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Cazoo Premier League: Joe Cullen ruins Michael van Gerwen's night in Rotterdam | Darts News

Cazoo Premier League: Joe Cullen ruins Michael van Gerwen’s night in Rotterdam | Darts News

Joe Cullen held his nerve in a last-leg decider against former world champion Michael van Gerwen at Rotterdam Ahoy to become the sixth winner in seven events so far in the 2022 Cazoo Premier League

Last Updated: 24/03/22 11:44pm


Watch the best checkouts from Night Seven of Premier League Darts action in Rotterdam

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Watch the best checkouts from Night Seven of Premier League Darts action in Rotterdam

Watch the best checkouts from Night Seven of Premier League Darts action in Rotterdam

Joe Cullen joined the ever-growing list of winners in this year’s Cazoo Premier League as he edged out home favourite Michael van Gerwen 6-5 in the final in Rotterdam.

Van Gerwen was aiming for his third win in this year’s new-format Premier League, having triumphed in Exeter and Brighton already, and wins over Michael Smith and Jonny Clayton kept him on course to do that.

Cullen, however, had other ideas and went leg-for-leg with the former world champion in the decider at Rotterdam Ahoy before eventually sealing the win with a double-four to become the sixth winner in seven events so far this year.

Joe Cullen upset home favourite Michael van Gerwen, winning a final leg decider to triumph in Week 7 of the Premier League in Rotterdam

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Joe Cullen upset home favourite Michael van Gerwen, winning a final leg decider to triumph in Week 7 of the Premier League in Rotterdam

Joe Cullen upset home favourite Michael van Gerwen, winning a final leg decider to triumph in Week 7 of the Premier League in Rotterdam

“It’s great to get the win, but there’s nothing better than playing a Dutchman in their back yard,” Cullen said.

“Especially as well to get the five points tonight, I was struggling a bit at the bottom of the table, but I’m back up there now and I’m back.

“The Premier League is tough. You’re trying to pick games where there’s a certain two points, but there’s never a certain two points.

Premier League – Night 7 in Rotterdam Results

Quarter-finals Peter Wright 6-5 James Wade
Gary Anderson 5-6 Joe Cullen
Jonny Clayton 6-5 Gerwyn Price
Michael van Gerwen 5-6 Michael Smith
Semi-finals Peter Wright 4-6 Joe Cullen
Jonny Clayton 3-6 Michael van Gerwen
Final Joe Cullen 6-5 Michael van Gerwen

“It’s the best eight players in the world on form. If it was the old format I think I would have been struggling, this format has really helped me out and you can see what a win on the night does. I’ve got five points and I’m in the top four, so it’s all good.”

It was a thrilling start to the evening, which saw the Premier League returning to the Netherlands for the first time since 2019, as Peter Wright edged James Wade 6-5 in a see-saw contest and it continued in that vein as Cullen fought back from 5-3 down to defeat Night Six winner Gary Anderson by the same scoreline.

Jonny Clayton eventually won the battle of the two Welshmen 6-5 after compatriot Gerwyn Price forced a deciding leg, with the defending Premier League champion missing seven match darts before sealing the win, while Van Gerwen got the better of Michael Smith 6-5 in a scrappy encounter too.

After edging out Gary Anderson 6-5, Joe Cullen then proceeded to have an argument with the two-time world champion after the enthralling clash

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After edging out Gary Anderson 6-5, Joe Cullen then proceeded to have an argument with the two-time world champion after the enthralling clash

After edging out Gary Anderson 6-5, Joe Cullen then proceeded to have an argument with the two-time world champion after the enthralling clash

Cullen then booked his place in the final with a 6-4 win over reigning world champion Wright in the first semi-final, while Van Gerwen seized control of his last-four clash with Clayton to book a third final appearance in four weeks of the Premier League.

The final proved just as close-fought as the rest of the evening and the first six legs, which included a superb 118 checkout from the Englishman, all went with the throw before Van Gerwen broke in the seventh by finishing on D20.

Cullen broke back to level again though and then landed a double-top finish of his own to go within a leg of victory. However, back came the Dutch star roared on by a raucous Rotterdam crowd in a high-scoring 10th leg which saw him take out D20 to send the match to a decider.

Wayne Mardle believes Joe Cullen's finishing proved pivotal as to why he emerged victorious from Week 7 of the Premier League

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Wayne Mardle believes Joe Cullen’s finishing proved pivotal as to why he emerged victorious from Week 7 of the Premier League

Wayne Mardle believes Joe Cullen’s finishing proved pivotal as to why he emerged victorious from Week 7 of the Premier League

Back-to-back 180s got Cullen off to a flying start, but he stumbled a bit after failing to get the nine-darter and allowed Van Gerwen to close the gap.

Ultimately though, there would be no denying Cullen and he held his nerve to clinch victory and vault himself into the top four in the Premier League standings.

Check out daily Darts news on skysports.com/darts, our app for mobile devices and our Twitter account @skysportsdarts. The Premier League returns in Birmingham for Night Eight next Thursday at 7pm from Utilitia Arena Birmingham – live on Sky Sports Action.