The Premier League darts came to the 3 Arena in Dublin on Thursday night. A sell out Irish crowd were in for an entertaining evening. The matches at the event were as follows:
Glen Durant vs. Nathan Aspinall
Rob Cross vs. Gary Anderson
Daryl Gurney vs. Michael Smith
William O’Connor vs. Michael Van Gerwen
Gerwyn Price vs. Peter Wright
The most anticipated game of the night was Limerick’s William O’Connor against world number one Michael Van Gerwen. O’Connor, who was chosen as the challenger for this week’s set of Premier League games, relished the opportunity of trying to beat the world number one on home soil.
The Irish dart fans were in high voices as the evening started with Glen Durant vs. Nathan Aspinall. Durant went into the evening as the leader of the Premier League table. Aspinall arrived in Dublin after a shock win over Van Gerwen in Cardiff last week. Like many of the games on in Dublin, it was a tight contest between the two players. Aspinall eventually came out on top with a 7-5 victory.
The second game of the evening saw two former world champions, Gary Anderson and Rob Cross, go head to head. Once again, it was a close affair with both players finishing strongly. Anderson deserved his victory after coming back from 4-3 down to beat Cross 7-5.
As the third game began between Daryl Gurney and Michael Smith, little did the audience know they were about to witness a 9 dart finish. A 9 darter hadn’t been thrown in the Premier League since 2017. Michael Smith was the man to break the duck and send the 3 Arena into a frenzy. The crowd were in amazement as Smith pulled off a perfect finish in leg 4 to send him on his way to beat Daryl Gurney 7-5 after another close match.
The main event of the evening was the fourth game between William O’Connor and Michael Van Gerwen. O’Connor was welcomed to the stage by the 9,000 Irish fans in the arena singing along with his walk on music, ‘Zombies’ by the Cranberries. Van Gerwen started the game strongly and led O’Connor 2-0 before the Irish player brought the tie back to 3-3. O’Connor, who was performing impressively, encouraged the Irish faithful and they continued to support their player passionately. Van Gerwen’s class ultimately prevailed and he came away from the match with a 7-4 victory. O’Connor can be proud of his performance against a top class opponent. This win for Van Gerwen puts him back on top of the Premier League table.
In the final game of the evening, current world champion Peter Wright went up against Gerwyn Price which was a repeat of their final in December. Price started strongly and continued his impressive throwing throughout the match against an off form Wright. He stormed through each leg which led him to have an emphatic 7-1 victory.
Overall, the event was a great advert for supporting darts in our country. The Irish fans are known for creating a special kind of atmosphere in supporting their players and they didn’t disappoint on the night. I would recommend any sports fan to go to a darts event like this for sheer entertainment. The arena rocked to the each player’s walk on music and each 180 that was thrown. Witnessing a 9 dart finish made the night for me, as it will have for many. The premier league continues next week in Exeter.