Michael van Gerwen thrashed rival Peter Wright on Night Two of the 2021 Premier League, while Gary Anderson, Jonny Clayton,…
Michael van Gerwen thrashed rival Peter Wright on Night Two of the 2021 Premier League, while Gary Anderson, Jonny Clayton, Dimitri van den Bergh and Rob Cross also prevailed.
Van Gerwen and Wright had become embroiled in another war of words prior to the tournament, but the match failed to live up to its billing as both players struggled to find their range.
However, Van Gerwen eased his way to a comfortable victory to make it three points from a possible four so far in MIlton Keynes, averaging 92 to Wright’s lowly 88.4.
The five-time Premier League champion was keen to fire himself up on the stage amid a slow start, but managed to open up a 4-2 advantage.
From there on in, it was one-way traffic as Van Gerwen continuously punished Wright, whose 29% double accuracy was a far cry from his perfection on the outer ring on opening night.
“I’m happy with the two points but I’m not too happy with the performance,” admitted Van Gerwen.
“To win over Peter with a 92 average I can’t really complain, it’s always nice to beat him.
“It was important for me to get an early win this year because of the disappointment of last year.”
The performance of the night came from debutant Dimitri Van den Bergh, who averaged 103.7 in a 7-5 victory over Nathan Aspinall.
The only winner on the opening night, Aspinall found himself 3-1 down before a classy 144 checkout sparked a revival as he took the next four legs to lead 5-3.
The pendulum then swung back in Van den Bergh’s favour as the Belgian won the next three legs, all in five visits to the board or fewer to secure at least a point.
With Aspinall waiting on 52 to claim a draw, Van den Bergh pinned a magnificent bullseye with his last dart in hand for an 87 finish to maintain his unbeaten start to life as a full-time Premier League player.
“It’s another big win and another good day at the office,” Van den Bergh reflected.
“When I went 5-3 down I started performing like I can, I stopped missing doubles and that got me the two points.
“This Premier League experience is insane. I’m living the dream and loving every moment.”
Fellow newcomer Jonny Clayton continued his fine form with a comfortable 7-3 success over reigning champion Glen Durrant, who suffered a second successive defeat.
As Durrant’s struggle for form continued, Clayton once again impressed, averaging over 100 for much of the contest as he raced to the first five legs without reply.
Durrant rallied and clawed back three legs, but Clayton ended any hopes of a miraculous comeback with his fourth 180 in the last leg before closing out the win on double nine.
“I was happy with last night but to get my first win tonight makes it a brilliant start, I’m delighted,” said Clayton.
“I’ve always said I’ve got the game, it’s just a question of having the confidence to show it consistently on the stage and I’m doing that now.
“I’m just going to keep enjoying it. I hope this feeling goes on for a long time.”
Jose de Sousa was left to rue three missed darts to claim a point against Gary Anderson – who found a last dart double seven to snatch a 7-5 victory.
Anderson dominated the opening exchanges, with checkouts of 145, 112 and 90 seeing him take a 4-1 lead.
De Sousa fought back with some trademark high scoring to take the match the distance, but is left still seeking a first Premier League victory after two missed attempts at double 12 and one at double six.
“I had to slow down and take my time a bit tonight,” Anderson reflected. “It’s a good win over Jose, he’s a dangerous player with a nice action.
“At the moment I seem to play alright then hit a brick wall for a couple legs, but I’ve just got to play through it.
“As long as I keep picking up points it’s good for me to be playing every night.”
The final game of the night saw Rob Cross outplay a below-par James Wade to run out a 7-3 winner.
Wade, on his 38th birthday, was unable to find his range on the treble 20, and Cross dominated the contest as he continued a solid start to the campaign which has seen him take three points from the opening two nights.
Premier League Darts 2021 Results
Night Two – Tuesday April 6
Gary Anderson 7-5 Jose de Sousa
Jonny Clayton 7-3 Glen Durrant
Dimitri Van den Bergh 7-5 Nathan Aspinall
Michael van Gerwen 7-2 Peter Wright
James Wade 3-7 Rob Cross