Michael van Gerwen qualified for Finals Night on night 14 of the Premier League Darts, as two players were officially eliminated from Play-Offs contention.
Van Gerwen beat old rival Gary Anderson 8-4 in a hard fought contest, regaining top spot and eliminating his opponent from the race for the top four.
The other two players to be eliminated was James Wade, despite The Machine drawing against Nathan Aspinall.
Elsewhere, night 14 of the Premier League Darts saw:
- Jose De Sousa all but secure his place in the top four with a win over Jonny Clayton
- Peter Wright defeat Dimitri Van den Bergh to keep his faint Play-Off hopes alive
MvG qualifies with comfortable victory
24 hours after losing top spot to Nathan Aspinall, van Gerwen regained it, flicking the switch to beat old rival Anderson and booking his place in the Play-Offs.
Anderson held in the opening leg, before a fantastic 116 checkout from MvG drew him level. Both missed darts for the third, but it was Van Gerwen who found a double one to move 2-1 ahead. Anderson though would equalise immediately however, finding a 110 outshot on double 18 to make it 2-2.
A 60 outshot saw The Flying Scotsman move 3-2 in front, but then The Green Machine flicked the switch. Back to back 50 outshots for the Dutchman took him 4-3 ahead, and went two clear with a 76 outshot on double eight. His second 116 outshot of the evening got him a double break, going 6-3 ahead in just 55 darts.
A fantastic 138 checkout from Anderson looked to stem the tide, but MvG would not be denied. A 13 darter to break immediately back, after GAndo missed tops for a 110, followed by a trip to the madhouse, gave Van Gerwen victory and a place in Finals Night for the eighth time in nine years.
Wade out despite draw to Aspinall
James Wade became one of two players eliminated on night 14 of the Premier League Darts, despite drawing with Nathan Aspinall.
The Machine started the brighter of the two, finding a 13 dart hold, before an 11 dart break on tops gave him a 2-0 lead. But, much like last night’s game against Peter Wright, he saw it cancelled out straight away. An 81 finish on the bull for a 12 dart break of his own, followed by a 15 dart hold, saw The Asp level the match at 2-2.
Aspinall then took the lead for the first time in the game, hitting tops for an 80 outshot and break. However, five missed darts in the next leg cost him a 4-2 lead. The Machine eventually punished, hitting double 10 for a 17 dart break to square it at 3-3. After holding, it looked like The Machine would get a break, hitting a 180 to leave 64. The Asp proved otherwise though, finding his third 120 checkout of the week to level at 4-4.
Two further holds moved the match to 5-5, before Wade missed bullseye for The Big Fish to win the 11th leg. An 11 dart break gave Aspinall the break, but he then missed six darts to win the 12th leg. He eventually found double two to get his point, after Wade missed two himself to make it 6-6.
In the 13th, Aspinall had 108 for the match, but missed inside on 16s to seal the deal. This allowed Wade to find tops to take us to a decider, where he’d eventually hit double eight for a 14 dart break to earn a share of the spoils.
Wright beats Van den Bergh to avoid elimination
Peter Wright came from behind to beat Dimitri Van den Bergh 8-5 to keep his improbable hopes of reaching the top four alive.
Both held in the opening two legs, before Wright moved 2-1 clear with an 86 outshot. A 180 from Van den Bergh in the fourth left him on 24, and when Wright missed double 12 himself for a 98 checkout, Van den Bergh hit it to level at 2-2.
The Dream Maker then went ahead in the match with an 80 outshot on tops, followed by a double eight for a 64 to go 4-2 in front. An excellent 110 checkout on double 18 cut the gap for Snakebite, before Van den Bergh found double 18 for an 11 darter to hold.
However, knowing that defeat would mean the end of his campaign, Wright found a second wind to turn the match on its head. After holding in the ninth, he levelled with an unbelievable ten dart leg, despite former house guest Van den Bergh missing bull for an 81. The World Matchplay Champion did not get another dart at a double, as 15,11 and 15 dart legs, including a 116 checkout to seal the two points, kept Snakebite in the hunt for a top four race. Van den Bergh hit eight maximums and averaged 106.97, but still could not win.
De Sousa sees off Clayton to take giant step towards top four
In a tight and tense affair, Jose De Sousa came through 8-5 against Jonny Clayton to cement his spot in the Play-Offs.
A 102 checkout in the first leg saw The Ferret hold, before a 16 darter from The Special One made it all square. The third leg saw the Masters Champion miss tops for a Shanghai 120 finish, and De Sousa capitalised hitting double 16 to get the break. A further hold in 15 saw him go 3-1 ahead.
The Portuguese Man O’Scores then had a chance at the bull on an 84 shot for a double break, but laid up and left 16s. This allowed Clayton a poke at 75, which he hit to cut the gap. The next leg, another unconventional checkout, this time going single 18, double 18, double 18 for a 90 outshot, gave De Sousa a 4-2 advantage.
Both traded 106 checkouts in the next two legs, and a 111 checkout from Clayton saw him trail 5-4. In the 10th leg, both missed darts to take it, but it was The Special One who eventually hit tops for a 6-4 advantage. Clayton would find double one to go 6-5 behind, but would not win another leg. 14 and 15 darters from The Special One saw him home to take a grip on third place.
Premier League Darts Night 14 Results
James Wade 7-7 Nathan Aspinall
Jose De Sousa 8-5 Jonny Clayton
Michael van Gerwen 8-4 Gary Anderson
Peter Wright 8-5 Dimitri Van den Bergh
Premier League Darts Night 15 Fixtures
Wednesday 26 May (19.00 BST)
Jonny Clayton v Peter Wright
James Wade v Dimitri Van den Bergh
Gary Anderson v Nathan Aspinall
Jose De Sousa v Michael van Gerwen
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