Number seven for Michael Van Gerwen - Premier League Darts play-offs review

Published on 26 May 2023 at 20:00

Alistair Gordon

The past 16 weeks of dazzling darting drama don't mean diddly anymore.  In London's legendary O2 Arena, who would come out on top when it really matters?


Semi Finals

Gerwyn Price 10 - 2 Jonny Clayton

From the Valleys to the O2 stage, the opening match was between two World Cup-winning teammates. Last week, Price beat Nathan Aspinall to secure Clayton's position in the play-offs but hoped that would be the last favour he'd be giving his mate in this year's Premier League. After dominating the league stage, Price would go into the match the clear favourite, but as we well know from previous years, form goes out the window on the O2 stage.

As league stage winner, Price had the darts in the first leg and came out flying with an 11 dart leg. This set the tone for the match, as Price looked relentless throughout. 'The Iceman' reeled off the first five legs on the trot to get out of sight before Clayton had a chance to settle. The only silver lining for 'The Ferret' is that he managed to make it to the interval, as he sarcastically celebrated to make it 8-2. The break in play clearly hadn't phased Price, as he won the next two legs to close out the match, winning in style with a 131 checkout.

180s: Price 6 - 2 Clayton

Averages: Price 107.54 - 90.19 Clayton


Michael Van Gerwen 10 - 8 Michael Smith

The second semi, would be a repeat of the World Championship Final. After Van Gerwen's withdrawal last week due to a shoulder injury, there were murmurs the Dutchman wouldn't be up to full fitness, however before the match he insisted he was 100%. Second against third from the league stage, there was no clear favourite in this game as both are unplayable on their day.

'Bully Boy' kicked off the match with 128 checkout to hold throw, the Englishman looked very much at home on the big stage. MVG also started the match brightly, throwing six perfect darts in the fourth leg to give the crowd something to cheer (then boo) about. In an incredibly fast paced game, it was a case of who was going to blink first? Unfortunately for Smith it was him, as Van Gerwen managed the first break of throw in the fifth leg to get the upper hand. From here on in, Van Gerwen looked unstoppable, winning his fifth consecutive leg to go 6-2 up. Despite a mini-comeback from Smith including two superb finishes on the bull, the damage was already done as MVG stumbled over the finish line.

180s: Van Gerwen 7 - 3 Smith

Averages: Van Gerwen 101.45 - 99.50 Smith



Michael Van Gerwen 11 - 5 Gerwyn Price

It all comes down to this. Would it be Premier League number seven for Van Gerwen? Or number one for Price? With both players playing out of their skin in their semis, the stage was set for them to produce a final to remember. 

After winning the 'bull-off', Van Gerwen threw first, giving him a huge psychological advantage in the match. Both players started off steady and looked comfortable on the oche. With neither player making any glaring errors, it was going to take a moment of genius to break throw and it did, with MVG hitting a stunning 170 checkout in the sixth leg to go 4-2 up. 'The Green Machine' kicked on from there and won the next three legs on the spin, as Sky Sports commentator, Rod Studd dubbed him 'the tungsten terminator.' Price broke back soon after to make it 7-4 but it was too little too late for the Welshman, as Van Gerwen stormed home to win his seventh Premier League title, a decade after his first.

180s: Van Gerwen 5 - 2 Price

Averages: Van Gerwen 105.43 - 99.50 Price


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