Joe Cullen clinches capital title at The O2 to boost Premier League play-off push

Joe Cullen claimed the Premier League Night 15 title at The O2 in London with a 6-4 victory over table-topper Jonny Clayton in the final on Thursday.

A crucial night for Cullen saw him pick up his second weekly title of the Premier League season to move into the top four going into the final night of league fixtures.

The Masters champion dropped just six legs on a dominant evening in London to leapfrog Peter Wright into the final play-off place and set up a straight shootout between the pair for qualification in Newcastle next week.

Cullen began the night by thrashing a struggling Gary Anderson 6-1, before replicating that emphatic scoreline against Wright in the Semi-Finals with six from nine on the doubles.

Cullen and Clayton exchanged holds of throw in the opening four legs of the final, but ‘The Rockstar’ struck the first decisive blow with a 110 checkout in leg five.

The 32-year-old extended his advantage with a 14-darter in leg six, only to squander five darts at doubles moments later as Clayton pegged back to 4-3.

Cullen eventually restored his two-leg lead via double one in leg eight, and although Clayton fired back with a spectacular 144 checkout, the debutant sealed the deal with a nerveless 62 finish.

“The format is really cut-throat, I was under a lot of pressure tonight and I responded well,” said Cullen, who will qualify with victory over Wright next Thursday.

“I’ve put so much pressure on myself in these last few weeks. Some of the performances – I’ve got no issue in saying this – I’ve been embarrassed, genuinely embarrassed.

“I don’t think I was great tonight, but I just ground the results out. It should have been a simple finish at the end, but it wasn’t and that’s been my story of the Premier League this year.

“You are trying to pick a game when you can guarantee two points and it’s impossible. We can all play really good darts on the night.”

Clayton secured a place in his seventh final of the campaign – his fourth in five weeks – with victories over Gerwyn Price and Michael Smith in the capital.

The 47-year-old eased past fellow countryman Price 6-3 in the evening’s opener, before ending Smith’s Play-Off hopes with a hard-fought 6-4 success to guarantee top spot.

The Welshman becomes just the fourth player in Premier League history to top the league phase, following in the footsteps of Phil Taylor, Michael van Gerwen and Glen Durrant.

Smith had held off a late rally from Michael van Gerwen to seal a 6-5 victory in the Quarter-Finals, surviving three match darts from the Dutchman in the decider, but his Semi-Final defeat means he can no longer qualify for the play-offs.

Wright defeated the returning James Wade 6-3 in a hard-fought Quarter-Final battle, but other results mean Wade is already guaranteed of a play-off place going into Night 16.

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Premier League Darts – Night 15 Results

Thursday May 19

Quarter-Finals
Jonny Clayton 6-3 Gerwyn Price
Michael Smith 6-5 Michael van Gerwen
Peter Wright 6-3 James Wade
Joe Cullen 6-1 Gary Anderson

Semi-Finals
Jonny Clayton 6-4 Michael Smith
Joe Cullen 6-1 Peter Wright

Final
Joe Cullen 6-4 Jonny Clayton

Premier League Darts 2022 Night 15 | O2 London Preview and Order of Play

Premier League Darts heads to The O2 in London on Thursday for Night 15 of the competition as the race to reach the play-offs takes another twist.

With just two nights of action remaining before the Semi-Final line-up is finalised, the gap between fourth and fifth position has been narrowed to just two points.

The top two are already assured of play-off qualification, while those beneath them look to bolster their hopes of reaching Berlin next month by claiming the £10,000 weekly title at The O2.

The night kicks off with a potentially pivotal contest in the battle for the top four as Welsh stars Gerwyn Price and Jonny Clayton collide.

Price picked up maximum points in Sheffield last week to breathe new life into his quest for a maiden play-off appearance, and is now within touching distance of Peter Wright in fourth.

The world number two secured his first weekly title since Night Three in Belfast and now has the opportunity to move into the top four for the first time since Night Six back in March.

Price, however, faces a formidable opener against his compatriot in a repeat of last year’s World Grand Prix final, with this only their second meeting of the competition so far.

Defending champion Clayton, who prevailed 6-5 when the pair met in Rotterdam, is three points clear at the top of the table and could wrap up top spot by claiming his fifth weekly title of the campaign.

The Ferret slipped to his first Quarter-Final defeat since Night Six a week ago before suffering a shock early exit to Jose Justicia at the Czech Darts Open on Saturday.

Joe Cullen, who sits just one point behind Price in sixth, looks to remain in the race for the play-offs on debut by inflicting another Quarter-Final defeat on the eliminated Gary Anderson.

Masters Champion Cullen received a bye into the Semi-Finals last time out before going down 6-3 to Price with an average of just 90.

He is without a win in his last four Premier League outings and now faces Anderson for the first time since their fiery encounter in Rotterdam two months ago – in which Cullen came from 5-3 down to snatch a deciding leg victory on his way to taking the title.

Anderson is playing for both pride and prize money as he aims to end the campaign on a high and move off the foot of the table.

The two-time Premier League champion has managed just five wins from 17 matches but could still have a say in who makes the play-offs.

Meanwhile, Michael van Gerwen looks to apply the pressure on Clayton at the top of the table, and the five-time champion starts out against Michael Smith in a repeat of last week’s Semi-Final.

Van Gerwen recovered from 4-1 down to prevail 6-5 in Sheffield seven days ago before narrowly losing out in the final by the same scoreline.

The world number three, a winner of three European Tour events this season, has finished top of the league table in eight of his previous nine Premier League appearances.

Van Gerwen has won all five of his meetings with Smith in this year’s revamped Premier League so far, and a sixth in a row would spell the end of ‘Bully Boy’s’ outside play-off hopes.

Former finalist Smith finds himself six points adrift of fourth spot, having lost in three consecutive Semi-Finals, and knows he must realistically reach the final if he is to take it down to the wire in Newcastle next week.

Another crucial contest in the play-off reckoning sees reigning World Champion Peter Wright take on the returning James Wade.

Wright is aiming to end a miserable run of three consecutive Quarter-Final defeats with a combined total of just six legs to show for them.

The world number one, who pulled out of the weekend’s Euro Tour trip to Prague, is clinging on to the all-important fourth spot, but knows any further slip-ups could see him drop out for the first time this season.

Wade withdrew from last week’s trip to Sheffield after a health scare in Leverkusen the previous weekend, but has been declared fit to compete in the capital.

The 2009 champion has two weekly titles to his name over the past month and has reached the final in four of his last six outings, leaving him handily poised in third position and on the brink of securing a return to the play-offs.

Night 15 of Premier League Darts gets under way from 7pm BST, with all matches to be contested over the best of 11 legs.

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Premier League Darts 2022 Night 15 Schedule of Play

Thursday May 19

Quarter-Finals
7.15pm Gerwyn Price v Jonny Clayton
7.45pm Michael Smith v Michael van Gerwen
8.15pm James Wade v Peter Wright
8.45pm Joe Cullen v Gary Anderson

Semi-Finals
9.15pm Price/Clayton v Smith/Van Gerwen
9.45pm Wade/Wright v Cullen/Anderson

10.15pm Final

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Gerwyn Price boosts Premier League play-off hopes with Night 14 success in Sheffield

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.

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Premier League Darts Night 14 Results

Thursday May 12

Quarter-Finals
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

Semi-Finals
Gerwyn Price 6-3 Joe Cullen
Michael van Gerwen 6-5 Michael Smith

Final
Gerwyn Price 6-5 Michael van Gerwen

Premier League Darts 2022 Night 14 | Sheffield Preview and Order of Play

Premier League Darts heads to Sheffield on Thursday for Night 14 of the competition as the league phase enters the final straight.

With just three nights of action remaining before the Semi-Final line-up is finalised, there remains a five-point gap between fourth and those below.

Although not mathematically, the top three appear to already have one foot in Finals Night in Berlin, while those beneath them look to bolster their hopes by claiming the £10,000 weekly title at the Utilita Arena.

With James Wade missing the trip to Sheffield as he continues his recovery from illness, the night features only three Quarter-Final ties.

Joe Cullen, who starts the night in fifth spot, subsequently receives a bye to the Semi-Finals, strengthening his quest to gatecrash the play-off places.

Masters champion Cullen had suffered three consecutive Quarter-Final exits but a second weekly title of the campaign could re-ignite his hopes of making finals night in his debut season.

Cullen now awaits the winner of the clash between world number two Gerwyn Price and two-time Premier League champion Gary Anderson.

Both players are facing a ‘must win’ scenario in terms of their play-off prospects, with Price seven points adrift of fourth spot, while Anderson remains rooted to the foot of the table and 11 points outside the top four.

Price, whose finest hour in this year’s Premier League came on Night Three in Belfast when he landed two nine-darters en route to the title, has suffered five Quarter-Final exits in his last seven outings.

Price, who has not registered a ton-plus average since Night Six, won his only previous meeting with Anderson in this year’s competition 6-3 in Liverpool on Night Two.

Anderson ended a run of five consecutive Quarter-Final defeats by thrashing Peter Wright 6-2 on home soil in Glasgow last week, only to lose out to eventual winner Jonny Clayton in the semis.

In the bottom section of the draw bracket, two multiple World Champions collide in a repeat of the 2017 Premier League final as Peter Wright takes on Michael van Gerwen.

With 28 points, Van Gerwen is all but assured of a play-off spot for the ninth time in ten Premier League appearances, but will be determined to close the gap on Clayton at the top of the table.

Van Gerwen has three weekly titles to his name as well as a further three runner-up spots and notably whitewashed Wright 6-0 in the final of Week Four in Exeter.

Winner of back-to-back European Tour events, MVG looks to transfer that clinical form into his latest show-down with ‘Snakebite’ – who has struggled for consistency in recent times.

The world number one has not picked up a ranking title since being crowned World Champion again in January and his only Premier League triumph this season came on the opening night in Cardiff.

Wright is holding on to fourth spot but could face a nervy final run-in over the coming weeks if he fails to pick up points in South Yorkshire.

The fourth Quarter-Final sees reigning champion and league leader Clayton take on ProTour man of the moment – Michael Smith.

Clayton has dominated proceedings in recent weeks, winning two of the last three available titles to take his tally to four and has not suffered a Quarter-Final defeat in his last seven outings.

The Ferret is now six points clear at the top of the table and odds-on to win the league phase as he bids to become only the third player to successfully retain the Premier League crown.

Smith remains the only player of the eight yet to win a weekly title, but current form suggests this may represent Bully Boy’s best chance of joining the party.

The world number four secured back-to-back Players Championship titles on Tuesday and Wednesday, landing a nine-darter along the way as well as numerous ton-plus averages.

He starts the evening eight points adrift of the top four and with a mountain to climb, but will be full of confidence as he looks to pick up from where he left off in Wigan 24 hours ago.

Night 14 of Premier League Darts gets under way from 7pm BST, with all matches to be contested over the best of 11 legs.

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Premier League Darts 2022 Night 14 Schedule of Play

Thursday May 12

Quarter-Finals
Joe Cullen w/o James Wade (Wade withdraws)
7.15pm Gary Anderson v Gerwyn Price
7.45pm Michael van Gerwen v Peter Wright
8.15pm Michael Smith v Jonny Clayton

Semi-Finals
8.45pm Joe Cullen v Anderson/Price
9.15pm Van Gerwen/Wright v Smith/Clayton

10pm Final

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James Wade to miss Premier League Darts Night 14 in Sheffield

James Wade has withdrawn from Night 14 of the Premier League in Sheffield on Thursday as he continues his recovery from illness.

Wade spent three nights in hospital in Germany after becoming ill during the European Darts Open in Leverkusen on Sunday evening.

The 39-year-old had felt unwell following his Quarter-Final win over Ryan Searle, and after being attended to by medics in the venue, he was advised to withdraw from the competition.

He was taken to a nearby hospital and underwent a series of tests, having suffered symptoms which included high blood pressure and dizziness.

Wade underwent further tests on Monday and Tuesday before being cleared to return home to the UK on Wednesday.

However, he will not be partaking in Thursday’s Premier League visit to Sheffield – where he was due to face Joe Cullen in the Quarter-Finals.

Under tournament rules, Cullen is awarded a 6-0 win and progresses into the Semi-Finals – where he will face either Gary Anderson or Gerwyn Price.

“I’d like to thank all the medical staff for their care over the past few days and also to all the fans around the world who have sent messages of support,” said Wade.

“Now that I’m home, I’ll be taking time to recover fully before returning to playing when the time is right.”

Wade has picked up two weekly titles in this year’s Premier League so far and sits third in the table.

He had not qualified for this weekend’s Czech Darts Open and it remains unclear as to when ‘The Machine’ will make his return to competitive action.

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Premier League Darts Night 14 – Revised Schedule

Thursday May 12

Quarter-Finals
Joe Cullen w/o James Wade (Wade withdraws)
Gary Anderson v Gerwyn Price
Michael van Gerwen v Peter Wright
Michael Smith v Jonny Clayton

Semi-Finals
Joe Cullen v Anderson/Price
Van Gerwen/Wright v Smith/Clayton

Final

Premier League Darts 2022 live stream | How to watch live online

Premier League Darts returns in 2022 for 17 nights of unmissable competition, and a live stream is available for all matches online.

A radical new format for the 2022 Premier League will see each night feature a mini-tournament comprised of Quarter-Finals, Semi-Finals and a final, with a £10,000 bonus to each night’s winner.

The Premier League will return to being held in arenas across the UK, Ireland, Netherlands and Germany with a bumper £1 million prize fund on offer.

Ranking points will also be awarded from each night – with five to the winner, three to the runner-up and two to the semi-finalists – to form the league table from which the top four players will progress to the Play-Offs.

Across the first 16 nights, players will face each other twice in a Quarter-Final tie to form the draw for 14 nights, with the additional two nights seeing the stars face off again.

Heading up the class of 2022 are the world’s top three box-office stars – Gerwyn Price, World Champion Peter Wright and five-time Premier League winner Michael van Gerwen, as well as reigning champion Jonny Clayton.

Former Premier League winners James Wade and Gary Anderson also make their returns, alongside two-time world finalist Michael Smith and newly-crowned Masters champion Joe Cullen – who is the sole debutant in this year’s field.

The tournament begins in Cardiff on February 3 and culminates in Berlin on June 13. All matches will be available to watch live on laptop, mobile and tablet devices in various regions worldwide.

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4) Select the play icon next to the match in progress and the live stream window will appear

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Jonny Clayton claims Premier League Darts Night 13 glory in Glasgow

Jonny Clayton clinched his fourth weekly title of the 2022 Premier League campaign with victory over Michael van Gerwen in the final of Night 13 in Glasgow.

Clayton extended his lead at the top of the table with a dominant display at The Hydro, culminating in a 6-3 win over Van Gerwen in the final.

The defending champion also became the first player to mathematically seal qualification for next month’s play-offs in Berlin as he took his tally to 34 points.

Clayton began the night with a 6-2 defeat of James Wade to avenge last week’s final defeat, before silencing the partisan Scottish crowd with a 6-4 success over home hero Gary Anderson in the Semi-Finals.

The first seven legs of the final all went with the throw as Clayton moved into a 4-3 lead, before punishing four costly missed darts at doubles from Van Gerwen in leg eight to break and go two clear.

The Welshman then took out 68 to seal another £10,000 bonus and stretch his lead over MVG at the top of the table to six points.

“It means a lot to see that Q next to my name,” said Clayton. “That was my aim to make the top four.

“I played well tonight and I am really happy with my game.

“I would love to finish top, but the top four is what I wanted to be in. Hopefully I carry on winning games and can finish top.

“Part one is done, but part two is to try and win the Premier League again.”

Van Gerwen’s run to the final saw him edge past Joe Cullen in a deciding leg before repeating the 6-5 scoreline against Michael Smith courtesy of a 104 checkout for a 12-darter in the decider.

Anderson ended a run of six consecutive Quarter-Final defeats by overcoming struggling compatriot Peter Wright 6-2, only to be denied by ‘The Ferret’ despite landing three ton-plus checkouts in their Semi-Final contest.

Smith dealt another below to Gerwyn Price’s fading play-off hopes with a 6-3 triumph but let a 5-4 lead slip in the Last Four against Van Gerwen.

The Premier League heads to Sheffield next Thursday for Night 14 of the competition at the Utilita Arena.

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Premier League Darts Night 13 Results

Thursday May 5

Quarter-Finals
Gary Anderson 6-2 Peter Wright
Jonny Clayton 6-2 James Wade
Michael Smith 6-3 Gerwyn Price
Michael van Gerwen 6-5 Joe Cullen

Semi-Finals
Jonny Clayton 6-4 Gary Anderson
Michael van Gerwen 6-5 Michael Smith

Final
Jonny Clayton 6-3 Michael van Gerwen

Premier League Darts 2022 Night 13 | Glasgow Preview and Order of Play

Premier League Darts heads to Glasgow on Thursday for Night 13 of the competition as the chasing pack aim to close the gap on the top four.

With just four nights of action remaining before the Semi-Final line-up is finalised, there remains a five-point gap between fourth and those below.

Although not mathematically, the top three appear to already have one foot in Finals Night in Berlin, while those beneath them look to bolster their hopes by claiming the £10,000 weekly title at the Ovo Hydro.

The night begins with an all-Scottish show-down between multiple World Champions Peter Wright and Gary Anderson.

Both players are set for a rapturous reception on home soil and will look to rise to the occasion with crucial points up for grabs.

Wright, the 2017 runner-up, goes into the evening occupying the all-important fourth spot with 20 points to his name and is aiming to secure a first weekly title since Night One in Cardiff back in February.

The world number one had reached the Semi-Finals in five of his last six Premier League outings prior to last week’s 6-3 defeat to Jonny Clayton in the Quarter-Finals.

Anderson, meanwhile, is all but out of the play-off race, having mustered only seven points so far, leaving him rooted to the foot of the table.

Five of those points came courtesy of his Night Six title in Nottingham, which included victory over ‘Snakebite’ in the Semis, and he is yet to win a match since.

Reigning champion Jonny Clayton looks to extend his lead at the top of the table as he opens up with a Quarter-Final clash against last week’s winner James Wade.

The duo met in the final in Dublin, with Wade coming from 5-3 down to seal a 6-5 victory and claim his second title in the space of three weeks.

Clayton has now reached three finals in his last five Premier League outings, moving four points clear at the summit and is all but assured of a place on Finals Night for the second successive year.

Wade’s success on the Emerald Isle means he is now ten points clear of fifth position and is poised to reach the play-offs for the seventh time in 12 Premier League campaigns.

The 2009 champion set a new personal record average of 114.73 in a 6-1 rout of Gerwyn Price last week and will be out to replicate that prolific vein of form.

Price, meanwhile, faces an uphill task if he is to reach the play-offs for the first time in four Premier League appearances, with ‘The Ice Man’ needing to overturn a seven-point deficit between himself and the top four.

Price, winner of Night Three in Belfast – where he landed two nine-darters, has just two wins in his last six outings and has seen his efforts hampered by an injury to his throwing hand.

The Grand Slam champion faces a must-win tie against multiple major finalist Michael Smith – who is also entering last-chance saloon.

Smith ended a run of five consecutive Quarter-Final exits last week by defeating Anderson in the Quarter-Finals before going down 6-4 to Clayton despite an average of 104.7.

Smith remains the only player of the eight yet to claim a weekly title and yet to enter the top four at any stage since the opening night.

Five-time champion Michael van Gerwen looks to close the gap on league leader Clayton when he takes on debutant Joe Cullen.

Van Gerwen, winner of three weekly titles, slipped to a second Quarter-Final exit in the space of three nights last time out but remains huge odds-on to secure a return to the play-offs.

The world number three went on to claim his second European Tour title of the season in Austria at the weekend and will look to bring that form back to Glasgow.

Cullen leads the chasing pack in fifth position with 15 points but has suffered successive Quarter-Final exits and will be keen to get last week’s disappointing display (with an 81 average) out of his system.

The reigning Masters champion won Night Seven in Rotterdam, defeating MVG in the final, and has finished runner-up on a further two occasions.

Night 13 of Premier League Darts gets under way in Glasgow from 7pm BST, with all matches to be contested over the best of 11 legs.

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Premier League Darts 2022 Night 13 – Glasgow Schedule of Play

Thursday May 5

Quarter-Finals
7.15pm Peter Wright v Gary Anderson
7.45pm Jonny Clayton v James Wade
8.15pm Gerwyn Price v Michael Smith
8.45pm Michael van Gerwen v Joe Cullen

Semi-Finals
9.15pm Wright/Anderson v Clayton/Wade
9.45pm Price/Smith v Van Gerwen/Cullen

10.15pm Final

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James Wade dominates in Dublin to claim Premier League Darts Night 12 title

James Wade created a slice of personal history with a record average as he secured victory on Night 12 of the Premier League in Dublin on Thursday.

Wade, who triumphed in Manchester a fortnight ago, became only the third player to win multiple weekly titles since the inception of the new format as he produced a spell-binding display at the 3Arena.

The world number five survived three missed match darts from Michael van Gerwen in the opening match of the night to prevail in a deciding leg, before registering a personal record average of 114.73 in a 6-1 demolition of Gerwyn Price in the Semi-Finals.

The 2009 Premier League champion then overturned a 5-3 deficit to deny Jonny Clayton in the final and seal the £10,000 bonus.

Wade started the final strongly by opening up a 2-0 lead, but league leader Clayton quickly turned the tie in his favour as he strung together a run of four straight legs to move ahead.

Clayton then produced an 11-darter to move to the brink of victory at 5-3, but after surviving a missed match dart at the bull in the following leg, Wade closed the gap to one and landed a timely 118 checkout to break throw and force a decider.

Wade squandered the first opportunity for the match as he went inside on double 15 for a 90 finish, but only for Clayton to wire one match dart at tops, allowing the left-hander to return and pin double four for victory.

The victory moves Wade to within four points of Clayton at the top of the table – and level on points with Van Gerwen in second.

“I am just so happy,” said Wade. “All three matches had some magical moments, but it’s nice to win the last one.

“I’ve been here for 20 years and I am so happy with that. It is up there with my best performances and I’m so lucky to be involved in the Premier League.

“I’m not here to make the numbers up. I’m fighting amongst great dart players and legends in the game, but I believe I can still finish top.

“I know how good I am – I’m just as good as all of them, if not better at times, so I’m just happy to be part of it.”

Wade’s historic Semi-Final win over Price also saw him convert six doubles from seven attempts and land a ten-darter.

The ten-time major winner added: “It’s a great game to be involved in, but it’s just nice to mix it with the best darts players in the world.

“Every match tonight had a special moment to it. I wouldn’t say it was my best performance but statistically it was my best by a country mile.

“I’ve been involved in other games and situations where I’ve been right up against it. When I come off afterwards I thought I had got a bit lucky, but then when people relayed the statistics to me, I just thought ‘wow’.”

The visit to Dublin saw Clayton reach his fifth final of the season, with the reigning champion continuing his superb spell of form.

Clayton kicked off his night with a comfortable 6-3 win over Peter Wright, before defying a brilliant performance from Michael Smith in the Semi-Finals in a 6-4 comeback victory, having trailed 4-2.

The Semi-Final loss was another blow to Smith, who picked up his first win for five weeks by defeating Gary Anderson only to remain the only player in the Premier League without a weekly title to his name.

Nevertheless, the 31-year-old produced two strong performances, averaging 102 in his opening win over Anderson and 104.7 in defeat to Clayton, as he closed the gap slightly on the Play-Off places.

An out of sorts Cullen was beaten 6-3 by Price in the Quarter-Finals, leaving the Masters Champion five points adrift of the play-off places.

Price’s Semi-Final drubbing at the hands of Wade means he is now seven points adrift in his quest to reach Finals Night for the first time.

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Premier League Darts Night 12 Results

Thursday April 28

Quarter-Finals
James Wade 6-5 Michael van Gerwen
Gerwyn Price 6-3 Joe Cullen
Michael Smith 6-2 Gary Anderson
Jonny Clayton 6-3 Peter Wright

Semi-Finals
James Wade 6-1 Gerwyn Price
Jonny Clayton 6-4 Michael Smith

Final
James Wade 6-5 Jonny Clayton

Premier League Darts 2022 Night 12 | Dublin Preview and Order of Play

Premier League Darts returns to Dublin on Thursday for Night 12 of the competition as the top four aim to take a step closer to the play-offs.

With just five nights of action remaining before the Semi-Final line-up is finalised, a five-point gap has now opened up between fourth and the chasing pack.

Although not mathematically, the top two appear to already have one foot in Finals Night in Berlin, while those beneath them look to bolster their hopes by claiming the £10,000 weekly title at the 3Arena in Dublin.

Reigning champion Jonny Clayton picked up his third weekly title of the season in Aberdeen last week to move top of the table for the first time since Night Three.

Clayton is now 11 points clear of fifth spot and is out to consolidate his play-off place by putting points on the board for the sixth consecutive week.

The Ferret has suffered only three Quarter-Final defeats across the opening 11 nights so far but faces a tough test against world number one Peter Wright this week.

Clayton edged past Wright 6-5 in last week’s Semi-Finals and has won three of their four previous encounters in this year’s revamped Premier League.

Wright’s sole success so far came on Night One in Cardiff – where he defeated Clayton in the final – and the reigning World Champion has lost in the Semis in five of his last six outings.

However, he remains handily poised in fourth spot and will be determined to extend the gap between himself and Joe Cullen in fifth.

Cullen faces a crunch clash with Grand Slam champion Gerwyn Price in the night’s second Quarter-Final – one which could prove to be make or break for both players in terms of their play-off chances.

Masters champion Cullen, winner on Night Seven in Rotterdam, has finished runner-up on a further two occasions and has won both of his previous meetings with Price in this competition so far.

Price is bidding to reach Finals Night for the first time in his fourth Premier League campaign, having finished fifth in the table in his last two appearances.

His hopes took a blow after he was forced to miss Night Five through injury, and the Welshman has suffered Quarter-Final defeats in four of his last five outings.

Price has failed to register a ton-plus average in his last seven Premier League games and has hit the fewest 180s (29) of the field.

The opening tie of the evening sees five-time Premier League champion Michael van Gerwen take on 2009 winner James Wade.

Van Gerwen had held down top spot for six weeks prior to his narrow 6-5 defeat to Clayton in the final in Aberdeen, and the green machine will be determined to return to the top of the pile – where he finished for seven seasons in a row between 2013 and 2019.

Winner of a European Tour event and two ProTour titles this season, a resurgent MVG boasts a tournament high average of 99.35 and has beaten Wade in three of their four Premier League meetings this season to date.

Wade, who triumphed on Night Ten in Manchester, will look to avenge last week’s 6-3 loss to the Dutchman in the Semi-Finals and remain on course for a return to the play-offs.

The ten-time major winner currently occupies third position on 20 points, having also reached a further three finals in the new knock-out format, and boasts a tournament high checkout rate of 42.6 per cent.

Meanwhile, a basement battle sees Michael Smith and Gary Anderson go head-to-head in a quest to keep their fading play-off hopes alive.

Smith is the only remaining player of the eight yet to win a weekly title, having lost in the final of Night Five and Night Six, and has suffered five consecutive Quarter-Final exits.

The World Championship and UK Open runner-up finds himself 12 points adrift of the top four and knows a further failure to pick up points would all but end his aspirations of gate-crashing finals night.

Anderson secured the Night Six title in Nottingham but has failed to win a match since, leaving him rooted to the foot of the table on seven points.

In fact, he has mustered only four wins in the entire tournament so far and was forced to pull out of Night Nine after returning a positive Covid test.

One of those four wins came against Smith in the final of Night Six and the two-time champion will be desperate to repeat the dose on his former protégé and stop the rot.

Night 12 of Premier League Darts gets under way from 7pm BST, with all matches to be contested over the best of 11 legs.

WATCH PREMIER LEAGUE DARTS NIGHT 12 STREAMED LIVE HERE (18+)

Premier League Darts 2022 Night 12 Schedule of Play

Thursday April 28

Quarter-Finals
7.15pm James Wade v Michael van Gerwen
7.45pm Gerwyn Price v Joe Cullen
8.15pm Michael Smith v Gary Anderson
8.45pm Jonny Clayton v Peter Wright

Semi-Finals
9.15pm Wade/Van Gerwen v Price/Cullen
9.45pm Smith/Anderson v Clayton/Wright

10.15pm Final

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Michael van Gerwen “annoyed” by referee Russ Bray during Premier League defeat in Aberdeen

Michael van Gerwen admits he was left “annoyed” by referee Russ Bray following his defeat in the final of Night 11 of the Premier League in Aberdeen on Thursday.

Having led 4-2, Van Gerwen was eventually beaten 6-5 by Jonny Clayton in the final at the P&J Live and subsequently surrendered top spot in the league table to the Welshman.

Clayton, who had earlier defeated home favourites Gary Anderson and Peter Wright en route to the final, was subject to booing and whistling from the partisan Scottish crowd.

Bray was forced to intervene at various stages of the final, but the whistling continued into the deciding leg.

Van Gerwen, however, appeared unhappy with Bray’s timing of “thank you” prior to his throw and the pair were involved in a heated exchange at the end of the match.

“I was so annoyed by the referee,” Van Gerwen told Sportnieuws.nl. “I think he put his stamp on this match too much.

“That ‘thank you’ from him to the crowd happens every time I have to throw.

“But I can’t blame that, I just have to learn from this.”

Speaking to Dutch broadcasters ViaPlay, Van Gerwen added: “It was extremely irritating. I was dissatisfied because of my own game, but the referee made a mistake.

“I have a whistling audience a hundred times a year, that’s part of it, but now every time I wanted to throw it, he turned to say something.

“As a referee he doesn’t have the authority to kick anyone out, and it was clear that one annoying whistler wouldn’t stop. Still he went on. That distracts me.”

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