Night 10 Round-Up – Cross Impressive Leads The Table

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Night 10
4/4/19: Daryl Gurney in action against Rob Cross during the Unibet Premier League Darts at the SSE Arena, Belfast. Picture: Michael Cooper

Night 10

 

Northern Ireland’s Gurney was given an incredible welcome at The SSE Arena as he made his second Premier League appearance in Belfast but was unable to pick up two points as clinical Cross dashed his hopes.

The former World Champion averaged almost 105, hitting three ton-plus checkouts amongst 50 per cent of his darts at a double to maintain his own charge towards the Play-Offs.

After Gurney took the opener, Cross silenced the home crowd with legs of 12 and 13 darts to lead and landed another 12-darter he moved 4-2 up.

Gurney responded with a crowd-pleasing 112 combination, but Cross claimed three of the next four to seal a point before securing the win by finishing 124 on the bull.

“I hit the big scores at the right times and I’m happy with the performance and the win,” said Cross.

“I’ve been scoring big and doing the right things at the right times, and darts is all about timing. If you can deliver the big shots at the right time, they hurt.”

The win leaves Cross a point clear at the top of the table ahead of World Champion Van Gerwen, who came from 7-5 down to snatch a draw with Price.

 

 

 

 

Night 10
4/4/19: Michael van Gerwen and Gerwyn Price during the Unibet Premier League Darts at the SSE Arena, Belfast. Picture: Michael Cooper

 

 

Welshman Price was aiming to claim his first career win over the Dutchman and came from a leg down to lead 5-1 with a superb run, which included a huge 128 bull finish.

Van Gerwen pulled the deficit back to 5-4 and 6-5, but three missed doubles in leg 12 allowed Price to seal a minimum of a point at 7-5.

The world number one took out 90 with two double 18s to force a deciding leg, with Price then scoring 140, 135 and 180 only to miss two match darts at tops as Van Gerwen took out 82 to share the spoils.

“Before the game, I’d have taken a point but I’m still disappointed,” admitted Price. “I should have beaten him.

“At 4-1 or 5-1 you start to think you’ve got him right where you want him, but for three legs I went to sleep.

“You always know he’s going to come back with something big and he showed that in the last leg, but I bombed a lot of opportunities in that game.

“I’m disappointed but I’m happy in another way – not many people will take points from Michael. It’s so close that every point is vital.”

Van Gerwen conceded: “”I missed too many doubles and I shouldn’t put myself in that position – at one point I was on 1/11 but I always believe in myself.

“He played really good darts and this game had everything. I hoped I would get one chance and I’m glad he gave me it.”

 

 

 

Night 10
4/4/19: Mensur Suljovic celebrates after beating James Wade during the Unibet Premier League Darts at the SSE Arena, Belfast. Picture: Michael Cooper

 

 

 

Mensur Suljovic claimed his fifth victory of the season as he overcame James Wade 8-6, denying the 2009 champion the chance to snatch a draw with a 14-darter in a deciding leg which featured seven perfect darts.

Suljovic hit back from 2-0 down to lead 3-2, with Wade then taking out 96 to regain the lead before four successive legs – including a ten-dart finish – saw the Austrian move 7-4 up.

Wade finished double ten and a superb 137 checkout as he took the game all the way, but Suljovic opened the deciding leg with two 180s and bounced back from missing out on a nine-darter to nail double six for victory.

“It’s a brilliant feeling,” said Suljovic, who moves above Wade in the table. “James got 2-0 up but I had to focus on my game and I did that.

“To draw seven-all would have been good but I’m so happy that I got the win because James is a brilliant player.”

 

 

 

Night 10
4/4/19: Michael Smith and Peter Wright during the Unibet Premier League Darts at the SSE Arena, Belfast. Picture: Michael Cooper

 

 

Peter Wright and Michael Smith drew for the second time this season as they shared the points in a tight encounter.

Smith finished 108, 130 and an 11-darter in the early stages, but Wright claimed the first break in leg 11 to move 6-5 up with a 14-darter.

2018 Premier League finalist Smith responded in the same manner to break back and then finished 85 on the bull to secure a point at 7-6, but Wright landed a 180 in the deciding leg before double four secured a draw.

“It’s frustrating,” admitted Smith. “I needed two points tonight to move me closer to the top four and I’m annoyed with myself, but I got a point and that’s better than getting beaten.

“The only leg I deserved to lose was the last one – I couldn’t finish him off and my doubles were shocking.”

Wright said: “I was disappointed with my whole match. I didn’t really start scoring until the last three or four legs and my finishing kept me in it.

“Both of us could still make the Play-Offs but there’s still a lot of games to go yet.”

The Unibet Premier League continues on Thursday, April 11 with Night 11 at The M&S Bank Arena in Liverpool, where local star Smith will take on Van Gerwen in a repeat of January’s World Championship final.

League leader Cross will play Wright, third-placed Suljovic takes on Price and Gurney faces Wade in the other three ties in Liverpool. For tickets, visit mandsbankarena.com or call 0344 8000 400.

 

 

Unibet Premier League

Night Ten – Thursday, April 4

The SSE Arena, Belfast

 

Mensur Suljovic 8-6 James Wade

Michael Smith 7-7 Peter Wright

Rob Cross 8-4 Daryl Gurney

Michael van Gerwen 7-7 Gerwyn Price

 

Night 11 – Thursday, April 11

M&S Bank Arena, Liverpool

 

Rob Cross v Peter Wright

Gerwyn Price v Mensur Suljovic

James Wade v Daryl Gurney

Michael Smith v Michael van Gerwen

 

League Table

PWDL+/-LWATPts
1Rob Cross10712+202615
2Michael van Gerwen10622+222314
3Mensur Suljovic10523+42412
4James Wade10433+82511
5Daryl Gurney10514-22011
6Gerwyn Price10343-11910
7Peter Wright10253-5169
8Michael Smith10325-6188
9Raymond van Barneveld (E)9126-22124
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