Jonny Clayton a point off four players in table after opening week – the Premier League resumes on Monday April 19 with four consecutive nights of action concluding with Judgement Night where the bottom two will be eliminated
Jonny Clayton leads the Premier League after victory over Gary Anderson on the final night of the first phase, but just three points separate the top nine players in a wide-open competition.
Clayton, hammered as a contender in Cardiff last year, sits top of the pile with seven points – one clear of Dimitri Van den Bergh, who suffered his first defeat of the week, Peter Wright, and Nathan Aspinall and Michael van Gerwen who shared the points in a thriller.
However, De Sousa’s win over Van den Bergh means that he has four points and is just three adrift of the leader despite sitting in ninth place – only reigning champion Glen Durrant is currently adrift on zero points after a fifth defeat of the week.
The PDC paid its respects following the passing of HRH The Duke of Edinburgh, with a toned-down approach to walk-on music and 180s, while the walkway fireworks were removed for the evening’s action.
By the end of the night, the competition remained the most open in recent memory ahead of its resumption on April 19 with four more nights of action in Milton Keynes.
Premier League Darts: Night Five results
|Gary Anderson 4-7 Jonny Clayton|
|Peter Wright 7-5 Rob Cross|
|Michael van Gerwen 6-6 Nathan Aspinall|
|James Wade 7-3 Glen Durrant|
|Dimitri Van den Bergh 3-7 Jose de Sousa
Ferret finishes debut week on a high
Jonny Clayton returned to winning ways to ensure his debut Premier League campaign ended on a high, following a 7-4 victory over two-time champion Gary Anderson.
The Ferret produced a memorable nine-darter on Wednesday night and started fast to take an early 2-0 lead following a break of throw in the opener. Clayton missed a dart for a 3-0 lead and was punished by Anderson who got on the board.
After the next two legs were shared, Anderson made what looked like being a significant burst to level, following a 13-dart leg by punishing three missed darts at double from Clayton for a 4-4 draw.
However, that was as good as it got for the Scot, who saw Clayton claim the final three legs – a brilliant 11-darter the highlight as he claimed his third win of a productive week’s work.
Van Gerwen and Aspinall share points in thriller
Michael van Gerwen and Nathan Aspinall served up a cracking contest in a 6-6 draw that keeps both within touching distance at the top of the table.
Aspinall averaged almost 110 for most of the match but was never ahead and he needed to survive a missed match dart from Van Gerwen in the 12th leg before a share of the points.
After wins over Rob Cross and Peter Wright, Van Gerwen looked to have found his very best form but a 7-3 defeat to James Wade on Thursday underlined the inconsistency in the Dutchman’s game as he chases a sixth Premier League crown.
A high-class start to the contest saw the pair trade three big finishes. Van Gerwen’s opening-leg 100 was bettered by Aspinall’s 121 only for the Dutchman to go even higher with a 141 check-out.
The standard continued to climb, with Van Gerwen opening up a 4-2 lead despite Aspinall’s escalating average. But The Asp dug deep to win the next two legs with clinical 96 and 82 finishes.
With the scores level at 5-5, Van Gerwen was the first to claim a point and he looked set to get another when he had a dart at double top for the match after Aspinall had wilted on his third and fourth visit. But he was handed a chance that he took with the last dart in hand for what could prove to be a precious point.
The first block of the Premier League is complete, still things to work on but some good bit as well. @NathanAspi played very well tonight and credit to him. Now it’s time to get home and see my family. Thank you for all the support this week 💚💚 pic.twitter.com/1omYESP6of
— Michael Van Gerwen (@MvG180) April 9, 2021
Premier League Darts: Night Six fixtures
|Rob Cross vs Gary Anderson|
|Jose de Sousa vs James Wade|
|Jonny Clayton vs Dimitri Van den Bergh|
|Glen Durrant vs Michael van Gerwen|
|Nathan Aspinall vs Peter Wright|
De Sousa earns first win to end Dimi run
Jose De Sousa added a first Premier League victory to the nine-dart leg he achieved on Thursday, beating Dimitri Van den Bergh 7-3 to knock the Belgian off top spot in the Premier League and ignite his own top-four hopes.
The Portuguese thrower has played well and piled in a host of maximum 180s across the week, but he had been winless after the opening four nights, but he produced some of his very best arrows on the final night of action.
Van den Bergh had topped the table for the last two nights and entered Friday’s action as the only player without a defeat, but from the off De Sousa was in control, an early break giving him the lead.
Two more break of throws followed before De Sousa held for a 3-1 lead and when Van den Bergh missed a dart for a three-figure finish, De Sousa took out 106 for a 106 lead.
The Special One made it four legs in a row to lead 5-1 before Van den Bergh stopped the rot and hinted at a comeback as he claimed a third leg. But when he missed a dart to draw within one, De Sousa took full advantage, first securing his point and then hitting double 10 to seal a maximum return.
Snakebite battles back to sink Cross
Both Rob Cross and Peter Wright have been beaten in a Premier League final by Michael van Gerwen but it was Snakebite who produced a superb comeback to beat Voltage 7-5 to kickstart his title hopes this year.
Cross, runner-up in 2019, had forged 3-1 and 5-3 leads as he looked to end an encouraging week on a high. Having edged a scrappy opener in 21 darts, he took out finishes of 118 and 102 either side of Wright’s first leg of the night.
However, throwing yet another new set of darts, Snakebite managed to find another gear, righting back to level at 3-3 before hitting back again in a pivotal 10th leg.
Cross missed two darts to guarantee a point, and it was punished by Wright who pinched the leg to level and then was first to claim a share of the spoils with a superb 11-darter against the throw.
And the comeback was complete when Wright, who famously missed six match darts in defeat to MvG at The O2 in 2017, pinned double 10 for a win that moves him into the top four.
Wade stays on winning trail as Duzza agony goes on
2009 champion James Wade followed up his win over Michael van Gerwen with a 7-3 victory over Glen Durrant that leaves the reigning champion winless after the opening five nights.
Neither man was at their best, with Duzza’s struggles summed up in the fourth leg of the match when he bust the score of 110 allowing The Machine to nip in and open up a 3-1 lead.
Listen thank you from the bottom of my heart the messages
Just a terrible time right now and like I said I’m hurting more than anybody
But I refuse to end my career like this and I’ll be back
❤️ to @TargetDarts @SMC_Flooring @ESCSltd @UltiWindowsNE @SMC_Flooring pic.twitter.com/iv5x8iGwtU
— Glen Durrant (@Duzza180) April 9, 2021
Wade turned the screw with a majestic 152 finish to move within three of the winning post and he made it two when Duzza missed a dart at bullseye to claim his second leg.
The pair shared the final four legs, which was enough for Wade to claim his second win of the week and ensure Durrant will be five points adrift of safety when the competition resumes in just over a week’s time.
Don’t miss an arrow thrown with Sky Sports as Premier League Darts resumes on Monday April 19 at 7pm on Sky Sports Action – and stick with us for build-up this for updates, interviews and reaction from start of this year’s competition