2018 Unibet Premier League – Night Four Round-Up

Photo: Lawrence Lustig/PDC

Michael Smith made it four wins out of four on Night Four as the Premier League visited Germany for the first time in front of a PDC record 12,500 strong crowd at the Mercedes-Benz Arena in Berlin.

Elsewhere, reigning Premier League Champion Michael van Gerwen demolished Daryl Gurney by seven legs to two while Rob Cross continued his Premier League resurgence with victory over Raymond van Barneveld.

Michael Smith 7-3 Simon Whitlock

In the evening’s opening contest, ‘Bully Boy’ Michael Smith maintained his 100% start to the campaign as he defeated Simon Whitlock in a meeting of the early pace setters.

Despite taking the opening leg, ‘The Wizard’ soon found himself being comprehensively outscored as Smith rattled off four straight legs, including hitting a brilliant 106 checkout, to take a 4-1 lead.

Australian Whitlock bounced back with two legs as ‘Bully Boy’s’ form dropped off however the St Helen’s man soon regained his composure to seal an impressive 7-3 victory and put himself at the top of the standings in doing so.

 

Gerwyn Price 3-7 Mensur Suljovic

Mensur Suljovic finally registered his first victory of the campaign with a dominant display over Gerwyn Price, with ‘The Iceman’ himself still searching for his first win in the 2018 Premier League.

With an average of 106.20 and 60 per cent on the doubles Austrian Suljovic, roared on by the German crowd, took five out of the opening six legs in a dominate display.

Having rescued draws in two of his opening three matches after being 5-1 down, Welshman Price threatened another miracle save with back-to-back legs.

Suljovic, though, was always the far better of the two and he duly took a deserved victory with tops in the tenth leg.

Michael van Gerwen 7-2 Daryl Gurney

‘Mighty Mike’ made light work of Daryl Gurney with a strong performance, averaging 103.40, to keep pace with Michael Smith at the top of the standings.

Coming into the match, ‘SuperChin’ had registered the most 180s (14) in the tournament while also possessing the worst doubling percentage of the field. His match against MvG continued this trend of the Northern Irishman’s troubles at the double.

Where Gurney had a few chances, he failed to take them while van Gerwen’s trademark quick start ensured he was off into the distance after only four legs.

While Gurney’s doubling paled in comparison to MvG’s 44 per cent checkout rate, the Northern Irishman also failed to cope with ‘Mighty Mike’s’ incredible scoring power.

Rob Cross 7-3 Raymond van Barneveld

Rob Cross continued his resurgence in form with a topsy-turvy win over an out-of-sorts Raymond van Barneveld.

The opening six legs of the match were shared between the two in topsy-turvy fashion before Cross was able to accelerate away from ‘Barney’, a crucial 56 checkout proving a decisive turning point in the match in leg eight.

To complete the victory, ‘Voltage’ hit a brilliant 128 checkout on double ten moving the World Champion firmly into contention for the play-off places.

Peter Wright 6-6 Gary Anderson

The Berlin crowd, a little subdued through the historic night, were treated to a wonderful contest, with the best saved for last, as Peter Wright and Gary Anderson shared the spoils.

‘Snakebite’, throwing noticeably much quicker, struggled in the opening two legs as he missed six darts at double in falling 2-0 behind to Anderson.

Things changed dramatically however, as Wright took six legs out of seven to take a 6-3 lead with ‘Snakebite’ dominating in the power scoring stakes.

The match was to be far from over, though, as ‘The Flying Scotsman’ responded with three superb legs in a row to ensure himself a point from the trip to Germany.

Nerveless finishes of 69, 83 and 86 brought a sensational match, where both averaged 105 and nine 180s were hit cumulatively, to a close and prevented Wright from gaining his second win of the tournament.