Wright Admits it's Now "Make or Break" in Race for the O2
Daryl Gurney made it six Unibet Premier League matches unbeaten despite admitting sleepless nights. Superchin crushed van Barneveld 7-3 in Sheffield and roared into contention for an O2 Play-Off place. The Derry ace, 32, was in scorching form with a 103 average, five maximums and 64 per cent checkout rate as he took control after five successive leg wins. Just a week after his baby son daryl Junior was born, Gurney admits that he’s still on cloud nine. He said: “I’ve had a few sleepless nights but it’s worth that. “I’ve literally had no practice, I don’t care, it’s well worth it. It’s great looking after my wee boy and help Aine. She’s looking after him through the night and doing an amazing job, so anything I can do is a bonus. “The first thing I wanted to do in the Premier League was avoid relegation. I knew with the draws I’d stay in the league. “I had three darts to beat Raymond on the first night and two darts to beat Gary Anderson, so you never know I could have been in the top four. “I’m just so happy to still be in contention for the top four and I love playing in the Premier League. Playing in front of huge crowds is a great feeling. “Anyone who tells me it’s boring has got something wrong with them. You want to play darts in front of thousands like this. If this doesn’t fire you up, you should play darts. “But I love every second of it, win, lose or draw I’ll take every positive there is. But this is where I would love to be every week.” Gurney took the opening leg by breaking RVB’s throw. But the Dutchman came steaming back with a sensational 158 and double 19 finish to bring back parity. However, Barney then took the lead with tops before Gurney produced five sensational leg wins, including a slick 121 and bull kill, to leave the Dutchman reeling. RVB did grab back a consolation leg but Superchin wrapped up a top quality performance with double 16.
Gary Anderson had earlier beaten Wright to roar into the top four despite revealing he is colour blind. The Flying Scotsman was in unstoppable form as he steamrollered Snakebite 7-2 to move above Simon Whitlock into the O2 Play-Off places. Ando, 47, observed a brilliant and emotional applause tribute to Eric Bristow with fellow players before seeing off Wrighty, taking the opening five legs. He then revealed: “Now it’s all about getting into the top four. Next week I’ve got three games in two days in Rotterdam, that’s going to kill me. I’m looking forward to it, the crowd in Holland is going to be amazing and with two nights on the trot, it’s going to be bouncing. I’m colour blind so I can’t see orange, it’s blue to me. It’s just a field of blue shirts everywhere! “Tonight was going OK until the doubles started missing again. Last week I was terrible on the doubles and it was the same at the weekend. “But tonight it was more like it apart from a couple of legs at the end. “I could have won by more. The 144 in the second leg was when I thought a good night was on for me. “But later on I was miles off on the double 12 that blew the whitewash. The main thing is I won and got it done. “The first half of the league is the slog. After the cut-off now it’s a massive seven games ahead and the big push for the top four.” Ando was in blistering form and left Wrighty reeling with a 104 average with the highlight a crisp 144 with double 12 kill to go 2-0 up and never looked back.
Mighty Michael van Gerwen beat Whitlock 7-1 making it eight wins on the trot and said: “It wasn’t easy, Simon started well and you know what he can do. But you have to be strong and that’s exactly what I did. My finishing was good, the 121 and 106 were important. “The last two legs were too poor and I have to go back on the practice board and make sure that’s better next time. “Simon played a few poor legs at the end but other players like Gary Anderson they won’t so you need to make sure it doesn’t happen again. “I want to be top of the table, I did it the last five years and I want to be in the semi-finals. I hope I can do some more great stuff in the next few games. I have six games to go and two next week in Rotterdam and I’m looking forward to it. “I’m in good form and feeling good and Raymond is not playing his best darts at the moment so he has to quicken his game up if he wants to beat me. That’s something to worry about next week.”
World Champion Rob Cross moved level with Michael Smith on points in second place after a narrow 7-5 win. Voltage said: “I just sort of switched off in a couple of legs. I had a chance to win it on my throw and missed the 80. But then I really focused and the last leg was excellent, it was a solid one and made sure I got a good win. “The first two weeks when I lost I wasn’t playing well, I was struggling and since then I’ve gone from strength to strength. “Every Thursday now I look forward to it and you need to enjoy it to keep winning. “I think Michael and I are level now but his leg difference is much better to mine, that’s something I need to work on. “But if I get in that top four nothing else matters. I’m going to go to Rotterdam a little bit blind like I normally do. To be honest I feel really good in myself. There’s no reason why I can’t go there and get six points.”
By Phil Lanning (@lannomedia) Photography courtesy of Lawrence Lustig / PDC