eleventh leg.
The vociferous Belfast crowd were in great voice from the off and packed out the confines of The SSE Arena. They were treated to high quality darts throughout and will never forget seeing not one, but two nine darter finishes in the same night.
Among those in attendance was Northern Irish darts legend John MaGowan. The Down man still holds the record for being the oldest debutant in PDC World Championship history at the 2006 event at the age of 64, with his best achievement coming when he made it all the way to the semi-final stages of the UK Open during the same year.
There is no Premier League action next Thursday night with the darts returning on March 3rd at The Westpoint Arena in Exeter with ‘Bully Boy’ Michael Smith still looking for his first win of the campaign.
Night 3 Results
Michael Smith 3 Gerwyn Price 6
Joe Cullen 3 Michael van Gerwen 6
Gary Anderson 4 Peter Wright 6
James Wade 6 Jonny Clayton 3
Gerwyn Price 6 (9 Dart Finish) Michael van Gerwen 5
Peter Wright 4 James Wade 6
Gerwyn Price 6 (9 Dart Finish) James Wade 4.
Mark made his Darts World debut from the SSE Arena in Belfast last night, what a night to pick!
Words: Mark Casserly, Images: Michael Cooper/PDC