World Champion Smith reigns supreme in Leeds - Night 13 Premier League Darts Review

Published on 28 April 2023 at 20:00

As we approach the business end of this years edition of the Premier League, the race for top four is certainly hotting up. The First Direct Arena in Leeds is one of the most highly anticipated venues of the year, so the stage was set for a cracking night of tungsten tension.



Quarter Finals

Michael Smith 6 - 1 Chris Dobey

An all-English affair would start off the evening as World Champion, Smith took on this years rookie, Dobey. Dobey started steadily, holding his throw in the first leg. However, 'Bully Boy' clearly meant business on the night as he rounded off the next six legs to secure a comfortable victory. In the fifth leg he even threw seven perfect darts but narrowly missed the treble 19, much to the dismay of the boisterous Leeds crowd. As for Dobey, he was once again taught a harsh lesson of playing in the Premier League as he didn't play badly, yet still got demolished.


180s: Smith 5 - 3 Dobey

Averages: Smith 105.58 - 100.83 Dobey


Peter Wright 6 - 3 Michael Van Gerwen

Wright lived up to his name as a fan-favourite by sporting Leeds Rhinos colours as he danced onto the stage, however the Scotsman hasn't had much to celebrate this year, only winning four matches in the 2023 Premier League so far. 'MVG', the bookies favourite for the night started off the match with a bang - with a 154 checkout in the first leg. Although this didn't seem to phase 'Snakebite', as he upped his game from previous weeks and managed to break Van Gerwen in the fifth leg. Whilst neither player was at their best, it was Wright who eventually advanced to the Semi Final.


180s: Wright 2 - 2 Van Gerwen

Averages: Wright 97.45 - 94.64 Van Gerwen


Gerwyn Price 6 - 2 Jonny Clayton

After watching Van Gerwen lose, Price would have been licking his lips at the opportunity to extend his lead at the top of the table. Whilst the boos weren't as loud as they were a few years ago they were still apparent as he took to the stage to face his countryman. Clayton himself, was still very much in the fight for top four, but came up against a rampant Price who broke his throw in the first leg and never looked back, producing the highest average of the night in the process. Clayton tweeted after the game that there was "a gale-force wind" going across the stage.


180s: Price 4 - 1 Clayton

Averages: Price 110.35 - 100.47 Clayton


Nathan Aspinall 6 - 4 Dimitri Van Den Bergh

If there was a prize for best walk-on, it would undoubtedly go to Aspinall, who had everyone in the Arena belting out Mr Brightside, including his opponent. It was no surprise 'The Asp' got off to a good start in the match, picking up from where he left off after his victory in Rotterdam the previous week, he won each of the first three legs. Van Den Bergh then started a mini comeback as Aspinall struggled to find a rhythm midway through the game and was constantly readjusting before throwing. Despite this, the Englishman held on to win what was a scrappy affair, with six of the ten legs being won against the throw.


180s: Aspinall 3 - 2 Van Den Bergh

Averages: Aspinall 98.23 - 94.37 Van Den Bergh


Semi Finals

Michael Smith 6 - 2 Peter Wright

It would be England against Scotland in the first Semi Final as two fan favourites battled it out. Both players started well until Wright had a disaster in the fourth leg, where he scored only three points in one visit, inevitably a few sarcastic whistles from the crowd followed. Smith won the leg to force the first break of the match and kicked on from there as he did against Dobey, battering the treble 20 in classic 'Bully Boy' style. Looking unplayable at times, Smith won the match in style with a 164 finish to secure his place in the final. Following the match, Wright appeared to give Smith a frosty handshake, without looking at him, showing a lack of sportsmanship you wouldn't expect from a two-time World Champion.


180s: Smith 5 - 0 Wright

Averages: Smith 94.79 - 80.41 Wright 


Gerwyn Price 6 - 3 Nathan Aspinall

The Killers seemed a lot more popular than Vanilla Ice in Leeds last night as Aspinall and Price walked on for their Semi Final clash. Despite this, it was 'The Iceman' who got off to the best start, breaking Aspinall's throw in the first leg. Over the next few legs Aspinall would miss countless doubles to break back and was visibly getting frustrated. The crowd then started to get on Price's back slightly, with every missed double he threw being met with ironic cheers. However, whilst not playing his best, the Welshman managed to hold it together and went through fairly comfortably in the end. 


180s: Price 2 - 3 Aspinall

Averages: Price 89.98 - 93.63 Aspinall



Michael Smith 6 - 4 Gerwyn Price

It was only fitting that the final was played by the two outstanding performers of the evening, but after his first two 6-1 and 6-2 victories, it was going to take something special to beat Smith. 'Bully Boy' clearly had the crowd on his side too, as boos and jeers echoed around the Arena during Price's first few throws. For the first time of the night, the crowd looked like they might be getting to 'The Iceman' as Smith broke his throw in the first leg. Smith then picked up from where he left off with an eleven darter in the second leg. Both players maintained a high standard as the match went on, but Smith was able to always keep himself a break in front, showing composure that perhaps he was lacking before becoming World Champ. Price hit a spectacular 148 checkout to hold throw and silence the crowd momentarily to claw it back to 4-3, but this clearly didn't phase Smith, who closed out the match shortly after and secured his second night win of this years Premier League.


180s: Smith 4 - 3 Price

Average: Smith 104.86 - 100.31 Price



If night 13 of Premier League Darts taught us anything its that; Michael Smith is one of the big guns now, Gerwyn Price still has his haters and that middle aged men still have no shame in singing along to Mr Brightside word for word. The victory for 'Bully Boy' takes him up to third in the table, effectively securing his position in the playoffs. He overtakes Jonny Clayton and Nathan Aspinall who it now looks like, are in a two horse race for fourth place.


Points won: Smith- 5

                      Price - 3

                      Wright - 2

                      Aspinall - 2



Night 13 Statitics

Most 180s: Michael Smith 14

Highest Checkout: Michael Smith 164

Night's Average: 94.24

Total 180s: 40


Alistair Gordon


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