Results, review and highlights from Wednesday night's Premier League Darts in Rotterdam, as Raymond van Barneveld's relegation was confirmed.
Scroll down for highlights, results and the updated table
Barney bows out with a whimper
Raymond van Barneveld's relegation from his final Premier League Darts season was sealed after a crushing 7-1 defeat to Daryl Gurney in front of a silent Rotterdam crowd on Wednesday night.
The 2014 champion, who will retire at the end of the year, needed to win or draw to keep his hopes of survival alive after Michael Smith had defeated Gerwyn Price in the opening match of the night and he was given a hero's reception on his way to the stage.
However, Barney couldn't use the energy of the home support to his advantage as he produced one of his worst performances on TV, averaging just 81.96, hitting just one maximum and converting just one of his six attempts at a double.
It wasn't as if Gurney blew him away performance-wise either, with the Northern Irishman averaging a shade under 90 and only managing a single 180 himself - while he missed nine of his 16 darts at doubles.
The five-time world champion will now bow out on Thursday's Judgement Night in the second half of this week's Rotterdam double-header against Michael van Gerwen - the player he beat to lift the trophy back in 2014.
Van Barneveld, who also famously beat MVG at the Ahoy Arena 12 months ago, props up the table with just four points, three behind Smith and Price.
Van Gerwen back where he belongs
Michael van Gerwen returned to the top of the Premier League standings as he thrashed Peter Wright 7-1 in front of the Rotterdam crowd on Wednesday night.
The Dutchman had dropped to fourth in the standings after two defeats and a draw in his last three games but he bounced back to top form at the weekend when winning the European Darts Open, with the help of a third nine-darter of the season.
Van Gerwen took that momentum into home territory with a ruthless display against an out-of-sorts Snakebite and looked as through he'd complete the 11th whitewash in Premier League Darts history - and second of the season - when romping into a 6-0 lead.
By this stage MVG was averaging well above 100 compared to Wright languishing in the 80s while he'd only allowed his opponent just one dart at a double.
After the Scotsman had missed the bullseye for a slightly face-saving 121 checkout, the world champion had one dart at double 12 to seal the 7-0 scoreline but it went inside and Wright held his nerve to finally get on the board.
It proved to be scant consolation as van Gerwen, who has topped the regular season table in each of his six previous seasons, promptly wrapped up victory in the next.
He averaged 101.29 compared to Wright's 88.12, hit one more maximum with two and converted six of his 15 darts at doubles, including one on tops for a match high 116 checkout.
Suljovic pulls the plug on Voltage
Mensur Suljovic came from 4-0 and 5-1 down to claim a stunning 7-5 victory over Rob Cross in a crazy match in Rotterdam.
The in-form Voltage headed into the first part of the Rotterdam double-header as the Premier League leader following a superb season so far while he averaged 100+ in all his matches at the weekend's European Darts Open, where he finished runner-up to Michael van Gerwen.
It looked like he was cruising towards a potential whitewash victory when checkouts of 74 and 89 helped him surge into a 4-0 lead as Suljovic spurned three darts to get on the board during those four legs.
Another one at the bullseye went begging in the next but he came back to finally get on the board, only for Cross to extend his advantage to 5-1 with a 13 darter.
Out of nowhere the momentum completely changed as the former world champion spurned four darts at doubles over the next four legs to let Suljovic in, and the Austrian took full advantage by pinning four out of six to level the scores.
Cross then blew seven darts at doubles to secure at least a point in the next leg before being royally punished by a sensational checkout from 136 and Suljovic followed that up with a match-winning finish from 120.
The Gentle averaged 88.71 compared to his opponent's 92.83 but his finishing was far superior as he hit seven of his 13 attempts at doubles, with Cross missing 11 of his 16. Both players only managed one maximum apiece.
Bully Boy melts Iceman
Michael Smith held his nerve in the final leg to claim a crucial 7-5 victory over Gerwyn Price, which would ensure his survival.
Bully Boy, the 2018 runner-up, headed into the first part of this week's Rotterdam double-header knowing he could slip to the bottom of the table 24 hours before Judgement Night if he lost and Raymond van Barneveld beat Daryl Gurney.
The St Helens took advantage of Price missing five darts at a double in the opening two legs to move into a 2-0 lead only for the Grand Slam of Darts champion to take the next two, including a superb 11-darter.
The world championship runner-up won three of the next five legs in 15 darts or fewer and although Price stayed in touch with two superb checkouts from 116 and a match high 141, Smith guaranteed himself a point when edging 6-4 ahead.
Price forced a deciding leg when pinning tops for a 14-darter but when he blew two attempts to finish from 40, Smith stepped in on the bullseye with his last dart in hand to complete a 90 checkout.
Smith averaged slightly higher with 93.87 compared to Price's 93.15, with the Welshman edging the 180s count 5-4. Smith converted seven of his 17 darts at doubles while Price missed 12 of his 17.
Dancing Dimitri denied by Wade
Dimitri van den Bergh came agonisingly close to becoming the first of this season's 'Contenders' to win a Premier League match as James Wade used all his experience to snatch a well-deserved 6-6 draw.
The talented two-time World Youth champion, who will surely become a permanent fixture in the line-up in the not too distant future, first impressed the packed Ahoy Arena crowd with his customary dance moves and continued to entertain them with his darts in a high-quality affair.
Van den Bergh made a fast start when moving into a 2-0 lead only to have his momentum halted when a persistent draught prompted both players to leave the stage for around five minutes.
Wade, bidding to remain in the top four, came back out all guns blazing with a 14-darter and a 106 checkout to restore parity but van den Bergh was far from fazed as he backed up his first 180 of the match to take out 85 for a 12-dart leg.
The Belgian star raised the roof even more in the following leg, which he kicked off with another maximum before ending it with a 140 checkout that completed back-to-back 12-darters to leave Wade in big trouble.
The 2018 European and World Series champion drew himself back level before another showstopping finish - this time from 121 on the bullseye - sealed another 12-darter after Wade had thrown a 180 to leave tops.
After the Machine levelled again, Van den Bergh guaranteed himself a draw only to miss one dart at double seven when attempting to take out 78 as Wade stepped in on double 10 to avoid defeat.
The Englishman averaged 103.35 compared to van den Bergh's 100.73 and also hit five more 180s with seven, although his opponent's finishing was superior, hitting six of his 11 darts at double was Wade missed 13 of his 19.
2019 Premier League Darts Table
- Van Gerwen P 8 W 5 D 1 L 2 LegD +16 Pts 11
- Cross P 8 W 5 D 1 L 2 LegD +13 Pts 11
- Suljovic P 8 W 4 D 2 L 2 LegD +6 Pts 10
- Wade P 8 W 3 D 3 L 2 LegD +7 Pts 9
- Gurney P 8 W 4 D 1 L 3 LegD -2 Pts 9
- Wright P 8 W 2 D 4 L 2 LegD -3 Pts 8
- Price P 8 W 2 D 3 L 3 LegD +3 Pts 7
- Smith P 8 W 3 D 1 L 4 LegD -3 Pts 7
- Van Barneveld P 8 W 1 D 2 L 5 LegD -16 Pts 4
Night eight results & Judgement Night fixtures
- Click here for Sky Bet odds
- CLICK HERE FOR FULL SEASON FIXTURES & RESULTS
- WEEKLY GUEST PLAYERS IN BOLD
Night Eight - Wednesday March 27
TV Channel: Sky Sports (1900 GMT)
- Gerwyn Price 5-7 Michael Smith
- James Wade 6-6 Dimitri van den Bergh
- Rob Cross 5-7 Mensur Suljovic
- Peter Wright 1-7 Michael van Gerwen
- Raymond van Barneveld 1-7 Daryl Gurney
Judgement Night - Thursday March 28
TV Channel: Sky Sports (1900 GMT)
- Daryl Gurney v Mensur Suljovic
- Peter Wright v Gerwyn Price
- Rob Cross v Jeffrey de Zwaan
- Raymond van Barneveld v Michael van Gerwen
- James Wade v Michael Smith
Fixtures for Nights Ten-16 will be confirmed following Judgement Night.