PREMIER LEAGUE DARTS WEEK SIX ROUND-UP: Durrant continues fine form, Wright and van Gerwen pick up wins
Glen Durrant cemented his place at the top of the 2020 Unibet Premier League on night six at the M&S Bank Arena in Liverpool.
In the first match of the evening, Peter Wright comfortably defeated Michael Smith to win his third match in four weeks.
Fresh from a 7-3 win against Gerwyn Price last week, ‘Snakebite’ flew out of the blocks, winning five of the opening six legs with Smith getting just two chances at double.
A hold in the eighth leg brought Wright to within one leg of victory, but he proceeded to miss four match darts as Smith fought back to 6-4.
However, the World Champion wrapped up the win with a 10-darter to record a 7-4 win, moving onto seven points from six matches.
It was top vs bottom in the second encounter as Glen Durrant took on Daryl Gurney, where seven of the 12 legs were won against the darts.
‘Superchin’ made the perfect start by taking out 144 in the opening leg.
Duzza’s response was to reel off four straight legs, including a 127 finish on the bull to take a 4-1 lead.
After six consecutive legs won against the darts, Durrant still led 6-4 and had already guaranteed himself a point.
Gurney pinned D16 to finally hold throw to take the match into a last-leg decider.
Nevertheless, Duzza held his nerve in the final leg to secure his fourth win in six weeks and remain top of the league with 9 points.
It is worrying times for Northern Irishman Gurney, who stays winless in the competition on jus two points.
Michael van Gerwen edged out Gerwyn Price in a repeat of Sunday’s UK Open final.
Both players held throw for five consecutive legs, with Price’s 157 checkout being the highlight of a faultless 10 legs for both players.
Van Gerwen pounced on a sloppy leg from Price with a stylish 78 to lead 6-5.
The Dutchman left 41 after nine darts in the final leg and mopped up on D8 to clinch a 7-5 win.
There was noticeably no handshake from Price after the match (only a small unenthusiastic fist bump) and he now has just one victory from six games.
The victory meant van Gerwen climbed above Michael Smith to second place in the table on eight points.
Stephen Bunting was looking to repeat Luke Humphries’ feat last week when he became the first challenger to win a match at the Premier League.
Rob Cross, second from bottom before the game, stood in his way.
Bunting, from Liverpool, put himself in a fantastic position by winning four of the opening five legs in front of his home crowd.
‘Voltage’, after struggling to find any rhythm, fought back with two consecutive breaks, levelling the match at 4-4.
A superb 119 checkout under the cosh gave Cross the lead for the first time in the tie.
Cross missed five darts at double in the eleventh leg, but luckily Bunting was considerably behind. He found D16 with the sixth and made sure of a point.
In a tense final leg, Bunting first missed the bull for a potential draw. Cross gave himself one dart at D18 for the match, which he unfortunately wired.
Bunting made him pay by finding D16 to prevent Cross from gaining a second victory and priceless extra point.
Gary Anderson and Nathan Aspinall played out an entertaining draw in the final match of the night.
‘The Flying Scotsman’ raced into a 4-1 lead as Aspinall made an erratic start.
An 87 finish on D5 against the throw gave Anderson another leg to leave Aspinall with a mountain to climb.
However, ‘the Asp’ recovered tremendously, rolling off four straight legs to tie the match at 5-5.
Anderson came up with the goods again, producing a 95 checkout to secure a point at minimum.
Aspinall kept his cool in the final leg, classily taking out 88 to leave with a point and stay in the top four.
2020 Unibet Premier League Night Six (Liverpool) – Results
Michael Smith 4-7 Peter Wright
Daryl Gurney 5-7 Glen Durrant
Gerwyn Price 5-7 Michael van Gerwen
Rob Cross 6-6 Stephen Bunting [challenger]
Gary Anderson 6-6 Nathan Aspinall
Picture: Lawrence Lustig/PDC