Premier league night two Berlin
Premier League Night 2: Berlin
The Premier League season is now fully underway as the event headed to Berlin in Germany for its second night and first of three stops outside of the UK this year. This was the fourth time that the PDC headed to Berlin since it was first introduced back in 2018.
Nathan Aspinall 4 vs 6 Michael van Gerwen
The first game saw two players who lost in the first-round last week taking on each other and the game eventually went the way of the Dutchman as van Gerwen beat Aspinall 6-4 and averaged over a hundred in what would prove to be a trendsetter for the rest of the night.
Michael Smith 6 vs 5 Gerwyn Price
Last week these two battled it out in the final of the opening Premier League night and this week they found themselves playing one another in the opening game of the night, the pair had a combined average of over 205 and Gerwyn Price averaged over 104 as he looked for revenge for his 6-2 loss in Cardiff last week. Unfortunately for the Welshman he was unable to get that revenge as although this week proved to be a closer game where both players were at their best it eventually went the way of Michael Smith again as he won 6-5 and moved on to the semi-finals.
Luke Littler 6 vs 5 Rob Cross
This was a matchup between last weeks losing semi-finalists and once again proved to be an incredibly close affair, Luke Littler who has been making a habit of ton plus averages since he made his senior debut just under two months ago and he did so again in Berlin averaging over 104 but Rob Cross did prove tough to defeat and in the end the pair scrapped to a 5-5 position before Littler took the final leg and progressed onto the semi-finals once again.
Luke Humphries 6 vs 4 Peter Wright
Another game that saw two of last weeks first-round losers face off against one another and with Peter Wright desperately seeking to regain some form ahead of the start of the ranking season on Monday. While Wright did see a slight uptick in his average compared to last week, he was still left looking for a victory in the Premier League as Humphries averaging over 103 marched on after defeating Wright 6-4.
In emphasizing just how close competition in darts is at the minute the rest of the night showed just how difficult it is for any player to run away with every single possible leg ended up being played for the rest of the night as players desperately battled to win.
Michael van Gerwen 6 – 5 Michael Smith
A battle between the two Michael’s saw van Gerwen who was looking to ignite his Premier League campaign take on Michael Smith who was looking to go for back-to-back wins and extend his current lead at the top of the Premier League table.
In this game Michael van Gerwen would go on to throw six maximums and average over 107 while Smith wouldn’t roll over and hit three maximums himself. In the game, Michael van Gerwen took the early advantage as he broke throw in the third leg and took an early lead 2-1 and held to make it 3-1. Then he broke the Smith throw again and lead convincingly at 4-1 and most in the crowd would have been expecting the green machine to just run away with the game and move onto the semi-finals but Michael Smith fought back and broke back in the next game narrowing the deficit to 4-2, he then held his throw and suddenly the gap was down to one and it looked like game on again. Michael Smith then went on to break van Gerwen’s throw and had now mirrored his opponent in winning three consecutive legs and we found the game tied at four all then Smith held his throw and from 4-1 down Smith now found himself 5-4 up and knowing he would get the opportunity to throw for the match at some point. Michael van Gerwen held, and we found ourselves at 5-5 in a last leg decider, but Smith’s comeback proved to be all in vain as van Gerwen hit back-to-back maximums before winning the game in 11 darts and taking the match moving onto the night two final.
Luke Littler 6 vs 5 Luke Humphries
In a game that seems to be happening every week in every tournament at the minute we got yet another repeat of the World Championship final, the head-to-head records are now overwhelmingly in Luke Litters favour as he has won every meeting between two since the World Championship final, but this game didn’t prove to be as easy for the youngster as it did last week. A combination of Luke Littler hitting his lowest average of the tournament and Luke Humphries continuing his strong form from the opening round saw yet another extremely close game.
The opening leg saw Luke Humphries miss a myriad of darts at a double to take an early break eventually allowed Luke Littler to hold his throw. The game then continued to go with throw until the game was tied at 2-2, it was at this point that the first blood was drawn as Luke Humphries broke the throw and moved into the lead, the next leg saw Luke Littler hit a 180 and 177 back-to-back to be left on 144 for the nine darts which he missed, unfortunately for him Luke Humphries had also had an incredible leg which saw him take out 36 for a twelve dart leg and double his lead. Littler did manage to fight back and after some more misses from Humphries he broke the throw and brought the game back to a tied position at 4-4. The next leg saw Humphries take a commanding position but in the closing stages of the leg his darts were missing the targets and it allowed Luke Littler to poach a lead at 5-4 the leg after saw pretty much the same story albeit this time from Littler as he started missing his targets in the closing stage of the leg and the game was tied at 5-5. Littler did everything he could in the leg as he hit 162 to setup a single dart finish after just twelve darts thrown, Humphries himself put in a great effort being left on tops after twelve but Littler eventually in just thirteen darts won the leg and sent himself through to the night final.
Michael van Gerwen 6 – 5 Luke Littler
This week’s final was contest between Michael van Gerwen and Luke Littler and it again proved to be incredibly close as the game went to a last leg decider yet again. Both players averaged over a hundred and had reasonable checkout percentages as they both fought it out as the two players currently in the best form on the circuit.
The first leg saw the first shock of the game as Michael van Gerwen missed darts at doubles and allowed Littler to take an early break and despite some high scoring from van Gerwen in the backend of the second leg Luke Littler still managed to hold and found himself 2-0 up early in the game. Despite some more missed doubles in the third leg Michael van Gerwen also managed to get his name on the scoreboard as he won the leg in 17 darts and the game was 2-1 in Littlers’ favour. Poor scoring the fourth leg from Luke Littler allowed van Gerwen his chance to strike, and he found the break of throw he needed to level the match and an 11-dart leg to follow up saw him move into the lead for the first time in the game. From this point everything in the game went on throw and the game like the two semi-finals was at a deadlock at 5-5, some high scoring and slips from both players saw Michael van Gerwen have the first attempt at a finish, a 122, he narrowly missed the bull to take it out and this allowed Luke Littler to have a go at 80 to win the match himself but two missed darts at a double allowed van Gerwen back who won the leg and the match despite the immense pressure he was put under by his opponent.
The second night of action in the Premier League showed just how competitive the current circuit is as of the seven games played five of them went all the way to a last leg decider with the other two games only have one leg each not played and most of the games were incredibly close and could easily have gone either way in the final especially there were many key moments that saw momentum swing in every way possible even down to the final seconds it was unclear who was going to win the match.
In the table Michael Smith is still in the lead with seven points, while Michael van Gerwen and Luke Littler are both on five points with van Gerwen currently in second on leg difference. Gerwyn Price round out the top four while Peter Wright and Nathan Aspinall currently occupy the last two spots in the table as the only players yet to score a point.
The darting circus now moves to Wigan as all 128 tour card holders will for the first time get the chance to battle it out as the opening events in the Players Championships take place and the race for the qualification to major events starts on Monday. Next week the Premier League heads to Glasgow, Scotland to continue it journey to crown this years’ Premier League Champion.