Michael van Gerwen ensured a three-way tie at the top of the Premier League Darts table after victory over Jonny…
Michael van Gerwen ensured a three-way tie at the top of the Premier League Darts table after victory over Jonny Clayton on Night 11, while Gary Anderson returned to winning ways.
Although the five-time Premier League champion failed to hit the heights of his 110 average 24 hours earlier, Van Gerwen ended a three-match losing streak against Clayton in convincing fashion.
As the battle for the four Play-Off places intensified in Milton Keynes, Van Gerwen sealed victory with a 124 checkout on the bullseye to move into second behind Nathan Aspinall on leg difference in a three-way tie at the top of the table.
“I had to work really hard for this one,” Van Gerwen explained. “There is something about Jonny that he has a knack of beating me so I’m relieved to get this win.
“If you look at the table you will see how important this result is for me in making sure I finish at least in the top four.
“I know I can do a lot better and there’s a lot more in the tank, but games like this give you confidence.”
Aspinall maintains his spot at the summit despite going down 8-6 to Dimitri Van den Bergh as the Belgian also moved onto 15 points.
A high-quality start to the evening saw both players average above 100, and while Aspinall hit half of his checkout attempts, he was eclipsed by a clinical Van den Bergh – who converted eight doubles from 13 attempts.
Van den Bergh secured an early break of throw and did enough to keep his opponent at bay as he racked up his fifth straight win over Aspinall.
“I’m so happy and proud. It’s another big win and two points on the rankings,” said Van den Bergh.
“The averages show that it was a strong game, and neither of us gave in. Nathan’s in the top ten and playing well, but I’m putting in the work and it’s paying off, and I’m going to keep digging in.
“I’m enjoying the experience and learning a lot – I’m feeling confident and showing that.”
Gary Anderson ended a run of three straight defeats by defeating an out of sorts Peter Wright 8-3 in their basement battle.
A much-needed return to form for Anderson saw him average 104.6 and hit over half of his double attempts to move back within two points of the top four.
Anderson leapfrogs Wright into seventh place, though both players can ill-afford many more slip-ups if they are to maintain their Play-Off ambitions.
“It was nice to get the win and I’m over the moon to get over the 100 average,” admitted Anderson.
“Peter struggled a bit, his scoring wasn’t there like it usually is, my scoring was a bit better and my doubles went in and I got there at the end.
“I saw my odds at 40/1 so I’m going to try my damnedest, and if I can get another couple of wins I’ll cause them a headache! It’s maybe that little kick up the backside, it’s a long time since I’ve been 40/1.”
Jose de Sousa moved into forth position despite squandering a 6-2 lead against a resilient James Wade in an eventual 7-7 draw.
De Sousa is threatening to break the tournament’s 180 record with multiple nights to spare after he hit another ten maximums to take his tally to 64.
However, the Portuguese missed multiple match darts and was pegged back by Wade who punished to rescue a share of the spoils and remain within one point of the play-off places.
Premier League Darts 2021 Results
Night 11 – Thursday May 6
Nathan Aspinall 6-8 Dimitri Van den Bergh
James Wade 7-7 Jose de Sousa
Gary Anderson 8-3 Peter Wright
Michael van Gerwen 8-5 Jonny Clayton