After a night full of drama, record-breaking feats and 8,000 delighted fans, Thursday’s Dublin-hosted Premier League is worth a revisit:
James Wade moved level on points with Michael van Gerwen in the Premier League table after winning Night 12 in Dublin, beating reigning champion and current league leader Jonny Clayton 6-5 in the final.
Wade averaged 95.38, just over five points lower than his opponent on the oche., and almost ten points below his best of the night!
The Ferret did extend his lead at the top of the league to four points with four nights left to play before Berlin.
Wade’s win in the Final saw him record less maximums than his opponent in Ireland but included a better double checkout rate as well as a ton-plus checkout on 118 to take the second leg of the match and break the Clayton throw.
There were four breaks of throw during the final with two for each player, but the league leader couldn’t find a fifth in the last leg allowing Wade to hold and win Night 12.
The Machine had beaten Michael van Gerwen in the opening match of the night with an average just shy of a ton to win a last-leg decider on double four to go through to yet another Semi-Final in the competition after losing to the Dutchman in the Last 4 last week in Aberdeen.
There were a staggering ten maximums for the first match of the competition in two years after Covid ruled out the yearly visit to Dublin for the Premier League and the PDC last year, with van Gerwen finishing a checkout of 130 in the eighth leg to hold throw in what was the highest of the match.
Gerwyn Price picked up his first points since Manchester after beating Joe Cullen for the first time in the Premier League, winning 6-3 in a very nervy game on night 12. The Iceman came through a winner with an average of 90.06 which was nine points higher than the Rockstar and included a 117 checkout to take a 4-1 lead in the fifth leg to hold throw.
The win for Price was big because it keeps him just about in the race for the Play-Offs with Peter Wright the only possible player to catch, sitting seven points behind the reigning World Champion in the table.
Joe Cullen remains fifth in the table despite the defeat and stays five points of the top four, with four weeks remaining now before Finals night on June 13th.
Michael Smith ended his winless run in the league, with his last coming in Nottingham all the way on Night 6 against Gerwyn Price in the Semi-Finals. Bully Boy came through a 6-2 winner against the competition’s bottom player Gary Anderson with a 102.14 average in Dublin and hit a huge 150 checkout in the fifth leg to hold throw and take a 3-2 lead.
The Flying Scotsman hit the Quarter Finals Second ton-plus checkout, taking out 100 in the second leg to hold and level at 1-1. Smith is still 10 points of the Play-Offs with Glasgow coming up next week, so knows more wins will have to come if he’s to have any hope of making it to Berlin.
Jonny Clayton was already guaranteed to leave Dublin as the league leader after Michael van Gerwen’s early Quarter-Final defeat but added another two points against world number one Peter Wright in the last Quarter-Final, as he won 6-3 with six maximums from both over the course of the match.
The Ferret averaged 100.44 and showed his very strong ability of two dart combination finishes with ease, finishing 68 in the ninth and final leg to make his way through to the Semi-Finals. It was Snakebite who hit the highest of the match though as he finished 141 in the fourth leg to level the match at 2-2, with the tie on the oche going on the throw before a break from current champion Clayton in the sixth leg on 41 gave him the initiative.
Wright’s defeat leaves him on 20 points, but Joe Cullen losing means the gap between him and fifth place remains at five points, as Snakebite still waits for another Premier League win having only won in Cardiff on night one so far.
Gerwyn Price failed to pick up any more points in Dublin as he lost again to James Wade in the league, losing 6-1 with Wade recording the highest average of the night with 114.73 to beat his Welsh opponent and reach yet another Final. The Machine only missed one dart at double in the entire match, in what was his best outing on the Irish oche by some distance.
Englishman Wade also hit a checkout of 140 in the fifth leg to take a 4-1 lead, after Price won his one and only leg of the match by taking out 124 in the leg prior to that.
Jonny Clayton would be Wade’s opponent for the Final after he beat Michael Smith in the other Semi-Final with both averaging 104 in the match. There were seven maximums overall, and a first ton-plus checkout from Clayton of the night gave him his first leg of the Semi to level at 1-1, hitting 140 to hold throw in what was his only three-figure checkout of the match.
Bully Boy hit more maximums in the match and will be disappointed to have been on the losing side of the match after missing five darts at double which on another day, could have got him over the line.
James Wade 6-5 Michael van Gerwen
Gerwyn Price 6-3 Joe Cullen
Michael Smith 6-2 Gary Anderson
Jonny Clayton 6-3 Peter Wright
James Wade 6-1 Gerwyn Price
Jonny Clayton 6-4 Michael Smith
James Wade 6-5 Jonny Clayton
- Jonny Clayton: 29pts
- Michael van Gerwen: 25pts
- James Wade: 25pts
- Peter Wright: 20pts
- Joe Cullen: 15pts
- Gerwyn Price: 13pts
- Michael Smith: 10pts
- Gary Anderson: 7pts
Words: Harry Masterson
Images: PDC /Michael Cooper
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