Comment & Analysis @RazMirza
Michael van Gerwen simply irresistible at Premier League Darts in Liverpool; Rob Cross stays top
Five games remain for the eight players after a terrific night on Merseyside as the battle intensifies for the four places in the Play-Offs at The O2 on May 23
Last Updated: 12/04/19 6:07am
Michael van Gerwen entertained Liverpool with some champagne darts as he put Michael Smith to the sword in the Premier League on Thursday.
Van Gerwen has topped the pile every year since his 2013 debut season but currently sits in second place behind Rob Cross, who defeated Peter Wright to stay at the top of the standings, ahead of their crunch meeting in Cardiff next Thursday. The world No 1 knows the pressure is on to maintain his proud record.
Four players were left locked on 12 points after James Wade and Daryl Gurney settled for a point apiece and Gerwyn Price defeated Mensur Suljovic on another dramatic night of action at the M&S Bank Arena on #WorldParkinsonsDay.
Michael Smith 3-8 Michael van Gerwen
Van Gerwen made it nine wins from his last 10 meetings against Smith to keep the heat on table-topper Cross.
The Dutchman started with an 11-dart leg, and he maintained his ferocious start with a stunning 122 on the bullseye, followed by another 11-darter for a 4-0 lead.
Both players maintained a relentless pace but it was the world No 1 who stretched away to complete a superb win with a handy three-dart average of 109.11 leaving Smith rooted to the foot of the table.
Rob Cross 8-5 Peter Wright
Cross was back strutting his stuff after recovering from a bout of tonsillitis, showing more of his scintillating form against 2017 finalist Wright, averaging 102.03 on his way to a fine victory.
The former World Champion won the opening three legs, including a show-stopping 140, before 'Snakebite' responded with a superb 11-darter.
Cross maintained his three-leg advantage and he then struck with a fabulous 105 finish for a break which looked to put the game to bed. But the Scotsman responded by winning the next two to close the gap before D10 enabled Cross to guarantee a point with three legs remaining.
Despite a 104 checkout from Wright, Cross made it seven wins from his last eight outings by taking out 50 with a neat two-dart combination.
James Wade 7-7 Daryl Gurney
Gurney was looking to avenge his whitewash at the hands of Wade in Aberdeen, but had to settle for a draw in the end.
He spurned three darts for a 6-3 advantage and was made to pay the price by Wade, who nailed tops for a 6-5 lead.
But the Northern Irishman stayed calm under pressure to rescue a priceless point with a magnificent 10-dart leg.
Gerwyn Price 8-5 Mensur Suljovic
Price repeated his night five win over Austrian ace Suljovic to stay in the Play-Off hunt and leapfrog his opponent on legs difference.
Suljovic battled back from a 3-0 deficit by reeling off four on the spin. But Welshman Price kept his composure to race clear again and seal an important victory.
What comes next? Night 12 - Thursday, April 18 - Motorpoint Arena, Cardiff
|Mensur Suljovic||vs||Daryl Gurney|
|Rob Cross||vs||Michael van Gerwen|
|Michael Smith||vs||Gerwyn Price|
|Peter Wright||vs||James Wade|
The Premier League continues as we head to the Motorpoint Arena in Cardiff on Thursday, April 18. 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