Gerwyn Price, James Wade and Michael van Gerwen all top a very embryonic Premier League Darts table.

The trio all claimed victory on opening night in Newcastle. Price rises to the league summit, having won his first ever Premier League game. It means the Welshman has already won more times this season than after nine games in 2018. A 7-4 win over Daryl Gurney got the PDC Grand Slam champion off to a flying start. Price also achieved an average of 104.11, his first three-figure effort in the Premier League.

Wade also earned a 7-4 victory, with his coming at Raymond van Barneveld’s expense. Wade was clinical, striking seven doubles from 12 attempts to mark a successful return to the event. He and Price sit narrowly ahead of van Gerwen, who mustered a 7-5 defeat of Michael Smith in a high quality, quickfire encounter that saw 12 legs rattled off in just over 18 minutes.

Peter Wright and Rob Cross shared the spoils in an excellent match to round off the night. A 6-6 draw featured ton-plus averages from both. It marks a promising start for both players, a relief after early struggles in 2018.

Mensur Suljovic also takes one point from the Newcastle meeting. He becomes the first player to earn a point from a clash with a ‘contender’, drawing 6-6 with Chris Dobey. In a game which featured 11 180s – more than any other over the evening – the Austrian battled back from 5-1 down to go 6-5 ahead. Dobey snatched a draw which lands the local hero a £3,500 prize.

Defeats on opening night leave Smith, van Barneveld and Gurney propping up the league table. But there are plenty of games yet to be played. Eight of them remain before one of the nine competitors exits the competition on Judgement Night.

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Author: Ed McCosh