Price Two Away from the Top 4 After Sheffield Win
Gerwyn Price picked up a vital five points as the Premier League headed for Sheffield on Night 14, with the Welshman dealing Michael van Gerwen back-to-back Final defeats as he won a last leg decider to go within two of the top four, as the race for the Play Offs gets tighter with just two weeks of league format left.
The Iceman averaged 94.46 in the Final, which was lower than his opponent, but showed strong ability on his finishing, missing just five darts at double in the match. Mighty Mike raced into a 2-0 lead as he hit double sixteen, after he broke Price in the first leg.
The doubling cost Van Gerwen as he missed three at double twelve just after Price had missed a dart at double seven for a 122 finish in the eighth leg. The former world champion stepped up and hit double two with his last dart to level the Final at 4-4 after missing on the inside with his first dart at double seven.
Former league leader van Gerwen missed a dart for a break at the bullseye to finish 170, allowing The Iceman to return and hit double twelve with his second dart after he had set the double up with a score of 159 hitting treble thirteen after two treble twenties. Mighty Mike would send the match into a last leg decider after hitting two double nineteens to checkout 95 in the tenth leg.
Price picked up his second victory since his win on Night 3 in Belfast where he hit two nine darters, finishing 56 on tops in two darts to move onto 18 points with just two weeks to go now until Finals night in Berlin.
James Wade missed Sheffield due to illness which he had suffered in the European Darts Open in Leverkusen across the weekend, meaning Joe Cullen received a BYE to the Semi Finals and two points for his Play Off push.
Gary Anderson faced Price in the opening match of the night and the Welshman was in no mood for messing around on the oche, breaking the Scotsman with his last dart at double six to take the opening leg. Anderson won his first leg of the match in the fourth leg after hitting the bull to finish 128 after the world number two missed three darts at double.
The finishing then started to come through for Price who hit 113 on tops to take a 4-2 lead before hitting 90 on double eighteen with his second dart to hold and go 5-3 up. The two points were sealed on double eighteen yet again as Price won 6-4 with a 100.26 average and dealt The Flying Scotsman yet another Premier League defeat.
Michael van Gerwen stormed past Peter Wright in the second match of the night, winning 6-1 with two maximums and a 103.18 average. The Dutchman broke throw in the fourth leg after hitting tops to lead 3-1 before coming close to a 132 checkout in leg six as he missed double sixteen following on from two bullseyes. Mighty Mike returned to the oche and hit double eight with his first dart to lead 5-1.
Snakebite struggled for any real form in Sheffield and was beaten in the seventh leg, after van Gerwen needed just two darts to finish 56 on double tops to seal a spot in yet another Semi Final. The world number one only had two darts at double in the entire match, which showed the difference in quality between the two players on stage.
Jonny Clayton missed a match dart as he lost 6-5 to Michael Smith in the last Quarter Final, with Bully Boy hitting seven perfect darts in the seventh leg before going on to lose the leg after hitting a slack visit in the following visit, hitting a score of just 8. The Ferret punished and finished 81 in two darts hitting double twelve to break and lead 5-2.
Bully Boy fired back from then on as Clayton missed a match dart in the tenth leg, allowing Smith to return to the oche and hit double eight with his second dart to level the match, before hitting 96 on the same target to clinch the match with his last dart at the double.
Earlier in the match, three ton plus checkouts in a row from Clayton gave him a 2-1 lead including a break in the third leg after hitting 100 in two darts on double tops. A 110 checkout on tops in leg four put the league leader 3-1 up, as the match saw seven 180s with four coming for Smith after a strong couple of days in Wigan where he won both Pro Tour events.
Gerwyn Price won a massive battle with Joe Cullen in the race for the top four, winning 6-3 to reach the Final for the first time since Night 3 in Belfast. The Iceman averaged 100.82 and included four maximums in his win over the Rockstar in Sheffield. The Englishman missed three darts at double allowing Price to break on 111 with tops and lead 3-2 on the oche in the fifth leg.
Cullen hit a ton plus checkout of his own, finishing 124 on the bullseye to take his third leg of the match before Price sealed his spot in the Final hitting his fourth maximum to set up double twelve which he hit with his first dart at the target.
Michael van Gerwen beat Michael Smith in a last leg decider to reach his second Final in two weeks with an average of 95.15 and a 50% checkout rate. Bully Boy raced into an early lead in Sheffield hitting double twelve with his first dart to take a 3-1 lead after breaking the Dutchman in the leg before.
72 on tops with his last dart gave Smith his second break of throw in the match after former world champion van Gerwen bust double eight with his second dart in the visit prior. The Dutchman levelled the match in the eighth leg after Smith missed three darts at double, allowing van Gerwen to hit tops with his second dart.
The match was level once more in leg ten after the world number four hit 96 on double nine with his last dart to send the match into a last leg. The match was van Gerwen’s though as he held throw and finished 50 on double eight with his last dart to earn a guaranteed three points from the steel city.
Joe Cullen 6-0 James Wade (Wade Withdrawal due to illness)
Gerwyn Price 6-4 Gary Anderson
Michael van Gerwen 6-1 Peter Wright
Michael Smith 6-5 Jonny Clayton
Gerwyn Price 6-3 Joe Cullen
Michael van Gerwen 6-5 Michael Smith
Gerwyn Price 6-5 Michael van Gerwen
Jonny Clayton: 34pts
Michael van Gerwen: 31pts
James Wade: 25pts
Peter Wright: 20pts
Gerwyn Price: 18pts
Joe Cullen: 17pts
Michael Smith: 14pts
Gary Anderson: 9pts