2024 Premier League: Michael Smith Wins Night One In Cardiff, Beating Van Gerwen, Littler and Price

Published on 2 February 2024 at 13:00

On the opening night of the 2024 Premier League of darts, former World Champion Michael Smith kicked off his campaign in style, recording consecutive impressive wins over Michael Van Gerwen, Luke Littler and Gerwyn Price, scooping the maximum five points available at the Utilita Arena in Cardiff.


Peter Wright, near-universally predicted to finish rock bottom of the league table for the second consecutive year, got his campaign off to the worst possible start, as he fell 6-3 to a solid performance from Rob Cross in Thursday night's opener. 


Local hero Gerwyn Price, who dominated the league last year before just coming short in the final against Michael Van Gerwen, survived an early scare from World Matchplay winner Nathan Aspinall to send the Cardiff crowd wild with a win, as the Iceman kicked off his campaign in style. 


Speaking of the domineering Dutchman, his campaign to retain the Premier League title once again got off to the wrong start as he fell 6-5 to Michael Smith in a last leg shootout, with Van Gerwen producing perhaps the worst leg of the night when it really mattered. 


Rounding out the first round of action, another rematch of the World Championship final saw Luke Littler get another win over the world no.1 Luke Humphries in convincing fashion, winning 6-2 to record the win on his Premier League debut. 


Read More: Van Gerwen Beats Littler To Win Dutch Darts Masters In Den Bosch


In the first semi-final, Gerwyn Price continued his fine form as he dispatched Rob Cross in a battle between the 2018 and 2021 World Champions: with Price set to miss out on the Masters tournament in Milton Keynes this weekend, Price will have wanted to keep himself in the conversation for the circuit's most in-form players after a mixed start to 2024.


And in a first time televised matchup between Luke Littler and Michael Smith, it was the Bully Boy who halted Littler's momentum, coming through yet another last leg decider (and hostile crowd reception) to book his place in the final against Price, the only man who accumulated more points than him in the Premier League last season. 


Even after two close call games to make it to the final, not many would have predicted the outcome for Michael Smith, as he silenced the partisan Welsh crowd with a ruthless 6-2 demolition of Gerwyn Price, hitting multiple 180s and retaining his composure to seal the maximum five points on the opening night of the Premier League campaign. 


All eyes will now be on Smith heading into Milton Keynes as the Masters, where the St Helens star will open up his tournament in the second round against one of James Wade or Dimitri Van den Bergh. Reigning Masters Champion Chris Dobey kicks off his title defence against Andrew Gilding, meanwhile a truly mouthwatering tie awaits as two of the game's biggest 180 hitters will collide when Stephen Bunting plays Ross Smith.


Image Credit-Sven Mandel

By Jaspar Shepherdson

(@jasparshepmedia on X/Twitter and Instagram)


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