Van den Bergh and MVG win to close in on Aspinall

Coverage of the Premier League continues on Friday night when Michael van Gerwen faces James Wade – join us from 7pm on Sky Sports Arena

Last Updated: 06/05/21 10:27pm

Dimitri Van den Bergh got the better of table topper Nathan Aspinall to open up the battle for top spot in the 2021 Premier League (Picture: Lawrence Lustig)
Dimitri Van den Bergh got the better of table topper Nathan Aspinall to open up the battle for top spot in the 2021 Premier League (Picture: Lawrence Lustig)

Dimitri Van Bergh beat Nathan Aspinall and Michael van Gerwen continued his return to form as a logjam formed at the top of the Premier League table on Night 11.

Aspinall had kicked off the evening top of the pile, but he was beaten by in the first match of the night by Dimitri Van den Bergh, who moved level on points with The Asp but behind him on leg difference.

It opened the door for Van Gerwen to hit top spot for the first time since Night Two but he fell short despite a win over Jonny Clayton that moved him level with Aspinall and Van den Bergh on points, but behind Aspinall on leg difference.

The evening’s fixture list had pitched the top four all against each other, and with one night’s action to go before the final week at the end of the month, the trio at the top have now moved three clear of everyone else.

Premier League Darts 2021: Night 11 results

Nathan Aspinall 6-8 Dimitri Van den Bergh
James Wade 7-7 Jose de Sousa
Gary Anderson 8-3 Peter Wright
Michael van Gerwen 8-5 Jonny Clayton

Van Gerwen stays on track to sink Ferret

After his blistering victory over Dimitri Van den Bergh on Wednesday, Michael van Gerwen had to dig deep for a battling 8-5 win over Jonny Clayton that did not reach the heights of his 109 average but still secured a valuable two points.

2:00
MVG: I had to work for the win
MVG: I had to work for the win

Van Gerwen took the first and Clayton took the second – missing a dart for a dazzling 167, but returning to pin the required double for early parity.

The Ferret, who has won five of his last seven meetings against Van Gerwen, landed the first break of throw when he punished the Dutchman’s missed dart at double top.

But Van Gerwen looked to have turned a corner on Wednesday in his win over Van den Bergh and a superb 117 finish – with Clayton waiting on 40 – gave him an immediate break back.

0:51
Michael van Gerwen finishes with a 124 checkout on the bullseye to defeat Jonny Clayton in the Premier League Darts
Michael van Gerwen finishes with a 124 checkout on the bullseye to defeat Jonny Clayton in the Premier League Darts

The fifth leg was vital as MVG missed four darts for a 3-2 lead only to see Clayton miss three of his own and after tidying up for the lead, Van Gerwen returned to break the Welshman. But inconsistency has dogged the Dutchman and without having to work hard, Clayton was level himself.

0:13
Michael van Gerwen hits a 117 checkout against Jonny Clayton in the Premier League Darts
Michael van Gerwen hits a 117 checkout against Jonny Clayton in the Premier League Darts

The see-saw nature of the contest continued, but Van Gerwen’s three-leg burst saw him move 7-4 ahead as the six-time champion held on for just his second back-to-back wins of the competition.

Van den Bergh moves back into top spot contention

Dimitri Van den Bergh again proved to be Nathan Aspinall’s nemesis as the Belgian inflicted The Asp’s second defeat of the Premier League – both at the hands of the Dreammaker.

Van den Bergh had walked into a Van Gerwen tornado on Wednesday but, as is often the case, took everything in his stride to withstand a 103 average and six maximums from Aspinall.

2:04
Dimitri Van den Bergh says he’s proud of his performance in the 8-6 victory over Nathan Aspinall in the Premier League Darts
Dimitri Van den Bergh says he’s proud of his performance in the 8-6 victory over Nathan Aspinall in the Premier League Darts

A high-class start to the match saw Van den Bergh, inspired by a brilliant 120, strike the first blow when he broke in the third leg and consolidated to lead 3-1.

That early break was to prove decisive, as Aspinall never got closer than one leg and never broke the World Matchplay champion despite outscoring him and taking out a classy bullseye finish himself along the way.

0:12
Dimitri Van den Bergh hits a 120 checkout against Nathan Aspinall
Dimitri Van den Bergh hits a 120 checkout against Nathan Aspinall

Van den Bergh proved ruthless on the outer ring, taking every chance that came his way with a succession of clinical finishes, including an ice-cool 136 as he continued to maintain the narrowest of leads.

He secured a point when he held his own throw for a 7-5 lead and then missed a dart for victory in the following leg before producing a clinical display in the 14th leg to seal an 8-6 win.

Premier League Darts 2021: Night 12 fixtures

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

Live Premier League Darts

May 7, 2021, 7:00pm

Live on

Gritty Wade battles back for De Sousa point

Jose de Sousa threw away a gilt-edged chance to claim two priceless points as he allowed James Wade to battle back from 6-2 and 7-5 down for a 7-7 draw that keeps both men outside the top four and looking in.

The Portuguese thrower, making his Premier League debut this year, had beaten Wade in the first phase and also claimed his maiden major title against ‘The Machine’ when he lifted the Grand Slam of Darts title last year.

0:53
James Wade capitalises on Jose de Sousa’s mistake to comeback for the draw in the Premier League Darts
James Wade capitalises on Jose de Sousa’s mistake to comeback for the draw in the Premier League Darts

He wasted little time in asserting his advantage during a start that saw him move from all-square at 2-2 to a 6-2 lead – just two legs away from the full two points.

But 2009 champion Wade is made of stern stuff and, having been called up as a late replacement for Gerwyn Price, he is taking the opportunity to remain in the hunt for another televised title.

Wade fought back to draw within one at 6-5 before De Sousa stopped the rot and scrambled to a guaranteed point with a scrappy 20-dart hold of throw.

De Sousa then missed two darts for the match and, in trademark fashion, Wade pounced to first draw within one and after De Sousa missed another match dart, he cleaned up 70 for a share of the spoils.

Anderson stirs into life to hammer Wright

Gary Anderson returned to winning ways with an emphatic 8-3 success against his former World Cup partner Peter Wright, who appeared to be struggling with a shoulder injury.

1:19
Gary Anderson was pleased with his performance after a comfortable win over Peter Wright in the Premier League Darts
Gary Anderson was pleased with his performance after a comfortable win over Peter Wright in the Premier League Darts

Despite their status as world and multiple major champions, the pair were languishing in seventh and eighth respectively ahead of the contest, but ‘The Flying Scotsman’ produced his best performance of this year’s Premier League to leapfrog his compatriot.

The opening three legs went with throw, but two-time Premier League champion Anderson struck the first decisive blow with a classy 11-dart break in leg four.

Wright opted for a change of points midway through leg five but it did not have the desired effect as Anderson stretched his lead, which he extended further courtesy of a two-dart 72 kill in leg eight.

The two-time world champion guaranteed himself a point with a third 13-darter in leg nine, only to squander match darts in leg 10.

It proved immaterial, however, as Wright was unable to produce a 126 skin-saver, and Anderson capitalised to prevail with a 74 outshot and an impressive 104.63 average and five 180s.

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