Michael van Gerwen beats Rob Cross to equal his best start to a Premier League Darts campaign
Three successive wins for four-time Premier League champion who has never started a campaign with four straight wins
By Paul Prenderville
Last Updated: 22/02/19 7:12am
Michael van Gerwen matched his best start to a Premier League season with a 7-2 hammering of an out-of-sorts Rob Cross in Dublin on Thursday.
The world No 1 and No 2 clashed on the Emerald Isle but it was Van Gerwen who underlined the gulf in class with a dominant display to maintain his position at the top of the table, and preserve the only perfect record in the year's competition.
What comes next? Night Four - Thursday, February 28 at the Westpoint Arena, Exeter
|Luke Humphries||vs||Gerwyn Price|
|Daryl Gurney||vs||Rob Cross|
|Mensur Suljovic||vs||Peter Wright|
|Michael van Gerwen||vs||James Wade|
|Michael Smith||vs||Raymond van Barneveld|
Michael van Gerwen 7-2 Rob Cross
Van Gerwen has stamped his authority all over the Premier League over the last six years and looks good value to do so again this year.
Having missed a dart at bullseye for a 170, the Dutchman eventually took a messy opening leg via double one before a more clinical 100 gave him an early break and a 2-0 lead.
Pushing his average beyond 106, Van Gerwen raced into a 5-0 lead and he secured a point with an 11-dart break of throw. At that point, he looked looked good to add Voltage to a high-quality list of whitewashes that includes Phil Taylor, Adrian Lewis and James Wade.
However, the Dutchman's ruthless streak deserted him as he missed five darts for the match to allow Cross to get two legs on the board before Van Gerwen finally sealed the win with his eighth match dart.
Daryl Gurney 7-5 Michael Smith
World Championship finalist Smith slipped to the bottom of the Premier League after losing out in a high-quality roller-coaster clash with Superchin.
Two bursts was all Gurney needed as he rallied from 2-0 down to lead 4-2 and 5-4 down to win.
Bully Boy roared into a 2-0 lead but Gurney blasted back to lead thanks to a quite remarkable sixth leg.
With Smith waiting on double top after nine darts, Superchin took out a brilliant 140 only to then see 10 missed darts at double for a 5-2 lead. Smith took full advantage of the reprieve to kickstart a three-leg burst that took him to within two of the match.
But the see-saw nature of the match continued with Gurney reeling off the final three legs to seal an impressive victory and move up to second in the early standings.
Peter Wright 7-5 Steve Lennon
Snakebite silenced a lively home crowd and a blistering start from Steve Lennon - the latest contender to step up in the absence of Gary Anderson.
The Carlow man delighted the 3Arena crowd with a walk-on to 'Whisky in the Jar' and he took the first two legs - the second with an 11-dart break of throw.
Lennon then took out a brilliant 105 for a 3-0 lead before the match turned and Wright rallied. The fourth leg proved crucial with Wright eventually mopping up on double five having been reprieved when Lennon hit double 10 when he needed double six.
Missed doubles were proving crucial for Lennon, who missed four darts for a 4-1 lead, and Wright reeled off the next four to hit the front before pinching two of the next three to secure his first win of this year's competition.
Gerwyn Price 6-6 James Wade
The points were shared in a high-quality contest that started in style with Wade taking out a brilliant 127 to level up after Price had taken the opener amid a cacophony of boos.
The Machine secured a a point courtesy of a brilliant 129 to halt a Price charge that had seen him rally from 5-2 down to lead 6-5 and preserve his unbeaten record.
Having pinned his first three-figure finished in the second leg, Wade turned his nose up at a 170 in the sixth that was almost punished. However, Price missed two darts to level at 3-3 and Wade pegged double 10 on his way to a 5-2 lead.
The Machine wired the bullseye for a 167, and having reduced the deficit to a solitary leg, Price made no mistake at the same target to take out 88 and then pin tops for a fourth leg on the bounce to secure a point before Wade's final-leg heroics.
Mensur Suljovic 6-6 Raymond van Barneveld
Barney came from four legs down for the second successive week to rescue a point and delight the Dublin crowd.
Last week the five-time world champion came from 6-2 down to pinch a point off Gerwyn Price and he was at it again.
Trailing 5-1, Barney won five of the last six legs to share the points with Suljovic and leave both men still without a win.
The Premier League heads to the Westpoint Arena, Exeter on Thursday, February 28. You can also stay up to date with all the action by following us @SkySportsDarts and get all the latest news, previews and interviews www.skysports.com/darts