2024 Premier League: Michael van Gerwen Wins Night Four in Newcastle

Premier League Night Four at the Utilita Arena in Newcastle delivered an electrifying spectacle as rising star Luke Littler faced off against Scottish veteran Peter Wright, igniting the crowd with anticipation. Adding to the excitement, the night also saw the renewal of the fierce rivalry between former champions Michael van Gerwen and Gerwyn Price. With high stakes and thrilling matchups, the stage was set for another unforgettable evening of darting action.

2024 Premier League: Michael van Gerwen Wins Night Four in Newcastle
Louis Hobbs

Written by: Louis Hobbs

(Senior Sports Writer)

Fact checked by: Wade McElwain

(Senior Sports Writer)

Last updated: 2024-02-22

Night Four at the Utilita Arena in Newcastle

In an electrifying atmosphere at the Utilita Arena in Newcastle, Premier League Night Four burst into action with a riveting clash between rising star Luke Littler and seasoned Scottish veteran Peter Wright. The anticipation was palpable as fans eagerly awaited this momentous encounter, pitting youth against experience in a thrilling display of darting talent. Alongside this compelling matchup, the stage was also set for the renewed rivalry between two giants of the game, Michael van Gerwen and Gerwyn Price. As the darting fervour reached its peak, spectators braced themselves for a night of intense competition and unforgettable moments, reminiscent of past battles that have defined the Premier League's rich history.

Quarter-Finals

Michael Smith vs. Nathan Aspinall

Opening the evening's proceedings in Newcastle were practice partners Michael Smith and Nathan Aspinall, setting the stage for a gripping encounter. Aspinall surged ahead early, claiming the first leg with swift precision. Smith then retaliated with a missed opportunity for a spectacular 170 finish yet managed to capitalise on Aspinall's failure to convert a 96 checkout, levelling the score at 1-1. 

 

Momentum swung back and forth as both players traded breaks of throw, with Smith edging ahead 3-2 before Aspinall levelled the game once more. Despite Aspinall's resilience in securing a crucial 4-3 lead, Smith fought back to force a tense 4-4 deadlock. The tension escalated as Aspinall inched closer to victory with a clinical 70 finish, before Bully Boy also held throw, setting the stage for a dramatic one-leg shootout.

 

In the end, the Asp emerged victorious, clinching his first points of the Premier League season in a hard-fought battle marked by missed opportunities on the doubles for both players. 

 

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Rob Cross vs. Luke Humphries

In a gripping showdown between Rob Cross and Luke Humphries, the match opened with Cross surging ahead, claiming the first two legs while Humphries struggled to find his footing, failing to even secure a dart at a double. 

 

However, Humphries staged a remarkable comeback, displaying resilience and skill with a series of impressive finishes. Breaking back with a stunning 117 three-dart finish, Humphries quickly levelled the game at 2-2. He would then seize a 4-2 lead fuelled by two more clinical checkouts of 92 and 70. After not having a dart at double in the first two legs, Humphries didn’t miss in the following four legs.

 

Cross would then clinch one leg back, before Cool Hand Luke missed his first dart at a double in the eighth leg, but he held his nerve to secure the crucial leg, edging tantalisingly close to victory. 

 

Although Cross out of nowhere swiftly rallied, winning the next two legs to force yet another last-leg decider. Undeterred, Voltage rose to the occasion in the final hurdle, executing a clutch 79 finish to mount a remarkable comeback and dethrone the reigning world champion. Despite maintaining his Premier League average of above 100, Humphries's impressive performance fell just short of overcoming Cross's determined resilience. 

 

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Peter Wright vs. Luke Littler

The action kicked off with Luke Littler showcasing his scoring prowess, hitting three 180s in the first two legs, including a remarkable tops-tops finish.

 

Soon after, Wright was able to take advantage securing his first leg after Littler's surprising two misses at double 10. Building on his recent Pro Tour performances, Wright matched Littler's high-scoring game, levelling the match at 2-2. 

 

Littler then went fishing in the fifth leg, reclaimed the lead with an impressive 170 checkout, and continued to apply pressure, breaking Wright's throw with an 81 checkout to take a 4-2 lead. 

 

Yet, Snakebite responded with a break of throw of his own to narrow the gap. With both players maintaining averages over 105, the match remained tightly contested. A pivotal moment came as Littler missed three darts at double, allowing Wright to seize a 5-4 lead, his first of the game. 

 

However, the 17-year-old showed his resolve, levelling the match with a two-dart 85 checkout to force a thrilling last-leg shootout. Despite Wright's impressive comeback efforts, Littler remained composed, clinching victory with a 64 checkout in their inaugural professional encounter. The match showcased a remarkable display of scoring, with both players hitting an incredible six 180s each in the epic clash in Newcastle.

 

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Gerwyn Price vs. Michael van Gerwen

In their first encounter of 2024, Gerwyn Price clashed with Michael van Gerwen in a highly anticipated showdown. Mighty Mike wasted no time in asserting his dominance, immediately breaking Price's throw to set the tone for the match. 

 

Despite Price's efforts to retaliate, a missed dart at double 16 allowed van Gerwen to extend his lead. Price managed to get on the scoreboard with a solid 13-dart leg, but struggled to match van Gerwen's consistency, gifting him a 3-1 advantage. 

 

The Iceman, however, showcased his resilience with an impressive 117 three-dart checkout to narrow the gap. Yet, van Gerwen responded swiftly with a 12-darter of his own. With a clinical 110 checkout, van Gerwen further asserted his control, taking a commanding 5-2 lead. 

 

Price staged a valiant comeback, clawing back two legs to make it 5-4, including a crucial 78 checkout. Despite facing pressure and missing three match darts, the dutchman maintained his composure to secure victory with a successful double 16 on the fourth attempt.

 

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Semi-Finals

Nathan Aspinall vs. Rob Cross

Cross asserted his dominance early on with a comfortable 12-darter to hold throw in the opening leg. He then applied pressure on Aspinall’s throw with a 180 whilst he was on a double, however the Asp matched his scoring to level the game at 1-1. 

 

The following legs saw both players struggling to challenge each other's throw, resulting in a deadlock at 2-2. However, Aspinall broke the stalemate with a clinical display, hitting five perfect darts on his way to take a 3-2 lead. A missed opportunity at double 16 from Cross then allowed Aspinall to extend his advantage to two legs. 

 

Despite Cross's strong attempt at a comeback, including a spectacular 110 three-dart finish in the seventh leg, Aspinall maintained his composure to inch closer to victory. With a composed 68 finish, Aspinall positioned himself just one leg away from securing a spot in the night's final.

 

Although Voltage managed to claw back one more leg, Aspinall ultimately prevailed, securing his place in the final despite facing pressure and missing three match darts in the process.

 

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Luke Littler vs. Michael van Gerwen

In the gripping second semi-final clash between Michael van Gerwen and Luke Littler, both players showcased their resilience in holding throw for the first four legs of the match. The highlight came with van Gerwen's stylish 127 checkouts on the bull to maintain his advantage in the second leg. 

 

Littler's missed doubles then proved costly as van Gerwen capitalised, securing the first break of throw to take a 3-2 lead. A clinical 87 checkout further extended van Gerwen's lead to two legs. 

 

Despite Littler's efforts to stay in contention, as he withstood six missed match darts, van Gerwen's class eventually shone through. With a superb 90 checkout, hitting double 18 twice, van Gerwen sealed his place in the final against Nathan Aspinall, marking his third consecutive Premier League final appearance. That was also the dutchman’s third straight victory over the 17-year-old since the Bahrain Masters final. 

 

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Final: Nathan Aspinall vs. Michael van Gerwen

To begin the Night Four final in Newcastle, Nathan Aspinall surged onto the stage, immediately breaking Michael van Gerwen's throw. With van Gerwen unable to even muster a shot at a finishing double, Aspinall capitalised on his early momentum, holding his throw to establish a commanding 2-0 lead, sealed with a clinical 62 checkout. 

 

However, van Gerwen quickly rebounded from his sluggish start, responding with a blistering 11-dart leg in the third leg. The Dutchman then delivered a break of throw to level the game at two legs apiece. 

 

Despite Aspinall's missed opportunities, including three darts to snatch van Gerwen's throw for a second time, van Gerwen advanced on his chances to seize his first lead of the match. A missed double 17 at a crucial moment allowed van Gerwen to further extend his advantage, breaking Aspinall with an impressive 10-dart leg. 

 

With van Gerwen on the verge of victory, Aspinall mounted a remarkable comeback, highlighted by a sensational 170 checkout, the second of the night. Aspinall had two darts at double 16 to force a last-leg decider, but van Gerwen remained composed under pressure, securing a 6-4 victory. 

 

This triumph marked van Gerwen's third consecutive Premier League night win, propelling him to an eight-point lead at the top of the table and inching closer to securing his place in the playoffs with only four weeks played.

 

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Image credit: Professional Darts Corporation (PDC)

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Louis Hobbs

Louis Hobbs

Meet Louis Hobbs, our esteemed authority on all matters sports-related. With a wealth of knowledge and experience, Louis effortlessly emerges as our go-to expert. His particular expertise in the realms of darts and snooker sets him apart and brings a level of insight that goes beyond the ordinary. Louis also holds a deep affection for all things related to US sports, with a special emphasis on basketball and American football, which stand out as his particular favorites. His content may not resonate with you, if you don't consider Lamar Jackson the most skilled player in the NFL.

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