Gurney Shines on Belfast Stage - Premier League Round-up
GARY ANDERSON reckons he needs to “wake up” despite roaring into the top four of the Unibet Premier League. The Flying Scotsman ground out a 7-5 win over Mensur Suljovic in Belfast to move into play-off places. But Ando admitted that he struggled to find a proper rhythm against the slow-play of the Austrian. The 47-year-old confessed it was tough to get himself flowing and said: “It’s always a bit scrappy when you play against Mensur. “I’ve got my rhythm that I like to play at and Mensur has got his. “Half the time, I feel as though is not playing against Mensur, but playing against myself. “I know how they play, or at least I should know, and it’s just battling myself to keep that in mind. “One of these days I’ll wake up, but I’m just plodding along and we got there. “The last few weeks, my scoring hasn’t been great with my darts dropping low on the treble 20. “But the treble 19 covering was great and my finishing was spot-on. I was really happy with that and I needed them. “There were a couple of times when Mensur was sat on a double or had just missed a double and I was able to step up and take out the checkout.” The Scot's lethal finishing was the key and it was evident from the outset with clean kills of 74 and 82 for the first two legs. Anderson got away with missing four doubles in the fourth to go 3-1 up, but the pendulum was threatening to swing and the Austrian got his break in the sixth to level the contest at 3-3. However, the two-times champion rattled right back with a breathtaking mid-match burst. Anderson nailed 237 points in five darts to break again and go back in front and produced a magnificent 124 on the bull to win the eighth and sicken his rival, who was waiting on tops. The Musselburgh man just missed a bull in the 11th to seal it, but kept cool in the final leg to clinch victory.
MICHAEL Smith beat Gerwyn Price 7-2 which saw the Welshman relegated. Bully Boy admitted he had to win to keep his son Junior happy. He said: “I was under strict instructions this week. Junior told me I had to win 7-2 and I won 7-2. “To be fair, I didn’t really get going, but I keep getting with it and I just can’t wait to play well. “I’m in fourth gear, but I’m still winning. “In my first year in the Premier League, I was out after three weeks. This year I’m playing worse, but I’m getting points. “I’ll take it. I’m not bothered.” Price was naturally gutted to be sent packing and Tweeted: “Not gonna lie I've absolutely hated Premier League, it's been a great experience, something not every dart player can or will ever say they've experienced but unfortunately it wasn't for me, looking forward to some time at home with the family and getting back to the old me.”
MICHAEL van Gerwen powered to another win over Raymond van Barneveld 7-2 and revealed it was easier than expected. He said: “It turned out easier than I expected. Raymond missed a few doubles and I was just waiting for him to make a mistake. “You could see Ray’s body language then. He was struggling and I knew I had him. “I said before the game that’s the position you want to put Ray into. The confidence is not there and it was a lovely feeling. “It was an important game for both of us and I’m top of the table.”
SIMON WHITLOCK admitted he was just happy to avoid relegation after a tough 6-6 draw with Peter Wright. The Wizard, who was pegged back from 6-4 up, said on Twitter: “Could've won but fair play Peter for battling back. Enjoyed the game. “I've been under the weather the last week or so, so I'm fairly happy with how I've played in the Premier League and Euro Tour... and I've achieved my first aim of avoiding the drop. On & up.”
By Phil Lanning (@lannomedia)