Premier League Darts pulls in to Nottingham for the second night of action on Thursday, with history-maker Fallon Sherrock aiming…
Premier League Darts pulls in to Nottingham for the second night of action on Thursday, with history-maker Fallon Sherrock aiming to create more headlines.
The 16-week road-show event got off to a fascinating start in Aberdeen last week with both debutants registering maximum points at the first time of asking, while Michael van Gerwen also got his title defence underway with a win.
Focus now shifts to The Motorpoint Arena in Nottingham with a repeat of three major finals on the cards, as well as perhaps the most high-profile of the nine Challengers taking to the stage.
All eyes will be on Fallon Sherrock as she looks to continue her Ally Pally heroics on her return to the big stage to take on three-time BDO World Champion Glen Durrant.
Sherrock made global headlines during her ground-breaking run to the Last 32 of the recent World Championship, beating Ted Evetts to become the first female to win a match in a PDC World Championship before then knocking out world number 11 Mensur Suljovic.
Her run was eventually ended by Chris Dobey in a thrilling contest, but the 25-year-old pocketed a record £25,000 and put women’s darts firmly on the map.
Since then, Sherrock bounced back from her Qualifying School disappointment by qualifying for the UK Open from a field of more than 200 players at the Rileys qualifier in Wolverhampton.
The former women’s world finalist is now set to play in front of her biggest crowd to date as she aims to upset the apple-cart by denying ‘Duzza’ crucial league points.
Durrant made a dream start to life in the Unibet Premier League by thrashing Michael Smith 7-3 last week but faces a different test altogether as huge favourite and pantomime villain for one night only.
Meanwhile, Scotland’s World Cup winners collide as Peter Wright takes on a rejuvenated Gary Anderson in what promises to be a pulsating contest.
The duo teamed up to deliver World Cup of Darts glory last summer but their fortunes as individuals could not have been more different last season.
Wright went on to become World Champion for the first time, while Anderson failed to make it beyond the Quarter-Final stage of a televised event, though he has already started to make up for lost time.
The two-time World Champion defeated Daryl Gurney 7-5 in front of an adoring Aberdeen crowd on opening night before storming to the first Players Championship title of the season less than 48 hours later.
Wright, who also claimed Masters glory last month, saw his ten-match unbeaten run brought to an end by MVG courtesy of a narrow 7-5 defeat last week but now has his sights set on a sixth straight win over Anderson in all competitions.
Nathan Aspinall aims to continue his blistering start to the season by picking up maximum points against World Matchplay champion Rob Cross.
Aspinall marked his full Premier League debut with a commanding 7-3 win over home favourite John Henderson a week ago before enjoying a sensational success in Sunday’s Players Championship event.
The world number eight landed a nine-dart finish and averaged 117.5 in defeating Peter Wright en route to the title and will be determined to carry that form onto the big stage.
Aspinall defeated Cross on the way to winning both the UK Open and U.S Masters last year and will be wary of a revenge mission from the world number four.
Cross claimed a 6-6 draw with Gerwyn Price on opening night, averaging 100 in a solid display, but will be keen to go one better by registering his first win a televised event since November.
Reigning champion Michael van Gerwen looks to make it back-to-back league wins at the expense of last year’s semi-finalist Daryl Gurney.
Van Gerwen gained a degree of revenge for his defeat to Wright in the World Championship final by averaging 104 in an impressive opening night victory, though his early exits in both of the weekend’s ProTour events suggests he still has work to do.
The world number one, who is still getting to grips with his new darts, suffered back-to-back defeats to Gurney in last year’s Premier League and has lost four of their last seven meetings in all competitions.
Gurney famously claimed the 2018 Players Championship Finals title with victory over MVG in the final but has not made the start to the season he would have hoped for.
Following his First Round exit at The Masters and defeat in Aberdeen, ‘Superchin’ suffered successive Second Round exits on the ProTour last weekend but a positive result here could prove the ideal springboard to kick-start his campaign.
World number three and five face off in another closely-matched encounter as Gerwyn Price takes on Michael Smith.
Back-to-back Grand Slam champion Price underlined his battling qualities by rescuing a point from an otherwise below-par display against Cross before finishing runner-up in Sunday’s Players Championship.
Price missed out on the play-offs by just one point last season, admitting failure to convert draws into wins was a major factor, and will therefore be hoping to put maximum points on the board at the second time of asking.
A nightmare start for Smith resulted in a 7-3 defeat to Durrant just four days after squandering three match darts to become Masters champion.
The 2018 Premier League finalist is out to end a run of three straight defeats to Price and seize his chances when presented to him.
The action gets underway from 7pm GMT, with all matches to be contested over the best of 12 legs.
Premier League Darts 2020 Match Schedule
Night Two – Thursday February 13
7.15pm Rob Cross v Nathan Aspinall
8.00pm Gerwyn Price v Michael Smith
8.45pm Gary Anderson v Peter Wright
9.30pm Glen Durrant v Fallon Sherrock
10.15pm Daryl Gurney v Michael van Gerwen