SIXTEEN weeks of Premier League action and consistent evenings of entertaining drama in many areas around the UK, and of course Dublin and Rotterdam, will see it all comes down to tonight. Four players searching for the title, the silverware and the £275,000 that comes with the trophy.
Last year’s champion Jonny Clayton, Michael van Gerwen, James Wade and Joe Cullen are the four in with a chance of winning the competition.
League phase winner Clayton will open Finals Night in the first Semi-Final against debutant Cullen who pinched the last play-off spot, after clinching a 6-4 win against World Number 1 Peter Wright in a winner takes all Quarter-Final tussle on the last night in Newcastle. The Ferret was the only player in this year’s eight-man field to win four times in the league, signalling the form behind the Welshman coming top of the pile.
The 47-year-old beat The Rockstar in the Final of Night 2 in Liverpool to clinch his first nightly win, before following up with victories in Birmingham, Aberdeen and Glasgow to total 25% of the competition played so far. Winmau star Cullen got his revenge in the other night final between the two and the more recent tungsten tussle, winning 6-4 for his second-night win in London on Night 15.
The Red Dragon star won the Premier League on his first attempt last year beating Jose de Sousa 11-5 in the Final in Milton Keynes, but could he make it back-to-back wins again this year starting with his Semi with the Yorkshire man, or could the 32-year-old follow in the footsteps of the Welshman and win the Premier League on debut to add to the Masters title he won back in January.
Michael van Gerwen and James Wade will meet in the second Semi-Final, with the two having played at the weekend in the Quarter Finals of the Nordic Darts Masters. It was the Machine who came out on top, winning 10-4 in the Quarters before falling to defeat against Gary Anderson in the Semis, the man who finished on 9 points and bottom of the pile in the league phase.
Mighty Mike will be disappointed he didn’t come top of the league, but regardless deserves his place in Berlin after winning three nights and losing in four finals (two to Jonny Clayton) victorious in Exeter, Brighton, and Leeds to secure the second spot in the league with 31 points.
The Dutchman is perhaps the most in form player of 2022 so far, winning more than anyone in the PDC with victories on the Pro Tour and three titles on the Euro Tour, including back-to-back wins in Graz and Leverkusen at the start of May.
James Wade is well worthy of his spot in Berlin, coming third in the league with 25 points despite missing Sheffield on Night 14 due to illness, after starting to suffer during the European Darts Open in Leverkusen en route the Semi-Final.
The multiple major winner showed great patience, waiting ten weeks to get his first-nightly win, beating Joe Cullen in Manchester on week 10. The 39-year-old also won in Dublin on Night 12 securing his spot at Finals Night, he gained no more points, after winning £10,000 in Ireland, to finish on 25 points.
The action gets underway at 8:00 tonight live on Sky Sports with Joe Cullen and Jonny Clayton on the Berlin stage for the first Semi-Final, before Michael van Gerwen and James Wade meet in the other. Who will win the competition in the first year of the brand-new format?
Premier League 2022: Finals Night Berlin
Jonny Clayton v Joe Cullen
Michael van Gerwen v James Wade
Clayton/ Cullen v van Gerwen/ Wade
- C. Jonny Clayton (Q): 40pts
- Michael van Gerwen (Q): 31pts
- James Wade (Q): 25pts
- Joe Cullen (Q): 24pts
- Peter Wright (E): 22pts
- Michael Smith (E): 22pts
- Gerwyn Price (E): 20pts
- Gary Anderson (E): 9pts
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Words: Harry Masterson