On a dramatic last night of a rushed Darts Premier League group stage, Michael van Gerwen, six-time winner of this event, crashed out of the tournament. MVG was joined in the also-rans by two-time Grand Slam of Darts winner Gerwyn Price and bridesmaid of the chuckies, Michael Smith.
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Glen Durrant, of course, had already qualified nights in advance and beats Peter Wright into second place. The pair will be joined in next month’s playoff stage at the O2 Arena in East London by Nathan Aspinall, who finished third, plus two times DPL winner Gary Anderson.
Duzza, like Phil Taylor and Michael van Gerwen before him, becomes a DPL table topper, only the third in Darts Premier League history.
Recapping Night 10
Mighty Mike had a horrific last few days of play and is now unable to defend the crown he had been aiming to win for a fifth straight time this coming October. The world number one had finished in first place in all of his seven league appearances since debuting in 2013.
MVG had also never lost more than four games in a regular season before; earlier in the week suffered an 8-1 trouncing to Peter ‘Snakebite’ Wright, his sixth defeat of the campaign.
That game also marked the first time in 139 Premier League matches that Michael van Gerwen had failed to get three legs on the board in a match and now it’s happened twice in three days. His recent poor form culminated in an 8-2 defeat at the hands of Daryl ‘Superchin’ Gurney, who had only his pride to play for.
Gary Anderson opened the night, also with a heavy loss, his coming at the hands of an 8-3 defeat to Gerwyn Price. Price’s victory left him with a little hope of qualification to cling on to, but he could only watch and wait while other results went against him on the night.
Sadly for the Iceman, he missed out on the play-offs for the second season in a row despite completing a DPL season double over The Flying Scotsman, a win that proved to be the result that cemented Duzza’s place at the top.
Duzza himself enjoyed a great campaign, but with qualification assured, effectively took the night off against Nathan Aspinall who ran out 8-2 winner. In the night’s other match, an increasingly confident Peter Wright ended any hopes Michael ‘Bully Boy’ Smith might have had of qualification when Snakebite won 8-5.
With six weeks and the World Series of Darts Finals to go before the O2’s playoffs, bet365 have been quick to install Peter Wright as the 13/8 outright favourite for the Darts Premier League ahead of Gary Anderson’s 11/4.
After such a dominant debut performance from Glen Durrant, particularly after lockdown, why the same bookmakers have deemed Duzza’s claim’s to be worth as much as 7/2 is anyone guess. Likewise, Nathan Aspinall’s 10/3 is also puzzling, but either way, neither price can be expected to last long.
Play-Offs – Thursday October 22
The O2, London
Semi-Finals (Best of 19 legs)
- Glen Durrant v Gary Anderson
- Peter Wright v Nathan Aspinall
Finals (Best of 21 legs)
- Winner SF 1 v Winner SF 2