Michael van Gerwen tops Premier League as Michael Smith loses perfect start

UK Sport | Published:

Van Gerwen was made to work hard for victory over Whitlock.

Defending champion Michael van Gerwen moved to the top of the Premier League table as Michael Smith suffered his first defeat of the competition in Leeds.

Van Gerwen recovered from losing the first two legs to beat Australian Simon Whitlock 7-4, with the highlight of the match a six-dart combination of 171 and a 110 finish from the Dutchman to level the scores at 3-3.

Whitlock then crucially missed two darts at double 20 to move 5-4 ahead and Van Gerwen took advantage to secure a hard-fought win to edge ahead of Smith on legs difference.

Smith looked on course to maintain his 100 per cent record when he led 5-3 against world champion Rob Cross, only for Cross to win the last four legs and finish in style with a 121 checkout on the bull.

Raymond van Barneveld also came back from 5-3 down to beat Gerwyn Price and leave the Welshman still looking for his first win, with finishes of 121, 101 and 89 giving Van Barneveld a 7-5 victory.

The most one-sided contest of the evening saw Mensur Suljovic thrash Peter Wright 7-1, while two-time world champion Gary Anderson drew 6-6 with Daryl Gurney.

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