Awards season might be over but there was still plenty of drama to be had on the second night of Premier League Darts in Cardiff last week – including a defeat for defending champion Michael van Gerwen.
World number one MVG lost for the first-time ever to surging Scot Peter Wright when going down 7-5 in tense and spectacular fashion. Van Gerwen uncharacteristically missed eight doubles when he was 4-3 down to give Wright a bucket-load of momentum that saw him through to victory.
In doing so he ended his eight-match winless streak against the Dutchman and got revenge for his defeat in last year’s final. Memories of that bitter loss at London’s O2 Arena were quashed when Wright clocked an average of 101.04 and 58.33% checkout to remain unbeaten in the league this season. He faces PDC World Champion Rob Cross in the third round this Thursday and should be confident of victory over the former electrician, who seems to have lost his spark.
Cross, who lost to MVG in the first round, failed again to get off the mark in Cardiff after being demolished 7-1 by relegation-favourite Simon Whitlock. Whitlock joins Michael Smith as the only two players to have won their first two fixtures but all eyes will be on how Englishman Cross handles his slump in form since winning his world title.
He’s priced as an outsider for the first time this season against Peter Wright on Thursday and with his buoyant opponent likely to be full of beans off the back of his 7-5 win over van Gerwen win, things could turn ugly. With that in mind, Cross’s odds for winning the Premier League crown have drifted significantly amid his Cardiff horror show and he’s been overtaken by the likes of Gary Anderson in the betting.
Anderson, who seems to have recovered from a back injury, cemented his first win of the season with a 7-3 victory over Welshman Gerwyn Price but he’ll need the same intensity and more when squaring up to a wounded Michael van Gerwen in the third week this Thursday.
Raymond van Barneveld beat Mensur Suljovic 7-5 in a close affair and he’ll face Simon Whitlock in the third round.
We head to Newcastle’s Metro Arena on Thursday night to do it all again. Who’s your money on?
Remember to check out Marathonbet’s extensive range of Premier League Darts betting markets and get those wagers on ahead of another round of fast and frantic action.
Key stats from Week 2:
Highest Checkout 170 (Michael van Gerwen)
Highest 3 Dart Average 102.55 (Mensur Suljovic)
Most 180’s 5 (Gary Anderson)
Total 180’s 28
Night Three – February 15
Metro Radio Arena, Newcastle
Mensur Suljovic v Michael Smith
Daryl Gurney v Gerwyn Price
Peter Wright v Rob Cross
Gary Anderson v Michael van Gerwen
Simon Whitlock v Raymond van Barneveld
Night Four – February 22
Mercedes-Benz Arena, Berlin
Michael Smith v Simon Whitlock
Gerwyn Price v Mensur Suljovic
Michael van Gerwen v Daryl Gurney
Rob Cross v Raymond van Barneveld
Peter Wright v Gary Anderson
Night Five – March 1
Westpoint Arena, Exeter
Gary Anderson v Rob Cross
Daryl Gurney v Peter Wright
Mensur Suljovic v Michael van Gerwen
Raymond van Barneveld v Michael Smith
Simon Whitlock v Gerwyn Price