Suljovic and Van Gerwen secure back-to-back wins in Champions League of Darts

Jamie Shaw in PDC Darts News 22 Sep 2018
Reigning champion Suljovic celebrates (credit:Chris Dean/PDC)

Mensur Suljovic maintained his unbeaten record in the Champions League of Darts with successive wins to book his Semi-Final spot, while Michael van Gerwen also claimed maximum points from his opening two fixtures in Brighton.

Suljovic, the reigning Paddy Power Champions League winner, continued his love affair with the elite invitational by defeating Rob Cross and Peter Wright to lead the way in Group B.

The Austrian ace began the day with a 10-8 victory over Cross, averaging 96.5 and defying 66 per cent on the doubles from the current World Champion.

He then returned to overcome Wright 10-7 in the evening session with a 105.5 average, five 180s and two ton-plus checkouts.

The results mean Suljovic is already assured of a place in Sunday's Semi-Finals with a game to spare.

"I'm really happy," said Suljovic. "Every group is hard so it is brilliant I am playing in the semi-finals.

"Peter came back but I knew if I stayed focused I could win the game. I gave it my best and I won."

Cross and Wright are now left to battle it out for the second available Semi-Final place from Group B after they picked up two points apiece from their opening matches.

Cross recovered from his earlier defeat to Suljovic by defeating Simon Whitlock 10-8 in the opening match of the evening session.

The duo were locked level at 8-8 before the Brisbane Masters champion produced a pivotal 131 checkout for a 12-dart break of throw before holding in the following leg to get over the line.

That result resigned Whitlock to elimination with one match to spare after he had earlier suffered a 10-7 loss at the hands of Wright.

Wright opened up a 9-5 advantage before Whitlock fought back to just 9-8 behind with checkouts of 114 and 126, but the Scot recovered from a host of missed match darts by landing double 16 to seal the deal.

Van Gerwen moved into pole position in Group A courtesy of back-to-back wins at the Brighton Centre.

The 2016 runner-up sent out an immediate message with a 10-2 demolition of Dave Chisnall, averaging 111 and hitting ten of his twelve attempts at doubles in a clinical display.

He then returned to see off a tenacious Daryl Gurney 10-7 and put one foot in the knock-out phase barring a mathematical miracle.

Van Gerwen stormed to the opening five legs without reply against Gurney before the Northern Irishman hit back to win four consecutive legs of his own.

The Dutchman stopped the rot to make it 6-4, and after Gurney took out 110, MVG replied with a ruthless 148 checkout to restore a two-leg cushion.

Van Gerwen then clinched the next two legs, and though Gurney rallied to apply the pressure at 9-7 adrift, 'Mighty Mike' finished 68 for a 14-darter to seal the points.

"My performance wasn't 100% but I won and that's the only thing that counts," admitted Van Gerwen.

"I made a few mistakes and I can play a lot better than I showed in the second game.

"I will rest well tonight because I have to be ready for my game with Gary."

Back-to-back defeats for Chisnall see him all but eliminated from the competition ahead of his final group fixture against Gurney on Sunday afternoon.

Chisnall's 10-2 rout at the hands of MVG was followed by a 10-3 thrashing to Gary Anderson - who landed five 180s and averaged 99.8 in a dominant display.

Anderson had earlier found himself on the wrong end of a 10-8 scoreline to Gurney despite hitting ten maximums and averaging 101.5 to Superchin's 95.

Gurney fired in three ton-plus finishes, including a 158, and converted 55 per cent of his attempts at doubles.

Anderson concludes his group campaign against rival Van Gerwen on Sunday needing to better Gurney's result against Chisnall in order to progress to the Last Four.


Champions League of Darts 2018 Results


Saturday September 22

Afternoon Session 

Group Matches
Rob Cross 8-10 Mensur Suljovic (B)
Peter Wright 10-7 Simon Whitlock (B)
Gary Anderson 8-10 Daryl Gurney (A)
Michael van Gerwen 10-2 Dave Chisnall (A)

Evening Session

Group Matches
Rob Cross 10-8 Simon Whitlock (B)
Peter Wright 7-10 Mensur Suljovic (B)
Gary Anderson 10-3 Dave Chisnall (A)
Michael van Gerwen 10-7 Daryl Gurney (A)​​​​​​​

Group A Table

PositionPlayerPlayedWonLostLFLAPTS+/-
1.Michael van Gerwen (Q)32129194+10
2.Gary Anderson (Q)32128224+6
3.Daryl Gurney (E)32127254+2
4.Dave Chisnall (E)30312300-18

Group B Table

PositionPlayerPlayedWonLostLFLAPTS+/-
1.Mensur Suljovic (Q)33030166+14
2.Peter Wright (Q)32127204+7
3.Rob Cross (E)31221282-7
4.Simon Whitlock (E)30316300-14


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Suljovic and Van Gerwen secure back-to-back wins in Champions League of Darts

Mensur Suljovic maintained his unbeaten record in the Champions League of Darts with successive wins to book his Semi-Final spot, while Michael van Gerwen also claimed maximum points from his opening two fixtures in Brighton.

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