Gerwyn Price bolstered his hopes of reaching the Premier League Darts play-offs with victory on Night 14 in Sheffield. Price…
Gerwyn Price bolstered his hopes of reaching the Premier League Darts play-offs with victory on Night 14 in Sheffield.
Price began the evening seven points adrift of the top four, but narrowed the gap to just two points with two league nights remaining courtesy of his triumph at the Utilita Arena.
The world number two registered back-to-back ton-plus averages en route to his first final since Night Three, before recovering from 3-1 down to edge past Michael van Gerwen 6-5 and seal the £10,000 bonus.
“I don’t think I was at my best today but I’m happy to win,” said Price, who missed Night Five through injury.
“The last couple of weeks I’ve been under the cosh and not playing well.
“I was under a lot of pressure tonight; I knew I needed to win two of the last three nights to make the Play-Offs.
“I know I’m in with a shout and if I win next week I’m back in the Play-Off places – as long as I get there I will be happy.”
Van Gerwen, bidding for a fourth weekly title of the campaign, opened up a 2-0 lead in the final before Price halved the deficit thanks to a 92 checkout.
Van Gerwen posted the first maximum of the match and double ten to restore a two-leg cushion, but back came Price with a 13-darter and a 76 checkout as he closed the gap to 4-3.
Four missed darts at double 12 from MVG allowed Price in to level the contest, and after the Dutchman had missed the bull for a 170 checkout, ‘The Ice Man’ sunk double 12 to lead 5-4.
A terrific 95 checkout on two double 19s saw Van Gerwen force a decider, but it was Price who held firm with a 14-darter to seal a crucial victory.
Van Gerwen’s three points on the night mean he is now just three adrift of league leader Jonny Clayton – who slipped to his first Quarter-Final defeat since Night Six.
Clayton was beaten 6-5 by in-form Michael Smith – who recovered from 5-2 down and survived six missed match darts from the defending champion before snatching victory.
Smith, winner of back-to-back Players Championship events earlier in the week, was then denied himself in a last-leg decider by Van Gerwen – who rallied from 4-1 down to prevail in a hard-fought battle.
Peter Wright’s third consecutive Quarter-Final exit leaves him looking over his shoulder going into Night 15 at The O2 in London after he was thrashed 6-1 by Van Gerwen with an average of just 91.
Joe Cullen received a bye into the Semi-Finals following the withdrawal of James Wade through illness but was beaten 6-3 by Price – who averaged 100.8 with four 180s and 60 per cent on the doubles.
Price began his run to glory with a 6-4 defeat of Gary Anderson – who remains rooted to the foot of the table and cannot qualify for the play-offs.
Premier League Darts Night 14 Results
Thursday May 12
Joe Cullen w/o James Wade (Wade withdraws)
Gerwyn Price 6-4 Gary Anderson
Michael van Gerwen 6-1 Peter Wright
Michael Smith 6-5 Jonny Clayton
Gerwyn Price 6-3 Joe Cullen
Michael van Gerwen 6-5 Michael Smith
Gerwyn Price 6-5 Michael van Gerwen