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Premier League Darts: Van Gerwen sails past Clayton in Exeter to secure back-to-back victories

Michael van Gerwen beat Jonny Clayton, Nathan Aspinall, and Gerwyn Price for victory in Exeter; The M&S Bank Arena in Liverpool hosts Night Six of 17 individual venues on Thursday March 9 with the Play-Offs returning to The O2 in London on Thursday May 25

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Michael van Gerwen won Night 5 of the Premier League, seeing off Jonny Clayton in the final

Michael van Gerwen sealed back-to-back Premier League victories and increased his lead at the top of the table as he cruised past Jonny Clayton in a 6-3 victory in Exeter.

Van Gerwen defeated Gerwyn Price and Nathan Aspinall on his way to defeating Clayton in the final, taking out three consecutive legs on the way to becoming the first player in 2023 to win more than one night.

The 'Green Machine' romped to a solid 3-0 lead over Clayton with some superior scoring, the Welshman hitting some big maximums as he tried to fight back.

However, Van Gerwen proved too much for Clayton as he took out a 106 finish in another dominant display on darts' biggest roadshow.

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On Night 5 of the Premier League, Michael van Gerwen and Gerwyn Price endured a nightmare leg in the opening quarter-final in Exeter

In a repeat of last week's epic finale in Dublin, Van Gerwen got his night in Exeter going with a huge 6-3 win over Gerwyn Price. Despite only averaging 29 per cent on the doubles, Van Gerwen's scoring power proved too much for Price as he took four legs in a row for the victory.

In his semi-final clash, Van Gerwen showed his class in a topsy-turvy encounter with Aspinall, the Stockport man's three breaks of throw counteracted by four from the Dutchman.

Premier League - Night 5 in Exeter Results

Quarter-finals Michael van Gerwen 6-3 Gerwyn Price
Nathan Aspinall 6-3 Michael Smith
Dimitri Van den Bergh 6-3 Chris Dobey
Jonny Clayton 6-5 Peter Wright
Semi-finals Michael van Gerwen 6-4 Nathan Aspinall
Dimitri Van den Bergh 2-6 Jonny Clayton
Final Michael van Gerwen 6-3 Jonny Clayton

Missed chances on the doubles became the problem throughout for Aspinall and Van Gerwen took advantage before taking out the final two legs in just 11 darts apiece for a 6-4 win and a place in the final.With another big win under his belt, Van Gerwen now knows he can start to "believe in himself" as the Premier League darts season really stars to hot up.

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Michael van Gerwen was delighted to overcome the cold conditions to win Night 5 of the Premier League in Exeter and extend his lead a the top of the Premier League table

"You have to keep believing in yourself. The pressure is on us and you have to perform," said Van Gerwen.

"To win, week after week, it feels good.

"Six points clear? I love it.

"I still didn't think I was at my best but I was at my best when I had to be today.

"Overall, I think it was a good night."

Clayton had his best night in the Premier League so far in Exeter as he inflicted another heartbreak on Peter Wright in the final quarter-final of the evening, the Welshman taking his chance on D8 for the last leg win and leaving 'Snakebite' still on the hunt for his first Premier League points of 2023.

Peter Wright is still yet to find any points in this year's Premier League
Image: Peter Wright is still yet to find any points in this year's Premier League

The 'Ferret' then found his groove in a clinical semi-final encounter with Van den Bergh, the Welshman securing himself a nice 3-1 cushion with some clinical finishing.

Despite Van den Bergh fighting back with a break of throw, Clayton stood firm and a huge 114 finish, plus 55 per cent accuracy on the doubles, was enough for a spot in the final.

In the other final quarter-finals in Exeter, Van den Bergh came out on top in a high quality quarter-final against Chris Dobey, brilliant 140 and 121 checkouts sealing the final two legs.

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World Champion Michael Smith suffered an unfortunate bounce-out on his opening visit during Night 5 of the Premier League in Exeter

Aspinall also started out with a dominant victory over the world no.1 Michael Smith, taking four legs in a row, with 116 and 140 checkouts and six 180s helping him on his way.

Where are we heading next?

Night 6 in Liverpool: Thursday, 9 March

Quarter-Finals Gerwyn Price vs Peter Wright
Michael van Gerwen vs Jonny Clayton
Chris Dobey vs Nathan Aspinall
Michael Smith vs Dimitri van den Bergh

The Premier League roadshow heads to the M&S Bank Arena in Liverpool for Night Six on Thursday 9 March, as Gerwyn Price takes on Peter Wright and Michael van Gerwen faces Jonny Clayton.

The final two quarter-finals will see Chris Dobey up against Nathan Aspinall, with World Champions Michael Smith taking on Dimitri Van den Bergh.

2023 Premier League Schedule

Night 3 OVO Hydro, Glasgow February 16
Night 4 3Arena, Dublin February 23
Night 5 Westpoint Exeter March 2
Night 6 The Brighton Centre March 9
Night 7 Motorpoint Arena, Nottingham March 16
Night 8 Utilita Arena, Newcastle March 23
Night 9 Mercedes-Benz Arena, Berlin March 30
Night 10 Utilita Arena, Birmingham April 6
Night 11 M&S Bank Arena, Liverpool April 13
Night 12 Rotterdam Ahoy April 20
Night 13 First Direct Arena, Leeds April 27
Night 14 AO Arena, Manchester May 4
Night 15 Utilita Arena, Sheffield May 11
Night 16 P&J Live, Aberdeen May 18
Play-Offs The O2, London May 25

We're back for more Premier League Darts action from the M&S Bank Arena, Liverpool on Thursday 9 March- live on Sky Sports Action from 7pm.

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