Michael van Gerwen certainly turned on the style as he came through to win night four of the premier league whilst only dropping three legs in his three matches in Exeter.
The Dutchman dismantled Peter Wright 6-0 in the final to win his first final since the new format was introduced. He hit a 99.10 average against an out of sorts “Snakebite” in the final which included an impressive 134 checkout hitting double seven to clinch the leg.
The win in Exeter takes van Gerwen up to second in the league and into the all-important play off positions, only one point of new league leader Peter Wright who despite losing the final in Exeter, is now the leagues number one after Jonny Clayton and Gerwyn Price crashed out in the quarters.
Van Gerwen took on Jonny Clayton in the opening match of the night with the ambition of backing up his semi-final appearance last week. He hit a 102.36 average and a 60% checkout rate saw him beat last years champ 6-1 in the opening match.
Michael Smith played Joe Cullen in the second match with “Bullyboy” picking up his first win of the league edging the man from Bradford 6-5.
It was a nervy game with Smith only hitting one third of his darts at doubles but an average of 93.89 from Cullen was deemed not enough despite hitting an impressive 145 checkout going an unorthodox route hitting double fourteen to complete the checkout.
The main event followed with a repeat of the International Darts Open final as Gerwyn Price took on Peter Wright. Price came into this on the back of an 8-4 victory in Riesa on Sunday as the Welshman only missed one dart at double in the entire match.
Wright got his revenge in Exeter as he defeated the world number one with a 101.06 average as he moved onto the semi finals for the third time. Price was punished for being poor on his doubles and lost the last four legs on the spin with Wright asserting total dominance in the entire match.
The final match saw James Wade take on Gary Anderson. The match was Anderson’s first since night three in Belfast as the Scotsman did not take part in Riesa. Wade had played and showed the importance as he ran out a 6-4 winner.
The Englishman is very good at winning games whilst averaging less than his opponent and he did the same thing against the former premier league champion. The highlight was a 142 checkout where wade hit double tops to take a 5-4 lead. He closed out the match on double five after missing on the inside of tops and double ten to set up a semi-final with “Snakebite”.
Van Gerwen then took on Smith in the first semi and the Dutchman continued his dominance by beating the world finalist 6-2. Despite losing the greatest number of legs to Smith, he hit his highest average of the night hitting a 104.37 average proving to be too much for Smith. The loss puts the world number 5 level with Gary Anderson at the bottom of the table with 2 points.
The Dutchman hit six out of his eight darts at double with van Gerwen being impressive on his doubles all through the night. The win ensured he bounced back from his defeat against Danny Noppert at the weekend and in the process reaching his first final of the league.
Wright beat Wade in the second final 6-2 which secured Wright top spot going into week 5 in Brighton next week with the Scotsman reaching his second final of the event so far. He has achieved 10 points so far making him the leagues best player so far.
The darting action continues as the UK Open takes centre stage in Minehead across the weekend live on ITV 4.
Michael van Gerwen 6-1 Jonny Clayton
Michael Smith 6-5 Joe Cullen
Peter Wright 6-2 Gerwyn Price
James Wade 6-4 Gary Anderson
Michael van Gerwen 6-2 Michael Smith
Peter Wright 6-2 James Wade
Michael van Gerwen 6-0 Peter Wright
- Peter Wright: 10 pts
- Michael van Gerwen: 9 pts
- Jonny Clayton: 8 pts
- Gerwyn Price: 7 pts
- James Wade: 7 pts
- Joe Cullen: 3 pts
- Gary Anderson: 2 pts
- Michael Smith: 2 pts
Words: Harry Masterson