Template - Date: Premier League Night Three CARDIFF
Nathan Aspinall inflicted a first Unibet Premier League defeat of 2020 on Michael van Gerwen on Night Three in Cardiff, while Gerwyn Price was held to a 6-6 draw by Daryl Gurney in the Welsh capital.
Having been at his imperious best in the opening two nights of action, five-time Premier League champion Van Gerwen was halted in his tracks by Aspinall who won 7-5 in front of a sell-out crowd at Motorpoint Arena.
Aspinall got off to a great start against the world number one as he pinned a 110 checkout on his way to a 4-2 lead. Van Gerwen hit back with three successive legs to hit the front, only for Aspinall to stop the rot with a last dart double 18. The 11th leg saw Van Gerwen hit some uncharacteristically low scores, and Aspinall took full advantage, hitting double top in each of the last two legs to rack up his third win in six attempts against the Dutchman.
Welsh number one Price was unable to deliver a win for his army of fans as he drew for the third consecutive week, this time against Gurney, who picked up his first point of the campaign. Undeterred, Gurney won back-to-back legs to secure the draw, but Price held firm in the last leg to maintain his unbeaten start to the season.
Price’s World Cup teammate Jonny Clayton suffered a baptism of fire on his Premier League debut, as Michael Smith produced the performance of the night to claim a 7-1 victory, Clayton took the opening leg but had no answer to a Smith onslaught, which saw the former Premier League runner-up average 105.51.
Having salvaged a point against Fallon Sherrock on Night Two, Durrant was at his clinical best as he landed finishes of 107, 89 and 85 on his way to a 5-1 lead. Two-time Premier League champion Anderson hit back with checkouts of 122 and 64, but Durrant maintained control of the contest to move to the table summit.
World Champion Peter Wright eventually found his way to a first victory of the campaign with a 7-5 defeat of Rob Cross, though Wright averaged over 20 points more than his opponent for much of the contest. With Cross struggling to find his range on the trebles, Wright took advantage to race into a 3-0 lead thanks to a trio of 13-dart legs.
Former World Champion Cross fought back and took the match all the way to a 12th leg, but after the former World Champion failed to take out 126, Wright found a last dart double five to condemn Cross to his first loss of the season.
The 2020 Unibet Premier League continues with Night Four in Dublin on Thursday February 27 as Republic of Ireland’s World Cup runner-up William O’Connor stars as a Challenger against Van Gerwen, while table-topper Durrant meets Aspinall in the battle of the newcomers.
Unibet Premier League Night 3
February 22nd, Motorpoint Arena, Cardiff
(101.95) Peter Wright 7-5 Rob Cross (90.13)
(97.44) Jonny Clayton 1-7 Michael Smith (105.51)
(96.84) Michael van Gerwen 5-7 Nathan Aspinall (100.46)
(97.46) Daryl Gurney 6-6 Gerwyn Price (93.70)
(97.24) Glen Durrant 7-4 Gary Anderson (96.89)
5pts – Glen Durrant (+7)
4pts – Michael Van Gerwen (+6)
4pts – Nathan Aspinall (+4)
3pts – Michael Smith (+2)
3pts – Rob Cross (0)
3pts – Gerwyn Price (0)
3pts – Peter Wright (0)
3pts – Gary Anderson (-1)
1pt – Daryl Gurney (-8)
Unibet Premier League Night 2
February 15th, Motorpoint Arena, Nottingham
(94.71) Rob Cross 7-5 Nathan Aspinall (95.48)
(98.11) Gerwyn Price 6-6 Michael Smith (101.71)
(95.58) Gary Anderson 6-6 Peter Wright (88.72)
(92.21) Glen Durrant 6-6 Fallon Sherrock (87.36)
(93.92) Daryl Gurney 1-7 Michael van Gerwen (105.05)
Unibet Premier League Night 1
February 6th, P&J Live, Aberdeen
(95.01) Glen Durrant 7-3 Michael Smith (95.41)
(94.71) Gary Anderson 7-5 Daryl Gurney (91.65)
(104.13) Michael van Gerwen 7-5 Peter Wright (97.71)
(89.19) Nathan Aspinall 7-3 John Henderson (81.93)
(95.86) Gerwyn Price 6-6 Rob Cross (100.10)