James Wade inflicts Michael van Gerwen's first Premier League defeat of the season in Exeter
Wade moves up to second spot, as Michael Smith beats Raymond van Barneveld 7-4 to move off the bottom of the table
By Josh Gorton
Last Updated: 01/03/19 9:33am
James Wade produced a fine display to inflict Michael van Gerwen's first defeat of the Premier League season on Night Four in Exeter.
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 last week, but he was unable to make it four wins from four against Wade at the Westpoint Arena.
Elsewhere, Michael Smith overcame his injury woes to register his first win of the season, while Rob Cross and Mensur Suljovic also triumphed on a dramatic night of action.
What comes next? Night Five - Thursday, March 7 at the BHGE Arena, Aberdeen
|Michael Smith||vs||Rob Cross|
|Daryl Gurney||vs||James Wade|
|Mensur Suljovic||vs||Gerwyn Price|
|Raymond van Barneveld||vs||Peter Wright|
|Michael van Gerwen||vs||John Henderson|
James Wade 7-3 Michael van Gerwen
Van Gerwen was bidding to win his opening four Premier League games for the first time in his career, but Wade produced a typically clinical display to stun 'The Green Machine'.
Van Gerwen dominated the scoring stakes early on, but he squandered five darts to break in leg four, before spurning three more opportunities in leg six.
The Dutchman was ruthlessly punished for his profligacy as Wade completed an unconventional 65 kill on double 19, before the nine-time major winner stretched his lead to 5-3 with a 14-dart hold on tops.
The left-hander then claimed his fourth straight leg courtesy of a majestic 121 finish on the bull, before wrapping up a famous win via double 18, to prevail with a 95.65 average and a 47% checkout success rate.
Michael Smith 7-4 Raymond van Barneveld
Smith overcame his injury woes to secure his first win of the season and move off the bottom of the table at Van Barneveld's expense.
'Bully Boy' underwent emergency surgery on an abscess on Monday and he struggled early on as Van Barneveld took out a brace of 76 finishes to establish a 3-1 cushion.
However, the World Championship finalist responded by winning five of the next six legs, following up a brilliant 171 with a 12-dart break to move 6-4 ahead.
Van Barneveld fought back to claim draws against Price and Suljovic over recent weeks, but he was unable to repeat the feat against Smith, who sealed the victory with a 99 average and an impressive 70% on the doubles.
Luke Humphries 6-6 Gerwyn Price
Grand Slam champion Price came agonisingly close to registering the first Premier League nine-darter for almost two years as he shared the spoils with contender Luke Humphries in a gripping contest.
Price, who won back-to-back Players Championship titles over the weekend, took out a stunning 147 checkout to lead 3-1, but Humphries fired back with a sensational 161 checkout in leg five.
The incredible standard continued as Price missed double 12 for his first televised nine-darter in the following leg; returning to complete a majestic 10-dart hold.
Humphries reeled off three straight legs in 15, 12 and 11 darts to storm 5-4 ahead and he almost became the first contender to triumph in this year's competition, missing double 14 for a 148 finish in the decider.
However, Price defied the boos from the Exeter crowd to complete a nerveless 76 outshot on tops and preserve his unbeaten start to the season.
Rob Cross 7-1 Daryl Gurney
Former world champion Cross moved into third spot after claiming a resounding 7-1 victory over Gurney, who was bidding to secure his third successive league win.
'Voltage' was thrashed 7-2 by Van Gerwen on Night Three in Dublin, but he inflicted a drubbing on an under-par Gurney, who was only afforded the solitary dart at a double.
Cross punished an abject start by the Northern Irishman to race into a 6-0 lead, taking out a eye-catching 153 checkout in leg five as he came within a leg of recording the tenth whitewash in Premier League history.
Gurney avoided that particular indignity with a clinical two-dart 80 combination, but Cross wrapped up an emphatic victory in the following leg, to prevail with a 102.16 average.
Mensur Suljovic 7-4 Peter Wright
Suljovic secured his first win of this year's Premier League after fending off a late fightback from an inconsistent Wright.
'The Gentle' drew 6-6 with Van Barneveld last week after surrendering a 5-1 cushion, and he established another huge lead as 'Snakebite' toiled in the early stages.
The Scot drew first blood with a 14-dart break, before Suljovic reeled off six legs on the spin, including back-to-back 12-darters and a 121 finish as he guaranteed himself a point.
Wright fired in a brilliant 11-darter and converted 81 and 85 finishes to reduce the arrears to 6-4, but Suljovic kept his cool to prevail with a 98.27 average to leapfrog Wright in the table.
The Premier League heads to the BHGE Arena in Aberdeen on Thursday, March 7. 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