Premier League Darts Week Ten Review: Van Gerwen extends his lead at the top on emotional night in Sheffield

A round-up from the latest instalment of Unibet Premier League Darts from Sheffield's FlyDSA Arena.

Premier League Darts Week Ten Review: Van Gerwen extends his lead at the top on emotional night in Sheffield
The players paid their respect to legendary darts player Eric Bristow before the action got underway. (picture: PDC)

Following on from Judgement Night in Liverpool last week, the Unibet Premier League moved to Sheffield on an emotional night following the passing of legendary darts player Eric Bristow last week. 

VAVEL UK's Sam Straw was present to watch all the action unfold alongside a capacity crowd in the Steel City. 

Raymond van Barneveld 3-7 Daryl Gurney

Raymond van Barneveld came into this match on the back of a whitewash defeat to Michael Smith on Judgement Night in Liverpool last week. His opponent, Daryl Gurney, was held to a 6-6 draw by Peter Wright

Despite the fact he lost the first leg, Van Barneveld was able to end his shocking run in the Premier League by winning the second and third leg, with a huge checkout of 158 in the former. 

However, Gurney was not going to rollover having averaged 97.40 in the competition before this match and coming into it sat one point above Van Barneveld. A number of impressive legs from the 32-year-old saw him race into a 6-2 lead, hitting a number of 180s in the process. 

Van Barneveld did manage to reduce the deficit back down to 6-3 but it was not enough to prevent Gurney from picking up the win as he comfortably won the following leg. 

Daryl Gurney made sure that Raymond van Barneveld's poor run of form continued. (picture: PDC)
Daryl Gurney made sure that Raymond van Barneveld's poor run of form continued. (picture: PDC)

Gary Anderson 7-2 Peter Wright 

Wright came into this match boosted by Van Barneveld's defeat just minutes before, knowing that he had an opportunity to put pressure on those above him in the Premier League. However, Gary Anderson was also in need of a win having lost 7-5 to Rob Cross last week and sitting outside of the top four. 

It was Anderson who got off to a storming start in this all-Scottish encounter as he found himself 5-0 ahead. Wright did have opportunities to get himself off-the-mark early on but was unable to convert as his finishing let him down. 

Wright was able to finally get himself on the scoreboard by winning the sixth leg, albeit after Anderson wasted several darts to win the leg himself. 

Anderson regained composure to take a 6-1 lead before Wright saved the match by checking out 64 to make it 6-2. However, Wright failed to break Anderson’s throw as he fell to a 7-2 defeat as he continued to struggle in the competition. 

Gary Anderson responded to his defeat last week. (picture: PDC)
Gary Anderson responded to his defeat last week. (picture: PDC)

Simon Whitlock 1-7 Michael van Gerwen 

Both of these players came into this match in confident mood due to the fact they were both victorious last week. Simon Whitlock beat Gerywn Price 7-3 whilst Michael van Gerwen beat Mensur Suljovic 7-4. Both of their opponents were subsequently eliminated from the competition. 

Van Gerwen was huge favourite to win this encounter as he sat comfortably at the top of the table. However, Whitlock got off to a fantastic start by winning the first leg. 

Despite this, Van Gerwen responded in the best possible way by winning the next six legs to take a 6-1 lead. Whitlock had opportunities to get himself back into the match but could not match Van Gerwen's quality throughout. 

The 28-year-old Dutchman was able to comfortably win the eighth and final leg to claim a 7-1 victory and extend his lead at the top of the division, averaging 102.37 throughout. It was another superb performance and one that Whitlock simply could not deal with. 

Michael van Gerwen did not let his high standard slip in Sheffield. (picture: PDC)
Michael van Gerwen did not let his high standard slip in Sheffield. (picture: PDC)

Michael Smith 5-7 Rob Cross 

This encounter between Michael Smith and Rob Cross was tipped to be the match of the evening due to the form both players are currently in. Smith whitewashed Van Barneveld 7-0 last time out whilst Cross beat Anderson 7-5. 

It was Cross who made the better start in this match by taking the first two legs, checking out 107 in the first. However, Smith got himself on the scoreboard in the following leg by taking out double five at the first attempt with a quality dart. 

Smith was struggling to reach the standards he had set in recent weeks in the early stages of this match. However, he was able to get himself back on level terms which visibly gave him belief. 

However, Cross was producing some superb darts, averaging 108.89, and he was able to weather the storm before taking a commanding 6-3 lead, much to the disbelief of Smith. 

The World Champion did allow a route for Smith to get back into the match as his lead was reduced to 6-4 after missing tops for a 7-3 win. Smith was then able to hold his throw to narrow the gap to just one leg, and give himself hope of producing a comeback. 

However, Cross picked up a 7-5 win in what was an enthralling final leg which saw both players producing 180s. The win further enhanced Cross' chances of securing a play-off spot in his debut year. 

Rob Cross beat Michael Smith 7-5 in the match of the evening in Sheffield. (picture: PDC)
Rob Cross beat Michael Smith 7-5 in the match of the evening in Sheffield. (picture: PDC)

Raymond van Barneveld 2-7 Peter Wright 

This became a huge match due to both players falling to disappointing defeats earlier in the evening. They came into this match with just two points separating them at the bottom of the table and both were in need of a win to boost their chances of finishing in a play-off spot. 

Both players started off poorly, with both averaging around 85, as Wright took a 2-1 lead. Van Barneveld's body language was not good but Wright remained visibly positive and he was rewarded for this as he extended his lead to 3-1.

Wright piled further misery onto Van Barneveld in the following leg as he checked out a whopping 132 to take a 4-1 lead. The 'Snakebite' missed an opportunity to take a 5-1 lead and Van Barneveld punished him by pulling it back to 4-2. 

The 'Snakebite' continued to turn on the style as he raced into a 6-2 lead. Van Barneveld was not at his usual standard throughout, averaging just 86.78, and this was shown in the final leg as he lost his throw and the match 7-2. 

The eight players remaining in the competition will now begin their preparations for a double-header in Rotterdam next week as the race for the play-offs continues to heat up.