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Daryl Gurney and James Wade reach Premier League Darts Play-Offs
Defending champion Van Gerwen will face Gurney at The O2 next Thursday, while 2009 champion Wade will take on Cross
Last Updated: 17/05/19 7:05am
Daryl Gurney and James Wade sealed the final two Premier League Darts Play-Off places after a dramatic night that also saw Michael van Gerwen top the table.
It started with Gerwyn Price and Gurney chalking up wins in the first two matches, which put the pressure on those who held top-four places heading into the night's action - Mensur Suljovic and James Wade - and only one of those was to hang on.
Having finished top in each of the last six league campaigns, Van Gerwen beat Suljovic and was then reliant on table-topper Cross dropping points in the final match of the night to hand him a seventh. And he did when Wade chalked up an impressive 8-6 win that denied Cross the £25,000 leader-phase winners cheque in a dress rehearsal of their scheduled semi-final next week.
Premier League Darts Play-Offs
|Semi-Final||Michael van Gerwen||v||Daryl Gurney|
|Rob Cross||v||James Wade|
Gurney was the first to book his Play-Off place, and a London debut, with a brilliant win over Michael Smith that, coupled with Van Gerwen's first four legs against Suljovic, meant Superchin could not be overhauled - news that reached him in the press room, much to his delight.
Wade's place was then secured before he even took to the oche in the final match of the night as Van Gerwen claimed three more legs against Suljovic to secure a point, denying the Austrian the win he needed for a place in London himself and keep Van Gerwen in the hunt for top spot, which he secured.
Premier League Darts - Night 16 Results
|Gerwyn Price||8-3||Peter Wright|
|Daryl Gurney||8-3||Michael Smith|
|Michael van Gerwen||8-5||Mensur Suljovic|
|James Wade||8-6||Rob Cross|
Gerwyn Price 8-3 Peter Wright
On a night of complex permutations, the equation for Price was simple if he was to have any chance of qualifying - win, and win he did in a high quality contest full of big finishes.
The Iceman took out 106 to open the match and forged an early two-leg advantage, only to see Snakebite battle back to level the contest.
Another sizzling out-shot gave Price control again, courtesy of a superb 142, and having survived a couple of Wright darts to level, Price pounced to reel off four legs.
Snakebite's classy 100 kept the match alive but it only delayed the inevitable as the Iceman took the next leg for the big win he needed to pile the pressure on Gurney and Suljovic and set the tone for the evening.
Daryl Gurney 8-3 Michael Smith
A spectacular start to the game saw the pair trade big finishes and big scores before Gurney struck for the crucial first break of throw as Bully Boy's doubling let him down, as it has throughout his campaign.
A third leg on the bounce on saw Superchin surge clear at 5-2 with Smith's doubles continuing to go astray. Last year's runner-up pinned a brilliant two-dart 100 to reduce the arrears before missing four darts at a double to close within one of Superchin.
Gurney needed no further invitation. Double 16 saw him claim the leg and he then won the next two for a brilliant 8-3 win that eliminated Price and put Superchin in a superb position, which was secured when Van Gerwen helped him out in the penultimate match of the night.
Michael van Gerwen 8-5 Mensur Suljovic
Van Gerwen was too strong for Suljovic, a blistering start that saw him reel off the opening five legs of the match set him on the way to victory, but he won only three of the next eight to stumble over the line.
With The Gentle struggling to find his range, Van Gerwen took out a brilliant 126 for a 4-0 lead, a scoreline that secured Gurney's place at The O2, but it was from there that Suljovic dug deep to keep his own hopes alive.
The Austrian needed a victory and claimed three legs on the bounce to close within two but without a win in almost two years against Van Gerwen he could not get over the line and Van Gerwen claimed a hard-fought win that secured a place back on top of the table.
James Wade 8-6 Rob Cross
With the top-four places secured, there was only one final thing to be decided, top spot and as with Price in the opener, the equation was easy, a win for Cross would see him become just the third man to top league phase after Phil Taylor and Van Gerwen.
Wade, a three-time Premier League finalist, claimed the opening leg of the match and the pair traded holds throughout the first six legs of the match, including a thrilling 126 from Voltage along the way.
With break chances in short supply, the sixth leg of the contest looked like being crucial when Wade blew two darts for the first break but Cross held on and there remained nothing between the pair.
Cross' own chance came in the ninth leg of the match, but after wasting three darts for a crucial break he allowed Wade to keep his nose in front, and the Machine punished him with the first break of throw and a 6-4 lead that proved crucial as The Machine took the points.
So after 16 nights zig-zagging across the UK, Ireland and Europe, the semi-finals are now set for The O2 where Gurney and Van Gerwen will go head-to-head with Superchin knowing he has two wins over the Dutchman in the Premier League this season.
In the other semi-final, Wade has rubber-stamped his return to the competition with a top-four spot and he will face Cross, who was beaten in the last four by Van Gerwen on his Premier League debut last year.
Watch the Premier League Darts Play-Offs from The O2 on Thursday May 23, live coverage begins at 7pm on Sky Sports Action and Main Event