Aspinall reigns in Rotterdam on night 12 of the Premier League
Thursday marked Nathan Aspinall’s first nightly triumph of the Cazoo Premier League this season as he finished off a tough victory over Gerwyn Price to take the win on Night 12 at Rotterdam Ahoy.
Aspinall travelled to the Netherlands shortly after suffering a humiliating quarterfinal loss to Peter Wright in Brighton the previous week, but he triumphantly recovered to move up to third in the standings.
Michael van Gerwen’s hopes of a dream homecoming were dashed by the Stockport star as he began his campaign, converting a 118 checkout to eliminate the Dutch superstar in the final match.
Averaging over 99 to defeat Dimitri Van Bergh and advance to his first final since Night Two in Cardiff, Aspinall then faced off against Price, who was in fine form.
Aspinall struck first with a brilliant 124 combination, but Price answered in characteristically defiant fashion by landing a 140 checkout in leg three to take the lead.
To establish a 4-2 cushion, Aspinall responded with a brilliant three-leg run. He then reeled off consecutive legs in 13, 13, and 12 darts to move within two legs of the £10,000 winner’s bonus.
Aspinall was unfazed and moved to the verge of victory with another 13-dart hold before securing the victory with a 71 checkout in leg eight. Price reduced the deficit with a comfortable hold in leg seven, but Aspinall was unfazed.
“Last week really hurt me, so to bounce back like I have tonight, I’m really proud,” claimed Aspinall, the sixth different nightly winner in this year’s Premier League.
“I have worked so hard. I’ve changed something to try and find what I needed to find to keep me calm in situations, and it’s all come together tonight.
“That first game against Michael – I have never experienced an atmosphere like that before! I’m just really happy to finally get a nightly win and put myself back in the top four.
“I’ve always got the belief that I can win tournaments and nights in the Premier League, but after last week I didn’t think I would be able to walk back on the stage. That’s how bad I felt.
“I spent some great time with the family at the weekend. I took a little break away from darts, refocused myself, came here with a new attitude and I’ve won. I’m so proud of myself.”
Despite being denied his fifth nightly victory of 2023 on Thursday, Price earned three crucial points to overtake Van Gerwen atop the standings.
The Welshman began his campaign in Rotterdam with a comeback victory over World Champion Michael Smith, reeling off five straight legs after falling behind 3-1 to win with a 102 average.
Price then defeated Jonny Clayton, his World Cup partner, in the semifinals with another ton-topping average, hitting six 180s en route to a decisive 6-1 victory.
Van den Bergh and Clayton, the other two semifinalists, left Rotterdam with two points each after defeating Peter Wright and Chris Dobey in their respective quarterfinal matches.
With a 6-3 victory over Wright, Van den Bergh broke a string of four straight quarterfinal losses, moving ahead of Dobey and into sixth place.
In the evening’s opening match, the Masters champion Dobey lost 6-4 to a ruthless Clayton. The Welshman finished with three finishes of 100 or more and an average of nearly 101.
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