Peter Wright pulled off a remarkable 8-1 rout of Michael van Gerwen on Night 13 of the Premier League in…
Peter Wright pulled off a remarkable 8-1 rout of Michael van Gerwen on Night 13 of the Premier League in Milton Keynes, as Gary Anderson and Nathan Aspinall claimed narrow 8-6 wins.
Reigning World Champion Wright was in rampant form as he blitzed past rival MVG with a 105 average, punishing the struggling Dutchman’s missed doubles and uncharacteristic average of 91.
Wright raced to a 5-0 lead with two 13-darters along the way before Van Gerwen got off the mark with double 16 to avert a potential whitewash.
Wright, though, reeled off a further three consecutive legs with finishes of 74, 76 and 100 to leapfrog the world number one into fourth spot.
“No way in the world did I think I’d go out and win 8-1 against Michael,” admitted Wright.
“I’m happy with the win but to be honest I didn’t feel like I played that well.
“I was struggling with my contact lenses up there, everything seemed really blurred under the pressure.
“Michael didn’t play how he normally does and we were both waiting for each other to get going.
“He isn’t having the best time at the moment but he is the best in the world and I’m sure that he will come back fighting when he faces Glen [Durrant] tomorrow night.
“The fireworks never came, there were just little sparklers instead tonight but there is more to come from both of us and I expect us both to be in the Play-Offs.”
Van Gerwen now faces a must-win clash against league leader Glen Durrant on Thursday, with ‘Duzza’ having battled back from 7-2 down to rescue a share of the spoils against Michael Smith.
Durrant looked to be heading for only a second defeat of the campaign but dug deep once again to reel off five consecutive legs and earn a point which secures his play-off place.
Durrant took the opening leg with a 72 finish before Smith clinched the next three to forge daylight.
After the Middlesbrough marksman had pegged back in leg five, Smith then rattled off four straight legs to move within one of the winning line at 7-2.
However, the game hinged on a skin-saving 131 checkout from Durrant in leg ten after Smith had missed a match dart at double five for a 130 checkout.
Durrant survived a further three match darts as he took out 80 to force a final leg – which he won with a 14-darter on double 16 to remain three points clear at the top of the table.
“That could end up being the biggest point of the whole event, even I thought I was beaten there and I felt helpless for parts of that game,” said Durrant.
“This is what I came to the PDC for, to test myself against the best players in the world.
“It feels like fate, someone somewhere wants me to get through and I’m getting very close now.”
Smith admitted: “I was just rubbish from start to finish.
“I went 7-2 up and the doubles just seemed to desert me, I only needed one leg and it was stupid of me thinking that.”
Anderson’s hopes of a third Premier League crown gained further momentum as he defeated Daryl Gurney 8-6 to remain second in the table.
It was Gurney who started the better of the two, taking out 150 in the opening leg and then breaking with a 116 finish to double his lead.
The next passage of play belonged to the Scot as he reeled off seven of the next eight legs, hitting seven maximums along the way to secure at least a point and move within a leg of the match.
Anderson, though, squandered ten match darts over the next three legs as Gurney sent the match all the way, but the World Matchplay finalist recovered to finally seal the deal on double 14.
“I was well in front but I started to panic and almost threw it away yet again,” said Anderson.
“At 7-4 up, the game against Glen [Durrant] entered my mind, double ten is killing me but we’ll get there.
“If it was that bad, I wouldn’t be scoring and I would go to pot, but the scoring’s still there so it gives me a chance.”
The final game of the evening saw yet another final leg shoot-out, this time with Nathan Aspinall edging past Gerwyn Price 8-6.
Aspinall was the better of the pair in the opening exchanges, winning four of the first five legs, including a superb 125 checkout.
A break followed from Price as the Welshman took out 121 to close the gap to two before Aspinall regained the break in the next leg to go 5-2 ahead.
Three consecutive legs followed for Price as he levelled the match but Aspinall fired back with successive legs of his own to go within one of the winning line.
Price pinned tops to take the game in to a deciding leg but it was Aspinall who took the points by landing tops for the win.
“Me and Gezzy always have great battles,” said Aspinall. “There was a lot of testosterone at the end but it wasn’t done in malice.
“I should have buried him earlier on, but it was missed doubles from myself which is something that’s getting on my nerves a bit.
“But I got the result in the end and I’m very happy with the two points.”
Premier League Darts 2020 Results
Night 13 – Wednesday September 2
Glen Durrant 7-7 Michael Smith
Daryl Gurney 6-8 Gary Anderson
Peter Wright 8-1 Michael van Gerwen
Gerwyn Price 6-8 Nathan Aspinall