Michael van Gerwen intervenes in Premier League Darts last straw

Michael van Gerwen won a much-needed victory over Gary Anderson in the Premier League Darts on Friday evening. Behind the closed doors of the Marshall Arena in Milton Keynes he triumphed 8-6 over Gary Anderson. The decision for placement for the later final round falls on Saturday. Van Gerwen will then need another victory to keep a view on title roll.

Van Gerwen placed an early break in the third leg, which contributed to a 3-1 lead. It would almost have been 4-1, but the only chance of double 20 was not cashed in. A bit later Mighty Mike took the second break and increased the lead to 5-2. Because he missed a few opportunities in the next two legs, Anderson came back in the game (5-5).

Van Gerwen made things unnecessarily difficult for himself and, despite an average of over 105, suddenly found himself 5-6 behind. Then he straightened his back just in time and narrowly triumphed 8-6 thanks to three legs won in a row.

Competitors also win

Earlier on Friday evening Van Gerwen also saw two of his major competitors win for a place in the top four. For example, Nathan Aspinall beat the number last Daryl Gurney 8-5 and Peter Wright triumphed 8-6 over frontrunner Glen Durrant. By the way, triple BDO world champion Durrant is the only darter who has already secured a ticket for the play-offs.

For Saturday there is a clear assignment ready for Van Gerwen. The 31-year old Vlijmenaar has to win from Gurney. If that succeeds, there is a good chance that he will still enter the top-4. In any case, the excellent average of 103.17 against Anderson offers enough perspective and confidence for the number one in the world.

Heaviest defeat of Gerwen

For the coronabreak, which delayed the prestigious competition for about five months, Van Gerwen won four of his six matches and lost two. The resumption in Milton Keynes, where there is no audience, is certainly not going smoothly.

After an excellent start against Rob Cross, Van Gerwen went down four times, won twice and drew once. He suffered even his worst defeat (1-8) ever in the Premier League against world champion Peter Wright. Due to the disappointing results he fell outside the top-4, an absolute rarity.

Four in a row for Van Gerwen

In the last four editions Van Gerwen closed the regular competition as number one and then seized power through the decisive play-offs in London. In addition to those four trophies, he was also the best in the competition in 2013. Not everything is going according to plan this time.

Van Gerwen is not going to take the first place and the associated bonus of 25,000 British pounds anyway. He will have to win from Gurney on Saturday anyway to keep any chance of winning the race. After sixteen rounds of play – on Saturday the last one is on the roll – the best four darts of the ranking will qualify for the final round on Thursday 22 October in the London O2 Arena. There, everyone will start at zero again and one of the four will receive the top prize worth 250,000 British Pounds.