Results, review and highlights from Unibet Premier League Darts night 16 in Leeds as Michael van Gerwen finished top and Daryl Gurney qualified for the play-offs.
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Gurney books play-off spot
Daryl Gurney claimed a huge 8-3 victory over Michael Smith that helped him qualify for the Premier League Darts play-offs for the first time in his career.
There was huge pressure on SuperChin heading into the clash after Gerwyn Price leapfrogged him and Mensur Suljovic into fourth spot by beating Peter Wright, but he responded with a superb performance to sink the 2018 runner-up.
This result ended Price's hopes but Gurney could still mathematically bow out if Mensur Suljovic shocked Michael van Gerwen by an unlikely margin of 8-3 or better as well as James Wade picking up a point against Rob Cross.
However, during his post-match interview with Sporting Life, van Gerwen moved into a 4-0 lead over the Austrian, much to Gurney's obvious delight.
Gurney played fantastically during his win, averaging 101.8 and throwing five 180s while he was fairly clinical on his doubles as he pinned eight of his 19 attempts.
Once again Smith scored well enough with three 180s and averaged of 100.66 but like so many other times this season he let himself down with his finishing, missing seven out of 10 - although he did make checkouts of 101 and 100.
"I'm delighted," said Gurney, who will meet MVG in the semi-finals at the O2. "I knew I had to win tonight and I was probably the most focused I've ever been and it's one of my best performances.
"It was a quality game and I took out a couple of importance finishes. Under the circumstances, I think I played beyond my expectations, so I'm happy with that.
"Now I'm in the Play-Offs I'll do my best to win the title."
Gurney will not be fazed about meeting van Gerwen having become only the second player to do the regular season double over him.
Van Gerwen finishes top yet again
Michael van Gerwen topped the regular season table for the seventh time in a row as he defeated Mensur Suljovic 8-5 before Rob Cross failed to do the same to James Wade.
The Dutchman, who has never finished any lower than first in all his previous seasons dating back to his debut in 2013, may not have been at his best during a hard-fought triumph but the win put pressure on Voltage, who struggled in the final match of the night.
Van Gerwen will now need to avenge the two defeats he suffered earlier in the campaign to Daryl Gurney when the pair meet in the semi-finals at the O2 next Thursday night as he bids to lift the trophy for the fourth year in a row and a fifth time overall.
Suljovic needed to win by a margin of 8-3 or more to qualify for the play-offs after both Gerwyn Price and Daryl Gurney had won earlier to push him down from fourth to sixth, so as soon as MVG stormed into a 4-0 lead his dream was over.
Van Gerwen had fired in an 11-darter and a high checkout of 126 by this point before a finish of 72 put him 5-0 up, but the eliminated Austrian dug deep to take five of the next seven legs.
The world number one, who closed out the match with a checkout of 68, averaged 97.73, hit three 180s and pinned just over half of his double attempts (eight out of 15).
Suljovic posted a mark of 96.5 and hit three 180s as well but his finishing let him down as he spurned eight of his 13 shots at doubles.
"It's a great achievement for myself but I know I can do better than this," said Van Gerwen. "There's lots of room for improvement because I let myself down in a few games.
"But now I will focus on next week and the most important thing is to win the Play-Offs in London."
Cross falls short in race for the top
Rob Cross failed in his bid to become just the third player to top the Premier League Darts regular season as he slipped to an 8-6 defeat to James Wade.
Voltage needed to beat the Machine to end van Gerwen's six-year run of finishing at the summit after the world number one had beaten Mensur Suljovic, but he produced one of his most disappointing performances of the season.
Cross hit three 180s and managed the match high checkout of 126 but the pressure of trying to emulate Phil Taylor and MVG perhaps got the better of him as he averaged just 92.39 and spurned 14 of his 20 attempts at doubles.
Wade, whose first play-off spot since 2013 was already assured no matter what happened in this clash, was the more relaxed player in a rather lacklustre affair although he won't be too impressed with his average of 94.4 and a checkout percentage of 29.63%.
The first eight legs of the match were shared before the 2009 Premier League champion secured a first break to go 6-4 up and although Cross fought back to trail 7-6, he couldn't force a draw that would have been in vain anyway due to the legs difference.
"Rob has been the best player in the Premier League this season but tonight I thought the nerves might get to him," said Wade.
"Tonight's result doesn't mean anything going into the Play-Offs, and if anything it will give Rob a bit of fuel because I just cost him £25,000!
"I'm never someone to be written off though because I've been there and done it before."
Price victory in vain
Gerwyn Price opened the night with an 8-3 victory over Peter Wright but his hopes of reaching next week's play-offs at the O2 were subsequently ended by Daryl Gurney.
Victory saw the Iceman temporarily jump above Gurney and Mensur Suljovic onto 18 points but knew a victory for either would see him miss out.
And that's exactly what happened in the very next match as SuperChin downed Michael Smith 8-3 to end the Welshman's Finals Night dream.
Price averaged 98.58 and hit five 180s in a quality performance in which he also made two 100+ checkouts and converted eight of his 18 attempts at doubles.
The Welshman opened the match with a finish from 106 but it was his checkout of 142 to complete a 12-darter at 2-2 which sparked of four successive legs.
Wright, who has endured a miserable season, hit two 100+ checkouts including a high of 134 but he missed seven of his 10 double attempts and averaged 95.61.
"I knew I had to get a win and I did that, but I've had a lot of draws and that's cost me in the end," said Price, whose six wins were matched by six stalemates.
"I've learned a lot during this Premier League and I won't be disheartened. I've bombed a lot of opportunities with draws where I should have won, but I've enjoyed the season."
2019 Premier League Darts Table
- Van Gerwen P 16 W 10 D 3 L 3 LegD +40 Pts 23
- Cross P 16 W 10 D 2 L 4 LegD +26 Pts 22
- Wade P 16 W 7 D 6 L 3 LegD +20 Pts 20
- Gurney P 16 W 8 D 3 L 5 LegD +7 Pts 19
- Price P 16 W 6 D 6 L 4 LegD +6 Pts 18
- Suljovic P 16 W 7 D 3 L 6 LegD +5 Pts 17
- Smith P 16 W 3 D 4 L 9 LegD -26 Pts 10
- Wright P 16 W 2 D 5 L 9 LegD -33 Pts 9
- Relegated: Van Barneveld P 9 W 1 D 2 L 6 LegD -22 Pts 4
Night 16 results and Finals Night fixtures
Night 16 - Thursday May 16
First Direct Arena, Leeds
TV Channel: Sky Sports (1900 GMT)
- Gerwyn Price 8-3 Peter Wright
- Daryl Gurney 8-3 Michael Smith
- Michael van Gerwen 8-5 Mensur Suljovic
- James Wade 8-6 Rob Cross
Play-Offs - Thursday May 23
The O2, London
TV Channel: Sky Sports (1900 GMT)
Semi-Finals (Best of 19 legs)
- Michael van Gerwen v Daryl Gurney
- Rob Cross v James Wade
- Order TBC
Finals (Best of 21 legs)
- Winner SF 1 v Winner SF 2
- Tickets: 0844 856 0202 or click here