Nathan Aspinall secured his first win of the 2023 Cazoo Premier League campaign, beating Gerwyn Price 6-4 in a thrilling final on Night 12 at Rotterdam Ahoy. Aspinall recovered brilliantly from his quarter-final defeat to Peter Wright in Brighton last week, producing an impressive performance to move up to third in the table. In this article, we break down the key moments of the night and take a closer look at the other matches.
Aspinall Bounces Back
Aspinall’s win was a demonstration of his fighting spirit and resilience, bouncing back after a disappointing performance in Brighton. He started the night by ending Michael van Gerwen’s hopes of a dream homecoming in front of a sell-out 11,000 crowd, converting a 118 checkout to dump out the Dutch superstar in a last-leg decider. Aspinall then moved through to his first final since Night Two in Cardiff, averaging over 99 to overcome Dimitri Van Bergh and set up a showdown against an in-form Price.
In the final, Aspinall took an early lead with a superb 124 combination, but Price responded with a 140 checkout to seize the initiative. Aspinall then produced a brilliant three-leg burst to establish a 4-2 cushion, reeling off consecutive legs in 13, 13, and 12 darts to move two legs away from the £10,000 winner’s bonus. Although Price reduced the arrears with a comfortable hold in leg seven, Aspinall was undeterred, moving to the brink of victory with another 13-dart hold, before sealing the deal with a 71 checkout in leg ten.
“Last week really hurt me, so to bounce back like I have tonight, I’m really proud,” claimed Aspinall, the sixth different nightly winner in this year’s Premier League. “I have worked so hard. I’ve changed something to try and find what I needed to find to keep me calm in situations, and it’s all come together tonight. I’m just really happy to finally get a nightly win and put myself back in the top four.”
Price Claims Three Points to Top Table
Although Price was denied his fifth nightly victory of 2023 in Thursday’s decider, the Welshman claimed a precious three points to move top of the table at Van Gerwen’s expense. Price kicked off his Rotterdam campaign with a comeback win against World Champion Michael Smith, reeling off five consecutive legs from 3-1 down to triumph with a 102 average. He then produced another ton-topping average to dispatch his World Cup partner Jonny Clayton in the semi-finals, firing in six 180s en route to an emphatic 6-1 success.
Van den Bergh and Clayton Secure Two Points Each
Semi-finalists Van den Bergh and Clayton departed Rotterdam with two points apiece, courtesy of quarter-final wins against Peter Wright and Chris Dobey respectively. Van den Bergh ended a run of four consecutive quarter-final defeats with a 6-3 success against Wright, which saw him leapfrog Dobey and move into sixth spot. Masters champion Dobey succumbed 6-4 to a clinical Clayton in the evening’s opener, with the Welshman landing three ton-plus finishes and averaging almost 101 to cap off a quality display.
The Cazoo Premier League roadshow heads to Leeds’ First Direct Arena next Thursday, as league leader Price takes on Clayton in an all-Welsh affair on Night 13. Van Gerwen will begin his bid for a fourth nightly win of 2023 against Wright, Aspinall takes on Van den Bergh, while Smith and Dobey lock horns in the evening’s opener