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Premier League Darts 2024 | Night Five Exeter Preview and Order of Play

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Nathan Aspinall picks up Premier League Night Five title in Exeter

Jamie Shaw in Premier League Darts 01 Mar 2024
Aspinall scoops maximum points in Exeter (Photo by Simon O’Connor/PDC)

A resurgent Nathan Aspinall triumphed on Night Five of the BetMGM Premier League in Exeter courtesy of a 6-2 victory against Rob Cross in the final.

Aspinall, who was without a point following the opening three nights of action, catapulted himself into the top four by going one better than his runner-up spot a week ago.

The World Matchplay champion overcame Peter Wright, Luke Humphries and Cross to clinch the £10,000 winner’s bonus at the Westpoint Arema as he became the third different nightly winner in five weeks.

Aspinall recovered from 3-1 down to deny Wright in a hard-fought quarter-final tussle, winning five of the last six legs to inflict a fifth consecutive defeat on the Scot.

The 32-year-old then defied a stirring fightback from Humphries to triumph in an enthralling semi-final, producing a sensational 160 checkout in the deciding leg, having earlier missed a dart at bull for a 6-1 victory.

This set up a showdown against Cross for the Night Five title, and Aspinall defeated the 2018 World Champion for the second week in succession with a dominant display.

The Stockport star began with back-to-back 15-darters, before capitalising on a host of missed doubles from Cross to stretch his lead to 4-0.

Aspinall then moved to the cusp of victory with another sensational 160 checkout, fending off back-to-back 180s from Cross to close in on a potential whitewash.

Cross reduced the deficit with consecutive 80 and 121 finishes, although he paid the price for squandering three darts at double in leg eight, as Aspinall pinned tops to seal the deal.

“I was a bit down after the first three weeks, but I’ve dug deep over the last two nights,” reflected Aspinall.

“It was a slow start to the season, but last week was massive for myself. That win against Michael Smith has kick-started my season.

“I’ve been fighting with demons in my own head, but I love this game, and I love the opportunity I’ve been given.

“Everyone knows I’m a fighter, and I’m over the moon with the win tonight.

“I’ve not performed at the level I know I’m capable of, but I’m still finding a way to win.

“At the end of the day, we’re all in this competition for a reason. I think the standard we’re producing week-in, week-out is fantastic, and long may it continue!”

Cross fell short in his bid for a first weekly title, though he climbed to second spot after leaving Exeter with three points to his name.

The 33-year-old stormed through to the last four with a 6-1 demolition of Gerwyn Price, averaging 109.7 and pinning six of his ten attempts at double to cap off an imperious display.

The 2019 runner-up then sealed his spot in a first nightly final courtesy of a 6-3 win over Luke Littler, punishing 15 missed darts at doubles from the teenager to leapfrog him in the table.

Littler had averaged 107 to demolish Night One winner Michael Smith in the quarter-finals, crashing in five 180s and producing a 140 checkout to cement his place in the top four.

In the evening’s opener, Humphries ended Michael van Gerwen’s nine-match winning run with a 6-3 success, reeling off three consecutive 15-darters to deny the Dutchman.

Premier League Darts 2024 Night Five Results

Thursday February 29

Quarter-Finals
Luke Humphries 6-3 Michael van Gerwen
Nathan Aspinall 6-4 Peter Wright
Rob Cross 6-1 Gerwyn Price
Luke Littler 6-2 Michael Smith

Semi-Finals
Nathan Aspinall 6-5 Luke Humphries
Rob Cross 6-3 Luke Littler

Final
Nathan Aspinall 6-2 Rob Cross

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