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John Henderson delighted his home crowd as the Unibet Premier League visit Aberdeen's BHGE Arena on Thursday with a draw against Michael van Gerwen as James Wade whitewashed his way to the top of the league table.
Huntly's Henderson was one of the nine Contenders who stepped in to replace fellow Scot Gary Anderson, and he rose to the challenge on the biggest night of his career.
After being welcomed to "Flower of Scotland" by a bagpiper, Henderson battled back from 3-0 down as he withstood a barrage of big scoring against the reigning Premier League and World Champion.
Henderson pulled back to 5-4 before Van Gerwen secured a point to avoid a second successive Premier League defeat, only for a pair of tops finishes in the final two legs to seal a draw for the local favourite.
The draw means that Van Gerwen is now one of four players locked on seven points at the top of the league table following wins in Aberdeen for James Wade, Rob Cross and Gerwyn Price on Night Five.
Wade produced the first whitewash of the season by storming past Daryl Gurney 7-0. The 2009 champion followed up last week's victory over Michael van Gerwen with the highest average of the season to date of 109.59 as he also limited Gurney to just two darts at a double.
Wade's ruthless display saw him take out 158 and 116, and he said: "It's a great win and I'm really happy. Daryl is better than that but it's an evolution of my character.
Former World Champion Rob Cross picked up his third victory of the season in superb style with a 7-3 triumph over Michael Smith in the Aberdeen opener. Legs of 14 and 12 darts gave Smith an early 2-1 advantage, but after Cross levelled in leg four a superb 164 checkout to break throw in the fifth turned the game.
Cross then took out 68, 81 and 87 before a missed tops for the match allowed Smith in to finish 90 on the bull, but the former World Champion was not to be denied as he posted double three to claim the points.
Gerwyn Price maintained his unbeaten start to the season with a clinical 7-3 defeat of Mensur Suljovic, landing seven doubles from nine attempts. Finishes of 107 and 127 helped Price into leads of 2-0 and 5-1 before Suljovic took out legs of 11 and 14 darts to hit back, only for tops to seal a fine win for the Welshman.
Scottish hero Peter Wright delighted the Aberdeen crowd by defeating Raymond van Barneveld 7-3, leaving the former champion a point adrift at the foot of the table. After losing the opening leg, Wright took five in a row as he lifted his average to 111, and landed a ten-dart finish before completing his second win of the season.
Night Five – Thursday March 7th - The BHGE Arena, Aberdeen
Michael Smith 3-7 Rob Cross
Daryl Gurney 0-7 James Wade
Mensur Suljovic 3-7 Gerwyn Price
Raymond van Barneveld 3-7 Peter Wright
Michael van Gerwen 6-6 John Henderson
Travel to the ABERDEEN
The BHGE Arena, Exhibition Ave, Bridge of Don, Aberdeen AB23 8BL