Rob Cross 3-0 Raymond van Barneveld
Current PDC world champion Rob Cross gained his first Premier League win at the third attempt when he defeated Peter Wright 7-4 last week in Newcastle. Cross broke Wright’s throw in the opening leg of the match and never let his lead slip.
With a first nine dart average of 110, his scoring against Wright was much improved from his previous two matches. Cross also hit a total of four 180’s which was double the total he hit overall during the first two weeks.
A negative for Cross is that his tournament checkout percentage of 27% is the lowest percentage by any of the ten competitors in the league and his highest checkout is just 72.
RAYMOND VAN BARNEVELD
In week three, Raymond van Barneveld went down to a disappointing 7-4 defeat to Simon Whitlock. Van Barneveld had his throw broken in the second leg of the match after missing four darts to win the leg, and he was always left chasing the game from then on.
His checkout percentage against Whitlock was only 29% which was well below the 47% he registered the week previously in his victory against Suljovic.
Since losing to Whitlock last Thursday, he has suffered the disappointment of failing to earn qualification for the first two Euro Tour events of the season and he also suffered early exits in the two Players Championship tournaments played last weekend.
Rob Cross earned a much-needed win last week to ease any pressure or nerves he might have been feeling in his Premier League debut season; he played a lot more like the player who impressed so much over the last year.
Barney’s form away from the Premier League has been underwhelming certainly by his high standards and he will have been hoping and expecting more than he has gained from the opening three matches, bearing in mind he has games still to come against Gary Anderson, Peter Wright and Michael van Gerwen.
Cross has a 3-0 lead over Van Barneveld in their head-to-head record, the most recent of those matches bring a 10-7 win for Cross on the TV stage at the Grand Slam of Darts last November. Van Barneveld has undoubted quality but has not been playing well enough to suggest he will get his first win against Cross this time out.