Eric Bristow dies at Echo Arena in Liverpool on emotional Premier League Darts night
Suljovic eliminated while second-placed Smith hands Barney a whitewash as news comes through of Bristow's death at the venue
By Raz Mirza
Last Updated: 06/04/18 12:11am
Mensur Suljovic followed Gerwyn Price out of the Premier League on a sad night at the Echo Arena in Liverpool after the death of darts legend Eric Bristow.
Five-time world champion Bristow passed away at the age of 60 after suffering a heart attack at the venue.
Michael van Gerwen was on form yet again as he punished Suljovic to send him crashing out of the tournament as Peter Wright and Daryl Gurney shared the spoils on an emotional night.
Michael Smith produced a breathtaking performance to dismantle legendary Dutchman Raymond van Barneveld, while Rob Cross registered his first win in six meetings against Gary Anderson.
Simon Whitlock sealed his first win in five matches to put an end to Gerwyn Price's miserable campaign.
Judgement Night Results - March 29 at the Echo Arena, Liverpool
|Simon Whitlock||7-3||Gerwyn Price|
|Raymond van Barneveld||0-7||Michael Smith|
|Gary Anderson||5-7||Rob Cross|
|Mensur Suljovic||4-7||Michael van Gerwen|
|Daryl Gurney||6-6||Peter Wright|
Mensur Suljovic 4-7 Michael van Gerwen
Suljovic's swan-song came to an end at the hands of another MVG bashing. The Austrian debutant has picked up just four points this season, with defeats in his last four matches seeing him drop to second bottom in the table and elimination.
The Champions League of Darts winner and world No 1 both missed their seventh arrows in near nine-dart attempts in the opening two legs of a lung-busting match.
A costly missed double from Suljovic allowed the defending champion to move in for a 14-dart break in the fifth leg before landing D14 to consolidate his advantage. Van Gerwen found 68 to ensure he moved back to the top of the table and then landed a 10th maximum - 13th of the match - on his way to an 11-dart leg to seal Suljovic's fate.
Van Gerwen, who averaged 106.34, has now won seven successive games and sits two points clear of Michael Smith at the top of the table.
Daryl Gurney 6-6 Peter Wright
The 2017 Premier League runner-up had been dragged into the elimination battle with three successive 7-1 losses, but after reaching two European Tour finals over the past fortnight, he came out in confident mood despite six breaks in the opening eight legs.
Gurney, who celebrated becoming a father for the first time on Thursday morning, held the advantage until Wright completed a neat 93 finish on D12 to claim a share of the spoils with a 12-darter.
Happy to announce this morning my partner Aine and I welcomed into the world a healthy baby boy mother and Baby doing great so happy.— Daryl Gurney (@Superchin180) April 5, 2018
I will be at Liverpool tonight with Aine’s and baby Daryl’s blessing thank you @OfficialPDC and @MattPorter_PDC @DaveAllen1981 for all the help. pic.twitter.com/PXJ0pZbklu
Raymond van Barneveld 0-7 Michael Smith
St Helens star Smith whitewashed 2014 champion Van Barneveld in his "home" event with a 103.15 three-dart average.
Smith showed his class with an 86 finish on the bullseye for an early breakthrough, while crucial missed doubles from the Dutchman allowed 'Bully Boy' to snaffle the next leg before completing a 14-dart hold.
He was 6-0 up after a crushing 116 checkout and Van Barneveld became just the sixth player to be whitewashed since the change of format in the competition - and ninth overall - as second-placed Smith struck out 76 in the blink of an eye.
Premier League whitewashes
- Lloyd 8–0 Jenkins (2007)
- Taylor 8–0 Mardle (2008)
- Wade 8–0 Whitlock (2012)
- MVG 7–0 Taylor (2014)
- MVG 7–0 Wade (2015)
- Chisnall 7–0 Thornton (2016)
- Taylor 7–0 Thornton (2016)
- MVG 7–0 Adrian Lewis (2017)
- Smith 7-0 Barney (2018)
Gary Anderson 5-7 Rob Cross
World Champion Cross registered his first win over Anderson, having never previously defeated the Scottish ace in five meetings since joining the PDC circuit in 2017.
The Hastings thrower made a perfect start thanks to a 13-dart break and then posting D6 for a 2-0 lead before Anderson hit back with a hold and then landing bullseye, D16 for a show-stopping 82 checkout.
In a scrappy contest, there were three further breaks of throw but 'Voltage' held his advantage with a composed 75 in two darts for a 5-3 lead.
Cross guaranteed himself a point with D4 after Anderson wired D19 for a 155, and sealed a famous win in the next leg with D16.
Simon Whitlock 7-3 Gerwyn Price
Australian star Whitlock picked up a fourth win and a priceless two points against Price in the Welshman's final game before he exits the tournament.
It took Whitlock 14 darts at doubles to win the third leg of a contest which failed to light up the Liverpool stage. He quickly followed it up with a break of throw before hitting D8 for move 4-1 up.
Did you know...
Price finished with an unwanted record of just two points which is the lowest-ever since the Premier League expanded to 10 players.
Price broke back only for 'The Wizard' to nail an astonishing 164 checkout on the bullseye after missing 22 missed darts at double in the match - including 13 in one leg - and it wasn't long before Whitlock completed a routine win.
The 2018 Premier League heads to the FlyDSA Arena in Sheffield next Thursday for week 10 with coverage underway from 7pm on Sky Sports Action & Sky Sports Mix, which you can find on channel 287, and is free for all Sky customers. Five weeks of tungsten action will then continue through to the season's conclusion with the Play-Offs on May 17 at The O2 in London.
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