Darts Expert & Columnist @rod180
Darting fever hits Berlin and Rod Harrington believes it is spreading
"We're in the heart of Berlin and the Premier League is only going to spread"
Last Updated: 23/02/18 1:51pm
The noise made the hairs on the back of Rod Harrington's neck stand to attention after a thrilling night of tungsten action in Berlin on Thursday.
The stars of the Premier League headed to Germany, where on a record-breaking night at the Mercedes-Benz Arena in Berlin, Michael Smith moved clear at the top of the table while Mensur Suljovic, Michael van Gerwen and Rob Cross also picked up victories.
In front of a record-breaking 12,000 fans Harrington was left in awe at what he was witnessing with the growth of darts now at an all-time high.
"The noise made the hairs on the back of my neck stand up," admitted two-time World Matchplay champion, Harrington.
"We've witnessed some great atmospheres in the Premier League and all the other tournaments, but 25 years ago when this company started up, it's totally crazy to think that we're here in Berlin."
"I think it's been a brilliant night. A record-breaking 12,000 fans have crammed in here. We're in the heart of Berlin and the Premier League is only going to spread [across the globe]."
Wayne 'Hawaii 501' Mardle wasn't as enthusiastic as Harrington and felt the players didn't rise to the occasion.
The Premier League was new to Berlin and it was all new for us as well, but if I'm honest I thought they would have been a bit more vocal, I've got to say.
"The quality wasn't great. For one reason or another there was a lot of players tonight who didn't play well. Simon Whitlock wasn't at the races while Gerwyn Price didn't have his usual grit and determination and Barney did not play well at all," said Mardle, who finished fifth in the 2008 Premier League.
"There were a lot of players who were under par, but that last game kind of made up for it [between Gary Anderson and Peter Wright].
"The Premier League was new to Berlin and it was all new for us as well, but if I'm honest I thought they would have been a bit more vocal, I've got to say. But the darts kind of lended itself to that because it wasn't that exciting until the final match.
"Michael van Gerwen is always exciting to watch, we know that, but if Gary Anderson and Peter Wright had been on first then we would have been fine."
Van Gerwen: It's all about winning
Michael van Gerwen spoke to Sky Sports after his latest Premier League win in Berlin
Harrington was impressed with Van Gerwen, who backed up his impressive victory over Gary Anderson in Newcastle by defeating Daryl Gurney 7-2 to move onto six points and claim second place in the table.
"The Premier League is so tough this year. It's going to be the closest we've had and Michael van Gerwen is going to lose matches, but that's what it's all about," he said.
"He's so eager to win and he even plays the Tour events. Those tournaments week in-week out is what keeps his edge.
"There are players that duck out of them but I think they should play in them. Michael has got that killer instinct, that fear factor. He's on a run right now."
The 2018 Premier League heads to the Westpoint Arena in Exeter next Thursday evening with coverage underway from 7pm on Sky Sports Action. You can also watch the arrows on Sky Sports Mix, which you can find on channel 287, and is free for all Sky customers. Eleven weeks of tungsten action will then continue through to the season's conclusion with the Play-Offs on May 17 at The O2 in London.
Night Five - March 1 at the Westpoint Arena, Exeter
|Gary Anderson||v||Rob Cross|
|Daryl Gurney||v||Peter Wright|
|Mensur Suljovic||v||Michael van Gerwen|
|Raymond van Barneveld||v||Michael Smith|
|Simon Whitlock||v||Gerwyn Price|
Keep up to date with the latest darts news, previews, reports, reaction and expert analysis. Get all the latest at www.skysports.com/darts and join in the conversation @SkySportsDarts- don't forget to use #LoveTheDarts
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