Michael van Gerwen made it three Premier League nightly wins on the spin as he defeated Nathan Aspinall 6-4 in Newcastle to extend his lead at the top of the standings to eight points.
Van Gerwen backed up his victories in Berlin and Glasgow with another in the North East, seeing off Gerwyn Price 6-4 in the quarter-finals and Luke Littler 6-5 in a thrilling semi-final.
The Dutchman, who is now up to 15 points for the campaign, lost the opening two legs to Aspinall before winning five in a row as he looked set for a routine victory at the Utilita Arena.
Premier League Darts – Night Four results
|Michael van Gerwen
|Michael van Gerwen
|Michael van Gerwen
However, Aspinall – whose wins over Michael Smith and Rob Cross were his first of the season – fought back and reeled in the Big Fish of 170 to make it 5-4.
Van Gerwen then took out double 18 for the match after Aspinall missed two attempts at double 16 to force a deciding leg.
MVG has now won nine matches in a row since he lost to Smith on the opening night in Cardiff on February 1 and will look to extend his run in Exeter next Thursday.
Van Gerwen: Winning is the most important thing
Speaking after beating Aspinall, Van Gerwen said: “I played poorly in the first two legs but I never gave up. I feel good in my game and I feel confident.
“I am not going to set myself any targets, no goals. I don’t set myself any targets – but it could be a record [number of nightly wins].
“I am just going to keep focussing or I get bored. I need to keep the motivation.
“Winning is the most important thing. You don’t care about anything else as a darts player. It is the biggest medicine.”
Van Gerwen missed six match darts at a double in his 6-5 win over Littler in the semi-finals before winning the contest in the next leg as he landed two double 18s.
That ended teenager Littler’s hopes of a first overall nightly win in the Premier League but the youngster impressed in Newcastle, against Van Gerwen and also Peter Wright.
Littler fired in a 170 finish and also a 100 checkout with tops-tops as he denied Wright a first win of the season by edging a cracking quarter-final 6-5 – Wright is still the only man yet to register a point following Aspinall’s two victories.
Aspinall picks up first wins of season
Aspinall defeated Night One winner Smith in a last-leg decider in the opening quarter-final, taking out double 10 after his opponent had missed that bed for the victory himself.
Cross then fought back from 5-3 down to defeat reigning world champion Luke Humphries in another 11th-leg shootout before Littler vs Wright went all the way.
Van Gerwen did not need a deciding leg to overcome Price in the last quarter-final but did to see off Littler a round later as the crowd were treated to the latest instalment in what is shaping up to be a stunning rivalry.
Aspinall was Van Gerwen’s third and final victim in Newcastle and although The Asp will ponder what might have been had he been more lethal on his doubles, he will be delighted to have chalked up his first points of the season.
He beat Cross 6-4 in the semi-finals but the latter’s progression to the last four means he sits in the fourth and final play-off place at this early stage of the campaign, behind runaway leader Van Gerwen, Smith and Littler.
Where does the Premier League head next?
Exeter is the venue for Night Five, with these fixtures to take place in Devon…
Night Four, Exeter – Thursday February 29
|Luke Humphries vs Michael van Gerwen
|Nathan Aspinall vs Peter Wright
|Gerwyn Price vs Rob Cross
|Luke Littler vs Michael Smith
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Premier League Darts continues on Sky Sports on Thursday, February 29, in Exeter. Watch live on Sky Sports Action from 7pm. Stream darts and more sports without a contract through NOW
2024 Premier League Darts schedule
|The Brighton Centre
|Motorpoint Arena, Nottingham
|SSE Arena, Belfast
|AO Arena, Manchester
|Utilita Arena, Birmingham
|M&S Bank Arena, Liverpool
|P&J Live, Aberdeen
|First Direct Arena, Leeds
|Utilita Arena, Sheffield
|The O2, London
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