Three out of three for 'Bully Boy' - Night 15 Premier League Darts review

Published on 12 May 2023 at 20:00

Alistair Gordon

In the penultimate week of the League Stage the stakes are getting higher in this year's Premier League. The Utility Arena in Sheffield would play host this time round. On the week of the legendary Wayne Mardle's 50th birthday, could the players give him something to shout about?


Quarter Finals

Gerwyn Price 6 - 2 Nathan Aspinall

Price has already booked his place for the play-off but Aspinall was still very much in the race for fourth place alongside Jonny Clayton. It was 'the Iceman' who started the better with a stunning 158 checkout in the first leg to break throw. This set the tone for the match, as Price went onto steamroll his opponent, without missing a single dart at a double. As for Aspinall, he would just be happy to get a couple of legs on the board and would be cursing his luck, to play someone as relentless as Price at a crucial stage of the competition. 

180s: Price 4 - 2 Aspinall

Averages: Price 111.33 - 104.41 Aspinall


Chris Dobey 6 - 4 Peter Wright

Whilst neither of these players would be making it to the play-offs, Dobey will have some fond memories of his debut Premier League and has shown that he can compete with the best on occasions. This match was no different, as he broke Wright's throw in the second leg and looked comfortable. However as expected 'Snakebite' came back, reeling off four legs on the bounce, including a 126 and a 124 finish. It would seem that both players were struggling to get into a rhythm as Dobey broke back, then himself won four on the spin to advance to the semis.

180s: Dobey 6 - 3 Wright

Averages: Dobey 102.02 - 97.17 Wright


Michael Smith 6 - 3 Michael Van Gerwen

In the standout match of the quarter finals, Smith would be looking to continue his winning streak as he could still overtake Van Gerwen and Price in what looked like a two horse race for first place. Both players started steadily and showed their class, with Van Gerwen taking out a stunning 154 finish in the third leg. However it would be the Dutchman who would blink first, as Smith broke his throw in the fifth leg. 'Bully Boy' never looked back from here and went on to close out the match comfortably, despite not being at his best.

180s: Smith 1 - 3 Van Gerwen

Averages: Smith 94.13 - 95.80 Van Gerwen


Jonny Clayton 6 - 4 Dimitri Van Den Bergh

After seeing his countryman demolish Aspinall in the first match, Clayton knew with a win in this match he could better his lead against 'The Asp' in the table. As expected he came out flying, breaking throw in the opening leg, then again in the third. Van Den Bergh then had a mini comeback and got a few legs on the board but Clayton just proved too good and won in style, hitting the fourth 170 finish of this year's Premier League in the process.

180s: Clayton 2 - 1 Van Den Bergh

Averages: Clayton 100.02 - 95.94 Van Den Bergh


Semi Finals

Gerwyn Price 6 - 2 Chris Dobey

After Price's nigh on perfect display in the first match, it was going to take something of miraculous proportions from Dobey to beat him. The Welshman picked up from where he left off, breaking 'Hollywood' in the first leg. As he has done for the majority of this year's Premier League, Dobey plugged away and didn't necessarily play badly but Price was just too much for him in the end. After going home early last week, 'The Iceman' was playing like he had something to prove.

180s: Price 3 - 1 Dobey

Averages: Price 104.95 - 94.71 Dobey


Michael Smith 6 - 4 Jonny Clayton

The second semi final would see two good friends off the stage pitted against one another. If there was ever a time to want to play Michael Smith it was now, as he only scraped through against Van Gerwen. However, in the early stages of the match, 'Bully Boy' looked back to his old self, breaking Clayton's throw in the second leg. Shortly after, Clayton managed to break back in what was a tight affair. Smith then went 5-4 up, leaving no room for error for Clayton in the last two legs. The Englishman managed to steal the last leg against the darts to book his place in yet another final.

180s: Smith 3 - 4 Clayton

Averages: Smith 107.82 - 94.71 Clayton



Michael Smith 6 - 3 Gerwyn Price

The final would be an impossible one to call as Smith had been so dominant over the past few weeks but Price had performed the best on the night so far. Both players started steadily, with the match being firmly in the balance at 3-3, it was a case of who was going to blink first. With the benefit of throwing first, Smith was the favourite and in the eighth leg managed to beat Price against the darts to go 5-3 up. Throwing for the match, it was just a case of 'Bully Boy' holding his nerve and he did, winning his third final in three weeks.

180s: Smith 2 - 2 Price

Averages: Smith 99.23 - 91.94 Price



It is always a sign of great champions to keep winning when they're not playing well and Michael Smith showed that in Sheffield. Whilst not barraging the 180s as much as he had done in previous weeks he still got over the line, making this victory, perhaps, even more satisfying than the other two. It was also a good night for Jonny Clayton, who is now two points clear of Nathan Aspinall, setting up a great battle next week when the two face each other in Aberdeen.


Points won

Smith - 5

Price - 3

Dobey - 2

Clayton - 2


Night 15 Statistics

Most 180s: Gerwyn Price 9

Highest Checkout: Jonny Clayton 170

Night's Average: 99.49

Total 180s: 37


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