Unibet Premier League

Thursday 29th March 2018

SSE Arena, Belfast

Daryl Gurney ended Rob Cross' run of Premier League victories at the SSE Arena in Belfast as he fought back from 4-2 down to beat the former electrician 7-5 and end his winning streak of wins.


With a vocal homeland crowd behind him Gurney raised his game to defeat the world champion in a match that produced thirteen maximum scores.


Both players started the opening leg of the match with 180s. Gurney failed to finish off 24 with three darts in hand as Cross broke throw by winning in 14 darts with an 84 finish (T16, D18).


Cross hit another 180 in the second leg as he made it 2-0 in 15 darts with an 82 finish (18, T16, D8). Gurney missed double twelve for a 141 finish in the third leg having hit his second 180 of the match but then took out double six at the third attempt for a 15 darter.


The world champion then restored a two leg advantage by winning the fourth leg in 14 darts. There were no maximums in this leg but Cross did fire in a 177 and won it by hitting double eight after a missed effort at double sixteen.


Gurney won the fifth leg in 14 darts after hitting his third 180 of the match and taking out double fourteen at the third attempt. The sixth leg was a humdinger with three 180s, two from Gurney and one from Cross. Gurney missed a dart at bull to take it after Cross had already missed darts at double top and double ten. Cross then took out double five for a 13 darter and to move 4-2 in front.


Gurney won the seventh leg in 16 darts by hitting double sixteen. The eighth leg proved to be a turning point in the match. Gurney hit his sixth 180 of the match to leave 16 with Cross sitting on 110. Cross hit treble twenty and single eighteen but missed his chance of going 5-3 up as his third dart landed inside of the double sixteen wire. Gurney stepped up, missed two darts at double eight but took out the double four with his third dart to square the match at 4-4.


Cross hit his fourth and final 180 of the match in the ninth leg to leave 44 only for Gurney to take out 119 (19, T20, D20) to lead for the first time in the match. Cross then produced the best leg of the match, an eleven darter with scores of 134, 140, 177 and a 50 finish (18, D16) to make it five all.


A seventh maximum from Gurney in a 17 dart leg followed to guarantee him a point from the match. He then produced back-to-back 180s in the twelth leg as Cross failed to hit a three figure score. Gurney took the leg in 15 darts by hitting double top at the third attempt to seal a 7-5 win with Cross well adrift on 181.


Cross averaged 100.16.


Gurney averaged 98.53.


Following the win Gurney said "It was unbelievable - I knew that the atmosphere would be good but the support was amazing," said Gurney. "It's the best feeling I've ever had, even better than winning the World Grand Prix last year.


"I was nervous from the atmosphere but as soon as the first treble went in it was mad - I wish I could take the Belfast fans with me every week!


"I'm really glad to get the win too. When I went 2-0 down I knew I had to be more aggressive because if Rob had won a third leg he'd have demolished me.


"The 119 was a big shot because he'd have had two breaks of throw. That shot kept me in the game and then I kicked on, and the 180s kept me going.


"There are things I need to improve because although I got nine 180s it was still only 7-5 so I know in my heart that I need to get my finishing right - but this is a night I'll remember for a long time."


Cross said "It's not the result I wanted but fair play to Daryl for some performance. He had an amazing crowd behind him which felt like the whole of Belfast blowing his darts in!


"Now I've just got to improve and get a reaction in Liverpool next week."


Gary Anderson 7-5 Mensur Suljovic
Michael Smith 7-2 Gerwyn Price
Michael van Gerwen 7-2 Raymond van Barneveld
Daryl Gurney 7-5 Rob Cross
Simon Whitlock 6-6 Peter Wright

League Table


Pos Pld Won Drawn Lost Legs Points
1 Michael van Gerwyn 8 7 0 1 +29 14
2 Michael Smith 8 6 0 2 +18 12
3 Rob Cross 8 5 0 3 +7 10
4 Gary Anderson 8 3 3 2 +3 9
5 Simon Whitlock 8 3 2 3 +1 8
6 Raymond van Barneveld 8 3 2 3 -2 8
7 Daryl Gurney 8 2 4 2 -2 8
8 Peter Wright 8 1 3 4 -19 5
9 Mensur Suljovic 8 2 0 6 -10 4
10 Gerwyn Price 8 0 2 6 -25 2