Michael van Gerwen thrashes Rob Cross to top Premier League Darts table as Van Barneveld defeats Anderson

Van Gerwen and Cross shake hands (credit:Lawrence Lustig/PDC)

Michael van Gerwen clinched top spot in the Premier League for a sixth successive season after a 7-2 rout of Rob Cross in Birmingham on Thursday, while Raymond van Barneveld powered past Gary Anderson.

Van Gerwen, the reigning and three-time Premier League champion, produced a devastating display to thrash the current World Champion with a 111.57 average - his highest of the season so far.

The win ensures MVG will head to The O2 in a fortnight as league winner and assures him of a £25,000 bonus, as well as the potential £250,000 if he was to retain the title.

"I think it was a phenomenal game from me, I did the right things when I had to," said Van Gerwen.

"I know I have to perform well every week and I have to make sure I do the right things at the right times.

"You have to keep Rob under pressure because he has a lot of confidence, and I did that. I didn't make many mistakes and it was a great win for me. I'm so happy to be top for a sixth season.

"I know I'm the best but I have to make sure I go out at prove it every week. The pressure if off me now and I can make sure I'm fully focused going to The O2."

Van Gerwen broke throw in the opening leg on double 19 before hitting double ten and taking out 76 and double 16 to race into a 4-0 lead.

Cross finished 78 to get off the mark, but only for Van Gerwen to hit back with a majestic 144 checkout in the following leg.

Cross doubled his tally courtesy of double 16 but MVG replied with double eight and an 86 checkout on the bullseye to seal a rampant win.

Anderson, the 2011 and 2015 Premier League champion, slipped to his second successive defeat as he went down 7-3 to an impressive Van Barneveld.

Van Barneveld entered the evening knowing he could not reach the top four but produced a fine display with the pressure off, averaging 100 and hitting three 180s.

Van Barneveld began the match with a 180 and finished double eleven for first blood before taking out 103 in leg two and double 16 in the third to assume command.

Anderson took out 80 to open his account but then missed six darts at doubles in the following leg to allow Barney to convert double one for a 4-1 advantage.

After the Dutchman had landed tops to go further ahead, Anderson followed up a 177 with double tops for an 11-darter, but RVB hit his third maximum and finished 90 to go 6-2 ahead.

Anderson rallied with a 95 checkout but only for Van Barneveld to hit double to seal the win with a tidy 13-dart leg.

"When the pressure is off, you release stress and I felt very comfortable," said Van Barneveld.

"I was playing well and I felt focused. I tried to win by a big score to keep myself in the tournament.

"It hasn't been my best Premier League campaign but I want to end it well and finish as high up the league as possible."

Michael Smith confirmed his place in the Play-Offs as he earned a point in a hard-fought draw with Daryl Gurney.

Smith, who needed just three legs to ensure his place at The O2, had to withstand a barrage of six 180s from Gurney.

The Northern Irishman needed at least a draw to keep his top four hopes alive but found himself trailing 3-1. 

Gurney kept himself in the game with a terrific 147 checkout, and three legs later took out a stunning 167 to level up at 4-4.

The pressure was on Smith, who trailed 6-5 going into the final leg of the match, but the St Helens thrower held his nerve to deny Gurney a crucial two points by taking out 81 on the bullseye.

"My dad can book his hotel for The O2 now," said Smith, the former World Youth Champion. "Daryl hit me with some good shots, the 147 and the 167, but I kept my head level.

"I knew I needed one big leg at the end, thankfully I threw well and went out in 12 darts."

Peter Wright leapfrogged Simon Whitlock to move off the foot of the table courtesy of a 7-4 triumph in their basement battle at Arena Birmingham.

Wright raced into a 4-1 lead with notably finishes of 76 and 68 before the Australian ace pegged one back to remain in contention.

The Scottish star extended his lead to 5-2 before Whitlock rallied to take the next two legs, though Wright showed his class by taking out 118 to move within a leg of victory - which he duly sealed with a solid 14-dart leg.
 
"I was battling myself to be honest," admitted Wright. "I was a very lucky man because Simon should've won the match ages ago, if he’d have hit his doubles with the first dart every leg I would've been in big trouble."

The final league night at Aberdeen's BHGE Arena on May 10 will see Gurney needing to win his match with Wright by a 7-2 scoreline or better to keep the pressure on Anderson, who takes on Van Gerwen.

Unibet Premier League 2018 Results


Thursday May 3

Peter Wright 7-4 Simon Whitlock
Rob Cross 2-7 Michael van Gerwen
Daryl Gurney 6-6 Michael Smith
Gary Anderson 3-7 Raymond van Barneveld





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Michael van Gerwen thrashes Rob Cross to top Premier League Darts table as Van Barneveld defeats Anderson

Michael van Gerwen clinched top spot in the Premier League for a sixth successive season after a 7-2 rout of Rob Cross in Birmingham on Thursday, while Raymond van Barneveld powered past Gary Anderson.

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