Jose De Sousa produced a spectacular nine-darter and a record-equalling eleven 180s but was forced to settle for a share…
Jose De Sousa produced a spectacular nine-darter and a record-equalling eleven 180s but was forced to settle for a share of the spoils against Nathan Aspinall on Night Four of the Premier League.
Having witnessed Jonny Clayton land a nine-darter against him 24 hours earlier, De Sousa became the second debutant in as many nights to achieve the feat at the Marshall Arena in Milton Keynes.
The Portuguese star was at his relentless best on the treble 20 as he equalled the decade-long match 180s record set by Gary Anderson against Simon Whitlock in the 2011 event.
However, the Grand Slam champion had to settle for a second draw of his maiden Premier League campaign after Aspinall valiantly stayed in the contest.
De Sousa kicked off the match with back-to-back 180s, but incredibly lost the leg after another costly miscount.
However, he atoned for that error in sensational style in leg two by again kicking off with successive maximums and this time taking out 141 on double 12 to achieve perfection.
“It was an amazing feeling hitting the nine-darter,” said De Sousa, who was left with mixed feelings after missing the bullseye to seal victory in the final leg.
“To break the 180 record is something positive for me too, my confidence is very good and I enjoy my darts.
“It was a shame for me not to win this match but I know if I keep playing at this level then a win will come soon.
“Yesterday I really had problems in my shoulder so I had to throw at the treble 19, but today I played very well in practice so I was able to score on the treble 20 and it went well!”
Elsewhere, Michael van Gerwen missed the chance to go clear at the top of the table as he lost 7-3 to a ruthless James Wade, who picked up his first win of the season.
Five-time champion Van Gerwen was hotly tipped to win the match as he looks to reclaim the number one spot in the Premier League table which he held from 2013-2019, but was undone by a below-par display.
Wade pinned seven of his 13 double attempts, including trademark checkouts of 135, 121 and 120, to ensure the Dutchman was unable to gain a foothold in the contest.
“Michael didn’t play how he can, maybe it was a little bit of luck on my behalf tonight,” Wade suggested.
“I haven’t played well at all in the first three games, so I’m not going to get too excited about tonight’s result.
“I played well enough to win, and it was comfortable. I knew I would play well tonight and I’m happy to get my first win on the board.”
Rob Cross inflicted a first defeat of the season on Wednesday’s nine-dart hero Clayton, running out a convincing 7-3 winner.
Cross bounced back from Wednesday’s loss to Van Gerwen by punishing Clayton’s 13 missed double attempts to move onto five league points.
From 3-3, the 2019 runner-up reeled off the last four legs in efficient style to edge closer to ensuring his place in the competition beyond Judgement Night.
Dimitri Van den Bergh moved a point clear at the top of the table after maintaining an unbeaten start to his debut season with a 6-6 draw against Peter Wright.
A high-quality affair saw Van den Bergh, who averaged 101.2 and hit eight 180s, pin back-to-back checkouts of 160 and 100 to take a 3-1 lead.
The Scot fought back, winning three of the next four legs to level at 4-4, before the last four legs were all won on throw as Van den Bergh and Wright ended the contest with legs of 13 and 12 darts respectively.
The final game of the night saw Gary Anderson pick up his second win of the campaign, thrashing reigning champion Glen Durrant 7-2.
Two-time Premier League champion Anderson hit seven of his 12 double attempts to shut the door on Durrant, who showed glimpses of improvement but is left seeking his first point of the year.
Durrant’s defeat saw him become the first player since Simon Whitlock in 2014 to lose his opening four matches and leaves him rooted to the foot of the table.
Premier League Darts 2021 Results
Night Four – Thursday April 8
Dimitri Van den Bergh 6-6 Peter Wright
Jonny Clayton 3-7 Rob Cross
Jose de Sousa 6-6 Nathan Aspinall – *De Sousa hits a nine-darter*
James Wade 7-3 Michael van Gerwen
Gary Anderson 7-2 Glen Durrant