Unibet Premier League goes to Duzza
Glen Durrant won his first PDC Major as he lifted the UNIBET Premier League with an 11-8 win over Nathan Aspinall.
Glen Durrant lifted the Unibet Premier League title in Coventry on Thursday after defeating Nathan Aspinall 11-8 in the final.
Durrant became the sixth player to taste Premier League glory with his triumph at the Ricoh Arena, and the first since Michael van Gerwen in 2013 to win the tournament in their debut season.
The 49-year-old had already made history as the third player to top the league phase, and in the Play-Offs Durrant delivered with victories over Gary Anderson – after surviving four missed match darts from the Scot – and Aspinall to scoop one of the biggest crowns in darts.
The Middlesbrough ace had claimed the £25,000 league winner’s bonus last month, and scooped the £250,000 top prize for the biggest pay-day of his career.
The 16th staging of the Premier League, which began in Aberdeen in February, reached its climax on Thursday as Durrant and Aspinall played out the first final between two debutants since the tournament’s inception in 2005.
There was nothing to separate the pair after the opening 12 legs of the final were all won on throw, but two legs later Durrant punished five missed doubles from Aspinall to go 8-6 up.
A 127 checkout followed for Durrant but Aspinall, who beat Peter Wright 10-7 in the semi-finals earlier in the night, replied with a 96 checkout to stop the rot. However, Aspinall was unable to find a break of throw as Durrant closed out the win on his favourite double 16 to claim the title and £250,000 top prize.
Anderson had seen his hopes of claiming a third Premier League title ended when he saw four darts for victory against Durrant go begging in their semi-final, including three in a dramatic deciding leg.
Wright also lost out in the semi-finals following a season which had seen him achieve a nine-dart finish during the league phase before finishing second in the final table.
Unibet Premier League Play-Offs
Thursday October 15th
Ricoh Arena, Coventry
Glen Durrant 10-9 Gary Anderson
Nathan Aspinall 10-7 Peter Wright
Glen Durrant 11-8 Nathan Aspinall
Best of 21 legs
Semi Finals – The opening game of the night saw Glen Durrant survive four match darts as he fought back from 9-7 to defeat Gary Anderson 10-9 and reach the final. A contest which saw both players struggling to find their form throughout began with Durrant, who finished top of the league phase, opening up a 5-2 advantage.
However, two-time Premier League champion Anderson won seven of the next nine legs, landing checkouts of 124 and 120 on the way, to move within a leg of the final at 9-7. Durrant then produced a trademark 113 checkout to stop the rot, before taking out 64 in the next leg after surviving a first match dart at the bullseye from Anderson.
A dramatic deciding leg saw the Scot miss another dart at the bullseye, before Durrant went low on double top with his first match dart. Anderson missed a further two darts at doubles eight and four, allowing Durrant to step in for double ten which he pinned with his first attempt to book his place in the final.
The second semi-final saw Nathan Aspinall defeat Peter Wright 10-7 to set up a final between two players in their debut Premier League year.
A tight opening to the match saw Wright lead 4-3, but the World Champion was pegged back by Aspinall who reeled off the next three legs in just 36 darts to lead 6-4, the last of which saw him land a 138 finish.
Wright replied in kind with a 126 checkout, but three legs later Aspinall took out 141, the third ton-plus checkout of the match, to lead 8-6. Former Premier League runner-up Wright held throw to stay within a leg, but that was as close as the Scot got to levelling as Aspinall won the last two legs to seal his place in the final.