Michael van Gerwen took a giant step towards finishing top of the Premier League Darts table for the second year running with a fine victory against his closest rival in Newcastle.
World Champion van Gerwen saw off second-placed Raymond van Barneveld 7-4 with an excellent performance on Thursday, moving him two points ahead of his Dutch compatriot with just one more set of fixtures to complete.
The world number one, who averaged over 105, will seal top spot if he earns at least a draw against play-off chasing Peter Wright in Brighton next Thursday.
“Tonight was a big win for me,” admitted van Gerwen, the defending champion.
“I was determined to beat Raymond because he got the better of me earlier in the season but I also wanted to put in a good performance after losing last week.
“I did both of those things so I’m happy and I’ll be aiming to win again next week so I finish in first place and in good form ahead of the play-offs.”
van Gerwen fell 3-1 before reeling off four straight legs to take control.
‘Barney’ pulled a leg back but the 25-year-old took out 68 to move 6-4 ahead before completing the victory in style by following his fifth 180 with a stunning 132 finish on the bull.
By Chris Murphy
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