Michael van Gerwen returned to winning ways in the Premier League with a pulsating 7-5 victory over Robert Thornton on night ten at the Sheffield Arena. Van Gerwen posted an average of 117.95, the second highest in Premier League history; but he was pushed all the way by a tenacious Thornton, who averaged 104.23 and recorded 71% on the doubles.
Thornton kicked off proceedings with a confident 14-dart hold by virtue of posting his first maximum, but MvG levelled up proceedings immediately with a 13-darter on D20. The Dutchman then produced another 13-darter on tops to break the throw, before establishing a two-leg cushion thanks to a majestic 10-dart leg.
Van Gerwen produced scores of 180, 135 and 170, before cleaning up D8 to maintain his perfect record on the doubles. ‘The Green Machine’ recorded another visit of 170 in the fifth leg to open up a break opportunity and after Thornton wired the bullseye for an 81 finish, Michael clinched his fourth successive leg by pinning D10 with his last dart.
Thornton was throwing well and the World Grand-Prix champion recorded his second maximum to leave 81 after just 9 darts. However, in an exact replica of the previous leg, the Scot missed the bull to complete the combination, and van Gerwen converted 78 in two-darts for his fifth straight leg.