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Michael van Gerwen dominates for second successive Premier League night to move top of the standings; five-time champion defeats Michael Smith in rip-roaring Brighton final to take home the £10,000 bonus and five league points
Last Updated: 10/03/22 10:34pm
Michael van Gerwen was simply sensational beside the seaside as he made it back-to-back victories in the Premier League with a rocking performance in Brighton on Thursday.
Van Gerwen became the first player this year to win consecutive Premier League nights following his victory in Exeter with an equally-dominant performance to defeat James Wade, Joe Cullen and Michael Smith en route to victory on the south coast.
MVG struck with a 106 checkout to win the opening leg of the final before a clinical 76 allowed him to complete a 12-dart leg for a 3-1 lead.
Costly misses at doubles from Smith handed Van Gerwen the incentive he needed to take the next, but ‘Bully Boy’ stayed in touch with classy finishes of 83 and 126 on the bullseye to reduce the deficit to 4-3.
The Dutchman restored his two-leg cushion with a crucial hold of throw and, although Smith kept it close, Van Gerwen took out 54 to win a brilliant final with a 103.89 average and move top of the table.
“I feel good, I feel comfortable,” Van Gerwen told Sky Sports. “The Premier League takes a lot of energy but when you are doing well it gives you a lot of pleasure.
“My form is starting to come together. I know what I am capable of but sometimes it takes a little bit of time.”
Premier League – Night 5 in Brighton Results
|Quarter-finals||Gary Anderson||1-6||Michael Smith|
|Peter Wright||5-6||Jonny Clayton|
|Michael van Gerwen||6-5||James Wade|
|Joe Cullen||6-0||Gerwyn Price|
|Semi-finals||Michael Smith||6-2||Jonny Clayton|
|Michael van Gerwen||6-1||Joe Cullen|
|Final||Michael Smith||4-6||Michael van Gerwen|
Two-time World Championship finalist Smith made it through to his maiden Premier League final in the new format with a 6-2 defeat of reigning champion Jonny Clayton.
Smith averaged just shy of 90 but was 46.2 on his checkout percentage compared to just 14.3 per cent from the Welshman to make it through to the showpiece.
Van Gerwen, who was excellent in Exeter a week ago, coasted to victory over Cullen, who received a quarter-final walkover after his opponent Gerwyn Price pulled out earlier on Thursday night after suffering a hand injury.
‘Mighty Mike’ took out an impressive 88 checkout before reeling in ‘The Big Fish’ for a 4-0 lead over stone-cold Cullen.
Although ‘The Rockstar’ stopped the tungsten tide, Van Gerwen eventually pinned D5 to make it back-to-back finals.
Clayton survived two match darts to win a thrilling tussle against new world No 1 Peter Wright with a match-winning 121 checkout on the bullseye in the deciding leg.
‘The Ferret’ also crashed in finishes of 120 and 141 to spoil Wright’s party on his 52nd birthday.
Smith had bounced back from his heart-breaking UK Open final defeat to Danny Noppert with a 6-1 demolition job against Gary Anderson.
The St Helens thrower, who suffered an eighth successive defeat in a televised final over a four-year period, reeled off six legs on the spin to defeat an out-of-sorts Anderson thanks to three maximums and a 90.89 average.
Night Six from Motorpoint Arena, Nottingham: Thursday, March 17
|Quarter-Finals||Michael Smith vs James Wade|
|Michael van Gerwen vs Gerwyn Price|
|Gary Anderson vs Jonny Clayton|
|Joe Cullen vs Peter Wright|
Van Gerwen missed eight match darts before finally stumbling over the finish line in a deciding leg against Wade.
The Dutchman, who has drifted to world No 5, nailed finishes of 121 and 130.
Check out daily Darts news on skysports.com/darts, our app for mobile devices and our Twitter account @skysportsdarts. We’re back for more Premier League action from Motorpoint Arena, Nottingham on Thursday, March 17 from 7pm on Sky Sports Action.
Source : Sky Sports