Peter Wright and Michael van Gerwen are both through their opening round contests at the US Darts Masters but both were nearly on the end of shocks.

Wright more so than MVG with ‘Snakebite’ going to a decider against the very capable Jeff Smith who’s doubling was sublime. He found a way through though in an entertaining clash.

Van Gerwen went 3-0 up but was tied up at 4-4 and had to take his chances towards the end to dispel the American Number One, ‘Big Daddy’ Darin Young who nearly pulled off a remarkable shock win.

In Wright’s win, Smith had a superb start taking out 88 on the bullseye for the opening leg against Wright. This didn’t last long though with Wright streaking to a 2-1 lead.

‘The Silencer’ smashed in a 106 checkout though to level at 2-2 and he continued in that vein with another dazzling doubling display hitting a 126 checkout.

He took the lead again taking out 70 to make it 4-3. Wright though returned to make it 4-4 to break and square proceedings up.

He took the lead again himself finishing 81 to go one away but wasted six match darts and Smith who had 100 percent on the doubles throughout maintained this sending it all the way.

Wright though had one more surge to dispel a potential shock against the very capable Canadian and move through to the second day of action.

Van Gerwen started well as expected against ‘Big Daddy’ with him pouncing on missed chances by the American Number One to go 2-0 up.

He moved further clear at 3-0 up with a 102 average at that point. Young started to build his way back into the tie though from there smashing in a 105 checkout to go 3-1 behind.

He went one away from parity with a 76 checkout. A missed opportunity occurred for him though with Van Gerwen streaking to a 4-2 lead and surely the winning line.

MVG missed multiple darts at double allowing Young back into the contest at 4-3 and parity was achieved at 4-4 sending it the distance.

Young started to falter though as Van Gerwen started to get stronger as usual and he reeled off two legs to claim the victory and avert a shock.

Click here for more information on the US Darts Masters, the first World Series event of the season.

Schedule of Play

Thursday July 4 (20:00 BST)
First round

Gerwyn Price (94.72) 6-4 (83.06) Gary Mawson
Nathan Aspinall (98.29) 6-2 (82.01) Shawn Brenneman
Daryl Gurney (97.1) 6-1 (92.59) Daniel Baggish
Michael Smith (92.9) 6-4 (86.76) Jim Long
Rob Cross (101.33) 6-0 (88.93) Leonard Gates
Gary Anderson (96.81) 6-4 (86.33) Elliot Milk
Peter Wright (93.68) 6 (11) 5 (88.84) Jeff Smith
Michael van Gerwen (99.83) 6 (11) 4 (92.12) Darin Young

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Author: Samuel Gill