Results, review and highlights from the Premier League Darts in Aberdeen, as John Henderson claimed an epic 6-6 draw with Michael van Gerwen.
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Hendo the hero in Aberdeen
John Henderson enjoyed one of the most memorable nights of his career as he brought the passionate Aberdeen crowd to their feet in a pulsating 6-6 draw with Michael van Gerwen.
Even the great Gary Anderson would struggle to create an atmosphere quite as wild as this one as the 45-year-old underdog, who has never won a PDC title, refused to be fazed by his opponent's ruthless start.
Henderson couldn't hold back the tears during an incredible emotionally-charged walk-on for his Premier League debut as this week's 'Contender', and although his opening 180 in the first leg was greeted like he'd won the match, MVG quickly moved into a 3-0 lead with an average way above 110.
Van Gerwen was bidding to bounce back from a disastrous week which saw him suffer his first Premier League defeat of the season before crashing out of the UK Open at his first hurdle to Mervyn King on Friday night.
And the early signs suggested he would do that with aplomb and show no mercy for one of the nicest men in darts.
But although he moved 5-2 clear after Hendo had thrilled the crowd with an 81 checkout to complete a 12-darter he started to falter and his opponent capitalised to take back-to-back legs and move to within one.
MVG guaranteed himself a point as he edged 6-4 ahead but an inspired Henderson was not to be denied as he reeled off two 14-darters in a row, without allowing the world number one a dart at a double in either of them, to seal a shock draw.
Henderson told www.pdc.tv: "I'm delighted with how it went. I don't think I've ever witnessed anything like that in my career, it was tremendous.
"I felt emotional on the walk-on and I didn't want to go up there and play badly. To play the best player in the world in your home town, and get a draw, has left me almost speechless.
"At 3-0 down I felt I was playing well, but Michael let me in and I got back into it. I dug in, and I've been doing that this year. It was absolutely fantastic and to do that in front of my home crowd is phenomenal."
Wade joins whitewash winners
James Wade recorded the 10th Premier League Darts whitewash in history as he thrashed Daryl Gurney 7-0 in Aberdeen.
The Machine inflicted MVG's first defeat of the Premier League season last week in Exeter and maintain his momentum in the tournament with this explosive performance in which he averaged 109.59 and hit two 100+ checkouts.
Wade was three out of three on doubles when he landed a huge 158 checkout while he ended the match with seven from nine and allowed his opponent just two attempts to finish.
Wade won six of his seven legs in 15 darts or less - including an 11 darter - and his 'worst' leg in 17 was sealed with Gurney back on 136.
The Northern Irishman, who averaged 95.45, was battered 7-1 by Rob Cross last Thursday and another heavy defeat not only sees him join a list of nine other whitewash victims but also leaves his leg difference in tatters.
Wade, the 2018 European and World Series champion, told www.pdc.tv: "It's a great win and I'm really happy. Daryl is better than that but it's an evolution of my character. Nobody wants to win 7-0 but I played better and took my chances well. I still believe I'm one of the best in the world, if not the best at times."
Price right once again
Gerwyn Price shrugged off the boos from the Aberdeen crowd as he soundly brushed aside Mensur Suljovic to maintain his unbeaten start to the Premier League season.
The Iceman may have won a lot of darts fans over in recent weeks with his string of superb performances which have also helped him win back-to-back Players Championship events and make another swashbuckling run at the UK Open, but up in Scotland they won't forget last November's Grand Slam of Darts final against Gary Anderson in a hurry!
Indeed the BHGE Arena faithful chanted the name of Anderson despite his absence during Price's walk on and the early stages of the match although it all fizzled out once he gained control of the contest.
The Welshman went 100+ checkout crazy during the UK Open weekend and he picked up where he left off with a 107 in the opening leg while a 127 in the fifth completed a 12-darter as he surged into a 4-1 lead.
Price wasn't scoring as heavily as usual, and didn't even hit a single maximum, but another clinical finish from 82 extended his advantage before Suljovic stopped the rot with a too little too late 11-darter.
The next two legs were shared before the former rugby player sealed maximum points, and although he finished with an average of 93.26 compared to Suljovic's 95.67, his checkout percentage of 77.78% was extremely impressive having only missed two attempts at doubles.
Voltage cranks up the heat
Rob Cross maintained his dominance over Michael Smith as he eased to a 7-3 victory in a repeat of Sunday's UK Open semi-final.
Voltage battled past Bully Boy in a hard-fought encounter in Minehead before running out of steam against Nathan Aspinall in the final but he was fully charged four nights later.
Smith was moving more freely on the stage having recovered from surgery to remove an abscess from his leg last week and he made the brighter start by going 2-1 up only for Cross to level before landing a stunning 164 checkout to break throw.
The 2018 world champion found another gear with finishes from 68, 81 and 87 to guarantee himself at least a point and while Smith did nail the bull for a fine checkout from 90, he got the job done in the next.
Cross, who averaged 103.96 compared to Smith's 100.21 despite hitting one fewer 180 with two, said: "I'm really happy. There's a lot more to come but I did a good job today. I took my chances well - the 164 settled me down and was a catalyst for me.
"Michael's a fantastic player and I thought it would be a lot closer, but I'm getting back to my best darts and I'm enjoying it again."
Wright stuff in Aberdeen
Peter Wright produced his best performance of the season as he inflicted more misery on Raymond van Barneveld with a 7-3 victory that lifted him up to fifth.
Both players received a great reception from the Aberdeen crowd but it was Snakebite who responded the best with an average of 106.64 compared to Barney's 95.36 and a clinical checkout percentage of 50%.
In a match he badly needed two points in a bid to avoid being cut off at the bottom of the table in his final season before retirement, the Dutchman did take the opening leg only for Wright to take the next three before an 81 checkout completed a 12-darter for a 4-1 lead.
Wright went one dart better in the next leg, finishing from 81 yet again, before Barney checked out from the same score for an 11-darter of his own to remind everyone of his talents that are undoubtedly fading fast.
Snakebite then delighted the crowd once more when his third and final 180 of the contest put him on his way to a superb 10-darter and while his opponent pulled one back, it was all in vain.
2019 Premier League Darts Table
- Wade P 5 W 3 D 1 L 1 LegD +11 Pts 7
- Cross P 5 W 3 D 1 L 1 LegD +8 Pts 7
- Van Gerwen P 5 W 3 D 1 L 1 LegD +7 Pts 7
- Price P 5 W 2 D 3 L 0 LegD +7 Pts 7
- Wright P 5 W 2 D 2 L 1 LegD +3 Pts 6
- Suljovic P 5 W 1 D 2 L 2 LegD -5 Pts 4
- Gurney P 5 W 2 D 0 L 3 LegD -10 Pts 4
- Smith P 5 W 1 D 1 L 3 LegD -5 Pts 3
- Van Barneveld P 5 W 0 D 2 L 3 LegD -10 Pts 2
Night five results & next week's fixtures
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- CLICK HERE FOR FULL SEASON FIXTURES & RESULTS
- WEEKLY GUEST PLAYERS IN BOLD
Night 5 Results
- Michael Smith 3-7 Rob Cross
- Daryl Gurney 0-7 James Wade
- Mensur Suljovic 3-7 Gerwyn Price
- Raymond van Barneveld 3-7 Peter Wright
- Michael van Gerwen 6-6 John Henderson
Night Six, Thursday March 14
Motorpoint Arena, Nottingham
TV Channel: Sky Sports (1900 GMT)
- Nathan Aspinall v Michael Smith
- James Wade v Mensur Suljovic
- Rob Cross v Raymond van Barneveld
- Gerwyn Price v Michael van Gerwen
- Peter Wright v Daryl Gurney