Whenever the Premier League Darts comes to Glasgow, the enthusiasm of the crowd gives the event an extra edge rarely found at other venues, and they weren’t disappointed.
Following on from the first night in the Premier League Darts, there was plenty of 100+ averages, high checkouts percentages and high-quality darts at the SSE Hydro.
With a highly competitive field in the premier league, there is always potential for fantastic comebacks. Both Peter Wright versus Michael Smith and Raymond van Barneveld against Gerwyn Price showed unbelievable comebacks.
“Snakebite” came from 5-2 down to battle to a draw, even with an average of only 88.95. Although Smith scored a higher average of 97.61 and hitting six 180s, his poor checkout percentage (28.57%) stopped “Bully Boy” from gaining 2 points in the standings.
In similar fashion, Raymond van Barneveld recovered from 6-2 down against Gerwyn Price to earn a point despite his inconsistent form. Barney was a despondent figure throughout the game. His reaction to a bounce out in leg 10 cut a figure of pure frustration, battling against Price’s seemingly insurmountable lead.
“The Iceman” was in imperious form at the behest of the crowd, hitting two 100+ checkouts and averaging over 100 by leg 9. Surprisingly, with the will of the crowd behind him, Barney scraped a draw.
The vibrant crowd in Glasgow played a vital role throughout the night, especially in the Gerwyn Price versus Raymond van Barneveld match. Full credit should go to Price for letting his darts do the talking and playing at his best, even with the crowd’s aggression in his ear.
Even though Price let the lead slip, he shouldn’t be disappointed with his desire to win against all odds and the character to continue his form from last week’s win.
Barney played off the will of the crowd and turned his patchy form into a draw capitalising from a missed 144 checkout by “The Iceman” in leg 12 to earn a point. In his post-match interview, Barney credited the support from the crowd: “The fans always make a difference.”
The ability or inability to handle pressure on the big stage is critical to having a successful Premier League campaign. Rob Cross appears to have relieved himself of the burden of his World Championship win in 2018.
“Voltage” averaged 102.58 and hit 180s in a tantalising victory over James Wade, winning 7-4. Relentless scoring and combo shots allowed Cross to surpass Wade, despite “The Machine” being in vintage form on the doubles.
Cross expressed his relief post-match: “I didn’t know what I was doing the first time I was in the Premier League” “It’s ruthless” “I feel more comfortable second time round.”
A player who struggled under pressure was this week’s contender Glen Durrant. The three-time BDO world champion was on a rich vein of form coming into his Premier League match; winning his tour card at Q School and coming second in the Players Championship 2 tournament.
Duzza soaked in the atmosphere as he walked onto the stage but buckled against Daryl Gurney. “Superchin” was ruthless during his 7-3 win, averaging just over 100 and hitting a 77.78 checkout percentage.
Durrant gave a reasonable account of himself on the big stage but his angst on the doubles lead to a disappointing defeat. The contenders have so far matched the rest of the field, which is no surprise to me. Both Dobey and Durrant have excellent pedigree and performed well. So far, the experiment is working and the Premier League has already shown some cracking darts.
Click here for more information about the Premier League Darts, including all the fixtures and the prize fund breakdown.Tags: Premier League Darts 2019
Author: Freddie Webb