A fortnight ago in the Premier League of Darts we were treated to a little bit of history as current world number one Gerwyn Price finally kicked his 2022 campaign into gear.
On a night of pure darting perfection, the Welshman pinned not one but two nine darters.
He also landed one 170 checkout, 12 180s and an average of 107.58 across his three wins.
The day actually began with The Iceman making the announcement that he was about to become Rocky on the oche when he will be taking part in a charity boxing match where he will take on the former professional Rhys “Cool, Fly and Flashy” Evans on 9 April at the Valley Tavern pub in Fleur-de-lis, which is just a few miles from Price’s home town of Markham in South Wales.
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One Night In Belfast
As for the night time in Belfast, Price started with a quarter-final win over Michael Smith in which he landed ‘The Big Fish’.
He then went on to land his first perfect leg which came during a semi-final victory over Michael van Gerwen.
But he wasn’t done there, as the former world champion hit his second nine-dart finish in his 6-4 victory against James Wade in the final on his way to becoming our third different winner so far.
Price took home the five points, a cool £10k bonus and becomes the first player ever to land three televised nine darters in the same calendar year with Belfast’s pair coming after the Welshman hit a perfect leg at the Ally Pally in January when he was beaten by Michael Smith in the World Championship quarter-final.
This week the world number one meets the world number two in the third game of the night.
Jonny Clayton v Michael van Gerwen
After a fortnight off, the Darts Premier League moves to Exeter’s Westpoint where proceedings will get underway with an intriguing battle between Jonny Clayton and Michael van Gerwen.
Despite their respective rankings, it’s the Ferret that gets the nod having won seven of their last eight clashes.
The most recent of these came just three weeks ago in a Premier League of Darts semi-final in Liverpool where the Welshman, who still tops the table, came out on top 6-4.
Also, this being a short format event that’s first to six legs, it matters who throws first and this week that is Clayton who has technically been drawn as the home thrower.
Although it’s also worth noting that there aren’t many better darters against the throw than Mighty Mike and he has broken in around half of his Darts Premier League games against the throw so far, winning 13 times out of 25.
That’s a decent record considering he has only played five games, but the form is with the Welshman right now.
Michael Smith v Joe Cullen
Game number two sees Michael Smith take on Joe Cullen.
This match represents a chance for Bully Boy, the only darter left in the Premier League of Darts without a point on the board in the new format, to finally get a win under his belt.
Overall, Smith leads 10-7 in the head-to-head, so this is no gimme, but so far he has played each night’s winner in the first round and has been flattened by the three best darts players in the world despite playing OK.
Take last time in Belfast for example, where Bully Boy averaged 103.55 but was still battered by a Gerwyn Price who was back to his imperious best.
With Clayton, Peter Wright, and Price all out of the way, for now at least, high scoring Smith will fancy his chances of finally getting some points on the board knowing that one solitary break of throw could be enough to set up an encounter with the winner of the first match of the night.
Gerwyn Price v Peter Wright
This is the headline act of the night as the top two ranked darters on earth clash head-on in game three in Exeter.
Going by last their performance last time out, it’s Price that is favoured but an in form Peter Wright is not to be dismissed casually either.
Snakebite leads 19-10 in the head to head as they go into their fifth meeting in the last 12 months with the past four producing an even split between with two apiece.
Price’s number one spot is under threat, considerably so, from his rival this week who could actually have gone ahead at the weekend which gives you some indication as to how close this pair actually are.
We’ll back Price, just, but this is the game of the night and one to savour as much as it is to bet on, so just sit back and enjoy this one.
James Wade v Gary Anderson
This is the most tied fixture in Premier League Darts history with five of their past 13 meetings ending in a stalemate.
Obviously, with the new format, that cannot happen again, but it does show how little there is to choose between them.
Overall, however, Anderson leads 30-16 in their meetings and while both of these former Premier League Darts champs could go through, Anderson just about gets the nod to set up a mouth-watering clash with either Snakebite or the Iceman in the next round.
BET365 DARTS BETTING PRICES
Let’s take a look at the Bet365 Premier League Darts betting lines heading into Night 4.
Jonny Clayton (6/4) V (1/2) Michael van Gerwen
Michael Smith (5/4) V (4/7) Joe Cullen
Gerwyn Price (11/8) v (8/15) Peter Wright
James Wade (8/13) v (6/5) Gary Anderson
PREMIER LEAGUE OF DARTS TABLE
|Player||Nights Won||Matches Won||Leg Difference||Points|
|Michael van Gerwen||0||2||+3||4|
QUICK GLANCE AT THE PREMIER LEAGUE OF DARTS WEEK 4
Venue: Westpoint Exeter
Format: Best of 11 legs (first to six)
Current Champion: Jonny Clayton
Where To Watch: Sky Sports Main Event HD & Sky Sports Arena HD
When To Watch: 19:00 UK