Premier League Darts: MVG beats Gary Anderson in a thriller while Rob Cross finally wins

Darts
Michael van Gerwen (Picture Lawrence Lustig/PDC)
Michael van Gerwen (Picture Lawrence Lustig/PDC)

Michael van Gerwen beat Gary Anderson in a thrilling game which saw both players average over 110 while world champion Rob Cross finally got his Premier League Darts season up and running by defeating Peter Wright.

Scroll to the bottom for the results, standings & match stats

(Email us at editorial@sportinglife.com if you have any darting questions for John Part in next week's Sporting Life Darts Podcast!)

Awesome MVG wins thriller

Michael van Gerwen and Gary Anderson produced fireworks on the oche in Newcastle but it was the defending Premier League Darts champion who triumphed 7-3.

Two of the game's biggest stars have a long history of bringing out the very best in each other and by the end of this enthralling encounter - which was far too short for everyone's liking - they both averaged over 110, with MVG firing seven of the 11 maximums thrown.

The fifth leg summed up the show-stopping quality as van Gerwen missed out on a nine-darter after seven perfect darts only for the Flying Scotsman to nail a 170 checkout on the very next visit.

The world number one's victory sees him bounce back from his surprise defeat to Peter Wright last week while Anderson has now lost twice.

Van Gerwen told www.pdc.tv: "We were both phenomenal and we can both be happy with the performance, but it's most important that I got the two points because I needed that to keep up with the players at the top of the table."

Voltage too hot for Snakebite

World champion Rob Cross picked up his first win - and points - of the Premier League Darts season as he defeated the 2017 runner-up Peter Wright 7-4.

Voltage had endured a miserable opening two weeks to his maiden campaign, suffering heavy defeats to both Michael van Gerwen and Simon Whitlock but he finally got off the mark at the expense of Snakebite.

Cross returned to form with a string of 100+ averages and match wins at the weekend's UK Open Qualifiers, including a triumph over Wright, and he posted a mark of 98.46 in this encouraging performance in Newcastle which included four 180s.

His average would have been higher had it not been for 15 missed darts at double while Wright hit four of his nine attempts and averaged a superior 102.32.

The Scotsman was unhappy with Cross at the end, refusing to shake his hands over a complaint which seemed to revolve around encroachment at the oche.

He said: "The four-week gap after the World Championship was hard because I wasn't on the practice board as much and it killed my momentum, and I'm digging myself out of it now. I'm practising and playing well and enjoying myself, and it's getting better. It's all new for me still and the more you play, the more success you have and the better you feel."

Wizard still casting spells

Simon Whitlock continued to keep the doubters silenced as he maintained his grip on top spot with a third successive victory.

The Wizard was favourite to finish bottom of the table at the start of the season following what was widely considered a surprising inclusion into the line-up but having beaten Mensur Suljovic, world champion Rob Cross and now a revitalised Raymond van Barneveld, he's now looking down on the rest of the sport's elite.

Whitlock's finishing has been better than anyone else so far this season and once again it proved to be the difference as he hit seven of his 12 attempts at doubles (58.33%) during his 7-4 triumph over Barney, who missed 10 of his 14 attempts.

The Australian averaged just 94.34 despite hitting four 180s but the margin of his victory means he stays top ahead of Michael Smith on leg difference.

He said: "The darts are going great and there's no pressure on me. I was probably the outsider but I know how to play Premier League darts and I'm just taking it one week at a time."

Rampant Smith makes it three wins from three

Michael Smith continued his superb start to the Premier League Darts season as he thrashed struggling Mensur Suljovic 7-2.

Bully Boy was the second favourite for relegation pre-tournament but he's now beaten Gary Anderson (7-5), Daryl Gurney (7-4) and Suljovic to make it three wins out of three, meaning he goes top of the table for the time being at least.

Neither player managed to hit a maximum nor average over 95 but the St Helens thrower, usually so strong on 180s, was particularly lethal on his finishing as he nailed seven of his 11 attempts at doubles, including double tops to take out 116.

Smith's win was good news for those who read John Part's predictions or listen to the three-time world champion on the Sporting Life Darts Podcast, as he tipped the Englishman to pour more misery on his Austrian opponent.

Suljovic lost his two previous matches despite averaging over 100 in both but on this occasion he was well below his best.

He said: "I've made a habit over the years of giving games away but people are doing it to me now. I'm loving it at the moment - my darts are going in great and I'm winning."

Price comeback denies Gurney

Gerwyn Price battled back from 5-1 down to salvage a gutsy point against Daryl Gurney - but both players are still waiting for their first win this season.

The Welshman trailed 3-0 before getting his first leg on the board but Gurney still looked on course for both points when taking the next two legs thanks to a barrage of 180s and clinical finishing.

However, the tide of the match changed when the Iceman punished the Northern Irishman for a missed dart at a double by taking out 80 before a stunning 148 checkout and another from 50 boosted his hopes further.

Gurney guaranteed himself at least a point despite missing four doubles in the next leg but Price then landed a 136 checkout to complete a 12-darter to take the game to a 12th leg.

The pair traded 180s but the Welshman kept his cool on double 12 to earn an unlikely share of the spoils.

Price said: "I took out a couple of good shots and scraped over the line. I'm playing badly but picking up some points, but I want to start coming out of the blocks a bit quicker.

"I've been 5-1 down twice now so I've got to believe in myself. Maybe I'm trying a bit too hard so I think I need to relax a bit more."

Premier League Darts Results & Table

Night 3, February 15
Metro Radio Arena, Newcastle

  • Mensur Suljovic 2-7 Michael Smith
  • Daryl Gurney 6-6 Gerwyn Price
  • Peter Wright 4-7 Rob Cross
  • Gary Anderson 3-7 Michael van Gerwen
  • Simon Whitlock 7-4 Raymond van Barneveld

HIGHEST AVERAGES

Anderson 110.79
MVG 110.62
Wright: 102.32
Cross 98.46
Gurney 95.97
Smith 94.8
Whitlock 94.34
Barney 93.29
Price 93.22
Suljovic 91.15

MOST 180s

MVG 7
Gurney 6
Anderson 4
Cross 4
Price 4
Whitlock 4
Barney 2
Wright 1
Smith 0
Suljovic 0

HIGHEST CHECKOUTS

Anderson 170
Price 148
Smith 116
Wright 101
MVG 97
Whitlock 92
Gurney 81
Cross 51
Barney 50
Suljovic 40

CHECKOUT PERCENTAGES

Smith 63.64%
MVG 58.33%
Whitlock 58.33%
Wright 44.44%
Price 37.5%
Gurney 33.33%
Cross 31.82%
Barney 28.57%
Anderson 25%
Suljovic 20%

Premier League Darts Table

  1. Whitlock P 3 W 3 D 0 L 0 LegD +11 Pts 6
  2. Smith P 3 W 3 D 0 L 0 LegD +10 Pts 6
  3. MVG P 3 W 2 D 0 L 1 LegD +7 Pts 4
  4. Wright P 3 W 1 D 1 L 1 LegD -1 Pts 3
  5. Barney P 3 W 1 D 1 L 1 LegD -1 Pts 3
  6. Anderson P 3 W 1 D 0 L 2 LegD -2 Pts 2
  7. Gurney P 3 W 0 D 2 L 1 LegD -3 Pts 2
  8. Price P 3 W 0 D 2 L 1 LegD -4 Pts 2
  9. Cross P 3 W 1 D 0 L 2 LegD -8 Pts 2
  10. Suljovic P 3 W 0 D 0 L 3 LegD -9 Pts 0

* Players level on points split by leg difference, legs won against throw and then, if necessary tournament average

CLICK HERE FOR FULL SEASON FIXTURES, RESULTS & TABLE

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