Premier League Darts: It’s crunch time in London!
After four gruelling months, the end is nigh. Who will win the 2018 Premier League Darts title?
Four players will now face-off in front of a packed-out crowd at London’s O2 Arena to determine who will walk away as the 2018 Premier League Darts champion.
Last week’s final Phase 2 showdown at the BHGE Arena certainly delivered value-for-money for the boisterous Aberdonian audience. ‘6’ was very much the magic number with three consecutive thrilling 6-6 draws with nothing to separate – ironically enough – six players stepping up to the oche.
Three of the sport’s elder statesmen left the stage with their pride intact with Raymond van Barneveld, Simon Whitlock and Peter Wright all bowing out on a respectable note in snatching a precious point off their precocious rivals Michael Smith, Rob Cross and Daryl Gurney respectively.
That point for the Wizard wasn’t quite enough for his to avoid finishing bottom of Phase 2, but after three years away, he will surely be satisfied at staying competitive on his 2018 return.
The night’s one decisive result had major ramifications on the final shake-up for the O2. Gary Anderson’s clinical 7-5 victory over league leader Michael van Gerwen saw him eliminate Daryl Gurney, leapfrog Rob Cross in the table and avoid a tough rematch against the reigning champion in the opener at the O2.
Cross will now take on MvG, with Anderson taking on Bully Boy. With van Gerwen showing a few chinks in his armour in recent outings and the Flying Scotsman inconsistent, is 2018 the year a new name finally takes the crown?
Cross and Smith may never have a better opportunity to claim the £250,000 top prize.
O2 London, Play Offs
Semi Finals (best of 19 legs)
Michael van Gerwen v Rob Cross
Michael Smith v Gary Anderson
Final (best of 21 legs)
Michael van Gerwen or Rob Cross v Michael Smith or Gary Anderson
Key stats from Aberdeen
Highest 3 Dart Average: Michael van Gerwen – 100.41
Highest checkout: Raymond van Barneveld – 126
Most 180s: Rob Cross – 5
Total 180s: 28