It’s a night of comebacks in the darts at Leeds Arena

Rob Cross, left, and Michael Smith
Rob Cross, left, and Michael Smith
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DUTCH duo Michael van Gerwen and Raymond van Barneveld delighted 8,000 darts fans at Leeds’ First Direct Arena with comeback wins in the Unibet Premier League,

DUTCH duo Michael van Gerwen and Raymond van Barneveld delighted 8,000 darts fans at Leeds’ First Direct Arena with comeback wins in the Unibet Premier League last night.

Michael van Gerwen

Michael van Gerwen

World number one Michael van Gerwen had to battle hard as he kept up his bid to retain the with a 7-4 victory over Simon Whitlock.

The Dutch superstar saw a slow start allow Whitlock to take a 2-0 lead from their contest, and the Australian also held a 3-2 advantage as Van Gerwen struggled on his doubles.

However, Van Gerwen levelled with a 110 finish before winning four of the next five legs to claim his fourth win in five matches this season.

“It’s good to get the win and the two points,” said Van Gerwen, who moved onto eight points in the league table as the battle for places in May’s Play-Offs hots up.

Raymond van Barneveld

Raymond van Barneveld

“My finishing wasn’t the best but you have to do the right things at the moments in games like that and I’ve done that. It wasn’t my best performance but I did what I had to do, and that was to win.”

Five-time World Champion Van Barneveld also overturned a two-leg deficit as he came from 5-3 down to win 7-5 against Welshman Gerwyn Price, who is without a win so far in his debut season.

After sharing the opening six legs, Price moved out into a 5-3 advantage, only to see Van Barneveld finish 121, 80, 101 and 89 on the bull to claim a key two points.

“This is a very important win for me and I’m happy,” said Van Barneveld. “Maybe Gerwyn deserved a point but sometimes that’s how it goes.

“I didn’t give up. It’s so important to qualify for the second half of the season, and I’m on five points now but I’ve still got to get ready for the next four weeks.

“The crowd were fantastic and I loved it on stage tonight, I got an amazing reception.”

Austrian star Mensur Suljovic picked up his second successive win as he swept past world number two Peter Wright with a 7-1 victory, while Gary Anderson and Daryl Gurney shared the points with a six-all draw.

World champion Rob Cross also came from behind to defeat fellow Englishman Michael Smith 7-5 in the last game of the evening.