World number one Michael van Gerwen fought back from 5-1 down to win his third UK Open title on a memorable night at the Butlin’s Minehead Resort. The 30-year-old Dutchman took the trophy with a 11-9 victory over Welshman Gerwyn Price. Earlier in the day, Mighty Mike hit a magnificent nine dart finish, the third on TV in a week after Michael Smith and Jonny Clayton, which came during his 11-3 semi-final win over Daryl Gurney.
In the final itself, things looked very different early on after MVG opened the final with a 180 and took the first leg, only to see Price completely take over, checking out 105 and 97 to surge ahead before missing bullseye for a 127 checkout that would have put him 6-1 up. Michael van Gerwen didn’t need a second invitation to start his fight back and duly took his chance to reduce the deficit over the next few legs.
Price restored some of his lead by taking the ninth leg but before long there was just one leg between the pair as MVG closed the gap to 6-5. The Iceman did manage to edge ahead 7-5 after which he hit a streak of costly misses, spurning 12 double attempts in each of the next four legs, which Mighty Mike happily gobbled up. Price kept himself alive in the next, before agonisingly missing a chance to force a decider on the bull. Van Gerwen robotically took out his score on his next visit and claimed the crown for a third time.
Over the weekend, The Iceman recorded four 100+ averages during the five wins that led him to the final, including his matchup with fellow Welshman Jonny Clayton who he dismissed with a 11-4 win, while MVG ousted reigning champ Nathan Aspinall before beating James Wade.
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Darts Premier League Night Five Recap
Daryl Gurney shared the points with Rob Cross in a 6-6 draw that kicked off Thursday’s Darts Premier League action in Exeter. Gurney had raced into a 3-0 lead but as soon as Cross got level he was in complete control despite the fact that Superchin once again edged ahead when he took the score to 5-4. Voltage responded by hitting his second and third maximums of the match to make it 5-5. Gurney on the other hand only hit his first maximum in the following leg only to see his rival hold throw and guarantee a point. A point was all he would get as Gurney took out the final leg to share the spoils.
Match two saw Glen Durrant register a 7-3 defeat of Gerwyn Price. Duzza broke in the first leg after Price missed his chance at tops leaving the Middlesbrough man clear to take out 54. Duzza followed that up with a pair of 140s to hold his throw in following leg. Before long, Durrant was holding on to a surprising 5-0 lead over the world number three who finally got off the mark in the next before Duzza restored the deficit. A 12-dart leg helped Price keep the game alive but it was only to be a brief moment of hope as Durrant made Price pay for a costly missed double to go 6-2 ahead before closing out the match.
Peter Wright returned to winning ways with a decent 7-3 victory over Nathan Aspinall in match three. Snakebite has won just once in four so far and soundly thrashed by Gerwyn Price a week earlier so really needed to get some points on the board and stop the rot. It was Aspinall though who took the first leg before dropping a bull in the second letting Wright in to level. Snakey then took out 76 to steal the lead and followed that up by nicking the next one too. The Asp replied instantly and things continued this way until Wright opened up some daylight between the two at 5-3 after which things went pretty smoothly for the world champion.
Luke Humphries became the first Challenger to win a Premier League match when he beat Gary Anderson 7-5 in match four. Weirdly, the idea of challengers only came about because of Anderson’s withdrawal last year so it’s fitting that he should become the first victim. Cool Hand lived up to his nickname as he landed a 180 on his first visit to the oche, breaking the throw of The Flying Scotsman. After holding his throw in the next, Humphries was soon holding on to a 2-0 lead too. He should have had the third leg too but messed up when shooting for 36 to take a 3-0 lead to let Anderson onto the scoreboard and back into the match and before long draw level. There was nothing to split the pair all the way to 5-5 before Anderson are dropped three shops to let Humphries move within a leg of the match where a sloppy Anderson let Cool Hand Luke land a shock win.
Michael Smith is enjoying this season’s Premier League after throwing a nine darter two weeks ago, he followed that up by beating Michael van Gerwen 7-4 in the closing match of the night. At one point holding on to a 6-1 lead, Bully Boy was averaging over 110, before Mighty Mike began the fight back. But with Smith in this kind of form it proved to be too little too late. Smith was the better player on the day and had enough about him to waste seven throws at double before finally finding one to complete a pleasing victory.
Premier League Darts Night Six Betting Tips
- (11/10) Michael Smith (10/3) Peter Wright (15/8)
- (11/10) Daryl Gurney (10/3) Glen Durrant (15/8)
- (2/1) Gerwyn Price (7/2) Michael van Gerwen (1/1)
- (5/6) Rob Cross (7/2) Stephen Bunting (5/2)
- (6/4) Gary Anderson (7/2) Nathan Aspinall (13/10)
Thursday’s action starts with a humdinger of a tie as a bang in form Michael Smith takes on the world champion Peter Wright. Snakebite won last week when he beat Nathan Aspinall to bounce back from the trouncing dished out a week earlier by Gerwyn Price. As such, his form has been too erratic to call with any real confidence. He is however the world champ and looks levels above himself this time last year. Plus, you have to go back almost two years to find the last time Michael Smith beat Peter Wright on telly. That said, Bully Boy hasn’t lost to Snakebite in the Premier League since 2016 and their two encounters in the tournament last year both ended in draws and this could well throw up the same outcome. Wright though has jointly scored the most 180s in the Premier League this season with 17, while Smith has landed 13 so a worthwhile special bet might be to back there to be over 6.5 180s in the match, 5/6 at bet365.
Top plays bottom in match two as rock bottom Daryl Gurney take on Premier League leader Glen Durrant. However, while Durrant busted in the first round of the UK Open, Gurney made it all the way to the semi-final which should give him some hope. Gurney is the 4/9 favourite with bet365 to finish bottom of the table so needs points desperately. Thing is, this might not be the night given the form Duzza is showing, save for the stat that no one has scored less 180s than him. The pair have met in the DPL before, as it was Superchin who was Duzza’s opponent during his one off appearance as a contender last season when he was soundly beaten by Superchin. For those not looking to back a probably more sensible draw, I’d go with Duzza to take the points in Liverpool.
Match three in Liverpool sees a replay of the UK Open final we all enjoyed Sunday night as Gerwyn Price takes on Michael van Gerwen. Mighty Mike posted an 11-9 victory in Minehead, clawing his way back from 5-1 down, as The Iceman missed the critical chances to claim another title. It was tight, but MVG has won 17 of their 20 encounters so has the mental edge, even if the gap in ability gets closer all the time. This increasingly looks like being the rivalry that will dominate the season – while it’s still running at least – and Price now looks more and more as if he is Michael van Gerwen’s main protagonist. The Iceman is sure to be fired up for this rematch and if he can get off to a similar start, there wont be a lot of wriggle room for MVG to get off the Welshman’s hook. Last week proved that the Dutchman can be beaten but does tend to mentally step up when there is a point to be made meaning he may just take the points here.
Luke Humphries became the first challenger to win a Premier League match last week when he beat Gary Anderson and tonight passes the torch on to Stephen Bunting, a Merseysider throwing in his nearest home city of Liverpool. In fairness, its hard to see The Bullet following suit and beating former world champion Rob Cross but then nobody thought that two time world champion Gary Anderson would lose to Humphries and he did so nothing can be ruled out. These two are another pair who met at the recent UK Open, with Voltage winning 10-8 in the last 16. In fact, Cross has won all four of his matches against Bunting, which might be five from five by the end of the night.
Both Anderson and Aspinall lost last week and are only separated by a point making this matchup a tough one to call. With 17 180s, Anderson has the joint most in the Premier League with fellow Scot Peter Wright. Anderson lost in their most recent televised match at the World Championship and The Asp might well feel confident of repeating the trick. However, The Flying Scotsman was not operating at his best at the time but does look better and better each week, not counting last week’s defeat to a local hero which he followed up with a UK Open defeat to Jelle Klaasen. For that reason, I’ve gone with Aspinall to win this battle but am expecting to see my money tested.
Darts Premier League 2020 Outright Winner Odds
|Michael van Gerwen
QUICK GLANCE AT DARTS PREMIER LEAGUE NIGHT
Venue: M&S Bank Arena, Liverpool
Format: Max of 12, best of 19, 21
Current Champion: Michael van Gerwen
Where To Watch: Sky Sports
When To Watch: (1900 GMT)