Van Gerwen secures top spot as Wade and Gurney complete Premier League play-offs

Jamie Shaw in PDC Darts News 17 May 2019
Van Gerwen celebrates a last-gasp triumph (credit:Lawrence Lustig/PDC)

Michael van Gerwen ended the regular Premier League campaign top of the table for the seventh successive season courtesy of victory in Leeds on Thursday, while James Wade and Daryl Gurney claimed the final two play-off places.

Van Gerwen headed into the 16th and final night of round-robin fixtures one point adrift of league leader Rob Cross, but the world number two's defeat to Wade after MVG had seen off Mensur Suljovic saw the Dutchman snatch top spot and the £25,000 bonus.
 
World number one Van Gerwen powered past Suljovic 8-5, ending the Austrian's Play-Off hopes in the process, before Cross went down 8-6 to Wade.
 
Van Gerwen, who has reached the final in all six previous Premier League campaigns, said: "It's a great achievement for myself but I know I can do better than this. 

"There's lots of room for improvement because I let myself down in a few games.
 
"But now I will focus on next week and the most important thing is to win the Play-Offs in London.

"Next week I will be sharp, my preparation will be phenomenal and I will smash them - simple as that."
 
Van Gerwen, who took out 126 in leg four, raced into a 5-0 lead against Suljovic - who needed to win the match in order to book his place in the Semi-Finals for the first time.

The Austrian clawed back three consecutive legs and reduced the deficit to 6-4, but the green machine claimed two of the next three legs to seal victory.
 
Van Gerwen now faces a semi-final tie with Gurney - who inflicted two of his three defeats during the regular season - after the Northern Irish ace secured his first Play-Offs appearance with an 8-3 win over Michael Smith.

A high-quality opening saw the pair share the opening four legs shared with three 12-darters and a 13-dart finish, before Gurney pulled clear to lead 5-2.
 
Smith finished 100 for a second ton-plus checkout of the game, but missed doubles in the next leg allowed Gurney back in before the Northern Irish ace completed victory with an average of almost 102.
 
"I'm delighted," said Gurney. "I knew I had to win tonight and I was probably the most focused I've ever been and it's one of my best performances.
 
"It was a quality game and I took out a couple of importance finishes. Under the circumstances, I think I played beyond my expectations, so I'm happy with that.
 
"Now I'm in the Play-Offs I'll do my best to win the title."
 
Wade secured a third-placed finish with a narrow victory over Cross, and the pair will meet once again in the Semi-Finals next Thursday.
 
A tight opening saw the first eight legs shared before Wade secured a first break of the game to lead 6-4.
 
Cross - who needed to win to top the final league table - hit back to 6-5 and 7-6, but the 2009 champion took the deciding leg to claim a seventh win of the campaign.
 
"Rob has been the best player in the Premier League this season but tonight I thought the nerves might get to him," said Wade.
 
"Tonight's result doesn't mean anything going into the Play-Offs, and if anything it will give Rob a bit of fuel because I just cost him £25,000!
 
"I'm never someone to be written off though because I've been there and done it before."
 
The night's action had begun with Grand Slam champion Gerwyn Price briefly keeping alive his Play-Off hopes with a fine 8-3 win over Peter Wright.
 
The pair shared four ton-plus finishes, with Price's early 106 checkout cancelled out by a 136 combination from Wright in leg four.
 
Price produced a huge 146 finish in leg five before double one gave him a break to claim breathing space, and he pulled out to 6-2 before defying a 100 checkout from the Scot to complete the win.
 
"I knew I had to get a win and I did that, but I've had a lot of draws and that's cost me in the end," said Price, whose six wins were matched by six stalemates.
 
"I've learned a lot during this Premier League and I won't be disheartened. I've bombed a lot of opportunities with draws where I should have won, but I've enjoyed the season."
 
The destiny of the Unibet Premier League title will be decided with the Semi-Finals and finals at The O2 in London on May 23, where a £250,000 top prize is up for grabs.


Premier League Darts 2019 Results


Night 16 - Thursday May 16

Gerwyn Price 8-3 Peter Wright
Daryl Gurney 8-3 Michael Smith
Michael van Gerwen 8-5 Mensur Suljovic
James Wade 8-6 Rob Cross





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Van Gerwen secures top spot as Wade and Gurney complete Premier League play-offs

Michael van Gerwen ended the regular Premier League campaign top of the table for the seventh successive season courtesy of victory in Leeds on Thursday, while James Wade and Daryl Gurney claimed the final two play-off places.

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