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Durrant realises Premier League Darts dream with debut glory

Premier League Darts Finals 2020 preview and order of play: Final four battle for the title

Jamie Shaw in Premier League Darts 14 Oct 2020
The final four face off (Photo by Lawrence Lustig/PDC)

The 2020 Premier League Darts season culminates in Coventry on Thursday as the final four battle it out for the sport’s most prestigious invitational title.

After 16 nights of competition dating back to early February, the remaining quartet will now compete over a knock-out format for the £250,000 top prize at the Ricoh Arena.

Only two of the final four have ever previously featured on Finals Night, while only one has gone on to lift the trophy.

Gary Anderson took glory in 2011 and 2015 and is bidding to complete a hat-trick despite finishing fourth in the table.

Having suffered an injury-ravaged 2019 which saw him miss the Premier League, The Flying Scotsman has returned in style this year, securing a Play-Off place for the first time since 2017.

Anderson embarked on a six-game unbeaten run in Milton Keynes, which included five wins, and though he ended the campaign with successive defeats, it was enough to finish two points clear of Gerwyn Price in fifth.

Runner-up in July’s World Matchplay, Anderson is eyeing a first televised singles title since the 2018 Champions League and faces a crunch clash against table-topper Glen Durrant in the opening Semi-Final.

Durrant won their first meeting back in February before battling back to snatch a 7-7 draw in their second league encounter during a ten-game unbeaten run.

The tenacious Teessider made history by becoming the first player outside of Phil Taylor and Michael van Gerwen to finish top of the table, ending the Dutchman’s seven-year spell of dominance.

Durrant lost just three of his 16 fixtures, with two of those coming in his final two games of the round-robin phase after securing qualification.

The three-time BDO World Champion has lost in four previous PDC major ranking Semi-Finals and will be determined to stop the rot and take the next step here.

Former World Champions Anderson and Durrant collide (Photo by Lawrence Lustig/PDC)

The second Semi-Final sees reigning World Champion Peter Wright take on former UK Open champion Nathan Aspinall.

Wright is appearing in the play-offs for the first time since squandering six darts for the title against Michael van Gerwen at The O2 three years ago.

The world number three enjoyed a superb end to the league phase, reeling off four consecutive wins to finish second in the table and just one point adrift of Durrant.

However, he suffered a shock First Round exit at the hands of Ryan Joyce in last week’s World Grand Prix, and after switching darts, is unlikely to take any risks here.

Aspinall, meanwhile, rounded off a dream debut campaign by finishing third in the table, having spent 13 of the 16 nights occupying a top four spot.

The reigning US Masters champion was beaten twice by Wright during the regular season but will look to exact his revenge in their most important meeting to date.

Like Wright, Aspinall also crashed out of the World Grand Prix at the first hurdle, going down to Gabriel Clemens, and will be keen to put that below-par performance behind him.

His 2019 UK Open triumph saw him win two matches in the same session, and the Stockport star will hope that experience stands him in good stead ahead of arguably the biggest night of his career to date.

The action gets underway from 7pm BST, with Semi-Final matches to be contested over the best of 19 legs and the final best of 21 legs.

WATCH THE PREMIER LEAGUE DARTS FINALS STREAMED LIVE HERE (18+)

Premier League Darts 2020 Finals Schedule

Thursday October 15

Semi-Finals

7.15pm Glen Durrant v Gary Anderson
8.15pm Peter Wright v Nathan Aspinall

Final

9.15pm Durrant/Anderson v Wright/Aspinall