A review of Thursday's Premier League action, where Rob Cross, Michael van Gerwen and Gary Anderson all impressed.
Scroll down for match-by-match reports, statistics and updated standings
Hot cross edges thriller
Rob Cross and Michael Smith produced one of the matches of the season so far, one from which the reigning world champion emerged a 7-5 victor.
It was ebb and flow throughout, with Cross's sensational scoring during the middle part of the match ultimately providing decisive as Smith's second fightback came up short.
Cross took the first leg with a 107 finish, after Smith had started the match with five perfect darts, and it was 2-0 Cross after his opponent missed a dart for a 102 reply.
Smith then found the form which has seen him impress all season, rattling off three legs to take the lead.
Cross then found a stunning run of form, winning legs in 13, 12, 13 and 12 darts to establish a 6-3 lead, but a missed dart in the 10th leg allowed Smith to keep his hopes alive.
To his credit, Smith won the next leg despite narrowly missing out on a 170 finish and that left Cross to throw for the match, a challenge he overcame with a two-dart 48 finish.
It was a pulsating affair between second-placed Smith and third-placed Cross, and they remain in those positions with the former boasting a superior legs difference.
Cross averaged 106.26 - at one stage that figure was north of 110 - and needed just 11 darts at double as he joined Smith on 14 points, four behind leader van Gerwen.
"The first two weeks, I wasn't playing well, I was struggling - since then I've gone strength to strength," said Cross, who has won six of his last seven matches on his debut in the competition.
Looking ahead to Rotterdam, Cross said: "I'm going to go in a little bit blind like I normally do, but there's no reason I can't go there and get six points."
Whitlock no match for MVG
Michael van Gerwen confirmed his status as the banker of the night in Sheffield with a regulation 7-1 victory over Simon Whitlock.
Van Gerwen made it eight Premier League wins in a row as he responded to losing the first leg by rattling off the next seven in double-quick time, cementing his position at the top of the table.
It was the most wide-margin win of the campaign for van Gerwen, who doubled up on Whitlock after a 7-4 win earlier in the year.
Whitlock won the first leg on double 16, but a first maximum from MVG put him in command of the second which he took in 13 darts.
A 106 checkout took him into the lead and an opening maximum in leg four continued the fun for the two-time world champion, who added the fifth leg before needing just 12 darts to take the sixth as he hit double 16 for a 121 finish.
Whitlock had a dart for the following leg but was made to pay for missing, and despite missed darts for the match van Gerwen was under no pressure as he finished the game off.
After winning with an average of 102.37 and hitting seven of his 14 attempts at double, van Gerwen moved onto 18 points at the top of the Premier League table.
"It wasn't easy, especially in the beginning," said van Gerwen.
"The last two legs were poor and I have to go back to the practice board and make sure it's better the next time.
"Simon played a few poor legs in the end, but other players like Gary Anderson won't."
Gurney adds to RVB woe
Raymond van Barneveld's poor Premier League run continued as he lost 7-3 to Daryl Gurney in Sheffield.
Entering the first match of the night, van Barneveld was on a 12-leg losing streak having suffered defeats to Michael van Gerwen and Michael Smith, and it became 13 when Gurney started with a break of throw.
Van Barneveld needed to find a change of gear and that's exactly what he did in the second leg, firing home a 158 finish to level the score immediately, before edging ahead on double top.
Gurney then took out 76 with one dart left in the fifth leg and that was arguably the crucial throw of the night, as he followed it with an 11-dart leg and hit tops for a 4-2 lead.
A fourth 180 in leg seven helped Gurney extend further clear as he hit bullseye for a 121 finish, a crushing blow to van Barneveld who'd fought back to work his way down to his beloved double 18.
Gurney was scoring heavily by this point, peppering the treble 20 bed, and while van Barneveld held throw in the ninth leg, a final 13-darter saw the Northern Irishman seal an emphatic success.
The winner his seven doubles from just 11 attempts and averaged 102.76, a level of form van Barneveld just has not been able to match of late.
Gurney's unbeaten run in the Premier League now stands at six matches and he'll look to extend it against world champion Rob Cross in Rotterdam, while van Barneveld will face Peter Wright later this evening.
"I've had literally no practice, but I don't care, it's well worth it," said new dad Gurney.
"The first thing I wanted to do was avoid relegation, and I knew I avoided that last week.
"I should've beaten Raymond the very first night (match drawn. I'm really happy just to be still in contention for the top four.
"I tell you what - I love the playing Premier League."
Flying Scotsman in express delivery
Gary Anderson threw four maximums as he cast aside Peter Wright in a 7-2 success.
Anderson won the first leg under no sort of pressure, took the second in 12 darts against the throw courtesy of a stunning 144 finish, then added the third without breaking sweat.
Wright finally earned a shot at double in the fourth leg but missed both opportunities as Anderson moved to 4-0, and it was 5-0 after Snakebite missed bull for a 161 finish.
Three missed darts at double saw Anderson miss the chance to whitewash his opponent as a relieved Wright finally hit double 20 at the third attempt.
Anderson held throw to move within one of the match, and Wright's 64 finish in the next merely prolonged the agony as he struggled for anything like his best.
A 13-dart leg for Anderson sealed a thoroughly one-sided success for the two-time Premier League winner.
Wright beats woeful van Barneveld
Peter Wright put the boot in to inflict another defeat upon Raymond van Barneveld, winning 7-2.
Wright didn't need to be anywhere near his best to move level on points with Barney, who looked disinterested as his losing run continued.
The Dutchman took the first leg in a whopping 21 darts, but Wright took over by taking the next four.
The last of those leg wins was by far the most impressive of the match, as Wright hit two bullseyes then double 16 for a sensational 132 finish.
Van Barneveld took out 76 for the next leg but Wright took out 60, 107 and 43 to win a match which will not live long in the memory.
For the loser, next week's offers the opportunity to get back to form in from of his home crowd in Rotterdam - but among his opponents in a double-header of action is compatriot MVG.
Premier League results, table & statistics
- Raymond van Barneveld 3-7 Daryl Gurney
- Gary Anderson 7-2 Peter Wright
- Simon Whitlock 1-7 Michael van Gerwen
- Michael Smith 5-7 Rob Cross
- Raymond van Barneveld 2-7 Peter Wright
Premier League Darts Table
- MVG P 10 W 9 D 0 L 1 LegD +38 Pts 18
- Smith P 10 W 7 D 0 L 3 LegD +23 Pts 14
- Cross P 10 W 7 D 0 L 3 LegD +11 Pts 14
- Anderson P 10 W 4 D 3 L 3 LegD +6 Pts 11
- Gurney P 10 W 3 D 5 L 2 LegD +2 Pts 11
- Whitlock P 10 W 4 D 2 L 4 LegD -1 Pts 10
- Barney P 11 W 3 D 2 L 6 LegD -18 Pts 8
- Wright P 11 W 2 D 4 L 5 LegD -19 Pts 8
- Suljovic P 9 W 2 D 0 L 7 LegD -13 Pts 4
- Price P 9 W 0 D 2 L 7 LegD -29 Pts 2
Suljovic and Price are now eliminated after Judgement Night
- Cross 106.69
- MVG 106.34
- Anderson 104.26
- Gurney 102.76
- Smith 96.34
- Wright (v Anderson) 96.22
- Wright (v Barney) 95.16
- Barney (v Gurney) 94.16
- Whitlock 89.58
- Barney (v Wright) 86.78
- MVG 10
- Gurney 5
- Anderson 4
- Cross 4
- Smith 4
- Barney (v Gurney) 2
- Whitlock 2
- Wright (v Anderson) 0
- Wright (v Barney) 0
- Barney (v Wright) 0
- Barney (v Gurney) 158
- Anderson 144
- Wright (v Barney) 132
- MVG 121
- Gurney 121
- Cross 107
- Smith 81
- Barney (v Wright) 76
- Wright (v Anderson) 64
- Whitlock 50
- Gurney 63.64%
- Cross 63.64%
- Barney (v Gurney) 60%
- Wright (v Barney) 50%
- MVG 50%
- Anderson 35%
- Smith 29.41%
- Wright (v Anderson) 28.57%
- Whitlock 25%
- Barney (v Wright) 22.22%