Watch how the drama unfolded on week four of Premier League Darts from Berlin
Michael Smith won a battle of perfect records to go clear at the top of the Premier League, but Michael van Gerwen is closing in after a record-breaking night in Berlin.
Van Gerwen continued his blistering start to 2018 as he added a third win of the Premier League season with a 7-2 demolition of Daryl Gurney – continuing where he left off after his breathtaking win over Gary Anderson last week.
Michael Smith is the only man ahead of him as he chalked up a win over Simon Whitlock in a battle of the 100 per cent records.
Rob Cross backed up his win over Peter Wright last week with victory over a subdued Raymond van Barneveld, while in the final match of the evening Wright and Anderson shared the spoils in a thrilling draw that featured nine maximums and both men averaging around 105.
Mensur Suljovic delighted the German crowd, who cheered the Austrian to the oche and then saw him deliver a 106 average and a couple of brilliant 100+ check-outs in a 7-3 win over Gerwyn Price.
Night Four Results – February 22 at the Mercedes-Benz Arena, Berlin Michael Smith 7-3 Simon Whitlock Gerwyn Price 3-7 Mensur Suljovic Michael van Gerwen 7-2 Daryl Gurney Rob Cross 7-3 Raymond van Barneveld Peter Wright 6-6 Gary Anderson Michael van Gerwen 7-2 Daryl Gurney
MVG spoke to host Dave Clark and Wayne Mardle about what darts means to him and the importance of winning
The world No 1 blew Northern Ireland’s Gurney away with a blistering display to continue his return to winning ways – the Dutchman’s defeat to Peter Wright in Week Two remains the anomaly in a season that has seen him win five titles.
Van Gerwen continued where he left off last week, roaring out of the traps to take out the first two legs with the minimum of fuss.
Five missed darts for a 3-0 lead gave Gurney a chance as he got on the board, but a brilliant 106 saw Van Gerwen back on track.
With Gurney unable to live with MvG’s phenomenal scoring power, another three soon followed as the three-time Premier League champion guaranteed himself a point.
Double 12 gave Gurney the eighth leg but it merely delayed the inevitable as Van Gerwen, having missed bullseye to win with a 170 finish, returned to mop up 25 and a third win in the season.
Having seen the pair trade early breaks, it was Bully Boy who put on the afterburners with a three-leg burst, including the first hold courtesy of a clinical 78 combination.
A blistering 106 check-out put the man from St Helens 4-1 in front. With Smith piling on the pressure, Whitlock couldn’t take out 103 but an errant double gave him a chance which he grabbed for his second leg.
Invigorated, The Wizard took out the seventh to close within one and before the bounce out on the bullseye that would have levelled the contest at 4-4 fell to the ground.
Smith let him in again, but Whitlock missed another two darts for the leg and the Aussie was duly punished as Bully Boy pinned double two for a 5-3 lead before guaranteeing a point and then pouncing on more wayward arrows from the Aussie to secure another victory.
Rob Cross 7-3 Raymond van Barneveld
Watch Rob Cross beat Raymond van Barneveld with this magnificent 128 checkout
World champion Cross continued his return to winning ways, having limped to two disappointing defeats in the opening two weeks, as he added the scalp of former Premier League champion Barney to last week’s win over Peter Wright.
Barney delighted the crowd by taking out 78 for a break of throw in the opening leg before Cross bounced back to take out the next two, holding after Barney missed tops for a third break in succession.
Barney pinned 72 to level the contest and there was little between the pair as the contest remained even until, with his nose in front, Cross landed a crucial break for a 5-3 lead, sweeping up 56 with Van Barneveld flagging.
Double 10 secured Cross a point and then a brilliant 128 gave him back-to-back victories and moved him into contention for a play-off place – for Van Barneveld, it’s another heavy defeat.
Cross picked up his second win of the Premier League and spoke about his win over Barney in Berlin Peter Wright 6-6 Gary Anderson
Anderson and Wright spoke afterwards after sharing the spoils in a thriller
The pick of the evening’s matches came in a thrilling draw between Wright and Anderson, the latter finding 86 percent of his doubles, an average in excess of 105 and five 180s to come from 6-3 down.
Anderson took out double top to take the opening leg and added a spectacular 150 to force an early advantage but the seesaw-nature of the contest was evident early on as Wright reeled off three in succession to take the lead.
Having been on the receiving end in Newcastle last week, Anderson found seven perfect darts before falling short of the nine-darter but he did level the contest.
Another three-leg burst from Wright secured him a point courtesy of a spectacular 120 finish but Anderson responded with his best run of the match, a fantastic 69 brought him to within two and a clinical 83 gave him hope of a point
And it was a point he secured after Wright missed a dart at bullseye for the match, Anderson found the little red bit for a nerveless 86 and a well-deserved point.
Peter Wright and Gary Anderson ended in a draw after a stunning finish on the bullseye from The Flying Scotsman Gerwyn Price 3-7 Mensur Suljovic
Suljovic's brilliant 118 checkout was one of two huge finishes from the big Austrian
Suljovic picked up his first Premier League victory, ending a run of three successive defeats with a dominant victory over Price, who remains winless.
Roared to oche by the Berlin crowd, the German-speaking world No 7 seized the advantage with an early break and then consolidated with a brilliant 111 to get the Mercedes-Benz Arena on their feet.
Price stemmed the flow but was never at the races as another pair of legs, including a spectacular 118 finish via a Suljovic special on double 19, gave the Austrian a 4-1 lead.
Another clinical finish took Suljovic to the brink and while Price managed to stay alive by pinching another pair of legs he never looked like getting on top and Suljovic secured his victory thanks to a clinical double top.
- Suljovic finished with a 106.20 average
- 64% on the doubles
- Checkouts of 118 and 111
Live Premier League Darts
March 1, 2018, 7:00pm
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The 2018 Premier League heads to the Westpoint Arena in Exeter next Thursday evening with coverage underway from 7pm on Sky Sports Action. You can also watch the arrows on Sky Sports Mix, which you can find on channel 287, and is free for all Sky customers. Eleven weeks of tungsten action will then continue through to the season’s conclusion with the Play-Offs on May 17 at The O2 in London.
Night Five – March 1 at the Westpoint Arena, Exeter Gary Anderson v Rob Cross Daryl Gurney v Peter Wright Mensur Suljovic v Michael van Gerwen Raymond van Barneveld v Michael Smith Simon Whitlock v Gerwyn Price
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