Vintage Van Gerwen fires Premier League warning

Coverage of Premier League Darts continues on Sky Sports on Thursday when MVG faces Jonny Clayton and Nathan Aspinall looks to maintain his lead when he faces Dimitri Van den Bergh

Last Updated: 05/05/21 10:44pm

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Michael van Gerwen says he can’t wait to perform in front of crowds again after he beat Dimitri Van den Bergh on Night 10 of the Premier League
Michael van Gerwen says he can’t wait to perform in front of crowds again after he beat Dimitri Van den Bergh on Night 10 of the Premier League

Michael van Gerwen served up a vintage display to beat Dimitri Van den Bergh and move into second place in the Premier League behind Nathan Aspinall.

Van Gerwen has been wildly inconsistent across the season and is without a title since the Players Championship Finals in November, but he triumphed in a high-class contest with Van den Bergh to leapfrog the Belgian in the standings.

On the first of three nights as the Premier League Darts second phase got underway, Van Gerwen’s 109 average was the performance of the evening where Jonny Clayton, Jose De Sousa and Aspinall chalked up victories.

However, last year’s runner-up Aspinall maintained his position at the top of the table, opening up a two-point advantage as he stormed back from 4-2 down to beat Peter Wright in the final match of the night.

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The best of the action from Night 10 of the Premier League Darts at the Marshall Arena
The best of the action from Night 10 of the Premier League Darts at the Marshall Arena

Premier League Darts 2021: Night 10 results

Jonny Clayton 8-5 James Wade
Jose De Sousa 8-3 Gary Anderson
Dimitri Van den Bergh 3-8 Michael van Gerwen
Peter Wright 5-8 Nathan Aspinall

Blistering Van Gerwen stuns Van den Bergh

Michael van Gerwen delivered his best performance of the Premier League so far, to inflict just a second defeat of the campaign on Dimitri Van den Bergh.

Five-time champion Van Gerwen missed out on the top four last year – the first time he has ever missed the play-offs – and has been dogged by inconsistency, but an 8-3 triumph over the Belgian delivered an early message in the second phase.

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Michael van Gerwen started his match against Dimitri Van den Bergh in fine style
Michael van Gerwen started his match against Dimitri Van den Bergh in fine style

The Dutchman wasted little time in asserting the sort of authority that has been missed, taking out 123 for a break of throw in the opening leg which he consolidated with a 13-dart hold of throw.

A third three-figure finish in three legs gave MVG another break of throw and he powered on with a spectacular 11-dart leg, via a 91 finish, handing him a 5-0 lead.

He moved within a leg of a guaranteed point when he cleaned up 52 in two darts but to Van den Bergh’s credit, he was averaging 108 himself and had only been afforded one dart at a double.

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MVG continued to find the big finishes in a thrilling win over Van den Bergh
MVG continued to find the big finishes in a thrilling win over Van den Bergh

Having missed his first, he made no mistake with his second to get on the board and he followed up with a clinical 82 finish to trail 6-2, and he claimed a third on the spin to draw within three – averaging more than Van Gerwen.

But Van Gerwen completed the victory by claiming the next two legs in just 24 darts for a stunning win that he will hope to turn into a sustained run of form. Having averaged 107 in a victory over Rob Cross earlier in the competition, he followed up by averaging 90 in defeat to James Wade.

Battling Asp fights back to stay top

Nathan Aspinall won six of the last seven legs to secure his third successive victory and extend his unbeaten run to eight games with an 8-5 win over Peter Wright.

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Nathan Aspinall’s brilliant 161 finish proved the catalyst for his comeback against Peter Wright
Nathan Aspinall’s brilliant 161 finish proved the catalyst for his comeback against Peter Wright

The Asp was beaten by Glen Durrant in last year’s final, but looks good value to be in contention come the play-offs after a superb performance that extended his advantage at the top of the table to two points over Van Gerwen and Van den Bergh.

A low-key start to the contest saw the pair share the opening four legs before Snakebite landed the first break of throw when he pinned double four to open up the first two-leg advantage at 4-2, but that proved to be the catalyst for Aspinall who reeled off the next three.

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Nathan Aspinall says he had to grind out a victory against Peter Wright
Nathan Aspinall says he had to grind out a victory against Peter Wright

The Stockport man broke back immediately in 13 darts to kickstart his burst and having consolidated the break he claimed another leg against the throw with a sensational 161 finish on the bullseye.

He moved to within a leg of a point when he cleaned up 83 and he guaranteed a share of the spoils that ensured he would be top when Wright wasted four darts to draw within one leg.

Snakebite staved off the threat when he broke to trail 7-5 but Aspinall produced a blistering 11-dart break himself to seal what could prove to be a vital two points.

2:56
Wayne Mardle reviews the talking points from Night 10 in the Premier League in Milton Keynes
Wayne Mardle reviews the talking points from Night 10 in the Premier League in Milton Keynes

Premier League Darts 2021: Night 11 fixtures

Nathan Aspinall v Dimitri Van den Bergh
James Wade v Jose de Sousa
Gary Anderson v Peter Wright
Michael van Gerwen v Jonny Clayton

Live Premier League Darts

May 6, 2021, 7:00pm

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Clayton claims big win over Wade

Jonny Clayton defied a perfect finishing record from James Wade, to seal an impressive 8-5 victory that moved him back into the play-off places.

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Jonny Clayton was pleased to get the better of James Wade on Night 10 of the Premier League after ‘The Machine’ beat him earlier in the tournament
Jonny Clayton was pleased to get the better of James Wade on Night 10 of the Premier League after ‘The Machine’ beat him earlier in the tournament

The Ferret, who has already topped the table in his Premier League debut year, had slipped out of the top four after just one win from his last four matches, but he averaged 105 and took out a pair of huge finishes on his way to victory.

Wade had played some of his best stuff into moving into play off contention on the back of four successive 100+ averages, but despite hitting all five darts at the outer ring for a 100 per cent finishing record, he ran out of time against Clayton’s power scoring.

The Welshman’s early finishing – bar a 150 check-out for a break of throw – gave Wade the chance to lead and in trademark fashion the Machine took every opportunity to lead 3-1.

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Jonny Clayton produced this special finish during his game against James Wade
Jonny Clayton produced this special finish during his game against James Wade

However, Clayton hit back with a four-leg burst of his own to lead 4-3, a 134 finish via a pair of double tops the highlight.

The pair traded legs until Clayton struck the decisive blow to lead 7-5 thanks to a 15-dart break of throw that secured a point.

On-song De Sousa hammers Anderson

Two-time champion Gary Anderson faces an uphill battle for a third Premier League crown after sinking to a third successive defeat against an in-form Jose de Sousa.

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Jose de Sousa says he is totally focused on darts after he beat Gary Anderson
Jose de Sousa says he is totally focused on darts after he beat Gary Anderson

The Portuguese had lost just one of his last six to move off the bottom of the table and into play-off contention, and he carried on where he left off with an emphatic 8-3 victory that leaves Anderson bottom and three points adrift of the play-off places.

De Sousa did the damage early on, storming into a 5-0 lead with Anderson missing a host of darts at double before he finally hit the target with his 10th dart at the outer ring to get on the board in the sixth leg of the contest.

Anderson claimed two of the next three to hint at a comeback and draw within three, but De Sousa was not to be denied as back-to-back 14-dart legs crushed any hopes of Anderson’s comeback.

Watch full coverage of every night of the Premier League on Sky Sports, and stick with us through the year as we bring you the latest darts news on skysports.com/darts, our app for mobile devices and our Twitter account @skysportsdarts

Source : Sky Sports