Coverage continues on Friday night with the penultimate night of action in the league phase – join us from 7pm on Sky Sports Arena
By Paul Prenderville
Last Updated: 04/09/20 6:11am
Glen Durrant ended Michael van Gerwen’s hopes of winning the Premier League league phase for an eighth successive year, fighting back to draw 7-7 with the world No 1.
A run of two wins from his last six matches had left MVG outside the top four with just three games remaining, and despite bossing his match with Duzza, the Dutchman’s Premier League fate is no longer in his own hands.
Durrant fought back from 7-5 down to extend his unbeaten run to 10, while Van Gerwen sits level on points with fourth-placed Nathan Aspinall and six behind the Premier League leader with only two games to play.
Duzza, in his debut Premier League year, can only be denied top spot and the £25,000 league winner’s bonus by Gary Anderson, who is within touching distance after his victory against Michael Smith – meaning a new name will join Phil Taylor and Van Gerwen as the only men to win the league stage.
World champion Peter Wright was also victorious, but all eyes are on five-time Premier League champion Van Gerwen after Durrant’s trademark determination saw him fight back to earn a draw for the third time in four matches.
Premier League Darts – Thursday’s results
|NIght 14||Gerwyn Price 7-7 Daryl Gurney|
|Gary Anderson 8-2 Michael Smith|
|Peter Wright 8-5 Nathan Aspinall|
|Glen Durrant 7-7 Michael van Gerwen|
Duzza fights back to leave Van Gerwen facing battle
Glen Durrant came into the contest safe in the knowledge his place in the Play-offs was assured and with a 100 per cent record against Michael van Gerwen – and while this was not another victory, the draw was equally impressive.
Durrant fought back brilliantly once again, having done the same against Anderson and Wright over the last few nights of action and in denying Van Gerwen a win, he leaves the Dutchman on the outside looking in.
Van Gerwen is fifth ahead of his match with Gary Anderson on Friday night, but he should be fourth having blown two match darts to sink Durrant and keep his fate in his own hands.
Having won just a solitary leg in an 8-1 defeat to Peter Wright on Wednesday, Van Gerwen bettered that by pinning the bullseye for a break of throw in just the second leg of the match
Having changed his darts, Van Gerwen was looking more comfortable than recent evenings and when Duzza’s doubling went awry it was the Dutchman who pounced for a 4-2 advantage.
The next four legs were split evenly at Van Gerwen drew within two of victory. Having seen Durrant claim the 11th, it was MVG who secured a point, thanks to a brilliant 108 finish, but Duzza is a tough nut to crack.
Both men were struggling with their finishing, Van Gerwen missing match darts before Durrant prevailed on double one for a priceless point.
On-song Anderson hammers Bully Boy
Gary Anderson remains in the hunt for top spot and a best Premier League finish after a 7-2 hammering of Michael Smith, whose hope of a return to the semi-finals are hanging by a thread.
Bully Boy is three points adrift of the top four after a third defeat to Anderson since darts’ return and having been edged out in the World Matchplay semi-final and on the opening night of the Premier League return, it was a familiar feeling.
Smith hit just two of his eight darts at double and both came in the opening three legs as Anderson produced a seven-leg run to cross the finish line and reach 19 points – a total that has never failed to make the play-off.
Having spent most of Wednesday night fretting over double 10, Anderson pinned that very target to claim the first leg of the contest
After watching Smith win the next two, including a brilliant 10-dart break of throw, the 2011 and 2015 champion make his move, reclaiming the lead with a stunning 154 check-out
The Scot secured a point with a classy 66 finish, and wrapped up the win with a two-dart combination 96 that keeps him on Duzza’s coattails.
Premier League Darts – Friday night fixtures
|Night 15||Daryl Gurney v Nathan Aspinall|
|Glen Durrant v Peter Wright|
|Gary Anderson v Michael van Gerwen|
|Michael Smith v Gerwyn Price|
Live Premier League Darts
September 4, 2020, 7:00pm
Wright strikes in battles of the snakes
Nathan Aspinall and Peter Wright kicked off the evening in the top four but at the end of their thrilling contest it was Wright whose top-four hopes remain in tact and Asp who is left playing catch-up going into the final two games.
Wright, the current world champion, has only made the top four once, but he rallied from 5-3 down and missed just two of his 10 darts at a double as Aspinall lost his way have got himself into a strong position.
Snakebite’s 119 finish underlined his threat but it was Aspinall who made the early running as he opened up a 4-2 advantage before the wheels came off.
Leading 5-4 Aspinall missed two darts to take a two-leg lead and Snakebite claimed the next four legs to take third spot in the table from his younger opponent.
Having secured a point there was no turning back from Wright, who wrapped up both points with a typically clinical, three dart combination.
Price playing catch-up after Gurney battle
Gerwyn Price is now winless in two games as his play-off hopes continue to hit the buffers after being forced to settle for a share of the spoils against Daryl Gurney.
Super Chin bossed the game for periods, but Price will rue missed opportunities having forged into the lead at 6-5 and 7-6.
Gurney took a scrappy opener and followed up with some exhibition finishing, courtesy of a pair of double tops to lead 2-0 after Price had missed five darts to level.
The Iceman rallied to draw level but missed a chance to lead for the first time and was punished by Gurney, who went on to open up a 4-2 advantage.
Knowing every point is crucial in this tightest of Premier Leagues, Price battled back. Fired up by a 121 to stay in touch, he broke throw to level once again.
Having shared the next four legs, the match effectively turned into a race to two and it was Price who secured the point first. But Gurney has shown tremendous fighting spirit to first avoid elimination and then stay competitive, and it was fitting that a brilliant 130 earned him a welcome point.
Coverage of the 2020 Premier League continues on Sky Sports Arena on Thursday with the first of four consecutive nights of action begins and the race to the O2 hots up